One of the most important factors while growing microgreens is the light you use. To become a successful indoor grower on a larger scale, you need to be well-aware regarding this factor.
Research has depicted that the flavor and nutrient-density of microgreens can be influenced by the light spectrum. Consuming microgreens holds enormous benefits for both you and the environment around you. Growing them is a skill everyone should hone into.
But first, let us delve into when you are supposed to expose the microgreens to light. It is recommended to cover the seeds initially to allow for moisture retention. Germination is the phase that takes place during the dark. When considering varieties that are faster, this phase will merely be a couple of days. Other herbs might require a longer period.
Much like humans, plants need their rest as well. The ideal way of providing light to your microgreens is by simulating day and night. As long as daylight remains, expose your seeds to light. You can use an electric timer to facilitate this. On estimate, this usually entails twelve hours of light daily during summertime. Wintertime might require shorter.
Let us understand the requirements in scientific terms before deciding on the best light. When considering LED lights, the following are some things to be mindful about:
Lumens gauge how bright a light will seem to the human eye, not how well a LED light will grow plants. Total wattage can be used to determine the strength or intensity of the light – the higher the wattage, the more intense the light.
Color temperature, also referred to as Kelvins, is important to understand as well. Most fluorescent tube lights possess a correlated color temperature (CCT) as they have been studied to be most appropriate for office and retail environments. Similarly, LED tube lights are also obtainable in a wide range of color temperatures. Since we want to stimulate daylight as much as possible, and daylight is 6500K, our ideal choice should be 6500K color temperature.
Nm are wavelengths which plants need in the visible region from 400 – 700nm. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) describes the strength of visible spectral radiation, which plants consume in the process of photosynthesis.
LED tubes possess many advantages over fluorescents. The following are a few basic ones:
- Energy savings (up to 30-50%) – higher efficiency
- Lengthier lifetimes
- No mercury
Plants utilize more red and blue light for photosynthesis than they do green, and their absorption spectrum can effectually be reached by operating the right grouping of LEDs.
While red light is adequate for plant growth, blue light is vital for improved leaf thickness and quantity of chloroplasts. In the production of microgreens, it is suggested to use more blue than red color because it promotes density. There is no marked difference between using LED lights and normal lights, except that LED lights have a longer life and are hence more sustainable.
If you have the choice to grow microgreens outside, especially under the sun, this would be the cheapest and greatest light source for your microgreens. But since that is not always possible, knowing the best kind of artificial lighting equips you with a constant and predictable source of lighting.
Being mindful about how far the light source needs to be from the seeds is also crucial. Installing lights 22cm above the top of the containers where microgreens are sown is most suitable. This distance is suitable for all varieties.
The width is an important consideration as well, and the most effective width to use if 120cm long and 50 cm wide. Using LED lights, T8, or T5 size is the top way to go if you want to grow the best microgreens.
Now that you are armed with this unsurpassable knowledge put it to use and reap the benefits of a healthy environment, body and mind.