Small geodesic dome greenhouse

Small geodesic dome greenhouse DEFAULT

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Geodesic dome greenhouses are beautiful, for sure, and they have many advantages that make them a great option for backyard food growing.

The dome shape gives a large volume for a small surface area, with plenty of space inside for vertical gardening. The shape also maximizes sun exposure so plants get the full benefit of the sun from all angles.

One of the greatest features of a geodesic dome is its strength. The triangles in the frame distribute weight equally throughout the structure, so no internal supports are needed.

Geodesic dome greenhouse

Geodesic domes hold up very well to wind and other elements, making them ideal for just about any climate. Just ask the family who built their entire home within a geodesic dome greenhouse in the Arctic!

The size of a geodesic dome can be easily scaled up or down by expanding or reducing the size of the base and adding or subtracting triangles accordingly.

Geodesic dome greenhouses can be purchased as kits ready to install, or they can be built from scratch to save money. They are not as complicated to construct as they appear.

A DIY geodesic dome greenhouse

This dome, built by Astrid de Groot in Wales, is a gorgeous example of a handmade geodesic greenhouse.

This is the sketched layout showing how the triangles are assembled to create the dome. In this case, there are a total of 104 triangles, plus 4 more for the entrance.

Geo dome greenhouse sketch

They began with the base, which consists of 15 pieces of wood with the ends cut at 12-degree angles. The pieces were glued and screwed together, then the base was leveled.  

Small stones were used to fill in the gaps left under the base after leveling, then roof plastic was placed over the whole base to keep it sealed.

Base of the geodesic greenhouse

Once the triangle pieces were built, they were covered in polytunnel plastic. The plastic was heated and stretched over the triangles, then tacked down at the edges.

Pieces of the geodesic greenhouse

After the plastic was placed over the triangles, the greenhouse was ready to assemble. The triangles were pieced together and held in place with screws, starting at the bottom.

Geodome greenhouse in progress

The very top piece is a doubled pentagon that acts as a vent for airflow with a cover to keep water from running in.

Roof of the geodome greenhouse

After the dome was assembled, the interior of the greenhouse was finished beautifully with a pallet floor, a round tomato planter in the center, and planting beds around the perimeter. Raised beds on tables above the planters help take advantage of the vertical space.

Inside the geodesic dome greenhouse

As you can see, this relatively small structure has room for a very nice garden and can be used throughout the year.

Geodesic greenhouse

See more pictures of the building process of this amazing hand-built dome on Astrid de Groot’s site.  Images via Astrid de Groot. 

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How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse
Update: Here we share how to build a GeoDome greenhouse. It is our building experience for anyone who wants to build a Geodesic Dome. Check also out how to build a geodesic dome greenhouse version 2.

Why a GeoDome /Geodesic Dome Greenhouse

When it comes to gardening in colder climates, a greenhouse is almost a must-have. Because a greenhouse extends the growing season and gives the plants a lot more heat. With a greenhouse, we can actually pick ripe tomatoes here and grow some plants that we would not be able to without one. A greenhouse can also be a great place to hang out on those cool spring days and summer nights.

When we started to look out for one to build, our expectations were very high. In a northern garden, we have to deal with frost, nasty winds and hail, and also loads of snow in the winter. Our days in spring and fall don’t have much direct sunlight, so we need to catch every sunbeam we can. Plus, we live in town and the greenhouse in our small back yard needed to be somehow catchy. In our research we came across the GeoDome greenhouse:

  • Very unique, lightweight structure
  • Stable in wind and under snow
  • Optimal light absorption
  • Has the most growing ground space
  • A unique hang-out place
  • An eye catcher

The GeoDome greenhouse seemed to be just what we were looking for. Since there is no foundation and this structure can be portable or temporary, we did not need any permits and would be able to take it with us if we would move. So it’s all good! But … How does a person build a GeoDome greenhouse?

What materials to use? What plan to go by? Which tools are needed? How to do the cutting? How to assemble the GeoDome? By what method to cover the GeoDome?

