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snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone and happy Fall!  I am thinking of a different technique for starting cuttings next year.  Does anyone use a hoop house or cold frame?  I have an idea and wanted to see if any other friends have built one or use one.  I did find one online here and even though this guy built a greenhouse, I am thinking of making something like this on a smaller scale:  http://doorgarden.com/10/50-dollar-hoop-house-green-house

Any thoughts? 


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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #2 
I know Elizabeth Young, "moshepherdess" has one.

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have a greenhouse, the greenhouse in the article looks like a great idea, but there are few things to keep in mind. The pvc pipes are eas th to you, but if you live in an area with a lot of snow I wouldnt take the weight.
Also, thinl about heating, if it stays warm trees will not go dormant, bur at night the temp will drop and can damage the trees. In summer it can get extremly hot, so you will nees a cooling system.

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hey Dennis,

I grow tomatoes, and I build my own cages out of like ... 2x4 welded wire mesh you can buy at Home Depot.  It comes in rolls with widths of 36", 48", 60".  I buy either the 48" or 60", Then cut about a 48" length, roll it up and tie the ends together. 

The cages look like this (bad pic, sorry): 

http://i54.tinypic.com/x6kc3k.jpg

I have about 30 of these that I use both at home and at our local community garden where I plant heirloom tomatoes for everyone.  This year, I needed to shelter a tree on a freezing night and I had these cages laying around and a bunch of clear plastic I use as a drop cloth for painting or a dust cover when doing drywall... So I figured, why not make a mini, single-plant greenhouse?

I wrapped the cage with the clear plastic and used clear duct tape to hold the plastic to the cage (temporary solution).  I cut out a round piece of plastic to cap off the top, and taped it down across the center like ( | ) so it would "vent" if it got too hot (or so I hope).

So, this year, I'm just taking sticks and shoving them in the ground, then covering them with all these little cages I have.  I think I will also use these next year when I start to transfer my 1st-year plants into the ground.  I may install mesh on the top in case of snow (prevent collapse) to provide support.  It's pretty infant technology at this point.

Here's a picture of a plastic-covered cage:

http://i51.tinypic.com/dgkmli.jpg


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Jason
Atlanta/Grant Park area - z8
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Reply with quote  #5 
I'm actually in the process of building a hoop house right now.   It's 16 by 45 feet long.  More like a passive greenhouse.  I really appreciate the link you gave, because I'm up to the point of building the ends, and those are the best photos of the process I've seen so far.  Thanks!

Ha!  I just saved the page and discovered I'd already saved it before and forgotten about it.   This getting old stuff is not helpful.  :oP

SatalliteHead, I'm going to be doing something similar to protect my 6 fig bushes when it gets just a bit cooler.  It's been fairly warm, so just before it begins to hit in the mid 20's I think I get them covered up.

I have also just seen instructions for building a 13 by 100 foot hoop house, for less than 300 dollars.   I'm considering doing this as time permits as well. 




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Reply with quote  #6 
I have looked into the same thing and just ordered a 10x20 greenhouse from northern tool. 245.00 complete kit with vents, door, and rip stop covering.  I have looked into the build it yourself method and found that the fabric to cover the greenhouse or hoophouse is the expensive part. Make sure it is a rip stop fabric has nylon sewn into the fabric.. Also greenhouse fabric comes in one year and three year life span there is a big difference in price. Look into a shade cloth to keep the hot summer sun under control 60 -80 % is what I am looking at right now. I expect to have my cuttings started end of february early March. I have enough space for over 800 starts and double it with two shelves... also I have room to give a few varieties the early start they need in my zone to produce good fruit. Here is the one I am getting.                                                                                                        

Shelterlogic Grow-It Greenhouse — 20ft.L x 10ft.W x 8ft.H, Model# 70608


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Al Richer
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snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #7 
Bass, I have 6 x 8 greenhouse that I built last summer from a kit.  You are right though....controling the temps will be a problem.  I keep my small young 1yr old trees inside there and some 1.5 yr trees in there during Fall and Winter with a small heater to keep temps above 25 degrees.  They can handle the up and down temps but I don't think the cuttings can.  I could put my cutting in there but I just don't have the room.  I know, I know....I should have built a larger one!!  Argh!  Well I am leaning towards building a small 4' x 6' hoop or cold frame directly behind my greenhouse.  My neighbour has some contraption using an old truck camper top.  I can use something like that if I can find one for about 50 bucks.

