thinking about planting

My garden looks like this today:

snowy dayThe last snow before today was on Christmas, so it’s been a really bizarre Utah winter. I generally am not a winter person, and was hoping that by March we could forgo snow in the valleys and just get a lot of spring rain to make up for the lack of moisture. No such luck, but at least the snow makes everything beautiful!

Since I start a lot of my plants from seed, it’s time to start thinking about planning my garden this year, which to be honest I’ve been doing for a month. I just get so excited about the possibilities, and I love to grow things. I feel like little sprouts and baby plants indoors kind of connects me to nature even when I’m inside. greenhouse

For the last couple years, I used a PVC grow light system Jonathan and I made. It took up a large table in the basement and was perfect because I wasn’t limited by space. This year we have other plans for the basement so I needed something with a smaller footprint to keep upstairs. I purchased this 4-tier greenhouse, which was fast to assemble and only takes up a footprint of 19″x27″. It fits fairly unobtrusively in the bay window of the kitchen. And though it’s not beautiful, I know that once things are growing in it I will find it more charming. 🙂

I will be using some simple fluorescent lights hanging from chain and S-hooks above each shelf. Grow lights are just one cool bulb and one warm bulb – nothing complicated. I will use the timer we use last year so we can change the length of time the bulbs are on easily and not have to worry about turning them on and off each day.

In terms of what I’m planting, I have a lot of space to fill. In addition to the raised beds in front of the shed, I have a large L-shaped section of garden to work with in our RV pad, which is at least 300 SF. I could carve out more space at any time, but I like the manageable size I’ve got for now. The larger plot in the RV pad is perfect for plants that just tend to take over like squashes and tomatoes – they get huge and require a lot of room. That plot also happens to get a lot of sunlight. The raised beds are perfect for more compact things like greens, root veggies, onions, and plants that grow upward on trellises.

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