We looked at dozens of how-to instructions and even bought a pricey e-Book (with very little value). But all together it helped us build the GeoDome we have and love.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

Materials needed to build the GeoDome greenhouse

-Wood. We used untreated spruce lumber and stained it before assembling. You could also use Douglas Fir which is more durable.
Screws, about a pound
– Covering. We used greenhouse plastic that was given to us from a commercial greenhouse. Plastic from a commercial greenhouse can be easily reused on a dome, since there is not so much pressure on it, and it can last another 3-5 years. You can also cover the dome with greenhouse film, shrink film, or polycarbonate panels.
Automatic window openers and hinges for the door and the windows.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

GeoDome Greenhouse plans

Acidome is one of the best GeoDome calculators we were able to find on the internet. Choose your language at the top of the page. The Geodesic frequency for a Dome can be 2V, 3V, 4V. A smaller dome can have a lower frequency; for our 18′ dome we chose the 3V frequency. Anything bigger than 18′ should be 4V. Keep also in mind that whatever the width of the dome is, it will be half that in height. For example, our 18′ dome is 9′ high plus the 1′ pony wall.

red struts at the bottom of the dome as shown are 3.6 % longer longer then all other red struts

The challenge with a 3V Dome is that the red struts at the bottom of the dome, as shown above, are 3.6 % longer than all other red struts. Most plans on the internet do not do this little adjustment and end up with an uneven bottom. Sure, it is possible to level the foundation, but much easier to adjust the length of the 10 red struts on the bottom, always in between the pentagons.

Why did we go with 3V even though it is the more complicated version? We had a spot for an 18′ dome. To have that size in 2V would make the triangles too big and too small with 4V. If you want to avoid the problem of leveling in a 3V dome and have the space, go with a bigger size in 4V frequency!

Once we had the plan, we printed it out in color so it was helpful on the job site.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

Tools needed to build the GeoDome greenhouse

measuring tape
square
pencil
level
utility knife
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
– dual bevel miter saw or radial arm saw

Cutting the struts

Firstly we ripped the 2×6 to 2″ wide boards. Your lumber store might be willing to do this for you. For cutting the joints a radial arm saw is preferred because it can make very precise cuts. We used a dual bevel miter saw and it also did a good job – precision is key when making those angle cuts. And because precision is important to us we went with the metric system. Here’s the link for our dome size: Acidome.ru

How to use the Acidome.ru calculator?

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse - Northern Homestead

  1. Alphabetic index of the struts
  2. Number of struts of this type
  3. The numeric designation size vertex to which this edge rests on this end
  4. The value of a flat angle to the plane of the outer edge
  5. The value of the dihedral angle between the outer plane of the edge and the plane of the cut

Here’s a graphic of the end of a strut in 3D.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse
Finished struts ready to be put together.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

Assemble the GeoDome Greenhouse

First, we built a 1-foot (0.30 m) high pony wall. With a pony wall, you will gain some height, especially for a small dome it can be very important. Some users make a pony wall up to 3 feet (0.91 m) high.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse
Now we started assembling the dome. It’s a bit like playing Lego on a bigger scale, following the plan. The struts are all joined using a miter joint and are held in place by screws as indicated on the graphic below. We recommend to pre-drill all the holes so the wood does not split.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse - Northern Homestead
We assembled the top of the dome separately and installed it as one piece. It was a bit heavy and challenging.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse

Covering the GeoDome Greenhouse

Covering a dome can be tricky because of the shape. Cutting the plastic for 3 facets in a row worked the best. Acidome also calculates nicely the size of the facets, which is especially important for more valuable coverings. With our recycled plastic cover, we simply laid the struts on the plastic and cut the 2-3 facets approximately. Any overlaps we trimmed with a utility knife.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse
First, we stapled the plastic to the struts and then used the 1 cm planks to hold it in place which also pointed out the structure of the GeoDome even more. We like it :). You can also see in the picture how sturdy the structure is! Read more about covering the GeoDome Greenhouse here.

