Microgreens Farm: Ideal Environmental Conditions
The environment of your microgreens grow room is probably the most important factor for growing high quality greens. Without controlling the three components I'm about to talk about, chances are you'll probably run into problems and you might even get mold. By the end of this post, you will know the ideal environmental conditions for your microgreens farm.
After growing microgreens commercially for almost four years now and setting up three different microgreens farm spaces, I've learned what works and what doesn't work. In this post, I'm going to share with you what I've learned through this experience, as well as what I've noticed when certain environmental factors have changed in my farm spaces. I'm sure you want to know what the ideal environmental conditions are for your microgreens farm, so let's get to it!
The first factor is temperature.
The temperature of your grow room is going to affect a few different things, including how quick your plants grow. Higher temperatures will make your plants grow faster and lower temperatures will make your plants grow slower. You want your crop cycles to stay consistent, so you also want your temperature to stay consistent as well. This will cause your microgreens will be ready for harvest on the exact day that you expect them to be ready.
Temperature will also affect how fast evaporation happens. Higher temperatures will cause water to evaporate faster which is ideal for preventing moisture from being trapped within your microgreens canopy. On the other hand, cooler temperatures will increase the chance of condensation. This is the same reason why dew forms on grass in the morning, at the coolest time of day, and then evaporates as the day goes on and the temperature rises.
Based on these factors, it may seem that you always want a higher temperature in order to increase the rate of evaporation off your plants and cause them to grow faster... But this isn't necessarily the case! Too high of a temperature will increase your chance of mold growth, so you'll have to find a happy medium.
I try to keep my grow room right around 73 degrees Fahrenheit. My plants grow plenty fast at this temperature and it's high enough where the water can evaporate quickly, but not too high where I get mold. It's also not low enough where it causes condensation or slows down my plant growth.
Now, this may sound surprising to you, but I actually keep the temperature in my germination room COLDER than my main grow room. Typically, a higher temperature is favored for plant germination, but in the case of microgreens, I have found that it’s quite the opposite. There are so many seeds and plants within a small area, and so much activity going on throughout the germination process that a considerable amount of waste heat comes off of the plants and gets trapped between the trays. This heat keeps the plants much warmer than the ambient environment, so I try to keep my germination room right around 70F because I know that in between the trays, the plants are actually much warmer.
The second environmental factor is humidity.
Microgreens cause a lot of excess moisture to be in the air, so this is a factor that must be controlled. If your grow room is extremely dry, your growing medium to dry out more rapidly, and the plants will become dehydrated and fall over. This will require you to water your plants multiple times per day, which isn't ideal and is quite inefficient. Too high of a humidity and your growing medium will hold too much water, increasing your chance of overwatering your microgreens trays. Additionally, a higher humidity in your grow room will reduce the ability for evaporation off of your plants, causing them to remain wet. If your microgreens are too wet while they grow, they're will start to rot, becoming mushy and nasty. If your microgreens are too wet when harvesting, they will be a lower quality product with a shorter shelf life. I try to keep the humidity in my grow room right around 50% by using a dehumidifier.
The last environmental factor is airflow.
Like I talked about in my mold videos, airflow is critically important. It keeps the air and everything in the air moving through your grow space so nothing like mold can settle and multiply. Airflow prevents the air from around and within your microgreens tray from becoming stagnant. This helps the plants get rid of excess moisture and prevents them from being in an environment that's conducive to disease. The plants don't need fans blowing on them at full blast… Just make sure to keep the air moving through your farm space and you'll be just fine!
Now you know the ideal environmental conditions for your microgreens grow space. But what if you have specific questions or pictures that you want to share? I created a Facebook Group so I can assist you as you grow and answer any questions you might have.
Link to this video: https://youtu.be/_DMaTmZ2l9M