What is a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse?
Everyone has seen traditional greenhouses, but a geodesic dome greenhouse stands out. A geodesic dome is basically a hemisphere made up of triangles. This construction allows the weight to be distributed evenly giving it exceptional strength. In fact, the design is so strong that plans have been developed to use dome greenhouses on mars (source).
There are a lot more advantages to using a geodesic dome, but we’re going to cover all of that in detail in our buyer’s guide below.
Our Picks For Best Geodesic Dome Greenhouses
Our favorites are picked based on a variety of factors that are all explained below. We also have detailed reviews of each greenhouse on our list. But, for those of you who are curious about which we think are the best – here’s our top 3:
Table Of Contents
There is a ton of information in this article. We hope you’ll read the entire thing, but if you need to know something specific use the links below to skip down the page.
- Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Reviews
- DIY Geodesic Dome Greenhouse
- Buyer’s Guide to Geodesic Greenhouse Kits
Now that we’ve explained what to look for when purchasing a geodesic dome greenhouse, we’re going to break down some popular dome kits. We’ll discuss the pros, cons, and recommended uses for each greenhouse.
This kit includes all the parts and hardware you need to build this incredible 16 ft. or 18 ft. geodesic dome greenhouse – all you need are a few basic tools to assemble.
This dome also includes a steel doorway and a high-quality poly cover.
Both you and your plants are going to love this dome greenhouse.
- Lifetime Warranty – This is a high-quality greenhouse and the company isn’t afraid to back that claim up with a lifetime warranty on the frame. You’ll never have to buy another geodesic dome frame again. They also offer an upgrade program. If you decide you want a bigger geodesic greenhouse then you can trade your old one in for a bigger size. Pretty cool.
- Strong Frame – The reason the company can offer a lifetime warranty on the frame is because it is made of 1/2″ steel that is designed to last.
- Shrink Cover – The cover is a marine grade poly that is 7 mils thick. It’s been designed and tested to withstand a large range of environmental conditions.
- Assembly – This kit is well put together and comes with instructions, however, this kit is easiest assembled with 2 people and may take up to 2 days depending on your productivity. Honestly, this is true for almost any dome kit of this size.
We highly recommend this greenhouse for everyone which is why it’s our #1 pick! Given the quality, size, and price we think this geodesic dome kit give you the best bang for your buck. There are a few slightly cheaper options, but spending a few extra bucks for quality is never a bad thing.
The simple design and the crystal clear cover gives this geodesic greenhouse a look of its own.
This kit is designed to work as a greenhouse, conservatory, gazebo, or really whatever you want it to be.
- Beautiful Design – We know, we already covered the fact we like how this one looks, but we just didn’t feel right having a pros section and not mentioning its aesthetics one more time.
- Recycled Materials – The frame of this dome is made of 100 % recyclable PVC and PA6. Using recycled materials is great for protecting nature and isn’t that part of the point of a greenhouse?
- Weather Resistant – The PVC cover for this dome is cold resistant down to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, and can withstand heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also hold up to 90 pounds of snow.
- Dual Surface Hardware – This kit comes with the hardware necessary to anchor to a hard foundation like concrete or wood. It also comes with weight bags to set up on the ground, sand, etc.
- Size – While certainly not small, this greenhouse is smaller than some of the other kits on the list. At 11′ 9″ you should be able to do a fairly large amount of gardening, though.
- Zipper Door – This is a matter of preference, but we’ve found that many users prefer a regular door with hinges as opposed to the zipper open. There are no specific complaints related to this products zipper in particular so, in the end, it’s a matter of what you like.
- Plastic Frame – Unlike some of the other domes on this like, this kit uses plastic framing instead of metal. The plastic is high quality and strong, however, many people prefer a metal frame.
This is a terrific geodesic dome greenhouse for anyone who doesn’t need a whole lot of space. You can really think of this dome as a medium- duty greenhouse. The price is reasonable and on the lower end for the domes in this list. If you’re looking for a light-duty dome greenhouse as a price saving option then check out the next dome on our list.
