Designing and Constructing Raised Garden Beds in a Growing Dome Greenhouse
For those of you who may be considering building a Growing Dome greenhouse kit from Growing Spaces, we have a wide selection of pictures of different garden designs and raised garden beds from Growing Dome Owners. Raised garden beds are not included or built as part of the standard Growing Dome kit and installation, but contact us to see if raised beds are available as an upgrade in your area.
In the Growing Dome, there is usually an outer raised bed, a circular pathway, and then an inner raised bed. You can add keyholes for easy access. The outer raised garden beds generally match the height of the two-foot foundation wall, and the inner beds can depend on the personal preference of the owner.
Some owners build their raised vegetable beds higher to avoid bending over, design tiered beds to allow for different root structures or add a storage drawer under your shallower raised beds for your gardening tools. If you have beds built in front of the water tank, it is important not to have the bed higher than 1’ so it does not cut down on the solar heat exchange of the tank. But the raised bed design is entirely up to the owner of the Growing Dome!
Raised Garden Bed Designs and Cut Lists
Growing Dome Owners can call us to obtain plans and cut lists for common internal raised garden bed designs. The cut list would include the length, miter and quantity of each piece as well as a list of other construction materials required. A miter saw is helpful to cut the angles, but it can also be done with a hand saw that has an adjustable blade.
For Growing Domes that we deliver or install, we may also be able to provide pre-cut lumber and raised bed kits. This will make it easier for you to build the raised beds, or contact us to see if raised bed installation is available in your area. Be sure to check out the following video tour of the Growing Domes we have on-site in Pagosa Springs, Colorado for additional raised bed design ideas. Our Growing Dome Advisers are always happy to discuss exterior raised planting beds and other customization options for your Growing Dome.
Undersoil Ventilation System
An important consideration is that the Undersoil Ventilation System is installed inside the planting beds around the interior perimeter of the foundation wall. Make sure to lay this out as you build your beds, as you may need to cut holes in the lumber for the corrugated pipe. These will help control the temperature of your outer raised beds, and protect your plants from frost through the winter.
Raised Garden Bed Materials
Rot-resistant lumber like redwood and cedar are great options for building raised garden beds. When using non-moisture resistant lumber or pressure-treated lumber, it is a good choice to line your beds with galvanized sheet metal or aluminum. The outer bed wall should already be lined with the metal flashing in your Growing Dome Greenhouse kit.
In addition to lumber, we have found our owners use recycled plastic, plywood, recycled pallets, sheet metal, adobe stucco, rocks and concrete, cinder blocks, aluminum siding, brick, railroad ties, and many other materials and methods for their bed projects. Keep in mind that pavestone can trap heat and make your dome hotter in the summer, but it looks gorgeous!
Of course, the costs for your raised bed materials will largely depend on what materials you choose. For planning and budgeting purposes, here are some rough estimates.
|Raised Bed Estimates||$440||$550||$880||$1,100||$1,650||$2,750|
|Soil Quantity Estimates (cubic yards)||6||9||16||22||30||45|
Pathways and Door
The pathways can be comprised of anything from pea gravel, redwood, cedar, Trex, flagstone, to brick pavers. We recommend not to use mulch or bark chips, as it is a nice home for pests. When designing your raised beds and paths, keep in mind that too much pathway area can create a lot of heat buildup in the summer months, especially if you use brick pavers, flagstone, gravel, or any other high-density materials. However, in the winter months, high-density materials are very effective as thermal mass. If you want to use high-density building materials for your raised beds and/or pathways, plants can provide the necessary shade in the summer months to keep the mass cool. Hanging the shade cloth that comes with the Growing Dome may also aid in keeping your paths cool.
Some people incorporate a screen door as well as the standard Growing Dome door. Screen doors can be sourced from a local window and door company. A screen door provides extra cooling in the summer months while keeping unwanted guests or pests from getting inside the greenhouse.
Space to Relax
In our larger domes, many people like to have a seating area with a table and a shade umbrella. This does a great job of keeping the area cool during the hot summer months. And there is nothing like having a warm and cozy space to relax in the long winter months.
If you are debating on having extra garden bed space versus space to relax, maybe try and employ some square foot gardening practices to optimize your available garden space. The reality is many of our customers wish they went one size bigger when planning their Growing Dome greenhouse.
The Water Tank
The perfect spot for your herb garden, starts, flowers or plants that take up small spaces is on the cross-beam on the top of the water tank on 15′ through 26′ Growing Domes. This provides a warm, moist spot for your herbs and flowers. Floating Islands and aquatic plants offer the additional decoration in your Growing Dome and also create a great eco-system for your fish.
Some customers have actually built raised decks over their pond to create a nice relaxing space!
Adding planter boxes to the outside of your Growing Dome can not only add beauty and another small garden to your landscape, but it also adds additional insulation to your foundation wall. Make sure to line the beds so the siding does not rot.
Raised Garden Bed Photo Gallery
Check out the pictures below to get your creative juices flowing!