Door and Windows for the GeoDome greenhouse

We built the door right into a pentagon, as you see in the picture it has two vertical struts as doorposts. We really like it that way. It does not interrupt the shape of the dome, which is perfect especially in winter with all the snow that just slides off the dome. It also allows us access to the dome even with snow still on the ground, and in the summer it gives us an additional opening at the bottom even if we have to close the door because of severe weather which is a bonus, too.

How to Build a GeoDome Greenhouse
Our dome has two windows, both with Automatic Greenhouse Window Opener. However, if not using a cooling system, two windows are not enough. We built the door and the windows from the same struts as the structure and covered them with plastic.

This how to build a GeoDome greenhouse comes from our personal experience. We are thrilled that we can inspire so many readers to build their own geodesic dome.

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More about a GeoDome Greenhouse:

Filed Under: GeoDome Greenhouse, GreenhouseTagged With: GeoDome, Greenhouse

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Choose Your Growing Dome

15-foot Small Dome Greenhouse Kit

Fresh Produce for 2-3 People

 

$9,950 ($57/sq ft)

175 sq ft


Our smallest and most affordable geodesic greenhouse kit is ideal for a couple who want to grow fresh vegetables or as a hobby greenhouse for container and dwarf varieties of plants, micro-greens and for starting seedlings early for outdoor gardens.  Flowers also flourish in this energy-efficient greenhouse.

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Fresh Produce for 3-4 People

18-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

$12,950 ($51/sq ft)

255 sq ft


The 18-foot Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kit is a wonderful way for small families and backyard gardeners to enjoy a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.  This kit is a great size for producing organic fruits and vegetables for your family of 3-4. It has a small footprint, and is also great for urban gardening.  All of our greenhouse kits are available with optional weather upgrades for desert climates and windy environments.

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22-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

Fresh Produce for 4-5 People

 

$17,550 ($46/sq ft)

380 sq ft


Our 22-foot Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kits are ideal for medium to large families wanting to control their own food source.  Greenhouse kits from Growing Spaces provide the optimal environment for growing fresh, organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers using solar energy.  The additional height of the 22-foot greenhouse allows you to grow grapes, figs and dwarf citrus trees up high with lots of room for everything else below canopy.  All of our geodesic Growing Dome greenhouses feature heat-activated automatic opening vents and an above ground pond to stabilize temperatures year-round.

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Fresh Produce for 5-6 People

26-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

$22,650 ($43/sq ft)

530 sq ft


The 26-foot geodesic dome greenhouse kit is our top seller for families and growers.  At an attractive price per square foot, these spacious garden greenhouses grow enough to feed a household of 5-7 people.  This greenhouse kit provides an optimized solar-powered environment to grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and beautiful plants and flowers.  Many smaller families also choose this size so they can have leisure space to relax and enjoy the subtropical climate or so they can have surplus food to store, sell or give to neighbors.  Also a suitable size for schools where they can use the extra space for a small classroom.  This mid-size greenhouse kit includes a solar powered cooling fan. 

Build Yours

 

33-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

Fresh Produce for 8-10 People

 

$30,650 ($36/sq ft)

855 sq ft


Communities and schools benefit from Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kits by being able to offer a serene environment for people to learn about healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Growing Spaces’ large geodesic dome greenhouses are ideal for schools and use solar energy to grow organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs, along with fruit trees and ornamental flowers to create a lush forest garden. Our 33-foot diameter greenhouse kits function well in both modest and harsh climates.  Our 33-foot geodesic dome greenhouse kit is a favorite size for school greenhouses and community gardens.

