Microgreen Answers: Materials & Setup

– Hey guys, Amy here with
Bright Agrotech again. And we’re in the Bright Agrotech ZipFarm, where we have been conducting
some microgreen trials. Now if you’ve seen our other
microgreen trial videos, then you can learn about
what we’re finding, about seed density, and planting time, and the different tastes and
appearance of these crops. But in this video we wanted to
answer some of the questions that you left in the
comments for those videos. You guys had a lot of
questions about the materials that we’re using and our setup. So we’re just going to give
you a quick tour of what we do and how everything is set up, our process. (upbeat music) So to start with, we get
our seeds from Johnny Seeds. I know that some people also get them from Baker Creek Heirloom
or Everwilde Farms. It depends, partly on the cost, but you also want to
get high quality seeds because germination rate
is really important. The cost of microgreen seeds vary hugely, anywhere from like, $10.00 a pound to hundreds of dollars a pound. The craziest one that I’ve
seen is marigold seeds, which are really light, so
there is just millions of them in a pound and that was
several hundred dollars. But usually, they’ll be
somewhere between like, $20.00 and $70.00 a pound. Once we have our seeds, we
plant them and we’ve been using this hemp medium mat. Now a lot of people are using
coco coir or soil because it’s cheaper and you can reuse it a lot. We have stuck with the hemp
medium mat just because it’s so much easier to harvest
and we can harvest it with that electric knife you’ve
seen in those videos. It also makes it really easy to water them without a big mess. So we’ve been using
these 10×20 inch trays. Now these ones have the mesh bottoms so that we can water them from below. It’s way easier to irrigate when you can
just put it on a timer and have it run a couple times a day, which is how we’ve set up our
flood tray tables back here. But some people are
using solid bottom trays, it just depends on your set up and how much time you’re
willing to put into it. Another thing to consider
is the height of the tray As you can see, these
ones are pretty deep, like two inches or so and
that means that to harvest, we have to pull the mesh out
of the tray to get close, like within a half inch of that mesh. Some people are using shallower trays, which could be a really good idea. You might not have to take the media out of the tray to harvest. You can just go right over
the top with that knife. So you can see our flood
tray tables behind us and we’ll get close up on
those in just a minute. But one of you guys had a question about the pump we’re using. Now, we’re using this 550 pump, it’s an Active Aqua Submerisble Pump and we just stick it in the sump system, below the trays and it pumps up to the top and then trickles down
to the bottom again. It’s very simple. This one might honestly, be a little bit oversized for this system. The important thing is that
you look at the head height, which is the point from
your water or your pump to the highest point of irrigation, and make sure that your
pump can handle that. So with this one, on
the box it comes with a oh lets see, where is it? There it is. It comes with this table that
shows head height versus GPH. With this system, you’re
only going to be doing a few gallons per hour when you irrigate. The important thing to look
at again, is that head height. And at a head height of probably 5 or 6 feet here, we probably need at least a 400 GPH pump for this brand specifically. But for other people, you might be able to get along with something a
little bit smaller than that. It just depends on your system. So this is our Seedling Cart XL. It’s kind of the commercial version of our seedling cart that
we recently moved to. Let’s start at the bottom
and then move our way up and I’ll show you kinda what’s
going on in this system. So here at the bottom,
we have our sump tank. Really simple. It’s a black tank. There’s a cover on here
that we get to cover it with so nothing falls in there. And we are keeping it shaded so not a ton of algae grows in there. And we just have a simple pump down here. Let’s see. Basically just the same one that I showed you in our box. And that pumps our water up all the way to the top rack here. So as you can see, this is
the 550 Submersible Pump that we just showed you in the box, it’s a little bit dirtier
and slimier, I can feel it. We’ve used poly from the top of this pump to irrigate all the way
up to our top rack here. This other piece of poly here, comes from the lowest flood tray to drain out once the
siphons have done their work and sent water all the
way down the system. So from the pump down to the sump tank, we have water pumping up
into this top flood tray. The water pumps into here, it
fills up to a certain level, and then at the end of the tray, we have two elbows that
are sucking that water through a siphon down
to the next flood tray. And you can kinda see that happening in this lower flood tray here. Same thing happens in that tray. It fills up with water, the elbows on the other
side kick into a siphon, and it siphons water down, tray to tray, until it reaches the very bottom. Now you can kind of see
inside the tray here, that we have different levels going on and that keeps the water
from drowning our seedlings or getting to much on the
greens and causing mold issues. I know some of you guys
had a question about that. If you don’t have a tray
that already has indentations like this built into the tray, you can get PVC or something like that to set those trays up, just
so that they’re just touching the water level when it irrigates. And we have this running
twice a day right now. You can run it more depending on how hot it
is in your growing area. If it’s super dry or you
have a ton of dry air flowing across those,
they might dry out faster. But we’ve found that on an
indoor farm, where we are, twice a day is just fine. So if you want to find out
more about how this is built and how it works, go check
out the assembly video for our Seedling Cart XL. So between planting the
seeds onto our hemp mats and sticking them into
the flood tray system, we need to put them in an environment that’s good for them to germinate. And the reason for that is, I mean, it’s good to do
it with regular seedlings. You can see we have some going on here. But with microgreens,
it’s especially important because you have an open face and those seeds are
just exposed to the air. They don’t have the soil
keeping in moisture and heat. So the propagation chamber basically replicates a soil environment for those microgreens. Down at the bottom of the chamber, you can see we have water
and the heating element, and that keeps it really humid, like 80% or 90% humidity in there. And then it keeps it really warm as well. As soon as the microgreens
break their shell or germinate, we stick them into the flood system. If you guys are interested
in learning more about this propagation chamber, go ahead and check out the videos that we have on our YouTube channel. So you probably noticed, there
aren’t a ton of microgreens growing in the system right now. We’re on a bit of a hiatus from our trials but we’re gonna be back in a couple weeks with more videos, so stay tuned for that. If you’re interested
in any of the materials we’ve been using: the hemp mats,
the pump, the system, etc., go ahead and check out
shop.brightagrotechs.com where we have a lot of those listed. As always, you guys have
great comments and questions and ideas, so please share
them in the comments below, we would love to hear them. (upbeat music)

