The Q&A Archives: Hoop House

Question: Would hoop house be an effective way to grow veg. garden in hot climate. We live Arizona with highs being 110 and lows being 30's throughout the year.

Answer: A hoop house will protect your plants from cool temperatures but I'm afraid it will increase temperatures during the day. Our summers can be tough, but surprisingly there are some vegetables that will do well. There are two distinct growing seasons in the low desert with different annuals thriving in each season. There's a cool season from approximately the end of September through April. Annuals can be installed from September to February. The warm season starts with planting in mid to late February. Some plants will make it through the summer's heat; others will end their growth when the heat arrives. A rule of thumb for determing when to plant is that cool season crops are those which you eat the stems, leaves, and roots, such as lettuces, greens, carrots, beets, onions, etc. A hoop house will keep them happy during the cooler months. Warm season crops are those which you eat the fruits, such as tomatoes, melons, peppers, etc. A good reference book that contains planting calendars for the low desert is called "Desert Gardening for Beginners: How to Grow Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs in an Arid Climate." ISBN 0-9651987-2-3. Good luck!

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