In the last few posts I’ve briefly mentioned some things that need to be fixed or improved like the air system and grow cabinet. The soaker hose was a great idea in theory, but in practice it clogged often and was not practical to clean the 30′ lengths inside the greenhouse. The grow cabinet lighting wasn’t cutting it and our seedlings were still stretching.Read more
When this project began we knew that we’d have to have some sort of grow lighting if we planned on effectively growing throughout the long Michigan winters. I briefly explored the retail market for a lighting solution and quickly realized that that option was not in the budget.Read more
We’ve wrapped up the things that we were working on mentioned in the last walkthrough video. This means the waste treatment components are complete, our cabinets are installed, and we’re all set up to start seeds. While all this work was being done, we’ve been cycling the system with tilapia fingerlings and our nitrate levels are starting to rise.Read more
It’s been a few more weeks since my last update and I’ve been super busy learning some plumbing and figuring out the best configuration for all the water treatment steps. We’ve got the water flowing and I’m super stoked to go over the details. This was a lot of fun to figure out.Read more
It’s taken a few weeks working several hours every day after work, but we’re finished with grow bed construction. I’m sure these are super over engineered, but better safe that sorry for this much water.Read more
From the beginning of this project, I have been tying to figure out the best way to build grow beds that use the maximum amount of available space. The primary blocker has always been coming up with the best way to waterproof the beds which will be made out of wood. The original design included a simple grow bed design to lay out the space, but it wasn’t detailed enough to estimate materials and cost. We’ll discuss design updates, materials, and reasons for the choices we made below.Read More…
The one thing that’s been holding up the rest of the work on the greenhouse is finishing the floors. The top floor is just osb subfloor and downstairs is treated plywood. I spent a long time trying to find a product like vinyl tiles or paneling of some sort, but always ran into the same issue. There are very few products out there that will survive large temperature swings.Read more
We survived the winter with flying colors! We have almost 3 feet of snow in the backyard, but the dome was awesome at shedding any snow accumulation. Everything remained water tight and we didn’t have any issues.Read More…
Since we are planning to try to make this a year around greenhouse in a colder climate, we’re going to install two types of roof system. A standard roof on the north side and corrugated polycarbonate on the south side. This allows us to insulate the north side where we don’t get much sun and it saves us money because polycarbonate is not cheap.Read More…
Now that we have the structure up and solid, we have a few things to do before we can install the traditional roof and polycarbonate.
- finish backfilling
- install a small skirt section of roof to cover the dome/building connections
- sheet the north side of the dome and seal the joints before we can shingle.
With the lower building mostly complete and the backfilling well underway, we can finally start assembling the the dome structure. While we were confident that we could pull of this build, we were a bit apprehensive going into it considering our first dome failure. We were comforted by the fact that we could make the necessary adjustments with our piped hubs if we ran into a a similar situation this time around.Read More…