Hoophouse collapsed

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by pickapeppa, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Well, sometimes it seems like me and gardening were just not meant to be. I'm so sad. My husband spent so much time designing and putting together this hoophouse, and with our high winds last night and today, it collapsed. We are getting a freeze tonight to boot. It's too windy to go out there and rescue the seed trays that were put in it yesterday. I'm afraid part of the structure may come down on me if I enter at this point. The only part left standing is the center support which is made from 4 x 4 posts in the ground and 2 x 4s tying the posts together on their tops. The whole east and west sides collapsed, broken and flagging in the wind.

    He spent countless hours of his vacation time this summer designing, modifying, cutting, screwing, gluing, hooking, clamping, covering and roping this thing to hold up to the weather. It looked so decorative and sturdy when he was finished. Next spring when everything was greening up in there I was hoping to take a picture to share with all of you. I was so proud of my hubby's creation. We were both sure there wouldn't be any problems this year. Wow, and we didn't even make it to the winter wind storms.

    I was really counting on having a good season, and saving money at the grocery store. I'm so sad I could almost cry. :(
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Man, that is so rough! Where are you that the winds were so bad?
     

  3. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    NE Illinois, 30-40+ mph. 30 sustained, gusts exceeding 40 mph. It could be more where we are located. There is a hill directly across the road that exceeds the height of our rooftop and a valley that drops down before it swoops back up to the level of our yard. I sometimes think this makes our winds more vigorous than reported by the weathermen, but have never measured them ourselves. Our property faces almost WSW so every wind blows right in. It might be time to consider a wind-break. I just don't want to block the open view.
     
  4. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

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    That is awful! It is hard putting that much work into something that doesn't make it! Maybe you can salvage part of it somehow? I remember how hard the winds blew where we used to live. No way could we have had a hoop house without anchoring it down with concrete and putting it up with rebar or something??? I am so sorry that happened to ya'll! That is a real bummer! Hang in there....it takes a while to get things figured out and I just KNOW that you will figure something out! Maybe some low cold frames?
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Sounds like you have a spot where the wind is amplified. I'd sure be looking into options for a windbreak. It will save on utilities and may make it possible to have a hoophouse that won't blow down.
     
  6. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your bad luck :(

    Don't give up - sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you find the recipe for success.

    /VM
     
  7. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    Sad to hear that your hoop house collapsed. I have a PVC lean to I built a few years back. The wind in western NY has been brutal the past few weeks too. A solid day of 60+ mile/hr winds ripped off the covering that I had put only two days before. I recovered the entire structure. That lasted about 3 days before more high winds ripped some of the plastic free. Yet another day of repairs. I went out yesterday morning after yet another windstorm, this one which had knocked out power the night before, to find a support broken in half. I'll fix it again this weekend.

    As someone once said, "it ain't over til it's over!" This is a minor set back. We've all been there at one time or another. Keep your chin up...our thoughts are with you!
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Been there, done that. With a few changes, mine is up now, and STAYING up!

    Mine was designed by an engineer, I paid good money for those plans, and it came down twice that first spring. With some tinkering, it has stood for 3 years now. This is what worked for us.

    More support wood. I had put up extra supports ANYWAYS, and then I put up more supports after it came down the first time. THEN my engineer Father came for a visit and said there was too much movement, that it needed more support to make it more rigid in high winds!

    We ended up with a ridgepole, (which was in the origional design), 2 long boards that ran parellel to them (My addition), diagonal boards that connected the ridgepole to the parallel boards (my engineer Fathers addition, and the most important part in stiffening the frame), and diagonal boards that stiffened the connection from the framed ends to the wood at the botton of the greenhouse, and ALSO diagonal boards that connected the framed ends to the boards running parallel to the ridgepole.

    So much for the frame.

    For the PVC pipe, flexing with the wind meant that the glue holding them together failed. Glue was not enough. The PVC Pipe had to be sanded AND primed AND glued! But, they have held together ever since.

    And, holes in the plastic sheet can be mended with greenhouse tape. You can buy it by the roll at a greenhouse supply place, like Stuppy's.

    The basic problem was that there was too much movement under high winds. It bounced the thing apart. Since you and I BOTH live in the Great Plains, I expect you have the exact same problem: by the time the wind hits us it has traveled hundreds of miles with nothing to slow it down.

    Good luck!

    PS, Cowboy Joe, as for the wind ripping off the plastic, have you tried rolling in in 1X2's and then nailing the 1X2's down?
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The failure of hoop houses is usually a lack of triangles which are the secret of stout construction due to their ability to prevent movement. Triangles do not flex, all other shapes can flex under wind stress, squares and rectangles especually. This is most appreciated here in the hurricans area.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thank you, I saw what he did but I did not understand the significance until now.

    The diagonal pieces that my engineer Father used to connect the ridgepole to the boards running parallel to them DO form a triangle! One board started at the lower board paralles to the ridgepole and went upwards to the North, the other started at the lower board parralel to the ridgepole and went upwards to the South. They almost met at the ridgepole.

    That puts a triangle in the middle third of the roof, one on each side.

    Pepper, he used screws to attach them: there was no way to put a nail in anything so springy as those long boards, but the electric screwdriver did it in just a couple of minutes.

    It works! It hasn't bounced itself apart since.
     
  11. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I must correct myself: I just went out and refreshed my memory by looking at it

    The diagonal boards start at the framed ends, and do not really meet at the center for a full triangle. It's close enough, though.
     
  12. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, everyone for your support and design info. I am forwarding the thread link to dh. Triangles, hmm, something tells me he will like that idea.
     
  13. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry, hope you get a break in the weather and a lift to your spirits and that ya'll are able to put it back together.

    I had wind in Montana pick one up and flip it one time. It wasn't a pure hoop, it was a triangle make out of an old swingset. Wind is powerful stuff.

    hollym