Sowing and Transplanting Winter Crops in a Hoophouse

| 8/27/2019 9:25:00 AM

Our spinach variety trial in February, showing Avon, Renegade, Acadia and Escalade

At Twin Oaks Community (central Virginia) we are on our way with our late fall, winter and early spring crops in the hoophouse. If you haven’t got a hoophouse, I recommend you consider one, and hurry to get it in place before winter! See 20 Benefits of Having a Hoophouse and Winter Hoop House Harvest Schedule for inspiration. I am giving workshops on Lettuce Year Round and Hoophouse Cool Season Crops at Mother Earth News Fairs, so catch those to learn more.

See Planning winter hoophouse crops on my website, for our step-by-step process.

Hoophouse Bed Preparation

I have written previously about Hoophouse Bed Prep for Fall Plantings. To extend the season of the summer crops in the hoophouse and to make the physical work of bed renovation easier (by spreading it out), we prepare one bed per week. Other growers might use machinery and prep all the beds at once. Your choice.

We plant crops a little closer in the hoophouse than outdoors, and nearer to the edges of the beds, as it is easier to tend crops where there are no weeds (that’s thanks to our no-till system). The paths are marked off with twine, to keep us from stepping on the beds, compacting the soil. We find that the soil does slump and compact some of its own accord, hence the once-a-year broadforking.

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