Grow Dome growing season “ends”

20131219-144553.jpgWe like to call the Grow Dome a “greenhouse on steroids.”  It has insulated glazing, air circulation under the outer garden beds to moderate the temperature, a 900 gallon water tank to also moderate the internal temperatures, and solar panel-driven thermostat and venting controls.  Last winter the temperature dropped to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature in the Grow Dome hovered right above freezing at 32 degrees F.

In the last few days the outside temperature dropped enough to influence the internal temperature of the Dome enough to in-effect end our growing season.  All the tomatoes, eggplants, and chile plants “froze.”  We still have thriving chard, kale, bok choi, broccoli, and cabbage plants growing however so the season is not really “over.”

Now we are looking to clear the beds and get ready to amend our soils and begin the planting process again.  To make this happen, we will need to invest in some solar-powered vent openers, a shade cloth, and begin to develop our aquaponic infrastructure.  We are also gearing up to plant some trees inside, so far we are thinking about dwarf lemon and pomegranate tree in addition to a hibiscus bush.  We are looking to create a more perennial component of the dome while continuing to utilize the outer beds for annual production.

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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