Snow really doesn't look like it should be heavy, all light and fluffy looking, but anyone that has ever shoveled a driveway knows better.
All that lovely fluff can certainly weigh down a hoop house in a hurry, so knocking the snow off before too much weight can accumulate is important. Hoop houses just aren't built for load bearing.
Since we've promised to keep everyone up-to-date on the goings on at the hoop house, we thought you may enjoy a peek into the mundane chore of snow removal.
Tuesday morning at the Blust Avenue Teaching Garden was certainly snowy.
This is an inside view. Instead of sky, all you see is snow, snow, and more snow.
Brooms are often used for this, but I'm not crazy about poking at the plastic with anything bristly. Besides, a broom wouldn't reach the top of the hoop house, so I made a makeshift snow removal tool.
A garden rake, carefully padded with old towels, works very well for snow removal.
Now, if you've never done this, you are probably picturing removing snow the same way you remove it from your car, with lots of poking, scraping, and the occasional bout of cursing as your fingers freeze.
Since the hoop house is made of plastic that could easily get a hole poked in it, we won't be doing any scraping or poking. There still may be frozen fingers and a bout of cursing, but I won't tell if you won't.
Snow removal is actually done from the inside in a hoop house, which was a relief with Tuesday's winds. The idea is to knock the snow loose so it can slide off. You start at the bottom of the roof area, knocking that snow loose to allow the snow above it to help push it off. Then, it's just a matter of gently pushing and vibrating the plastic from inside to wiggle the snow loose.
I see sky!
After snow removal.
The process can take a while, and my arms got tired, but knowing that I won't arrive later to see a flattened hoop house makes it all worthwhile.