Build Yours

Fresh Produce for Community

42-foot Large Dome Greenhouse Kit

$47,450 ($34/sq ft)

1385 sq ft


The 42-foot diameter Growing Dome is our largest geodesic greenhouse and is ideal for growing a forest of plants, fruits and vegetables.  Large Growing Dome greenhouse kits make ideal structures for horticulturalists, market gardeners and communities to extend the growing season of popular fruits and vegetables, to protect crops from harsh climates, and to get a big head-start with seedling propagation. This geodesic greenhouse features two doors with windows for easier access and include 2 115V electric cooling fans (solar upgrade optional) and 2 solar attic fans for optimal cross ventilation.  The 42-foot greenhouse kit offers maximum space to produce fresh, organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers year-round.

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Last updated on June 17, 2020

Let’s explore the benefits of a geodesic dome greenhouse in bite-sized bits. Here’s all you need to know to build or get one for your sustainable lifestyle. Read on!

Geodesic domes are inexpensive, energy-efficient, and stronger compared to other greenhouse structures. You can build it from scratch so you can make it as big or as small as you want.

Some companies even make pre-fabricated domes for those who can’t build their own. There’s a lot in our list of ideas to choose from that would fit any budget.

So let’s go ahead and explore all the best greenhouse ideas out there. You’ll be glad you did. Check these out!

Table of Contents

1of 14

What is the Geodesic Greenhouse?

A geodesic greenhouse is simply a greenhouse that has a dome construction. It helps improve the conditions for plants, especially in colder climates. The air inside the dome is separated from the outside – it makes light energy go through but traps the heat.

2of 14

Geodesic Greenhouse Kit

Kits for your greenhouse should be able to provide a reliable ecosystem that plants would love in order for them to grow healthy and strong. It creates efficiency and at the same time affordable and durable.

Building a dome using a kit is a middle ground option between building it from scratch and buying a prefab one. Here are some popular kits:

3of 14

Climate Controlled Dome Greenhouse Kit

It might seem out of the ordinary but you can actually get a climate-controlled dome greenhouse. It lets you create the ideal climate all year round because you can control the ventilation, humidity, temperature, everything you need to grow your plants.

4of 14

Small Geodesic Greenhouse

If you want to have a greenhouse but you’re tight on budget or don’t have enough space, a smaller dome is a viable option. It still has the same features as a regular geodesic, only smaller and cheaper.

5of 14

Glass Dome Greenhouse

Greenhouse domes made out of glass are like the premium version of greenhouses. They’re more durable and is built to last. It is used if you want to grow plants all year round as they let more sunlight through.

6of 14

DIY Geodesic Greenhouse

Some companies sell geodesic greenhouses that are pre-made, but another option is building it from scratch to save money. They’re actually easy and you can fully customize the looks of your dome. Above is one of the videos that show a walkthrough of such a project. Instructables have an amazing detailed project too.

7of 14

How to Build a Geodesic Greenhouse

Building a dome may seem hard but it’s actually the opposite. It’s easy to assemble, inexpensive, and really strong. They can even be moved once built. The steps are pretty simple, here’s an overview:

  • Make triangles from heavy papers
  • Make hexagons and pentagons
  • Connect

8of 14

PVC Dome Greenhouse

This is probably the cheapest yet durable greenhouse out there and you can even build it in one day. It’s fun and easy to assemble and you can make it as big or as small as you want. It still has the same benefits as a greenhouse that helps plants grow during the winter season.

9of 14

Geodesic Greenhouse Plans

Having a plan would make life easier for you when getting a greenhouse. You can plan out carefully the materials, money, and space you need and you can always adjust it before even building one. It’s a practical way to get into domes.

10of 14

Four Seasons Dome Greenhouse

Growing plants all year round is possible with a 4 seasons greenhouse dome. Since it’s a dome, it’s versatile and can be movable when needed. This is a great choice in areas that has a longer cold season or hard to grow plants.

11of 14

Dome Greenhouse Sizes

Dome greenhouses come in different sizes. It depends on your budget and space. A smaller greenhouse is cost-efficient and ideal for 1 or 2 people, it’s usually around 15 square feet while bigger ones are 18 feet and up.