46 thoughts on “Microgreen Answers: Materials & Setup

  1. I am enjoying this series. Having multiple inputs from which to make determinations allows for better solutions for everyone involved. By using your results, compared with that of others and my own, gives me greater knowledge to base decisions on.

    Of course, seeing the equipment and procedures helps as well. I will be making some changes to my SoP based upon what you, and others, have demonstrated as productive.

    I look forward to the continuation of this series, as the data compiled is valuable to everyone that chooses to listen. 🙂

  2. I just discovered this video and I'm curious how you handle the introduction of nutrients into the system?

  3. Do u ever have mold and fungus gnat problems? How do u handle it? Do u ever use aquaponics with this microgreen system? Why or why not? Are your microgreens considered organic? 😊

  4. Have you all tried using high-quality soil such as promix instead of the hemp media? Although you mention it's easier to harvest if grown in hemp media, does the yield difference similarly justify the hemp media over quality soil?

  5. are those just regular t5 lights? have you tried any other specific light spectrums to simulate or manipulate any particular growth that would be more beneficial to the plants?

  6. Amazing video! Truly!!! Best yet!!!! Where'd you get that rack? What are the dimensions? Brand/model?

  7. Would be very nice to see the process where you spread the seeds to the growing media, and a shot of how much of the micro green media is soaked when water is flooding the trays 🙂

  8. Nice video. I like the shelving set up you've got. I hope to see more microgreens videos in the future. I'm subscribed.

  9. I'm getting some organic scum and film from my indoor reservoir, what is your suggestion on cleaning the system?

  10. Hello, i have heard that some varieties grow back after harvesting, can you tell me which ones they are?
    Thank you

  11. Hi there, nice videos! Just wanted to ask could you explain how did you do the "elbow siphons", are they automatic? Greetings, Stanley

  12. Hi ,First the Besst tutorial video I have seen,The Best.,I read many comments and questions, wow must be tough to answer duh simple questions,I would be taking lots of headache pills,anyhow Best —please keep up.God bless ,Namaste .

  13. Johnny seeds where sold to Monsanto-more gmo seeds, and gmo causes holes in your intestines, very bad for health. I would never buy them

  14. When harvesting, make a board that is as long as the tray, standing straight up with two heavy duty clips at the top. Place the unharvested mat straight up/down into the two clips at the top of the flat back board. Then without having to hold the mat. Run the electric knife straight down the board. Saving much product and wasting hardly any of it…

  15. Definitely use a heavy block to weight down trays. Makes a huge difference. Wouldn't imagine it, but my crop with weight is better.

  16. Are those seeds from Johnny seeds if so be careful they purchase seeds from Monsanto which seeds are gmo I like the video though

  17. Not sure if you've updated where you get your seeds from but Johnny's Seeds have been bought by a company that is owned by Monsanto. I recommend True Leaf Seeds

  18. Good video interesting seeing different folks setups. Not sure about your seeds though. Curtis Stone mentioned Jonnies seeds and said they were crazy over priced.

  19. Dude does anyone not realize there is algae growing in her water tank that is irrigating her microgreens. How is this ok?!

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