Indoor Ag Science Café in May started out with a presentation by Dr. Roberto Lopez on environmental factors affecting human-health promoting nutrients and growth of microgreens. This is an area of studies in which we expect to develop in the next few years, taking advantage of full capacities of controlled environment without being affected outdoor weather conditions. It was a great review of microgreens production practices and possibility of environmentally improving the plant morphology, and enhancing the growth, and nutritional quality of microgreens. Roberto’s recent study shows that 1) plants can be taller (easier to cut) under lower light, 2) yield of microgreens only moderately increases under higher light, 3) leaf area decrease under higher light, 4) carotenoids and mineral nutrients decrease under higher light, 5) anthocyanins (purple pigment) increase, intensifying color under higher light. All together Roberto recommends using relatively low light (6-8 mols per square meter per day) for growing microgreens and then finish up with higher light to intensify the color. These levels of light can be achieved at an intensity of 100-140 micromole per square meter per second over plants for 16 hours lighting per day. The Café presentations are available on their YouTube channel
For more info, contact Chieri Kubota at the Ohio State University to be a Café member and participate.