12of 14

Prefabricated Dome Greenhouse

Prefabricated dome greenhouses have their own advantages. First, they’ll be pre-made in a factory and deliver it to your site and you can build it on your own making it cost-effective. It’s ideal for people who want to have a greenhouse quickly but don’t have the time to build one from scratch.

These are the most popular manufacturers:

13of 14

Geodesic Greenhouse Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is the main material for geodesic greenhouses. It is suitable for domes made out of wood as sealing them would be much much easier. Polycarbonate can be molded and let light through more efficiently than most glasses.

14of 14

Solar Dome Greenhouse

If you live in a place where summer is much longer, a solar greenhouse may prove really beneficial. It is a very energy efficient and great money-saving tool because you rely on the sun on for power.

Related reading:

17 Solar Greenhouse Ideas That Work

Read more

How to Grow Bamboo of All Types the Right Way

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13 Eco Cabins of All Types (You’ll Want to Own One)

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Most gardeners feel frustrated by their short growing season. At Growing Spaces, we believe everyone should have a greenhouse garden where they can sustainably grow clean, healthy food all year round - no matter where they live. We are avid gardeners ourselves and living at 7500 ft in an arid climate with only a 90 day growing season is very challenging! That's why we've created a controlled, sustainable dome greenhouse environment so anyone can easily enjoy their dream garden all year round. Our award-winning geodome greenhouse kits, used by thousands across the globe, provide a reliable ecosystem plants love - and a green oasis for you and your family - 24/7 - 365.  


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15-foot Small Dome Greenhouse Kit

Our smallest and most affordable Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kit is ideal for a couple who want to grow fresh vegetables or as a hobby backyard greenhouse for container and dwarf varieties of plants, micro-greens and for starting seedlings early for outdoor gardens.

18-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kits are a wonderful way for small families to enjoy a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. If you have a limited footprint for your greenhouse, these small greenhouse kits are an ideal size for producing organic fruits and vegetables for your family of 3-4. 

22-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

Our 22-foot Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kits are ideal for medium to large families wanting to control their own food source.  Greenhouse kits from Growing Spaces provide the optimal environment for growing fresh, organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers using solar energy.  The additional height of the 22-foot greenhouse allows you to grow grapes, figs and dwarf citrus trees up high with lots of room for everything else below canopy. 

26-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

The 26-foot Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kit is the sweet spot for families and growers.  It provides a solar-powered environment to grow organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, beautiful plants, and flowers. These spacious garden greenhouses grow enough to feed a household of 5-7 people. Many smaller families choose this size so they can have leisure space to relax and enjoy the subtropical climate or so they can have surplus food to store, sell or give to neighbors.  Also a suitable size for schools where they can use the extra space as a small classroom.

33-foot Dome Greenhouse Kit

Communities and schools benefit from Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse kits by being able to offer a serene environment for people to learn about healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Growing Spaces’ large geodesic greenhouses are ideal for schools and use solar energy to grow organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs, along with fruit trees and ornamental flowers to create a lush forest garden. Our 33-foot diameter dome greenhouse kits function well in both modest and harsh climates.  Our 33-foot geodesic dome greenhouse kit is a favorite size for school greenhouses and community gardens.

42-foot Large Dome Greenhouse Kit

The 42-foot diameter geodesic Growing Dome is our largest greenhouse and is ideal for growing a forest of plants, fruits and vegetables.  Large Growing Dome greenhouse kits make ideal structures for horticulturalists, market gardeners and communities to extend the growing season of popular fruits and vegetables, to protect crops from harsh climates, and to get a big head-start with seedling propagation. This geodesic greenhouse features two doors with windows for easier access and includes 2 115V electric cooling fans (solar upgrade optional) and 2 solar attic fans for optimal cross ventilation.  The 42-foot large greenhouse kit offers maximum space to produce fresh, organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers year-round.


We’ll ‘Root’ for Your Success. We Promise To:

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Greenhouse Planting Guide - Geodesic Dome

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