RECOMMENDEDcrop list BRIGHT © Bright Agrotech 2015 www.brightagrotech.com TABLE OF CONTENTS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE................................................3 HARVESTING AND PRUNING................................................4 GLOSSARY.................................................................................5 CROP LIST..................................................................................6 APPENDIX A: CROPS SETS...................................................27 APPENDIX B: GROWTH RATES............................................28 APPENDIX C: PH....................................................................29 2 Back to Top THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE Welcome to the world of vertical farming! You’re now farming with techniques that have differ- ent limits and opportunities than typical soil farming. Crops perform differently than they did in old techniques - and often for the better. Understanding how different crops perform in vertical agriculture techniques can help you grow produce that is more robust and productive than ever before. This guide is written to help you use the needs and preferences of different crops to grow better. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CROPS ENVIRONMENTAL NEEDS One of the exciting and unique characteristics of greenhouse or indoor growing is that you, as the greenhouse manager, have control over the environment. This means that you get to choose from a wide variety of crops. If you’re growing crops that come from different environmental needs, you’ll need to pay close attention to the needs and limits of each crop. As you pick out crops for your operation, be sure to choose a set of crops that can all grow in similar conditions. If you wish to grow both mint and tomatoes, for example, you might run into problems. You can often work your way around incompatibilities by keeping crops in different parts of your green- house; keeping that mint close to the cool air coming in from your fan would be wise. Differences in water needs can be solved by adjusting the water pressure to certain units - we often recommend plumbing your system with valves on each section. This way you can turn on section on for less time than sections containing crops with higher water needs. REPRODUCTIVE CYCLES The reproductive stage of a plants life cycle is primarily controlled by age and environmental cues like heat and light. For most greens and herbs, flowering and fruit production is a bad thing. If you choose to grow greens and herbs, you’ll want to harvest or prune before that time comes. As the plant shifts the focus of its energy to reproductive growth, vegetative growth slows down, and the leaves be- come more bitter and more tough. You should also take measures to prevent reproductive growth if possible. Keep the temperature within the ideal temperature range for that crop, and watch the duration and amount of light you are delivering. For other crops such as strawberries, cucumbers, squash, melons, etc., reproductive growth is good. Encourage reproductive growth by keeping temperatures and day length in the ideal range. Pollination can be an issue for indoor fruiting crops. If you lack pollinators, you may be able to find varieties that don’t need pollination. Otherwise, you should prepare to hand-polli- nate your crops. This can be done with a paintbrush or Q-tip. 3 Back to Top Harvest and prune carefully to maximize the next production cycle of the plant. When you harvest these types of crops. mustard. and increasing production and resulting in a more full plant. chives. chard. branches grow upward with leaves growing off to the side. such as kale. On most of these plants. If you cut the apical stem strategically. there is a pair of lateral buds on the stem which do not grow into branches unless the main (apical) stem is cut. For mint and chives. On woody plants like basil. means that harvesting methods will vary. trim the growth down completely to one inch from the face of the tower. HARVESTING AND PRUNING Having such a wide variety of crops at your disposal. in conjunction with having unique growing techniques. Other crops. and some herbs can be harvested multiple times. leave about two thirds of the greens to allow the plant to perform photosynthesis while it grows to harvesting size again. replacing the one main branch with two branches. Some crops (usually lettuces and cabbages) are only harvested once before being torn out and replanted. you can trigger growth from the lateral buds. 4 Back to Top . (Having a bushy and full tower increases it’s aesthetic appeal and makes produce better for display and sale. Check out this video for information on harvesting equipment and this video for more on how to harvest different crops. As you can see from the elongated stem and the leaves which are starting to turn inward. Bolting: a shift from vegetative to reproductive growth. Lateral buds: the set of undeveloped buds situated on the side of the stem of a plant which grow if the apical branch is badly damaged or removed. 5 Back to Top . this lettuce plant is beginning to bolt and will soon become bitter. usually results in the “main” branch of the plant. Turn: the time it takes for a plant to grow from transplant to harvest-able crops. including mustard. usually resulting in a tall inedible flower stalk and a bitter taste. Cole crops: crops belonging to the mustard family. broccoli. among others. cabbage. IPM: (Integrated Pest Management) a pest management strategy which utilizes multiple types of control and precise timing to control pest populations for the best economic outcome in the long term. kale. GLOSSARY Apical growth: growth which grows upward from the apical bud of the plant. and kohlrabi. 