Jason, I don't want to place one tomato plant in my greenhouse.  The minute I do, my wife will have all kinds of plants in there!  But I have plenty of room for a cold frame or hoop house.  I like your mini-tomato green houses.

Hi ValerieEden, so the timing is right to talk about a hoop house/cold frame, huh?  Well, the military taught me to always plan out things before doing them.  So, I'm pretty handy building things and I know I can build small hoop house/cold frame in a few hours.  But I have to plan how, what, when, where and why.  That hoop house for less than 300 bucks sounds good.  Whatever I build, I may disassemble come summer.

Hey Northeastnewbie, thanks for the link.  The one I built is like this one:  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200405155_200405155  My current greenhouse is usually 10 degree warmer than outside temps.
Same size and all except my poly panels are clear.  I see the cold frame listed for $99 bucks but heck I only paid $599 for mine last year.  The biggest cost for me in building my greehouse was the base, gravel and panel slabs.  But maybe the 99 dollar one will save me some time.....I might get it.  I'll post some pic tomorrow of my greenhouse.  thank everyone!

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Dennis.  That greenhouse looks great.

See my recent thread "Winter Garden" and there is a picture of the wire mini-hoops I use with removable plastice covering.  Here in Zone 7b it creates a freeze-free environment when covered, and is very, very low cost, easy to make, and easy to use.

I have been using these low cost mini-hoop tunnels to economically grow cool season vegetables for years, but this year I am trial testing fig cuttings also to see if I can root them for transplant out in the Spring.  I will let you know how it goes.

Eliot Coleman uses larger (but still moveable) greenhouse like the one in the picture, with mini-hoop tunnels inside them for a double layer of protection and is growing year round unheated in coastal Maine, Zone 5.  Here's his website: http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/

My brother back in Maine is going to try this too.  He's in Bangor, so it's a little colder but still zone 5.

Let us know how it works for you Dennis.

Take care good friend.

John
North Georgia Piedmont
Zone 7b
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks, John.  Here is my greenhouse.  I took this picture last year and there is another pic of the finished product with SOME of my trees inside.  I think adding the concrete pavers on the floor was a great idea.  It holds heat better.  You loose 2 or 3 inches inside when you do that.  I'm 6' 2" tall and I have to duck my head every time I go inside.  Also, I built some more sturdy shelves to hold more trees.  The 3 trier shelves in the photo work great for young cuttings that have been rooted but you only put them on the 2nd or 3rd shelf because you can't give them direct sunlight.

Moreover, I purchased a wireless temperture guage with a remote sensor.  It has an ice alert feature that flashes whenever the temp drop below 32.  I've ran out and plugged in my heater many nights when that temperture gauge told me the temps dropped.  I'll post more pics tonight.  I am happy with my greenhouse investment.  cheers,

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snaglpus
Thanks, John.  Here is my greenhouse.  I took this picture last year and there is another pic of the finished product with SOME of my trees inside.  I think adding the concrete pavers on the floor was a great idea.  It holds heat better.  You loose 2 or 3 inches inside when you do that.  I'm 6' 2" tall and I have to duck my head every time I go inside.  Also, I built some more sturdy shelves to hold more trees.  The 3 trier shelves in the photo work great for young cuttings that have been rooted but you only put them on the 2nd or 3rd shelf because you can't give them direct sunlight.

Moreover, I purchased a wireless temperture guage with a remote sensor.  It has an ice alert feature that flashes whenever the temp drop below 32.  I've ran out and plugged in my heater many nights when that temperture gauge told me the temps dropped.  I'll post more pics tonight.  I am happy with my greenhouse investment.  cheers,
gm421

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Reply with quote  #11 
do you keep your trees in all winter ,dont they need a good dormancy period
GeorgiaFig

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Dennis.  I am VERY impressed!  That is a beautiful set up.  I love it!

What a great place to be on a cold winter day, it is both useful and beautiful!

Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures.

Enjoy my friend!

John


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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks John!  Thanks Buddy!  I had to sell the greenhouse idea to my wife.  She told me  I could get one IF it was pretty.  Because the spot I chose to place it was adjacent to the deck.  I bought it as a kit from Sam's.  And I built it all by myself.

