Hoop House Grower : Diana of Voice In The Garden

Something wonderful has come to my attention with social networking in the New Year.    I’ve noticed my ‘live stream’ has been showing some images of greenhouses and other tools used to grow year-round. You can imagine my excitement to find one of my Facebook garden connection sharing images of her new hoop house online this week. Hard to believe it was only a year ago I was talking to Glenda, my greenhouse partner about how lonely it felt on the network being the only two growing out of season.

When Diana’s hoop house images came across the Facebook feed last week I was quick to click on the fabulous images. To see what people are using across the country to grow their own veggies & blooms fascinates me. It is amazing to see all the different designs people who obviously love to grow are creating to make their dreams of growing anytime happen.   Diana is a wonderful contact on my Facebook garden network who always shares inspiring garden thoughts from her blog at Voice In the Garden

Not only does Diana share amazing images of nature on her blog she shares her love for growing year-round.Wonderful to read about the  heirloom seeds, and chemical-free vegetables the y grow and harvest.   I’ve learned so much about greenhouses, even though I own my own on this blog entry located at Voice In The Garden : Hoop House, High Tunnel, Polytunnel .

I asked Diana a few of the questions that she was so kind to answer for me.  I hope these thoughts and ideas will inspire you like they have me.

Bren : What garden zone is your greenhouse located in?

We are in zone 8.

Bren : What did you take in consideration when you decided to build a greenhouse of your own? Did you have a ‘reason’ you wanted a greenhouse of your own in your garden?

Much of this is in the blog, re: the limited location and space we had available. We have wanted a greenhouse for many years, but they are extremely expensive. When we read about the hoop houses (high tunnels) several years ago, we felt this would be a good alternative. Then when we met a gentleman who could supply some of the components and we decided it was in an affordable range, it seemed the appropriate time to do it.

Our main reason for wanting the greenhouse was to extend the growing season and house most of the vegetables I start from seed.

Bren: Tell me about your greenhouse – what made you decide on using wood / aluminum frame?

We wanted durability and a structure sound enough to withstand the winds we sometimes get in the winter.

Bren: What was the cost involved with this project?

We located a supplier in Washington, a 5 hour drive from our home, and from him we purchased (as stated in the article) the steel anchoring stubs, the 17 gauge bent steel bows, some of the bolts for attaching the metal, and the greenhouse-grade polyethylene for a 12’ x 20’ high tunnel/hoop house/greenhouse. That cost was $485.

Except for some of the major connectors, everything else was purchased at our local lumber and hardware. Expect prices to vary. We comparative shop lumber prices at three different outlets, additional screws, bolts, hinges, door latches and metal bracing. We found some lumber on sale; some was used that we already had on hand. It all greatly depends upon which part of the country one lives as to the cost. We estimate another $150-200 for the cost of additional materials.

Bren : What do you use to heat your greenhouse?

Since we have just completed the project, there has been no decision at this time as to whether we will use any heat. Our current daytime temperatures have been ranging in the low to mid 50’s and nighttime temperature above freezing. We’ll have to gauge that as we go.

Bren : Do you grow year-round in this greenhouse?

Our hope is to grow year-round or pretty close to it.

Bren : What are your favorite things to grow in the greenhouse?

Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables, organic and heirloom, and I am looking forward to getting a Meyer’s lemon tree.

Bren : If you could give someone thinking about starting their own greenhouse any tips / ideas what would it be?

My number one advice would be to do a lot research first, and then make a PLAN: what is your budget; how do you plan on using the greenhouse, your individual requirements;

select the correct location; work from your drawing, and stick to the plan.

I want to thank Diana of Voice in the Garden who is growing year-round for sharing her experience with us.   I’m honored to add Diana and her beautiful greenhouse to our list of ‘Friends who Grow Year-Round’.

" Without hard work, nothing grows by weeds." - Gordon B. Hinckley

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