Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Next winter you'll most likely want to grow microgreens outdoors(kidding). Or you might already know how to grow but need a little help (or you just don't want to admit why your microgreens died); either way we will be giving you some rules to follow, while you walk on the road towards success.
Equipment & System Needs
The Heating System hoophouse is passive solar heated, which works fine for starting plants in earliest spring, but for growing a consistent crop of microgreens during cold and low solar months of winter, it needs to be supplemented. After research that was done, it was determined that heat mats were the most efficient direct heat option. There are several options to heat the water, electric, gas but also solar and bio gas.
Water is essential for microgreens need to be constantly kept at ideal moisture levels so water must be accessible in the growing area. Watering equipment for our system remained pretty simple: long hoses that run the length of the tables with long neck spray nozzles that release a gentle shower. These happened to be the most flexible performers and provided good coverage.
Ventilation by large fans is essential to prevent fungus in winter and keep microgreens cool in summer. They act to keep the growing area at even temperature and moisture levels, which the farmer can manage. They are essential to the success of the growing operation.
Working towards developing a system for your clients based on climate, farm setup and prospective buyers
To keep track of all the crop varieties in trials, you should develop a simple log to track all the pertinent information for each trial. Document the date of the seeding, the media used, tray size if used, quantity of trays, whether you applied heat or not, quantity of seed used per unit, harvest yield and harvest date. With solid note-taking, you will be better able to track the successes and failures and troubleshoot to minimize the latter, so we recommend this as a practice. Documentation was important not only in trialing seeds, media, and growing conditions, but during later steady commercial production as well. Keeping good notes, not just numbers on all the variables, was key to seeing what types of systems worked best in our setup.
You'll have to decide what you want to use for soil. Whether it'd be Coir or potting soil. Yo'll have to decide which is best for you and figure out the ratio that best suits your growing needs. Be sure to always experiment in this stage. Mark from Vertical veg says, "using old compost will help because of the nitrogen that aids leafy vegetables."
You can experiment with microgreens to find the stage you like best – either when the first pair of leaves appear, or later, when a few leaves have grown. One exception is sunflower shoots. These need to be eaten before their second pair of leaves appear, as these are bitter. The easiest way to harvest most microgreens is with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors. Some microgreens – like pea shoots – may regrow, particularly if you chop them just above the lowest leaf.
This blog post touches on basic guidelines to follow while you grow microgreens. There are many specifics that need to be followed on your journey. We hope you try to impress your peers with some the information you just read. Thanks for reading.
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