Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a series of Frequently asked questions. If you find that there is something you have a question about that is not addressed here, please submit an online submission form through the "contact us" page of our website.
Q: Do you sell your DIY Kits anywhere in the US?
A: All of our DIY Kits can be sold and shipped anywhere in the United States. The cost of shipping varies based on the components included in the DIY Kit, as well as the location it is shipping to.
Q: Do You Sell Greenhouse Benches
A: We sell multiple different greenhouse bench systems as DIY Kits. These can be used for starting plants / having a propagation house. Here is a link to our available bench products: Benches
Q: I just purchased a DIY Kit from you, how long will it be before my product ships?
A: Standard turn around time from date of order until date the product ships is 15 business days. It may ship before then, but to be safe we ask for 15 business days. We manufacture these in-house and to-order.
Q: How can I make my hoop house stronger?
A: If you purchase a Hoop House / High Tunnel from Tunnel Vision Hoops LLC it will contain a base number of structural components that will help protect your structure from inclement weather. That said, if you have purchased a DIY Kit from elsewhere, or fabricated your own out of available materials you may want to (or need to!) add some wind and snow load protections. Assuming your structure is at the very least, anchored strongly, I would recommend the following.
Additions for Wind Bracing:
- Purlin(s): A horizontal member running from one end of the structure to the other with a connection at each hoop.
- Cross Braces: A 45 degree member at each corner of your structure that runs from a point on your last hoop, down at an angle, until connecting at the base of your tunnel.
- Bow Braces: Basically, these are cross braces for the peak of your tunnel. These would primarily only be used on taller structures. These create a connection from your end hoop to your 2nd hoop in. These work with your cross braces and purlins to create a robust system.
Additions for Snow Bracings:
- Truss(s): Horizontal members that run from one side of a hoop to the other.
- Truss Support(s): These connect from the Truss to the hoop somewhere between where each end of the Truss connects to the hoop on either of its ends.
Q: What is the smallest greenhouse you sell?
A: The smallest size greenhouse we sell is 10 ft. wide x 12 ft. long. These structures are also referred to as hoop houses, high tunnels, and cold frames. These structures can be purchased in the 10 ft. width at any length in an increment of 4 ft. A full spec list on our smallest width of greenhouse can be found here at this profile's product page: Smaller Hoop House Options
Q: How much of a difference does a hoop house make in the winter?
A: Another way to phrase this questions is, "How hot does it get in a hoop house?" or "How much warmer is it inside a hoop house than outside?". That is a difficult question to answer since there are so many variables with the structures themselves, as well as the climates they are being installed in, but here are some of what we tell prospective customers when asked:
- Hoop Houses are Passive Solar structures by their design, so unless you install heaters, the temperature inside the structure will be completely dependent upon how much sun has shown itself throughout the course of the day, AND how well sealed the structure is / able to hold the heat in. So, if your structure is sealed off well, without doors being left open and greenhouse plastic being secured, the structure itself can get above 60 or 70 degrees even when it is below freezing outside IF it is a super sunny day.
- Although the interior temperature may reach 70 Plus degrees on certain sunny days in the winter months the key will be to hold on to as much of that heat through the night as possible. If you are not heating the hoop house / high tunnel, having a secured plastic covering is the best way to keep in the heat without the allowance of air exchange is the best way to reduce the dissipation of heat through the night.
- Regardless of how tight a seal you attempt to make around the perimeter of your Hoop House or High Tunnel, the heat within the structure will decrease as the hours pass without solar (sun) inputs. So, the goal is to loose as little heat as possible. If you aren't heating the structure, adding a double layer of plastic and inflating with an inflation blower fan or greenhouse spacer blocks will increase the heat retention abilities of your hoop house and high tunnel. Another advisable farmers tool is the use of Row Cover / Frost Blanket. This is an additional level of protection that can be placed over top of your plants on the interior of the tunnel to protect them from cold temperature...basically an additional layer to help "buy time" until the sun starts to show itself again in the morning.
- With the night time heat loss of a hoop house and high tunnel, there is one major tenant of hoop house and high tunnel production that can be advised. That is to grow with the seasons and your climate! For example, if you are in Michigan, and are not planning on heating your structure, you wouldn't grow Tomatoes in the colder months of the year...instead, you would work at growing crops that like the cold: spinach, bok choy, lettuce, salad mix, carrots, beets, etc. Cold loving crops like this tend to thive in hoop house / high tunnel environments even in colder northern climates.
- Although it may get cold within the hoop house and high tunnel during the night and early morning before the sun comes out, the goal for growing the cold loving crops that I mention above should be to use a sealed system, double layer, and frost blanket / row cover, to keep the soil itself from freezing; the reason being that cold loving plants that thrive in tunnels can actually take a beating from colder ambient air temperatures as long as their roots do not freeze.