Cattle Panel Hoophouse Greenhouse


Oh I don’t know , maybe sometime, I have spare cattle panels that I took out when I sold my last riding mule.


Great job clarkinks, we heat our greenhouse with an old radiator and a mounted fan. Our wood boiler circulates the water thru the radiator, the fan is on the thermometer and clicks in when the temperature drops.


Well? Where are you at on this project?


Been so busy ive not had a chance to come back to this project since last time.


This wood stove is how i plan to heat the hoop house next spring. Yes i made it myself and no its not what some call safe but for my hoophouse who cares its what i will use. I have plenty of wood to heat it for free! Years ago a friend who’s family was amish a couple of generations ago with WWII military know how taught me the basic design as a kid. Nowadays it might be smart to incase it in concrete but years ago we kept our remote sheds in the cattles fields warm with wood stoves like this. We would stash some basic food, fuel. Etc. In the summer in case we ever got stuck a ways from home in a bad winter storm. We used stoves like this one plenty but often made from a 30 gallon oil / hydraulic fluid tank since we had plenty laying around from the tractors. The good thing about growing up in an extremely remote location is it makes you creative. I modified the design some.


That will work just fine, the thin walls will let all of the heat out into the green house. My grandpa had one just like that in his greenhouse


Your family knows all the tricks! For about $10 in materials and a little welding its a cheap wood stove in a pinch. My friend who taught me to make these stoves has been dead many years but he would be smiling when he saw me post those pictures. Its terrible we made so many i didnt actually measure anything. They are not made to be pretty they do the job though. If i wrapped it in chicken wire and concreted the stove legs , barrel etc. It would last forever!


Lots of barrel stoves around here, including double deckers. With a little care and common sense they can be perfectly safe.

I have an “upscale” version made out of 24" conduit somebody swapped to me years ago, and it works great.


We don’t live that far apart so I’m guessing a lot of that passed down knowledge is similar for sure. My grandpa grew a big garden with tons of tomatoes, red , black, potato leaf, and sold them at a stand by the road when he retired. It was good memories seeing this thread !


Those double decker barrel stoves really make a difference conserving heat! You being from a place with cold winters understand there are a bunch of different kits with heavy duty doors & legs etc… , double and triple walled pipe, etc… all better ways than the way i made this inexpensive stove. The purpose of this one is just to heat a green house on cold nights less than a month out of the year. Still coming up with pipe placement strategy but im not in a hurry about the project yet.


Have you seen rocket mass heaters for greenhouse? The burn cleaner and heat thermal mass as opposed to air. More work building one though.


Questions for those of you who have built cattle panel hoophouses:

  1. After one of our hoophouses collapsed badly under snow, we now remove the plastic before winter. Is anyone in a snow belt keeping their up all year round? If so, what do you do to prevent collapse or bending under the weight of snow? I had been sweeping it with a broom, but one heavy snow overnight was too much.

  2. How do you secure the plastic? I’ve seen suggestions for stapling, clamping, taping, and stretching the plastic over to a board in the doorway and then nailing another board over it. When we used garden hose to cover the ends, we could clamp it, but we want to switch to pipe insulation rolls. However, they are too wide to clamp anything over. We would prefer not to use staples or nails, since we want to be able to remove the plastic easily before winter and to roll up the sides for heat control.


I don’t have a cattle panel house , but I have built many greenhouses over the years .
Gothic type roofs tend to shed snow better than quanset type.
The addition of a pipe at the ridge ,on top of other framing , causes the snow to crack at the pipe, allowing it to slide off either side. A post support under this pipe can often save the structure.
As can a cable ,tieing the sides together, ( cross brace)
The problem is as the snow load increase, with out post support /. Cross braces ,etc …the structure sags and becomes more flat on top ,collecting more snow.
Of course heat will melt the snow helping it slide off.
The cross braces could be in the way if the structure is short.
Making a vertical side wall down low, will raise everything up to give you more head room, and can be used for ventilation, as is done with " high tunnels "
A " high tunnel" is just a “low tunnel” jacked up.
So that the ground posts are taller.
Mine are 6’ft. With 6ft rollup sides.
That combined with --…a big vent . ( gigantic vent control ) up high at the gables…creates a chimney effect. Pulling out the excess heat, when needed.
I think throwing inside one of those old big fire crackers " M80" would remove the snow load. But they are not available anymore😀


As to fastening the plastic there are many types of commercial fasteners , wiggle wire channels are what I use.
Rolling the edges of the plastic in a 1x3 baton board , roll three or so times using dobble headed nails to fasten to base board works well


There are plenty of plastic attachment systems like wiggle wire. If you can’t afford that you might try wrapping it around a stake. Then pull the plastic tight and nail it to the frame.


Wiggle wire works fine along the sides. We are looking for a way to secure the plastic along the curves of the padded archway.