GM421, I let the greenhouse drop down to 27 degrees in winter; so the trees do go dormant.  All the trees inside go dormant for about 30 to 60 days.  I check each for moisture using a moisture guage every 3 days.  We had temps drop down past 20 degrees last year and depending on the wind chill, inside the GH will be 25 or 28 degrees. With an outside temp of 20 degrees, if I run the heater, the GH can get to 35 or 40 degrees.  But I have to be careful. It heats up fast on a sunny day.  I have a timer on the heater during hard winter to turn on at 4PM and off at 9AM and it works great.  I may get a thermostat and connect it to my heater.  Something to think about.

Those pics were taken last year in September 2009 and March 2010.  This year we had 90 degree temps in late March and April.  So by April, all my trees inside the greenhouse had leafed out and were looking good!  So I get a head start by about 2 months.  I had my Golden Atreano on the cull pile this year.  I thought it was dead.   In April, I moved most of my trees out of the GH and place my Golden Atreano inside and within 2 weeks they leafed out and took off.  I'll post some more pic tomorrow morning.  Right now, I have no heater inside.  thanks,

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #14 
Oh im telling the fig Gods you guys are cheating mother nature with those setups !   ; )


On serious note i should have bought 1 of them many years back but to late as warmer climate is on the agenda hopefully in few years. Gone this long so plants will stay stuck in garage for storage.
And no im not heating the dang garage .  Just dont tell the fig Gods my trees sometimes get real cold here.
loslunasfarms

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Reply with quote  #15 
I have a 16x18 hoop house. It cost around $800. I installed an auto ventilation system.
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Reply with quote  #16 

I used to have a 7'x8' greenhouse built out of scrap wood 1x2s and fence boards. I covered it with 6ml plastic from the hardware store each year. The plastic cost about 30 bucks a year plus staples and lots of duct tape. Anyway, I used a small ceramic heater in it and kept the thermostate set just above freezing. When the temps started to get down into the teens I would plug in a second heater set just above freezing. I used this greenhouse for 15 years then moved away from that house. I didn't grow figs then - it was full of japanese maples and roses, and lots of other fun stuff. I am sure that figs would have done very well in there. Things stayed dormant until Feb. and I covered it with shade cloth before March. I loved it and need another one!


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Susan

Brown County, Indiana
zone 6
jenia

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Reply with quote  #17 
Northern Greenhouse Supply has some interesting ideas for hoophouse construction.  They recommend rebar rather than PVC if you live in snow country.  http://www.northerngreenhouse.com/ideas/how_to/rebar.htm
I'm going to give it a try next year.

I appreciated the pictures of the end construction.  Thanks for posting the link.  That eliminated a lot of questions.

I have an 8 x 12 greenhouse here in zone 5b and ate a VdB yesterday.  It wasn't fabulous, but it was a ripe fig.  I am hoping to have a couple more on Thanksgiving.  Then I'll let everything go dormant.

C.J.
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Reply with quote  #18 
Jenia you can run the rebar inside of the pvc that was a recommended method from one site..(cant remember location) but it reinforces the pvc and has less of a chance of the rebar punchering the film. you can use all the same connections just scale down the rebar it should not be a tight fit remember you have to bend it for a hoop house. Just take 12' sections of pvc and 10 ft section of rebar drive another piece of rebar into the ground say 4ft leave 1 ft sticking out of the ground this is your anchor point slide the pvc over the anchor and bend back to oposite side anchor set up takes minutes in my area as the rebar goes right into the sandy soil.

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Al Richer
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snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #19 
As promised, here are a few pictures of my GH.  I monitor the temperature using a Oregon Scientific wireless temperature guage.  You can see it in the first picture.  This device sits on my desk in my office.  It is currently 55 degrees outside but 64 in my greenhouse. However, sometimes devices can decieve you.  So, I place another cheap thermostat inside that is only visual.  See photo below.   I compare data from the two.  Both also display humidity and time.  My Oregon Remote also shows me the temperature inside the room and displays the time.  It comes with a USB port, cable and software that allows me to record the data if I wish.  Some of the guys from the other forums did this and they also ported the data on their personal web page.  So they can see what is happening.  I might do this during my Christmas vacation.

