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How to operate a NFT microgreens system

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

NFT microgreens system

The best way to operate an NFT microgreens system is to be position on the floor and make sure you can walk along the channels planting and harvesting close to the floor with your upper body curved forward. This will help keep the output per man-hour low. This approach has been the best over the last 15 yrs of working with NFT.

Nutrient film technique (commonly known as NFT) is a method of growing in which the microgreens have their roots in a depth-less stream of recirculating nutrient enriched water, in which are dissolved all the ingredients required. There is no solid rooting medium. A root mat is not fully in the depth-less stream of recirculating water and partly over it. The stream is very shallow and the upper surface of the root mat which develops above the water, it is slightly damp, is in the air. Around the roots which are in the air, there is a film of nutrients - hence the name nutrient film technique.

universal indicator pH color chart

Measurement of pH:

The easiest method of measuring pH is to use pH test strips which changes color according to pH of the nutrient water which it is dipped. The color of the damp strip is then compared with a pH color chart. When using this method to measure the pH of nutrient water, it's not the most sufficiently accurate way for the purpose.

bluelab pH pen

The best method is to use a Bluelab pH pen, It's a small, battery operated device with a probe that is placed in a reservoir of nutrient water. An acidic solution has more positively charge hydrogen ions in it than an base one, its like a battery that can produce a higher voltage. A pH meter takes advantage of this and works just like a voltmeter, it measures the voltage produced by the nutrient water.

safer gro pH down

Adjustment of pH:

The pH of the nutrient water for most microgreen crops should not rise over 6.5 or drop under 5.8. If the pH of the nutrient water being fine tuned manually, it should be measured twice daily. If your local water source is acidic, the pH will drop (usually this is not the case, most local water comes out neutral); if it is base the pH will rise. If the pH rises, pH down should be added to the nutrient water to lower the pH to 5.8, whenever the pH value has risen to 6.5 or higher.