50-5.00 per pound. who can rest assured knowing that it will only take four to six weeks (a typical turn for greens) to return to full production. greens can be a benefit to farmers be- cause they satisfy a consistent need in most communities. fetching $3. Greens can also be a liability-reducer for farmers. GREENS Greens are typically lower-value crops compared to herbs. Though they bring in less per pound than most herbs. 6 Back to Top . 7 Back to Top ./ tower/ 6-week turn • pH range: 6. SWISS CHARD • Seed to germination: 5-7 days • Seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5-6 weeks • Yield: 5. About Chard Chard produces large leaves with a rich flavor similar to spinach. rainbow chard is especially popu- lar for live sales displays. possible pests include aphids and leaf miners.6-7. so chard from live sales is typically received well. The difference between the dark green of the leaf and the light or rainbow colors of the stem and veins makes chard an aesthetically pleasing crop.5 lbs. Chard is biannual. chard can be difficult to find in stores.0 • EC/PPM:-/1260-1610 • Light: Moderate-high light • Height: 12-32” • Harvest: Gradual Pests and diseases are minimal. Since it is hard to ship after harvest. so it will not bolt for the first year. and diseases include leaf spot and powdery mildew. ruffled leaves which have a flavor similar to radishes. If harvested properly. per tower 5-week turn • pH range: 6. mustard greens are capable of multiple harvests.18 hrs ideally but tolerant of 8-10 hrs • Height: 6”-24” • Harvest: Gradual Pests include aphids.1 lbs. slugs. MUSTARD GREENS • Seed to germination: 4-7 days • Seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 4-6 weeks • Yield: 3. About Mustard Greens Mustard greens produce large. while diseases in- clude white rust. it typi- cally grows better in cool climates.4/840-1680 • Light: 12. 8 Back to Top .0-7. mustard greens are susceptible to several diseases and require monitoring. flea beetle.2-2. It is used in salads or can be enjoyed on its own. and bacterial leaf spot. Since mustard is less tolerant of heat.5 • EC/PPM: 1. and snails. powdery mildew. While many cole crops are resistant to diseases. flea beetles. Kale is a favorite here at Bright Agrotech and is very popular among our CSA members.18 hrs ideally but tolerant of 8-10 hrs • Height: 18”-36” • Harvest: Gradual Pests include. Diseases include clubroot. black leg. soups. who use the nutrient-packed green in smoothies. aphids. kale grows quickly.5 • EC/PPM: 2. About Kale An excellent choice for the beginning grower. slugs.” 9 Back to Top . cabbage loopers. and alternaria. salads. KALE • Seed to germination: 4-7 days • Seed to transplant: 4-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5-6 weeks • Yield: 4 lbs/ tower/ 6 week turn • pH range: 6. cabbageworms. and snails. black rot.0-7. is hearty and tolerant to cold conditions and frosts. and even dried as “kale chips. and does not bolt easily.5-3.0/ 1750-2100 • Light: 12. Some growers even claim that frost improves the flavor. 0-6. About Arugula This frost tolerant plant is often used in salads to add a spicy. ARUGULA • Seed to germination: 5-7 days • Seed to transplant:3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 6-7 weeks • Yield: 2-3 lbs. After flowering the flavor becomes intense and sometimes bitter. and the flowers it produces are edible. 10 Back to Top .8 • Light: 12. This green is a favorite with chefs as tasty addition to salads. Disease problems rarely occur.18 hrs ideally but tolerant of 8-10 hrs • Height: 12”-24” • Harvest: Gradual Pest problems include aphids./ tower/ 5-week turn • pH range: 6. Bolting becomes common during long periods of heat. Arugula must be kept in a cool growing environment. flea beetles. bitter flavor. 8 increases risk of disease. Cabbage prefers cool conditions. aphids. While it can take 8-12 weeks to be ready for harvest. About Cabbage Cabbage grows robustly. CABBAGE • Height: 10-12”Harvest: • Yield: 4 heads. and flea beetles. Stress like heat or drought can cause heads to crack prematurely. 2-8 lbs.5-6. Plant cabbage seedlings 12”-24” apart to leave room for the development of the head. and yellows. it is time to harvest immediately. clubroot. especially in ZipGrow towers. one tower can produce 25-35 lbs. Har- vest when the head of cabbage feels firm and developed.0/ 1750-2100 Pests include cabbage loopers.6 • EC/PPM: 2. Once a head cracks. in a single harvest.5-3. slugs. Diseases include black leg. each / 5 ‘tower/ 5 weeks • Harvest: One-time • pH range: 6. black rot. pH outside of 6. 11 Back to Top .2-6. 18 hrs ideally but tolerant of 8-10 hrs • Height: 12”-24” • Harvest: One-time Pests most commonly include aphids and powdery mildew.3 lbs.5 and prefers constant watering.2 • Light: 12. It is tolerant of both heat and cold. although warm temperatures can cause it to bolt prematurely.0-7.8-6. BOK CHOY • Seed to germination: 4-7 days • Seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 4-6 weeks • Yield: 7. 12 Back to Top . There are numerous varieties of Bok Choy with different preferences. Bok Choy requires partial to full sun for optimal growth. About Bok Choy Bok Choy is easy to produce and results in high yield if grown properly. so choose the variety that’s right for your location. It tolerates pH from 6./ tower/ 5-week turn • pH range: 5. leafhoppers.2 • EC/PPM: 0. so it is more suitable for mild climates. keep temperatures between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit and pH lower than 6. and fusarium wilt. Make sure that you implement a good IPM strategy. mosaic virus.0. 