Maximizing Food Production in a Growing Dome: Pilot

Small Growing Dome Greenhouse ProductionThe Growing Spaces team has started a new project here at our Pagosa Springs office, and we want you to join us in our pursuit!

As the warm growing season came to a close here in the Rocky Mountains, the Growing Spaces team started to plan a winter garden for the 15′ Growing Dome greenhouse here at Growing Spaces. Since the team receives many phone calls and email inquiries about how to maximize food production in all sizes of Growing Dome, we thought it would be a good idea to work towards maximizing food production in the 15′, the smallest size Growing Dome available. As we strive towards the goal of maximum food production and space utilization in only 150 square feet, we invite you to join us as we experience growing successes and work through varied challenges.

In order to demonstrate how a new Growing Dome owner would begin planting, we removed summer plants entirely. Since this project demonstrates “starting from scratch” in a Growing Dome, aiming to maximize food production, we will be sharing with you how we build additional beds, utilize vertical space, use time stacking techniques in the garden, organize garden space, maintain a water garden and more. As we begin to harvest what we grow, we also hope to share harvest techniques and recipes we try with the produce we grow.

New videos will be made available as new developments occur, hopefully about twice per month. In addition to the videos, each blog post will contain useful gardening tips and information that we invite you to review and comment on. If you’ve got a good idea or question for us, please let us know! What we look forward to most as we launch this new project is sharing it with you!

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Kyle joined the Growing Spaces team in 2015, and enjoys being involved in all the exciting projects and developments happening around here!I graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2009 and moved to Gunnison, Colorado to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies. After graduating from Western State Colorado University, I moved back to my home town Pagosa Springs. Since moving back home in 2013, I have been working to develop a farm in Arboles. In my spare time, one may find me backpacking in the wilderness, cruising on a mountain bike, slacklining in the park, or skiing Wolf Creek. I also enjoy creating art when I am not outdoors. The mediums that I enjoy working with are yarn, canvas and paint, and clay. I have been experimenting with aquapoinics and am always excited to share knowledge on the subject with others. I joined the Growing Spaces team in 2015, and enjoy being involved in all the exciting projects and developments happening around here!


  • I have seen first hand the benefit of composting. When we finished our 18′ dome we ordered 5 cubic yards of “special gardening soil” (recommended by our instructor in a gardening class we took). The 5 cubic yards filled our middle bed (2′ x 4′ x 5′), the beds on the east side, and 1/2 of the beds on the west side. To finish filling the west side beds I used local soil (very alkaline) and added peat moss and compost. I planted the east side beds first (with the special gardening soil). Two weeks later, I planted one of the beds in the west side (with compost and local soil), using seeds from the same seed packages. Two weeks after that I planted the second west side bed. Now, a month later, the plants on the west side are larger, and more seeds have sprouted. Although the special soil does seem to hold moisture longer, the plants in the composted beds are doing much better.

    I wondered if the difference could be the amount of sunlight between the east and west sides, but there is nothing that blocks the sun at any time of the day. Both sides get full sunlight when the sun shines. I suspect the difference is the compost. From now on I will use local soil, peat moss, and compost in my garden beds.

  • YOU ROCK! I love looking at your article and video on the 15 ft today, and was amazed at how articulate you both are on camera. Thanks so much for doing this. I love the results already! Puja

  • We have just completed our 15 foot dome. It is fall coming into winter – so we are grateful for your inspiration and insights into how begin growing.

    Thanks you

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