Last week we were able to catch a dry day here and there and finish up the hoophouse frame. Installing the poly lock channels, which is the device that actually holds the poly covering to the frame, was fairly straightforward. Care was taken that the channels were level on the sidewalls, centered on the top of the end bows and met at the corners.
A preliminary to attaching the poly channels was to remove the sharp corner at the end of the hip boards, making it rounded to facilitate a smoother transition from the vertical wall to the curve of the end bow. To do this cuts were made with a backsaw and the smoothing of the curve was done with a chisel.
We began by installing the horizontal runs of channel on each sidewall. A run of channel was screwed into place the length of each of the sill and hip boards. The vertical runs of poly channel were then installed up from the sill on each of the outside corners and bent to follow the curve we had chiseled out. The channel, centered on the bow, then continued over the top curve of the end bows until we had a continuous channel from one sill over the top of the arch and down to the opposite sill . We flattened the ends of the horizontal channel at the corners where it met the vertical so there would be less likelihood of the poly catching on any sharp edges and tearing during it’s installation. When all the channels were in place we finished by attaching a sill board on each side of the door on the end walls. This board will help retain the soil as well as keep soil from pushing against the bottom edge of the polycarbonate end walls. Lastly, a drainage ditch was dug on the uphill side of the hoophouse to carry rainwater runoff away from the house and also to keep any water from the garden above from running into the house. You can follow these steps in the photos below. Just click on the picture to see it’s caption.
On the next dry, warm and calm day we will pull on the poly covering. We are so close!
Please come back and check on our progress!