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black out seeds

Black out seeds

The plastic lid or tray also assists in maintaining even pressure over the seeds and tray when the weight is added to the top of the tray.

You must have come across the term blackout period while reading articles about growing microgreens. Perhaps you have read the term in seed catalogs or product listings in online stores.

Generally, you should check the seeds after forty-eight hours to observe how well they have germinated, and to gauge their stage of growth.

There isn’t one correct answer to this. The microgreen blackout period can last as long as it is required for the seeds to germinate, root deeply, and mature to the point that they’re ready to commence photosynthesis. The variables you need to consider include:

The Length of the Blackout Period

Typically, the seedlings should be pushing the top off the tray. Don’t be concerned if the microgreens appear yellowish or white because they will green up as soon as they are under the lights.

The microgreen blackout period is a phase in which trays of microgreens are either loaded or enclosed to prohibit light from reaching the seeds.

When it comes to blackout materials, there are a lot of options available for you.

What Purpose Does the Blackout Period Serve?

You can make use of the lid that came with the planting tray as the foundation. What this does is that is assists in keeping all of the seeds in contact with the planting medium.

The weight also ensures that the planting surface is compacted during and after germination; this process reduces loose soil during the harvest.

Grow these to completion over 10 days then harvest and weigh the results.

How Much Weight Do You Put On Microgreens

Many microgreens don’t naturally like to grow tall in the first 7-10 days before harvest. The blackout period forces them to do this.

The Radish Experiment

Not all microgreens need weight. Many work great just with the tray to induce a blackout and keep in the humidity.

Black out seeds

Why do you think that that’s such a prevalent problem saying that people are always told to do that blackout? Where did that idea come from? I have no idea; my best guess using domes would be best for people trying to create additional mass; they would use a blackout dome to lengthen the stems. The lack of light causes the stems to stretch toward the light. When there’s no light present, they’ll continue to grow and grow, and then they can cut at the very bottom, you know, with these long stems and little leaves on top, and they would be able to get more money because they’re selling by mass rather than volume.

I worry, if you’re trying to germinate seeds in a blackout dome, you know there’s no light, and there’s no air movement, and that moisture is just sitting there not going anywhere, so you run the risk of mold or fungus issues that you wouldn’t encounter otherwise.

Nick & Nathan from On the Acre in Houston, TX discuss the topic.

What are the Drawbacks to Using Blackout Domes?

Using blackout domes would use extra space. Our domes take up more space than when we stack the trays. We do two-three times as many in the same space without domes, so if we use that regularly, we would need so much more room to do what we’re doing, and for us, space is a premium. I talked to one of our students a couple of weeks ago, and they’re asking how to grow a new variety. They said that they needed like 25 trays a week or something, and they were planning on using blackout domes, and I was like do you know how much space that’s going to take? I advised them to use a stacking system because arranging 25 trays a week under blackout domes will use a lot of space.

We do not use blackout domes unless we have selected that product to grow in blackout specifically. It’s not a regular part of our germinating or planting process. When they’re stacked, the trays are mostly blacked out, and beyond that, we haven’t found it necessary or beneficial to use that method.

When to Use Blackout Domes?

Just as an option and the products you get when you use a blackout dome, it’s noticeably different like Nathan said, the stems are longer; they have a different color; they have a different taste. We do peas, corn, and sunflower currently in blackout domes.

We have been experimenting with other stuff, but amaranth is next. It gives us another option, and we like to present our chefs with options. It’s just another product that we can offer from something that we’re already growing in non-black out domes. But the point here is, we’re growing it in its entirety in a blackout dome. We’re not growing it for just the germination period, then moving into the light. We are creating completely different products with the use of blackout domes.