Farmer Tips for Hoop House Use

Benefits of Hoop houses

• Ability to harvest early and late in the season
• Providing cash flow and productive labor opportunity in otherwise slow times
• Pleasant work environment in cold season

Site and Soil Preparation

• Choose site with relatively level, well-drained ground and full sunlight
• Consider proximity to water and electricity sources; drip tape saves much atering time
• Choose or create a site with good fertility and relatively good control of weeds
• When installing, account for the plastic’s fragility and difficult installation: make ure bolt heads are pounded in and have a large crew on installation day
• A good soaking on dry ground makes ground posts go in easier

Key Differences from Outdoor Production

• Everything grows faster in the hoop house, including weeds: be prepared to use
more seeds, water and fertility inputs
• Soil fertility and weed management deficiencies may be more pronounced in the
hoop house
• Using tractors or tillers is more difficult or not feasible in the cramped confines;
more handwork may be needed
• Hoop house produce is often higher quality and less damaged by wind, splash,
and pests
• Hoop houses often face different weed and pest pressures (e.g., chickweed,
grasshopper, rodents ) than are found outdoors