Winter Gardening in Dome Greenhouse?

Take a Sec... Share with your Friends!!

Sometimes I feel like I have A.D.D.  When I start researching a topic through books and/or online, one thing leads to another, then to another, and before you know it I have 10 new projects on my to-do list.  I always have a notebook with me to try and keep my overzealous  plans in order and in check. 

I am doing research on winter gardening in my climate for next year.  We live in Eastern Canada just north of Maine, so we get cold snaps and lots of snow.  I got started reading a couple books that touch on the subject: "Intensive Gardening Round the Year" and "Solar Gardening", that I picked up from the Library.  I've done research on Cold Frame Gardening which was the route I was going before I stumbled on a few very inspiring YouTube videos about Dome Greenhouses and people actually using them to grow during the winter months in Northern climates and in the mountains.

One of the sites I'm checking out is Growing Spaces.  There are a few kits out there, but I like theirs so far and they have a lot of information available.  Here is their introduction YouTube video:

Here is another great video by PeakMoment that goes through a large 52ft year round growing dome project 6000 ft above sea level in Colorado.  Pretty sweet, but a bit large for my backyard ;o)

I am building or buying a greenhouse this year for sure, and was leaning towards traditional passive solar ones, but now I'm really liking the dome design.  It has a fluid nature to it and the dome design is perfect for our windy winters and snow loads.  I would love to buy a DIY kit, but cost is an issue and shipping is $$.  If I can find a design to piece it together and find some place local to purchase and cut polycarbonate panels, it is doable... dream dream dream ;o)

If anyone is currently winter gardening in a similar climate I would love to see and hear your experiences.

Winter Gardening: Cold Frame

Take a Sec... Share with your Friends!!

If you live in a region with cold winters, you probably spent some cold days and nights dreaming of gardening or planning out next seasons garden plot. Rest assured you can still grow fresh lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions and more if you build a Cold Frame for your winter garden.

Cold Frame gardens are very easy to build and even better can be built with 100% recycled materials. All you need is an old window sash or aluminum, glass door frame. You can use fiberglass, polyethylene or other transparent material is glass is not readily available. Build a frame according to the dimensions of the window sash or other material you decided to recycle and use. Ideal dimensions would be approximately 18 inches at the back and 12 at the front to provide a good angle facing the sun and rain/snow drain off.

There are two ways to setup your cold frame garden: above ground or partially below ground. Insulating factors will be much better if the Cold Frame is partially below ground. Like Solar Panels, Cold Frame bins should face south for maximum sunlight exposure and have at least a 10 percent angle to make the most of the limited sunlight in northern regions.

If the weather gets extremely cold, say low twenties, it would be best to cover the Cold Frame in burlap or moving blankets for protection. You can also add a heating cable, the same kind you wrap around water pipes to keep them from freezing. Warm weather days are just as crucial to keeping your garden in top shape. You will have to monitor and open the top glass hatch to allow proper ventilation. Don't forget to water ;o)

The best veggies to grow are lettuce, radishes, chard and green onions. You can also try small carrots and other greens. What you can grow in your Cold Frame will depend on your local weather. We will build and chronicle the success of 2 Cold Frame plantations over the fall and winter to see what we can grow. Hopefully we can harvest enough for a nice fresh winter salad!

Keep it Green!