The Sunbubble can be set up in just a few minutes and taken down just as easily. It even comes with a tote bag if you need to pack it away or transport your dome.
It’s not going to be quite as sturdy as the other domes on this list, but at a fraction of the price, it’s worth looking into for people in mild weather climates.
- Price – We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s gotta make the list.
- Assembly – This kit is hands down the easiest to assemble. A single person can put this up or take it down in a matter of minutes. Nothing else comes close.
- Strength – The fiberglass frame will hold up under normal conditions, but if you live in an area with excessive snowfall then this dome probably won’t make the cut. You will also want to refrain from hanging anything heavy from the frame.
- Zipper Door – As previously mentioned, many people prefer a regular style door, however, this is simply a matter of preference.
This frame is designed to be portable and may not be the best option if you plan to create a long -standing permanent greenhouse. If you are only planning to use the dome for part of the year then this is really the way to go.
This geodesic dome does not include the cover so you will be responsible for getting your own poly cover and attaching it.
Since you’re only buying the frame, this kit comes at a much cheaper price. Also note, this is a 2v kit.
This kit is available in 12, 14, and 16-foot diameters.
- Price – You’re going to pay a lot less for this kit but, of course, you’re not getting the entire package. You’ll still be responsible for purchasing additional materials to complete your greenhouse.
- Strength – This dome kit comes with the same 1/2″ steel framing as our #1 pick. It’s built to last.
- No Cover – This kit does not include the cover like the other geodesic domes on the list. You’ll have to get your own material to create a cover.
- No Doorway – There is no doorway for this kit. You’ll have to build your own system for entering and exiting your greenhouse.
If you were thinking about doing a DIY geodesic dome and want an inexpensive starting point then this kit is perfect. Please note that you’ll need some building knowledge, tools, and additional time to make this kit a functioning greenhouse.
Kits are a terrific and cost effective way for many people to build a geodesic greenhouse. This doesn’t mean that kits are perfect for everyone though. Some people are going to prefer to build their own greenhouse, and we think it’s a terrific idea for those with building experience. Below is some info that we think will help you if you decide to build your own dome.
If you’re interested in building your own geodesic greenhouse from scratch then we highly recommend picking up one of the books below for plans and instructions. They are all reasonably priced and provide much more detail than a free .pdf you would find online.
This book is great because it gives you the plans necessary to build any size geodesic dome greenhouse that you would like. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something really small or you’re looking to go big. This book covers it all. The best part is, the math is all laid out for you. All the angles are calculated so getting started is so much quicker.
The best part is, the math is all laid out for you. All the angles are calculated so getting started is so much quicker.
The book is filled with full-color pictures that illustrate every single step. This book is available in softcover physical prints, as well as, a digital kindle book. Click here for more info.
The Biodome Garden Book: The only greenhouse design that needs no electrical ventilation or humidifying system.
This book provides some terrific information about gardening in a dome, however, it is not recommended for those who are unfamiliar with building techniques. This book is not written as a step by step guide so prior construction knowledge is a must.
This book was written by Patricia Watters, who has been involved in biodome gardening since this 1980s.
It’s important to note that some of the features shown in this book can get costly. But remember, this is not supposed to be a step by step guide. You only need to use the features and techniques that work for you. Click here for more info.
This book is also loaded with pictures which are super helpful if you’re building your own dome greenhouse. You’ll also get great information on covering your growdome with polycarbonate.
This book claims you can make your greenhouse for the price of a “single supermarket shop”. Click here for more info.
When you purchase your dome greenhouse you want to make sure you’re spending your money on the product with the most value. We’re going to show you what to look for when deciding on the right greenhouse for you.
But, First, let’s talk about the reasons you should even use a geodesic dome as a greenhouse.
We’ve all seen traditional greenhouses. You know, those 2 sided things that have been used for centuries. This design works, but there are several reasons you should get a dome-shaped greenhouse instead of a traditional one (source).
- Additional Sunlight – The shape of a geodesic dome allows the sun to follow the curves of the structure allowing more direct light throughout the day.
