Greenhouses forum: Hoop Tunnel

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örebro, sweden
liquidmonkey
Apr 18, 2018 5:54 AM CST
Not sure if a hoop tunnel is a greenhouse but hopefully you let this thread live here :)

After having a terrible year in 2017, i've decided to go with a hoop tunnel. I live in the middle of Sweden, a little bit in the hills so we have a different climate zone which is generally 5 degrees cool than in the nearby city.
After watching many youtube vids i'm all good to try it out but have a few questions:

1) i'll cover the hoops with a fiber cloth which says it lets in 90% of the sunlight but realistically, how much temperature increase can i expect? There is a bit of shade where the hoop tunnel will be, perhaps 30% of the time the sun shines.
2) would clear plastic be better? whats really the difference here between the clear plastic and fiber cloth?
3) i use drip hoses for watering so having rain water fall on the garden is not crucial. will condensation be an issue?

i like to grow a variety of vegetables, carrots, peas, radishes, lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes.
i also have loads of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

4) will it help the fruits along to loosely cover them with the fiber cloth?

thanks for any help :)
Name: Jim
NE PA (Zone 6b)
Gardening grows the Gardener
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MoonShadows
Apr 19, 2018 3:18 AM CST
Hi @liquidmonkey and welcome to the NGA forum. I have to admit, I'm not real familiar with growing under hoop tunnels (low tunnels), but I did find a couple of articles written by an author who seems to have a good amount of experience with plastic vs. fiber cloth. Perhaps these will be helpful.

http://www.motherofahubbard.co...
http://www.motherofahubbard.co...
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 20, 2018 8:45 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Liquidmonkey !

I have what is probably a fairly similar climate to yours and have used both low tunnels and a high tunnel for growing and extending the seasons. For tomatoes, using clear plastic works great because they seem to love the heat. Otherwise, using the "fiber cloth" does a great job in retaining some warmth and letting in the sun and also water. And keeping out bugs -- such as cabbage butterflies -- as an added benefit. For the last couple of years I've grown my tomatoes in a high tunnel covered with clear plastic and have had almost no disease on my plants, unlike the ones grown out in the open garden. I did have issues with aphids attacking pepper plants in the same high tunnel, and ditto for spider mites on eggplant plants. I've used the fiber cloth/floating row cover over some of my asparagus, with the result of having an earlier harvest. And one year I used a low tunnel covered with plastic to plant some onion sets in the late summer -- without considering the fact that they wouldn't bulb up with the shortening days -- and, rather than being a failure because of that, I had what I considered "bonus onions" the next spring, as they not only survived but thrived under that low tunnel over the winter.

Happy gardening!
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