by Amber

Build Your Own Geodesic Greenhouse

Indoor gardening in a greenhouse does offer you a lot more growing space than a grow tent inside the house, and if you’re interested in getting into aquaponics to raise meat along with your veg, it’s almost a must-have thing. Unlike fruits and vegetables, you can’t grow an efficient fish harvest in only 3-5 months. And while you can rig up a little geodesic dome pretty easily, there are ‘plans’ out there that won’t hold up for long. A collapsed grow space equals total failure. What a waste of your time and energy! In a cold climate, it spells crop loss too.

So, this past week, after ordering seeds to start for the backyard garden season, and realizing that I have no idea where all these trays are going to go inside a tiny house, I’m back to investigating getting a greenhouse erected. It’s the only way to put an end to both propagation space limitations and being at the mercy of our now chillier than ever summers coupled with that northern early frost. One site I visited talked about how you can have far more growing ground space in a geodesic dome greenhouse than a traditional one. Interesting. I’m tired of not having enough space to do what I want in an environment protected from the weather.

Researching this option for a greenhouse lead me to a bunch of incomplete websites, and several people who wanted me to pay for plans. I don’t want to have to pay to find out HOW something works. Finally, I found what I was seeking – someone who isn’t hinting at knowing what’s up here so I’ll click on their affiliate link to buy some ebook. I’m sure it’s informative, but at this point, I’m not looking to spend $50 bucks.

There’s one guy in Ireland who is building his from galvanized pipe, but besides some calculations, he doesn’t really walk you through HOW the thing is built. Then I found the how-to on building that mess pictured to the left above… the frame may withstand a stiff wind, but nothing is holding it in place on the ground, and that greenhouse cover is sure to be destroyed. Plants won’t do well in that thing unless you live in a lovely warm climate, though it might make a great emergency shelter. Finally, I found someone who went about doing this right and shared every step from design to completion!

Here you go – the geodesic greenhouse built to last, and succeed in a cold winter climate. Rob from Bigelow Brook Farm goes into great detail on his wood and metal frame construction. Not only that, but he’s used geothermal heat assistance, a super efficient heat stove burning sustainable fuel, and is setting up aquaponics. That’s his grow featured at the top of this page, with lots of drifted snow outside, so you know it’s definitely doing the job very well. His videos are really interesting, and he shows you exactly how to go about building a DIY geodesic greenhouse for a cold climate.

In case you didn’t catch it, the site he used to make his calculations during the on paper design phase is: acidome.ru. That rocket mass heater is super interesting, especially if you heat your house with wood and know just how dreaded it is filling up the wheelbarrow EVERY day and trucking your heating fuel through frigid wind over ice and snow.

And if you really only want to build a questionably reliable geodesic dome and call it a greenhouse – you can for only about $300 bucks. It will look just like that rumpled construction in that image near the top of this page. You’ll find that DIY how-to HERE. Note that this one is only 268 square feet, while the one built in the videos is 900 square feet.

Oh yes, this awesome greenhouse Rob built is also solar… but I haven’t located the video(s) where he added that yet!

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The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.