- Strength – The triangular construction makes this structure incredibly strong – much stronger than traditional greenhouses. This, along with the dome shape, allows the structure to distribute weight very evenly.
- Wind Resistance – The dome shape is naturally wind resistant. A traditional greenhouse takes all the brute force of the wind. On the other hand, a geodesic dome greenhouse provides an aerodynamic structure the wind can curve around.
- Energy Efficient – A geodesic dome has about 40% less area than a traditional greenhouse. This lower surface area minimizes exposure making dome greenhouses warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Air Flow – The concave shape allows for a natural airflow as warm air rises.
- Aesthetics – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we hear time and time again how much people love the way these things looks. It’s something simple, yet completely unlike the others.
A geodesic dome is a rather simple structure, but it’s important the pieces of your kit are well made. Here are some things to consider before purchasing your greenhouse.
The frame provides all the structure for your dome. A dome is strong by design, but it’s also important to make your greenhouse out of sturdy materials. Domes made of steel tend to last the longest and some come with lifetime
- Steel – This is a go-to for strong and long lasting domes. Some companies who produce steel dome greenhouses include a lifetime warranty. Steel is going to cost a little bit more, but if you pick the right kit then it’s the last frame you’ll ever have to buy.
- Plastics – There are also some incredibly strong plastics that are holding up very well. If you decide to purchase a frame made of plastic be sure it is a thick, high-quality, and UV resistant plastic. The UV part is important as some plastics will start out strong, but become brittle after prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Wood – This is not often included in kits, but it is used in plenty of DIY solutions. Wood is cheap and strong, but over time it will degrade. The high humidity of the greenhouse may cause wood frames to become saturated and warping may occur. This doesn’t mean wood should never be used – just be warned it’s probably not a lifetime solution like steel.
Once you’ve chosen a geodesic frame, you’ll need to decide how to cover your greenhouse. Many kits come with a cover which makes your job so much easier. If you decide to get a frame-only kit or choose a DIY solution then you’ll need to choose your own coverings. Here are a few things you should look for:
If you decide to get a frame-only kit or choose a DIY solution then you’ll need to choose your own coverings. You can buy plastic that is designed specifically for covering greenhouses.
No matter if you’re purchasing a kit or DIY, here are a few things you should look for in a proper cover:
- Thickness – A thick plastic covering is essential to keeping your plants safe. Thin covers are prone to tears and will degrade quicker than a think one. We recommend a 6mil or thicker cover.
- UV Protection – Not all plastics are suitable for baking in the sun all day. It’s important your cover is made of a material this isn’t going to crack and rip after your first summer. You can buy plastic specifically designed for covering greenhouses.
- Temperature Range – This is especially true for those of you who live in an area of extreme heat or cold. You need to make sure the plastic covering is designed to withstand the heat range it will be subjected to.
The necessary size of your greenhouse is going to vary from person to person. It’s really a matter of how much you intend to grow. A 12-foot dome will give you about 113 square foot of growing room. A 16-foot dome will give you about 200 square feet of room. So, again, it’s really up to how much space you’re going to need.
You’re going to need a suitable way to enter and exit your greenhouse and there are a few options out there. The first, and often preferred is a traditional framed door. This doorway is just like any other doorway you’ve used.
Another option is a zipper entrance. These aren’t as quick and easy as the traditional doorway, but it does work well. It also allows the dome to keep its shape, lowers the cost, requires less building.
When you’re purchasing a geodesic dome greenhouse you will see some are 2v and some are 3v. There are domes that go higher (4v, 5v, etc.) but these are typically for larger structures.
To understand what this means let’s talk about what the v means. V is a placeholder for dome frequency. So, 3v means 3 frequency.
The higher the frequency, the higher the number of triangles. This gives the structure more stability and creates a smoother curve.
Geodesic greenhouses are a great way to start a highly efficient greenhouse. They offer tons of value over the traditional style greenhouses with costs equal to or lower than many traditional greenhouse kits on the market.
Still not sure which geodesic dome kit is right for you? Click hereClick here to see a full list of available kits.