Hoop house vs greenhouse comparisons are important for gardeners and farmers to decide which one of these can assist them in a better way. From afar, both may look similar, but they are designed for different tasks.

Hoop House vs Greenhouse Comparison

Both the greenhouse and hoop house address specific needs in the garden. If you are not sure which one will meet your needs, then continue reading our expert comparison review.

Comparison Table

Here is a quick table of comparison differentiating hoop houses from greenhouses.

Hoop house Greenhouse
Structure Semi permanent structure built for extending the season Permanent structure with climate control
Foundation Fixed on the ground through multiple hoops Cement slab foundation
Features Can be deconstructed and moved Has ventilation or heating units

What Is the Difference Between an Hoop House and a Greenhouse?

The main difference between an greenhouse and a hoop house is that a hoop house is a semi-permanent structure that extends the growing season while a greenhouse is a permanent structure that has climate control abilities and often has ventilation and heating units to maintain temperatures, humidity and airflow.

– Growing Tunnel vs. Greenhouse: Features 

One of the most obvious differences between these structures is the way both hoop houses and greenhouses are made. The greenhouse has a strong base, while the high tunnel is anchored to the ground using a series of hoops placed in the ground.

Climate control ability is missing from the hoop houses while the greenhouse manages light, humidity, temperature and ventilation effectively. 

– Hoop House vs. Greenhouse: Best Crops

Although many crops can be planted in them, we have shortlisted some that grow best in each setting. These crops can be grown organically for more benefits and can be sold in the market throughout the year if grown in a greenhouse.

The following ten crops are always in demand and offer good earnings for both farmers and growers.

Crops for Hoop Houses Crops for Greenhouses
Radish Microgreens
Turnip Salads
Squash Broccoli
Beets Herbs
Melon Carrots
Eggplant Spinach
Scallions Asparagus
Kale Cucumbers
Bok Choy Okra
Spinach Cabbage


There are many other ornamental plants such as tropical plants, succulents and evergreens that love growing in a greenhouse and bring loads of business for growers. Consider growing some of these unique plants in your greenhouse too. For inspiration, explore how bloggers are growing and selling plants online through their small greenhouses.

Hoop House vs Greenhouse Characteristics

Farmers are using hoop houses at a large scale during the months of frost to protect their plants and to keep temperatures raised. This helps them sustain their crops for a longer time and benefit from them commercially. Small-scale growers or urban farmers can also adopt this method on a more manageable scale. 

We hope the guide above helped you in finding the right comparison between hoop houses and greenhouses. In the next section, we’ll be detailing some tips and tricks to keep in mind before building your own hoop house or greenhouse.

– Things To Remember Before Building a Hoop House or a Greenhouse

Before you start building any of these structures, it is important to know what expenses, points related to structure, and other elements can affect it. Consider the following points before you build:

  1. Hoop houses and greenhouses will both need some groundwork on their basic structures. You will have to level the ground and remove any weeds or plants growing there. Next, you will have to look at the drainage options.
  2. Greenhouses need extensive planning as it is a more complex system. The floor will be soil, and the walls will need a frame too. You will have to source and check the availability of all materials before you begin.
  3. Consider the budget requirements for both. There are some grants available for building greenhouses that are offered to farmers by local governments. It is worth exploring that option if you qualify for the requirements.
  4. Consider the one-time cost of things and calculate the ongoing cost of expenses such as the power used by the greenhouse, cost of labor, etc.
  5. Before setting up a site, you must consider important factors like wind directions, existing structures, shade, trees and easy access.

Once you have that sorted out, you can now build the structure that your garden needs.

What Is a Greenhouse Best For?

Greenhouses are best used for commercial retail purposes to grow plants out of season, and these are commonly utilized because they are spacious and strong structures. The purpose is plant propagation in a controlled environment for high-end results.

Commercial growers prefer greenhouses because propagating plants in a controlled climate gives them chances to grow tropical plants and succulents that are always high in demand.

Greenhouses are built on cement structures and host a ventilation system along with occasional heaters to maintain temperatures. These structures also help retain humidity and keep many pests away. Pollination is usually done by hand if plants are allowed to grow inside.

Greenhouses protect plants from extreme temperatures and allow them to thrive without being stressed. However, there are some disadvantages to it as well. Let us compare its pros and cons in the following table:

Advantages  Disadvantages
Greenhouses can be used all year. It is expensive to build.
They offer protection to plants from external factors. You will need to invest  in growing material.
It gives you more options of plants to grow as the climate is controlled and can be modified. Heating is expensive.
It manages pests effectively. This structure requires constant care and maintenance.

