Local growers use hoop house for early planting - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local growers use hoop house for early planting

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Warm weather is key to a good planting season. While this years planting season didn't start as late as last year, one local grower has been able to plant regardless of the weather.

Jack and Sue Hendrickson have been growing vegetables for 20 years. Jack likens it to a five month part-time job.

The process starts at their Mindoro home in March, when they plant tomatoes and peppers inside, under florescent lights. Steve Huntzicker, an Agriculture Agent at the UW-Extension said, "Getting them out in our gardens has been limited."

Outside, the Hendrickson's have a heated green house and a hoop house, a plastic enclosure you put over your crop, that arches like a hoop.

Huntzicker said, "A lot of the production is probably coming in through hoop houses or green houses."  The Hendrickson's received a grant last year from the Department of Agriculture to use a hoop house. Jack said the hoop house gives them two or three extra weeks on the front and back ends of the planting season.

The hoop house controls the climate and protects the plants from rain. It heats the ground to keep the soil temperature up, which helps germinate the seeds.

The Hendrickson's have tomatoes, peppers, string beans, radishes garlic and onions in the hoop house right now. They planted everything in the last couple of weeks, when outside temperatures were too cold, what they're selling now has grown indoors.

As the weather continues to warm, their crop will only continue to grow.  The Hendrickson's sell their vegetables and plants at the Riverside Park farmers market on Saturday's.

Other area farmers markets include:

  • Bridgeview Plaza Farmers Market on Wednesday's from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June-October at 2500 Rose St.
  • Cameron Park Farmers Market on Friday's from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. May-October at Cameron Park on King St.
  • Riverside Park Farmers Market on Saturday's from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. May-October at Riverside Park.
  • Festival Foods Onalaska Farmers Market on Sunday's from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June-October at 1260 Crossing Meadows Rd., Onalaska.

Click here for additional details on local farmers markets.

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