Manage Snow on Greenhouses & Hoop Houses

Views: 22690 | Last Update: 2009-04-29
Snow can build up on a greenhouse, and gardeners must keep an eye on piling snow to prevent damage. Keep snow off a greenhouse or hoop house with a professional organic farmer in this free gardening video. View Video Transcript

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Daniel Botkin

Video Transcript

So here in New England, snow load on a hoophouse is definite consideration, something to watch carefully. Especially if you have one of these quonset hoophouses with the flat top. And this one of course is, and we have seen some heavy snow loads build up here. Heavy blizzard, followed by a late winter rain, followed by a freezing night, you could easily have several tons of snow up there in a short amount of time. So there's several considerations to manage the snow load. One you saw on the inside of the hoophouse, you saw my beautiful locust posts that were wedged into place under the center purloin, giving the spine a lot of support from below. That's a, a bit of insurance but it's not adequate for some of the heaviest snow loads. Therefore, I watch the weather forecast, I watch the long range forecast and I don't go away if a big blizzard is predicated. I'll show you my tool for clearing snow. I've been through several incarnations of snow sweeping tools. This one seems to work pretty well; I can reach way up and bring the snow down. It tends to slough off like an avalanche, in large sheets. And all I have to do is catch the right moment, sometimes I can get the entire side of the hoophouse to slough off all at once. It's kind of dramatic and it's also nice to know that my hoophouse won't be collapsing. Last winter six hoophouses that I know of collapsed on one incredible February night, when the snow piled up and was followed by a rain and a freeze. So if you put all this energy and time into a building a hoophouse, you don't want it to fall, you don't want it to collapse. So build it stout and be prepared to sweep snow, some, some night at 3:00 am.