Shelving ideas

We are still in the grasp of midwinter, but the grip of winter is loosening.  Late winter starts in a few days and with that the planning and preparation for the summer garden has amped up a gear.  I have gone through my seed collection, double checked the packets to make sure there are still seeds within the little foil parcels, decided if there is enough or not, and if they would still be viable or would I be struggling in my efforts to see little green shoots rising from the barren seed raising mix in a few months’ time.

Seed tin
The seeds in my tin have been sorted for the new season. The unwanted removed and space prepared for the new. I can feel the excitement mounting.

I have questioned my choices from last season and wondered if I liked things enough to grow them again.  Somethings have been cast aside, never to grace my garden again – well not at my hand anyway.  I found borage to be lacking.  All that effort for some flowers to sprinkling in a summer drink and impress the bees.  That thing took up more than its allotted space in my herb garden and self-seeded prolifically.  I can provide for the bees with something much prettier and with much less problems.  That plant is outta here – well it will be once I get control over its progeny!

Seedlings in the windowsill
Last season I got by with the space in the bay window in the house, but now I have the dome, it does make sense to use it!

I also had a look to see if there was anything new and exciting to try and there are a few things that may end up becoming a shining star among the ordinary things or will be a dismal flop never to be grown again – but you never know unless you try.

Glasshouse shelving
I loved the shelving I had in the last glasshouse. It was perfect!

All of this seed sorting is great to do within the comfort of my armchair in the warmth of indoors, but the time will come soon enough when the contents of these packets become little green beings jostling for space as they grow into the plants that will become my garden.  This isn’t a problem exactly, except I’m not sure where to put them.

Asparagus seedlings
The asparagus plants now well established in my new garden had the priviledge of spending their formative months on the shelves of my old greenhouse. Little did we know what the future held for them. Even at the point of sowing them I had no idea what I would do with them – I just grew them because I could!

Ok – I have the dome, but it doesn’t have any shelves in there.  Not yet.  I have a few stacked crates that kind of work for now, however there is not nearly enough space for everything that will need temporary accommodation in a warm sunny spot.  But I’m at a loss as to how to do it.

Geodesic Biodome
It is a good space, with plenty of room – but just an odd shape.

In the last greenhouse I had a great system.  There was a U-shaped frame around the rectangular greenhouse that created the structure for two shelves.  The shelves themselves were made of decking timber cut to size but only every 6th one was screwed down.  This gave the structure strength, but the loose ones were able to be lifted to be easily washed but also adjusted to improve airflow as the plants got bigger or pushed close together for tiny pots to balance safely without falling through, or removed completely if I chose to grow a tall plant that was happy to sit on the ground.  The width of the shelves was deep enough for two of my largest seed trays and a little bit more.  It was perfect.

Plumbing holes
Once everything is sorted out I think I will be delighted to have a sink with a drain and an in point for water so I can ensure all the seedlings stay moist with just one turn of the tap.

I’d like to recreate something like this for the dome but with its irregular shape I am at a loss as to how to do this.  There are too many possibilities but at the same time the slope and curve of the wall needs to be taken into consideration. Another thing to bear in mind is when the floor was laid, we make some holes in it so water could come and go from outside for irrigation and a possible sink, so I need to incorporate this into the design.

I have a few ideas but I’m not sure.  But I need to think fast as it isn’t long before I’ll be out in the dome pottering about with a multitude of seedlings all vying for the best spot in the sun.

dome shelf ideas
Possible shelving arrangements for the dome. It really isn’t straight forward at all. What would you do?

What would you choose?  A, B, C, D E, F or something completely different?  Each has their advantages and disadvantages and once done, that will probably be it.  I can’t see myself changing it.

Come again soon – hopefully I would have made up my mind and be in the throes of construction.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

26 thoughts on “Shelving ideas

  1. I like the cross one for all sorts of reasons, but mainly if you have the cross in there you can’t go wrong.

  2. I like A B, C no, D lots of space left in the centre, E has sharp corners, F is interesting but quite complex as in building. If you made B then there could be a rail each side so if you decided you wanted it to be an A then simply slot some boards in.

  3. Hi Sarah
    Tricky decision I think I would go with D but another idea is there room for hanging shelves? Or baskets too? You want to get as much as you can in there to use it to its full potential. D would also lend itself to a sink space. Tiered shelving is another idea?

    1. I think D is the most likely best layout, but I do like the idea of hanging shelves and baskets as it is rather tall in there, thanks for that idea, I hadn’t thought of it. : o)

    1. There is a lot of space in there and the slope isn’t too dramatic, but I’m starting to like the idea of C as a combination with D – like having an island in the kitchen. : o)

  4. I’d do A, because it will give the most space. Plenty of room for flats in the larger spaces, and then the little nooks and crannies created by the dome shape can be filled with pots. Hopefully there will still be room for a chair, and a hot pot for making tea to enjoy the sunshine on chilly days.

    1. After giving it some thought I think A might just be too big and I wouldn’t be able to reach into the back. But I’m thinking of some kind of combination of D, F and possibly C. : o)

    1. Probably too late to add my tuppence worth, but I have been pondering this conundrum, Sarah! Incase you’ve not built the shelves yet…how about having shelving around outside, with one area with a gap…space for a chair – or trolley on wheels? It could be like a butchers block, put in the centre if you like, have as shelving in the ‘space’? But I think even a foldable chair with space to sit could be well worth considering. You’re still young, but sometimes the tinkering can pass hours and a wee sit down is a welcome break! 😉 Can’t wait to see the result!

      1. Thanks for giving this some thought. I think I do need somewhere to sit and I love the butchers block idea so may need to give that some thought too. I haven’t built anything yet but am into the planning stage. I think before I construct anything I need to run my ideas past my lovely builder so that I know it will work. : o)

  5. It depends on the angle for me. Am I short enough that walking around C makes sense? Or am I tall and can I keep shorter seedlings by the glass and taller ones on the inner edges of A?

  6. I can remember when those domes were a fad. I worked at a retail nursery that has several of them. They really were cool, but of course, there was a bit of awkward space. I preferred things to be neat and square. The wasted space outside was not such a problem, because it was a retail nursery. I would not want to contend with the awkward spaces in a production nursery.

    1. I can be a bit of a control freak in the garden and like the order of straight lines, but the dome has come into its own this week as we are in the midst of a storm that would have had a normal greenhouse a twisted heap of aluminum and broken glass. : o)

      1. Part of the ‘justification’ for the fad years ago was that the domes are more resilient to earthquakes. However, in an earthquake strong enough to damage a small home garden greenhouse, I would be more concerned with other priorities.

  7. D allows full usage of space, worktop, centre shelves for extra seedling storage would leave the floor free for trays, pots and compost. With such a great space you will maximise its potential! I thought borage could be chopped down and added to water as with nettles to create a plant feed for tomatoes and brassica alike, seems it may have not been given a forever space!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. In the end I got my builder to build the shelves for me and we went with D. It is exactly like you have suggested and I love it. With the borage – I think I might just try something else in the spot, it takes a lot to keep on top of! : o)

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