– How To Build a Greenhouse

Building a greenhouse needs lots of planning and material. Here is a basic guide to give you an idea about how to build a greenhouse and what steps are generally taken:

  1. Select the size, style and type of frame for your greenhouse.
  2. Choose your greenhouse doors and ventilation system.
  3. Pick the type of coverage you will need for the greenhouse.
  4. Decide which type of heater and cooling system is needed.
  5. Set up an environmental control strategy.
  6. Install benches for the pots. 
  7. Order all the materials that are needed.

Once these things are in order, you can now start building your greenhouse.

What Are Hoop Houses Best For?

Hoop houses, or high tunnel greenhouse, are semi-permanent structures that are best for extending the growing season of a certain crop. These structures are built using a series of hoops fixed into the ground, and it is a labor-intensive project.

Hoop House vs Greenhouse Requirements

These can be removed and disassembled to clear out the space, and plants are grown in the ground and are allowed to fully mature.

The hoop houses are not just built for propagation unlike a greenhouse. These are also low cost but are not very easy to make. A large hoop house can be built for more space and bigger plants. Let us review some advantages and disadvantages of using a hoop house.

Advantages Disadvantages
It has a compact size and frost protection. There is a high cost and no control over temperature.
It encourages the growing season and small heaters can be installed to assist frost protection. If ventilation is poor, then temperatures can rise quickly.
Aside from propagating seeds in trays, heat-loving crops can also be allowed to fully grow inside. The plastic covering will last for only one or two years.

– How To Build a Hoop House

Building a hoop house takes much less effort and planning than building a greenhouse. It can be built fast and with less material. Here are some simple steps that you can follow to make a small hoop house on your own:

  1. Select a site that is not under a shaded tree and is leveled.
  2. Mark parameters and fix the hoops at recommended distances.
  3. Bend and turn them into arches.
  4. Stretch greenhouse plastic sheets over the arches and fix them at the edges.
  5. DIY hoop house kits can be ordered as well.

This is the simplest way to install a hoop house that can grow your seedlings or short-height plants. We hope that it gives you an idea about how much work it will require if you extend it on your property, as well as the costs that will be involved.

You can compare it with the greenhouse structure to see which one is more amenable for your lawn or garden.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of your burning questions about hoop houses and greenhouses.

– What Kind of Plastic Is Used for a Greenhouse?

Greenhouses use hard glazing for their walls, and glass or polycarbonate panels are the most commonly used for that purpose. They are sometimes covered with plastic films, but thick woven poly is mostly used instead.

– What Type of Plastic Is Used in Hoop Houses?

Greenhouse plastic is also used for hoop houses, and these plastics are treated to be UV light resistant and are best for use in full sunlight. Regular plastic sheets are not durable in full sun, and even the greenhouse plastics will have to be replaced every two years.

– Should I Have a High Tunnel or a Greenhouse?

Having either a hoop house or a greenhouse depends on your requirements, but if you can invest in a greenhouse, it has many advantages. If your work doesn’t require a permanent structure, then a hoop house will be better for you. Keep in mind the limitations and advantages of both. In some cases, you might not need any one of them.

– Can You Grow Seedlings in Hoop Houses?

Yes, you can start and grow seedlings in a hoop house. Such hoop houses can be low-height structures, while tall hoop houses can be used for growing full-sized plants.

Tomato seedlings can be started early in the season, before the spring starts. For farmers, timings are important, and if the seed is sown early, the produce will be ready and will bring profits sooner.

– Which One Is Cheaper, Hoop House or Greenhouse?

The hoop house is much cheaper and has a lower cost as compared to a greenhouse. Greenhouses are expensive to build and maintain. The cost of ongoing maintenance must be considered too.

Which One Is Cheaper

Machines like heaters require electricity, which will also be an ongoing cost of a greenhouse that does not apply in a hoop house.


Hoop houses vs. greenhouses is an interesting topic for the gardeners and farmers who are trying to figure out which one is better for them.

The greenhouse is usually used for growing seedlings and plants from different growing regions in a controlled environment.

The heat, humidity, light, and ventilation are all accounted for. Its structure is permanent and allows plants to be grown all year long.

Hoop houses, on the other hand, are low-cost solutions for extending the season of a crop. They can be used for growing seedlings and can be moved around. Both structures have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Deciding whether hoop houses or greenhouses are more suitable will largely depend on the usage and availability of resources.

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