Sunday, March 10, 2013

Taking Gardening to a New Level--a Grow Light and Mini Greenhouse

At the end of February we started some seeds indoors. This year I'm determined to do a better job with gardening, as I want to have more fresh food in our house, locally grown. My husband is in total support. He doesn't care so much about the locally grown part--or even the fresh food part, but he wants us to be self-sufficient and ready for survival mode should we ever need to be. (Hopefully if we need to be, we will have quite a bit more time to prepare, because we are not ready now!)

By starting seeds inside so early, I knew that we would need some help from light, as the sun just isn't strong enough now to provide enough light via windows, and it's still too cold to put the plants out for the day. So I did some searching and found a wonderful design to make your own grow light system with PVC pipe from Emily at My Square Foot Garden. She had gotten all her supplies from Home Depot for $48. We were heading to town and decided to go for it. 

Her directions (and prices) were spot on, and it didn't take long at all to assemble our own grow light.
 Our seedlings immediately showed their appreciation by not bending towards the light. If you're wondering if the light is crooked, it is. We had some seedlings much taller than others, so we thought by hanging the light crooked, we would be able to make them all happy.

 The seedlings are doing great. Desert Boy has been keeping track of when the seedlings appear. It's been interesting to see how fast different vegetables germinate.

Seeing the change from the nearly bare tray to the now much greener one makes this project worth it. (It will be even more worth it once we get to eat the vegetables that we planted!)

Now that we are in March with 60 degree days in the forecast, it's time to plant some of the early crops: peas, beets, carrots, and lettuce. We're a little concerned that it might be a tiny bit early, so we decided to make a mini greenhouse for our early crops. We gathered some old windows and old hay bales. We came up with a solution. It's not pretty, but hopefully it will work!
 Our next big task for the garden is figuring out a better irrigation system. Those of you who don't have to water your garden--you are so lucky!

1 comment:

The Incredible Woody said...

Good luck with your project! I have never had any luck with starting my own plants, like tomatoes or peppers. I always end up having to buy them from the local garden center.

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