October 12, 2016
Opus Grow Real® Light Box: Getting Started
Your Opus Grow Real® Light Box just showed up on your doorstep - now what? There are several steps and 4 to 8 weeks that separate you from your homegrown delicious tender green veggies or herbs.
SOWINGPlace the seeds in the pre-moistened soil. For larger seeds: plant them half an inch apart from one another. Use the back of a pencil to make holes ¼ inch deep and drop 1 or 2 seeds in each hole. For smaller seeds: make parallel rows and drop the seeds in a line. For both seed sizes: pat the soil gently over the seeds. Do not pack the soil tightly; you need to make sure the soil is light and crumbly, so the tender shoots can find their way out into open air.
Once planted, your seeds need warmth and moisture to germinate, so place a piece of a translucent plastic wrap or a glass lid over the edge of your planter box. If using a plastic sheet, you can secure it with a large rubber band or a string - effectively creating a miniature greenhouse. Monitor it closely to make sure the soil doesn’t dry up. When you see green starts popping their heads above the soil (within 3 to 7 days), remove the cover and make sure the newly-born seedlings get 15 hours of light every day and the right amount of water, never too much of it.
Use a spray mister or a tiny watering can to keep the soil moist, but definitely not wet (mist once or twice a day, depending on the humidity in your house). Make sure that you don’t overwater your young plants. Allow for the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Ideally you should have some air movement around your planter box to ensure that no molds are forming on the surface of the soil. A little fan, or even a hair dryer (on low) would work well.
Make sure that you keep the grow lights on for no longer than 15 hours a day. Similarly to us, plants need rest, and that’s best done in the dark.
Your microgreens will be ready to harvest about 2 to 3 weeks after planting. Once you see the first set of true "true leaves" your microgreens are ready to be harvested. Take a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut the greens just above the soil line.
Microgreens are best served right after they have been harvested. Not only they look their best, but also provide you with the most robust bouquet of flavors and vitamins. Just wash them with tap water and dry them with a paper towel - voilà! They make the most wonderful addition to your favorite salads, sandwiches, soups, or main dishes.
If you absolutely have to, you can store the remaining cut microgreens in a protective, but breathable container in your fridge. Try not to keep them there for longer than 24 hours.