Cold Weather Biodome Greenhouses For Sale or DIY?
The crisp smell of fall is in the air even though summer isn’t quite over yet, and with fall comes cold weather. So, can us North American types keep gardening even when the cold weather hits? The answer is a resounding YES! Of course there is the small matter of locating greenhouses for sale in your area, or ordering a kit or best of all building your own geodesic biodome greenhouse!
So, what’s involved with buying or building a geodome greenhouse and installing it in your backyard? Well, the main thing is planning! Grab all the information you can get, (see Recommended Reading), find a reasonably level area with decent sun exposure and get going.
In many cases if you are building smaller than 100sf then you may not need a building permit, however it is always best to find out before you build in urban or suburban areas. That being said, if you are out in the country there is often much less building code enforcement, however it is always a good idea to use a proven greenhouse dome design to avoid problems later.
Once you have your site picked out, your dome design, (4v, 3v, charter dome, etc.) figured out, and have ordered or prepared your own materials you will usually need some friends to give you a hand with a dome raising party.
Make sure you anchor the base of your dome well! Even though the geodesic shape can withstand incredibly harsh winds there are certainly concerns if you are, for instance, using pvc and greenhouse plastic for your dome. Using cardboard “Sono-tube” forms and “just add water” cement is a simple way to start out when building foundations. Or if you are more industrious you can make a complete ring foundation with insulation outside just don’t forget some pipes through for power and water!
Once you have the foundation level and ready then the fun really begins. Watching a dome come together is amazingly fulfilling because even when partially completed the geodesic shape is very strong and strangely peaceful to be inside.
Once your some frame is complete then you add your covering and north side insulation. For this there are many options including one of my favorites, papercrete! (A mixture of shredded paper sand and portland cement to create insulating cement.) You can then cover your dome with double layer greenhouse plastic, poly-kedar or even glass depending on the size.
Once your dome is up create some beds inside, add water storage on the north side to absorb solar heat during the day and give it off at night. An automatic vent system, min/max thermometer and even aquaponics if you want a complete self sustaining food system. Then when that is done you are ready to plant your cold weather greenhouse crops!
Talk to your local nursery and start out with things that are cold tolerant and then start pushing it as you learn how your particular greenhouse reacts. After you have tastes fresh, organic food you grew yourself you will never go back to imported stuff!
So, if you have been putting off looking for geodome greenhouses for sale, ordering plans online or simply doing it yourself; remember it is much easier than you think and the sooner you start the sooner you will be on your way to food security!