The other pictures show the inside.  I got 75 trees on the ground and 51 above.  I could put about 10 more inside but I want to make sure my oil heater does not touch any of my trees.  And I only place the heater inside when the temps outside drop to 25 degrees.  I built these shelves using Stimpson Strong ties and 2x x 2s.  They are so so easy to build and adjust the height.  Some of the trees are starting to go dormant and that's good.  I just rotated them yesterday and check them for moisture.

Jose, can you post some pics of your hoop house?  I would love to see your setup.  I think I'm going to get this one for 49 bucks:  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200427123_200427123

Its in my price range.  If I get this one, I'm going to fill mine with pine bark or I may just dump 5 bags of MG inside and start my cuttings without using plastic cups.  The problem with that is removing the cutting come repotting time and hoping they all root at the same time with never works!  Thank you everyone for your comments.  Cheers,

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #20 
Dennis, what a nice greenhouse! I an curious about your black pots - what are they made of and are you making them your self? I have never seen anything like them before.

Susan

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Susan

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snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi Susan, those black pots are called Superoot Air pots.  I order them online.  They come in various sizes.  They can be reused.  The pot is actually a one sheet of plastic that is wraped around a round ring that sits at the bottom.  The pots in these photos are 1 gallon size.  I have 2, 3 and 5 gallon pots too.   These pots provide much air to the root system.  Trees grow faster.  The roots grow evenly down and outward towards the air and root prune themselves.  I like to place newly rooted cuttings in these pots especially some hard to root cultivars.  I got 2 Black Maderia trees in 2,  5 gallon Superoot air pots.  These pots are expensive.  eBay has them but they are more expensive there.  However, please note, if you decide to get some of these pots, do not use a fast draining medium!  You will be watering your trees twice a day!  I also only use one green screw to seal my pots.  I use black zip ties at the top.  They are more secure.

Here is my source for the pots that I buy:  http://perfectroots.com/terms.htm

Email LariAnn for a price quote.  Now is the time to buy....if you wait till Spring, they will be sold out. Enjoy.


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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #22 
Northeastnewbie,

That is a great tip.  The best of both worlds!

Does anyone have problems with critters chewing through the plastic on you hoop house?

C.J.
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #23 
Well, it's time to fire up the old greenhouse and get it ready to house some of my trees!  Lessons learned using this greenhouse last year is, it works!  Best investment made!   It worked very well...almost too well that I forgot to water a few small trees hidden in back.  They almost died.  I was able to save them by soaking them in in some liquid Fertilome fertilizer and water for an hour.  In 3 months (July) the trees came back to life faster than others growing next to it.

Getting back to the subject of a hoop house.....I purchased 3 small 4 foot hoop houses including the one meanted above.  The other 2 came from Lowes about 2 months ago.  Lowes had 3 remaining and dropped the price to make room for  Christmas stuff.  So I got 2 for the price of 1 ($30 bucks each).  So, I just could not pass up the opportunity.  Over the next few days, I have to build the bases which to me is the most important part.  I plan on making my base the same way I build the base for my GH....4x4 presssure treated timber with 10 mill thick tarp on top, U-nails and rebar around the sides.  The tarp keeps the alumnium away from touching the timber.  I have a semi-flat area adjacent to my garden shed right under a huge tree.  The tree will provide shade and the shed will provide heat on old days and nights.  My plan is to fill in the HH with peat moss fibers and start my cuttings hortizonal.  So, before the rains come...I need to get digging and preping.  I will post some pic before and after when I'm done.  More to come.   Cheers,

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #24 
Hey Dennis ,

Very nice setup .
Do you recommend the airpots ? For all sizes or just certain ones ? Any drawbacks ?

Thanks .. John
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #25 
John, I recommend these pots only if you are not using a fast draining soil. And also place a small piece of weed guard at the bottom of the pot. It allows water to escape but not soil. The pots work great. But a fast draining soil in a black pot on a 90 degree day can cook your poor tree. I was watering twice a day 2yrs ago until I realized it was my soil. Once I changed out my soil, the trees grew very fast. One down fall is the cost, they can be expensive.
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Dennis
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Reply with quote  #26 
bump
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Dennis
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Bump
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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

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Reply with quote  #28 

Thank you for bumping this post Dennis.  Great information in here!  How is your green house holding up? 


