Automatic Microgreen Seed Soaking!!!
You don't have to wait until 8:00 PM at night to soak your microgreen seeds anymore. You can actually submerge your seeds in water at any time of day without having to be there or do anything.
In this blog, you are going to learn exactly how I figured out how you can put your seed soaking on an automatic schedule and enjoy never having to think about this task again.
When I was first learning how to grow microgreens and first starting my business years ago, I had one delivery day. I was growing a few different crops and two or three of them required soaking. This was fine because, at the time, I only had to do it one or two nights per week. Back then, I was soaking them starting at 8:00 PM because I wanted to get their ideal soaking periods. In order to achieve a soaking period of between eight and twelve hours, the earliest soak time would be 8:00 PM.
Over time as my business grew, it turned into a seven day a week chore. I would have to go into the farm every night at 8:00 PM and take care of this responsibility. Now, it is a very easy task. Let's be honest, you are pouring water into a bucket so the seeds are submerged. But it is not really the task that was the burden, it was the fact that I had to go into that farm every night at 8:00 PM. I couldn't finish my day at a typical hour like most people because I had to wait until 8:00 PM to finish. Even when I was doing things, like a family bbq, I would have to leave, soak the seeds, and then go back to the party.
It really wasn't the task itself that was weighing on me, it was really like the mental capacity the mental load of knowing I have that responsibility and always getting it done every day.
I really wanted to figure out how to avoid having to going to the farm every night at 8:00 PM. Especially as an entrepreneur, that's the last thing you need is another thing on your plate. It was another responsibility to be thinking of; you're already thinking of so many things when you're starting your business and running your business.
I didn't actually go searching for a solution. Funny enough. I was in the Apple store in the mall (a place that I hate to go to) and they had my computer in the back. They always have a wall of cool gadgets. I'm looking at this wall and I see this one package that had this little square controller on it. And I was like, 'Oh my gosh, no freaking way. I can totally use this in my farm to solve this exact problem that I'm talking about.
This device is is it's an automated watering controller that you hook it up to your hose. It's made for outdoor irrigation, like if you had a drip line or or some sort of hose that you only wanted to turn on every now and then, or for X amount of minutes per day. It was really for a home garden but as I'm looking at this device and I'm thinking “I know how to make that work for me”. I can use it so I can automatically soak my seeds and never have to go into the farm at 8:00 PM again.
I leave the Apple store so happy. I'm practically skipping through the parking lot. When I get home, I'm opening up the package and I see exactly what it is. It was amazing. It did exactly what I expected.
There's an app that you connect to it and then you can create a schedule. It will go off automatically based on the schedule you create.. And that's exactly what I wanted and needed.
So I call up my, my handyman and I get him into the farm. We run a line over from where my spigot is for watering in the germination room, down beneath the sink, up and around so the water will fall down into the buckets. Now, that it is in the right position, we attach the device and its perfect, but I have three buckets that need water but there's only one water spout on this device.
I took a trip to Home Depot and I bought a hose spigot splitter, which turns one into four spigots. Technically, I only needed three, but it was the only option they had. On this splitter, there are individual nozzles on each of these little spigots, so you can turn them on and off individually. Since I only need three, I just keep one spigot off permanently, so water never flows out.
When I first did this, I bought hoses that I cut that could direct the water down into the bucket, rather than spraying out everywhere. When you soak seeds, especially smaller seeds like wheat grass, when you fill that bucket with water, you want the seeds to move around to remove any pockets of air. Seeds can get trapped in these air bubbles and won’t germinate. The problem I was facing at this point was the hoses were not providing enough turbulence in the water to move the seeds, and prevent air bubbles.
So, I went back to Home Depot. I found these cheap shower heads that cost no more than two dollars, and I attached that on to all three of the spigots pointing them in the right direction towards the buckets.
And it worked, it worked right away. They shot the water down into the buckets and it got the job done exactly how I needed. So rather than the water flowing into the bucket, it rained into the bucket causing enough movement in the water to prevent the seeds from getting trapped in the air pockets.
So it was amazing. I got it done. The system was set up. The device was in place. Now that the hardware kinks were worked out, I needed to set up the technology. I went into the software of it the app on my phone and I set up the schedule based on my needs for what I'm soaking for each day. I no longer have to go in at nighttime anymore at all.
Now I'm able to end my days as early as 10:00 AM (on a good day). All I have to do is set up the seeds and then the water will go off the next morning automatically. There are no more responsibilities for the end of the day and the best part, aside from automation, was the reduction in the mental load. Not having the responsibility that needs to be fulfilled every single night at 8:00 PM. This responsibility was now off my plate.
