The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Cold frames vs. quick hoops

Quick hoopsWhile planting lettuce, onions, and spinach yesterday, I pondered the pros and cons of quick hoops versus cold frames.  I'm not going to have any side by side comparisons this year, but I have started noticing that each system works a bit differently.  Here are the main factors to consider when choosing whether to build a quick hoop or a cold frame:

Overall, my gut feeling is that quick hoops are the winner, although I'd love to figure out a way to make them easier to get into.  I'm pondering making long, skinny sandbags out of old dogfood sacks that can be laid along the entire edge of the structure.  Stay tuned for more details!

Simplify your chicken chores with an automatic chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I like the idea of using dog food bags for homemade sand tubes. I have been collecting our dog food bags for several years now and I have quite a few of them. The woven tarp like material that they are made of would make a very strong sand tube for constructing a small building with a satellite dish for the roof but I haven't come up with an easy way of making two sand tubes from one bag. I thought it might be possible to sew the bag down the center twice and then cut through the center with scissors but I haven't tried it yet. Have you thought about how you wanted to do it?
Comment by zimmy Thu Mar 10 12:56:08 2011
Those dogfood bags really look too useful to throw away, don't they? Mark thinks I'm nuts, but I was thinking of something really quick and dirty --- using duct tape to tape two sides of the bag together, effectively cutting it in half without cutting, then filling up one of the halves with sand.
Comment by anna Thu Mar 10 13:18:26 2011
Would super glue work to repair tears? I'm researching into using row covers and notice tearing is a number one factor.
Comment by Cheryl Tue Sep 13 22:32:54 2011
You're right --- I love row cover fabric until it tears, then wish there was a better solution. I haven't tried superglue, but it'd be worth a shot. I sometimes sew the tears gently back together with a running stitch, but that puts more stress on other places in the fabric since I inevitably overlap a bit of fabric to mend it. I've tried patches but they take forever... :-)
Comment by anna Wed Sep 14 08:01:38 2011

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