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Meghan Cobb ~ Growing zone 9 Wish List: Pane e Vino White and /or Dark, De la Reina, Iranian mountain fig and anything else that is great to grow or at least try in the hot and humid Southeast Texas.
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hi Meghan, mine is holding up very well.  In the late spring, I have to move the trees out b/c it heats up rapidly when the sun it.  I read lots of reviews before choosing this one.  In Charlotte, we have heavy wind and I had a panel pop out when that happens.  I've learned to seal the panels with some liquid silicone and it helps.  I try to keep the inside temperature above 30 degrees in winter.  I have a small liquid filled tower heater that I place inside whenever temps drop.  On a given day, the inside temps is usually 10 degrees above the outside temp.  In the past 2 yrs, we've had 25 degree nights in November but nothing worse than that in Dec or Jan.

I got the entire GH anchored in the ground every 24 inches using rebar.  I was going to build another one but haven't thought it thru.

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Dennis
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Jodi

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaFig
Hi Dennis.  That greenhouse looks great.

See my recent thread "Winter Garden" and there is a picture of the wire mini-hoops I use with removable plastice covering.  Here in Zone 7b it creates a freeze-free environment when covered, and is very, very low cost, easy to make, and easy to use.

I have been using these low cost mini-hoop tunnels to economically grow cool season vegetables for years, but this year I am trial testing fig cuttings also to see if I can root them for transplant out in the Spring.  I will let you know how it goes.

Eliot Coleman uses larger (but still moveable) greenhouse like the one in the picture, with mini-hoop tunnels inside them for a double layer of protection and is growing year round unheated in coastal Maine, Zone 5.  Here's his website: http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/

My brother back in Maine is going to try this too.  He's in Bangor, so it's a little colder but still zone 5.

Let us know how it works for you Dennis.

Take care good friend.

John
North Georgia Piedmont
Zone 7b

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In the book the "The Meaning of Trees" it is said the fig regulates the heart and that the true essence of Figs is...food for the soul. 
Wishes for Martinenca Rimada, Black Ischia, I258, CddRoja, Jolly Tiger, Your favorite Figgy!
Zone 8a Camp Verde AZ 
Jodi

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Reply with quote  #31 
Wondering how the hoop houses worked to protect baby fig trees?  Dennis, John do you think that one would be enough for me here in 8 with a couple of weeks down into the low teens?  Always warming up 50+ during the day.  I was thinking to put the little trees (this years cuttings) into 2 gallon + pots with lots of holes buried in the ground, lots of mulch, etc. then a hoop house.  Wondering if you think that would be warm enough or if they would be better off another year in the garage.  Grateful for all your wisdom and generosity.  Peace, Jodi
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In the book the "The Meaning of Trees" it is said the fig regulates the heart and that the true essence of Figs is...food for the soul. 
Wishes for Martinenca Rimada, Black Ischia, I258, CddRoja, Jolly Tiger, Your favorite Figgy!
Zone 8a Camp Verde AZ 
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #32 
Well hello Jodi!  Our climate is similar.  It gets down in the teens here too in winter.  Sometimes it gets lower than that!  However, it would work great in your area.  Mine is still holding up like new.  Strong winds have put it to the test and it stands strong except for 2 huge down burst of wind that popped one panel out and snapped off the top window.  If you do get one of these I recommend sealing the panels with silicone rubber when you first install the panels.  I did afterwards and no wind damage since.

Also Jodi, these jewels heat up real fast in the sun so you're going to have to find a way to keep the heat down.  Today, I use fans and shade cloth.  If you use shade cloth, get 90% cloth....trust me the sun will still penetrate that cloth.

cheers!


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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #33 
Hey Jodi!  I built a new greenhouse last year!  I needed a bigger one!  This one is 12x20.  Here is a link to it:  http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/new-greenhouse-finished-just-in-time-7763004?pid=1290183627


cheers!

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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

Jodi

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Reply with quote  #34 
Oh I dream of a big, fat greenhouse full of figs and citrus Dennis.  Someday.  Enjoy the many fruits of your labors.  ;-)  Jodi
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In the book the "The Meaning of Trees" it is said the fig regulates the heart and that the true essence of Figs is...food for the soul. 
Wishes for Martinenca Rimada, Black Ischia, I258, CddRoja, Jolly Tiger, Your favorite Figgy!
Zone 8a Camp Verde AZ 
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