Business is a bunch of systems that you put in place, and oftentimes, businesses need a bunch of different systems to work efficiently. What I find happens over time is as systems improve, there's a direct impact for your business. Maybe it is financially or your schedule throughout the day, but as an entrepreneur and a person running a business, you have the mental load and the responsibility of the business on you. It's a weight on your shoulders, quite literally. And when you make changes like this you can feel this like relief in your lifestyle.
The way that you live your life on a daily basis comes with emotions and when you change something big in your business, it makes a change where it'll modify your lifestyle. You can feel the macro effect of what happened. This, by far, was the biggest thing that I've done in my business to create that effect.
This contraption is amazing, and I'm just I want you to feel this exact feeling for your business.
So I'm happy to show you right now how to set this thing up and get it going for yourself.
The first thing that you're going to do is make sure that there's water in your area. Like I mentioned before, that was running a water line with a plumber so it was in the correct space.
I put all my soaking buckets inside of a large sink that is hooked up to drainage. I do this just in case something goes wrong or something overflows. You definitely don't want any overflow to go onto the floor. That could be a disaster, especially depending on your farm situation and where you're growing out of. Funny enough, one time we had a slight malfunction and I when got to the farm in the morning, my water was still on and the buckets were all overflowing into the sink. Luckily, it was going down the drain and not all over my farm.
Technology is technology, it can malfunction. I highly recommend you soak seeds in a sink.
The sink that I use has played an intricate role throughout my business, even in in my prior farm. I was using it as my main sink to wash things, wash buckets. When I moved into my next farm it became the seed soaking sink.
This sink is a utility sink, so it is actually really low to the ground. I do recommend rising it up, otherwise you are going to be breaking your back. I use just bed risers. They're technically made to go under the four legs of your bed to bring it up a little bit if you want more storage space underneath. You can find those anywhere Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond. I actually use those for all my harvesting tables as well, to get them a little bit up off the ground.
After your plumbing is all set up, you are going to need the device. The device that I'm using it's by Eve Home, the exact device that I'm using is their device called the Eve Aqua. I purchased mine at Apple and it was a $100. The best price I found was on Amazon.
The only other hardware you're going to need is the spigot splitter and shower head pieces. I got all that stuff at Home Depot.
After all the hardware is set up, it is time to set up the software. First, you are going to download the app. It's called Eve for Home Kit. Once you have that installed, you're going to open it up and then set up your automated watering schedule. You're going to set up a room. Once the room is established, you are going to click the gear icon, turn schedule ON, and set up your specific schedule related to your own soaking needs.
Now, let me explain how I'm setting up my schedule. My sunflowers only soak for four hours. Whereas my wheat grass, my barley grass, my peas are soaked for longer. I typically soak them for about eight to twelve hours and I always get into my farm at 9:00 AM. So 9:00 AM is the standing unsoak time. Unsure if unsoak is a word, but I use it all the time, so bear with me if it's not.
So if 9:00 AM is my unsoak time and I need to soak sunflowers on this day, I'm going to start my soak at 5:00 AM. So that way, when I get in at 9:00 AM, it has been a four hour soak and they’re ready to be drained. Now, if it's sunflower and another variety that needs a longer soak time like the peas, the wheat grass, the barley grass I do the same soak schedule. I still start at 5:00 AM, and when I get it at 9:00 AM, I can unsoak the ONLY the sunflower. For the other varieties that need a longer soak time, I’ll wait the remaining hours they need, ensuring they fully take in the water and get a thorough germination.
If I am soaking other varieties that need the longer soak but no sunflower, I have it programmed to start a little after midnight. I can get a nine hour soak, as 9:00 AM is my start time at the farm.
Creating this schedule is based on your own needs when you're soaking, what varieties, on what days. So set up your seed soaking schedule to what your needs are right on the app
So now you know how to set up an automated seed soaking system for your microgreens business. Awesome.
But it's not the only system that people are creating. I actually see a lot of amazing systems created online, different things like automated watering. People are posting all these things in the Microgreens Support Group, which I created on Facebook. It's a place for microgreens farmers or aspiring microgreens farmers to come in, learn information, and help each other out. People will often post pictures and brag about about their success, which is exactly what I want to see! It’s getting the recognition for hard work while helping the community at large. I highly recommend you join the Microgreens Support Group on Facebook. It's actually known as the most positive and helpful microgreens group on the internet. So definitely join in there and be a part of the community.
If you want to learn more about my daily morning chores routine or about the supplies and equipment that you need to start and run your microgreens business, check out the blog posts, or check out my YouTube channel.
Thanks again and I'll see you next time.