How to Create Grow Spaces in a Dome Greenhouse

Overview

Creating grow spaces in a dome greenhouse can range from simple and budget-friendly, to expensive and lavish. Some grow spaces depend upon the roof supports of the dome greenhouse. The gardener must choose if the grow spaces are to be temporary and movable, or permanent--or perhaps some of each kind, as each has its strong points. Since garden centers and catalogs offer prolific selection of grow space in all sorts and sizes of containers, the following offers two options for the do-it-yourself gardener on a budget--one small and easily moved, the other large and more permanent.

Small Grow Space for a Dome Greenhouse

Step 1

A five-gallon plastic bucket, easy to find in a hardware store, has a long life as a growing space. It is inexpensive or even free and is easily moved around the greenhouse. The bucket is large enough to support a tomato cage structure, which can be used for any climbing plant, such as peas, beans or even tomatoes. It comes with a built-in handle, which makes it simple to move around for optimum light.

Step 2

Turn the bucket upside down on a hard level surface. With a 1/2-inch drill bit and electric drill, bore 15-20 drain holes in the bottom of the bucket.

Step 3

Turn the bucket right side up and add 2 inches of pea gravel in the bottom for adequate drainage. Add bagged potting soil made especially for containers. This type of potting soil will reduce soil compaction problems.

Step 4

Insert a tomato cage by pressing the lower prongs of the cage into the soil right along the bucket's edge. The movable grow space is ready for planting.

Large Grow Space for a Dome Greenhouse

Step 1

A more permanent, large, dirt-level grow space is created by 2-by-8 cedar boards and 1-foot rebar. Measure and choose the length and width that will fit in the dome shape greenhouse. Place the long boards on their 2-inch edges at the chosen spot. Pound rebar into the earth, tightly against the boards, on both sides at each end. This uses four pieces of rebar for each board. This supplies support, enabling the boards to stand on their 2-inch edge, and will keep the garden space from bowing when filled with the pressure of soil. Add end pieces of board, and cut to the length of the outside edges of the grow space; the boards already supported by rebar supply the inside support for the end boards. Pound rebar into the earth at each outside corner of the two end boards, keeping them from falling to the outside. This uses two pieces of rebar for each end board.

Step 2

Spade the dirt inside the ground level grow bed over a few times to loosen up and aerate the soil, providing good drainage. Add bagged pasteurized potting soil and compost for a rich, loose, disease free starting medium for seeds and new plants. Add tomato cages for climbing plants as desired.

Step 3

Although this can be a permanent structure, because it is not affixed to the dome greenhouse structure, it can be moved with some work. Pull the rebar back out of the dirt, remove the boards, and shovel the dirt to a new location.

Tips and Warnings

  • After a season of watering in any size container or garden bed, the earth becomes compacted. Dump out the 5-gallon bucket soil. Mix compost and well-rotted manure into the soil and refill the container loosely. Spade over the soil in the cedar soil-level garden space between each planting several times, adding compost and nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Tomato cage
  • 3 cups pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • 1-foot pieces of rebar (12 per planting bed)
  • 2-foot by 6-foot cedar boards (3 per planting bed)
  • Drill
  • 1/2 inch drill bit
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Sledge hammer
  • Shovel

References

  • "Encyclopedia fo Organic Gardening";J.I. Rodale:1970
  • "The Solar Greenhouse Book";James McCullagh;1978

Who Can Help

  • "Container Gardening Tomatoes"
Keywords: dome greenhouse, grow spaces, greenhouse

About this Author

Sandee Coulter began her writing career with a small local newspaper doing both freelance articles and advertising text. She then spent 30 years with local government writing computer programs, technical manuals and user manuals. She has an A.A. degree from Peninsula College.

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