13 Back to Top . For ideal growth. Diseases include damping off. leafminers. thrips. LETTUCE • Seed to germination: 7-14 days • Seed to transplant: 3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5 weeks • Yield: 4-6-lbs.6-6. cabbage loopers. and slugs. powdery mildew. Lettuce is a good crop or beginners and experts alike due to its high yields and consistent demand. whiteflies.8-1. About Lettuce Lettuce enjoys cool temperatures. wireworms./ tower/ 5-week turn • pH range: 5. Diseases and pests are the major consideration when growing lettuce.2/ 560-840 • Light: Moderate-high light 10-18 hrs • Height: 6”-12” • Harvest: One-time Pests include aphids. HERBS Herbs are usually high value crops with a continuous yield. most herbs can be harvested multiple times. but take a longer time to reach maturity. 14 Back to Top .99/oz.-$2. since it takes longer for a grower to reach full production again.99/oz. This lon- ger maturation time can cause problems in case of an emergency. Herbs regularly bring $1. however. Herbs can be easier to grow than greens. 5-2.0/1050-1400 • Light: Full sun/ high light demand 12 hr. but requires good drainage or part-time irrigation. slugs. mint rust is one consideration. 15 Back to Top . Oregano tolerates a pH range of 6. aphids. About Oregano A wise choice for new growers. oregano is often the subject of high demand.5 lbs. and prefers heat./ tower/ 8-week turn • pH range: 6.0 • EC/PPM: 1. Yields can take up to 8 weeks to fully develop. Diseases are few. OREGANO • Seed to germination: 8-14 days • Seed to transplant: 5-7 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 8-10 weeks • Yield: 2. Dry climates are best for growing oregano.0-8. and thrips.0-8. • Height: 12”-18” • Harvest: Multiple Pests include spider mites.0. is drought resistant. peppermint. is resilient against damage. spearmint. Different variet- ies express a range of flavors. black flies. spider mites.5-7. aphids. Mint grows robustly. and chocolate mint. Learn why mint is a great crop for commercial hydroponic growers in this video. Mint is one of the few crops with a root system that will out grow the tower housing. Most towers produce an aver- age of 4 lbs. and slugs. including sweet mint. and continuously yields once the plants have been established. • Height: 12-18” • Harvest: Continuous Pests include whiteflies. snails. One inch of plant matter remaining after harvest is enough to resume growth. MINT • Seed to germination: 12-16 days • Seed to transplant: 4-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 6 weeks • Yield: 3-4-lbs. You can clip stems from the mother plant and drop them in the gutters below for an easy and quick way to clone new plants./ tower/ 3-week turn • pH range: 6. It is important to keep an eye on salts in a system since mint is salt sensitive. Plants can be spaced as little as 2” apart. Mint is also easy to clone. while diseases include mint rust.0 • PPM: 1400-1680 • Light: Full sun/ (14-18) hr. About Mint Mint is a great crop for beginners. and the roots may grow so aggressively that the front of the tower is spread slightly. 16 Back to Top . every 3 weeks. You may notice roots growing out of the bottom. Chives grow so densely and are so hardy that they can be harvested completely down to an inch from the face of the tower and will return to maturity in five to seven weeks. CHIVES • Seed to germination: 15-21 days • Seed to transplant: 4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 6-8 weeks • Yield: 3-5 lbs/4 weeks/tower. Nate Storey talking about growing chives in aquaponics systems. Watch this video of Dr.8 • PPM: 1260-1540 • Light: Full sun 12 hr. while disease concerns are negligible. 17 Back to Top . Because the plant is so difficult to damage.1-7. minimum • Height: 12”-18” • Harvest: Continuous Pests may include aphids and thrips. including green walls. which are planted densely and soon take over the whole tower. chives make a great crop for displays. 8-week establishment • pH range: 6. About Chives Another crop ideal for beginners is Chives. bare minimum • Height: 12”-18” • Harvest: Continual Pests include whiteflies. It does best in more alkaline conditions but will tolerate a pH range of 6. and alternaria blight. give thyme full exposure to light and prune when you harvest. THYME • Seed to germination: 8-20 days • Seed to transplant:4./tower/ 8-weeks • pH range: 6.weeks • Transplant to harvest: 6-8 weeks • Yield: 2 lbs.and restaurant-chefs alike. being a classic flavor for meat and soups. spider mites.0. For best results. 18 Back to Top . The crop prefers drier conditions. About Thyme Thyme is a popular herb for home.5-7.5-7.0 • PPM: 560-1120 • Light: Full sun/ high light demand 12 hr. 5.0-7.5 lb. About Fennel Fennel is a delicate crop with a sweet mild flavor similar to sassafras or anise. It is a hardy crop that can grow over five feet tall and does well in a wide range of conditions. FENNEL • Seed to germination: 7-14 days • Seed to transplant: 3-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 6-7 weeks • Yield: 5-8 lbs. and is tolerant of pH values 6. / tower/ 8 weeks • pH range: 6. Both the frilly greens and the lightly colored bulb can be harvested and eaten. per head. Fennel is relatively pest and disease free and makes an excellent choice for beginners.0-7. 19 Back to Top . • Height: 12”-60” • Harvest: Multiple Pest concerns are low but may include aphids. It requires minimal watering.5 • PPM: 700-980 • Light: Full sun/ high light demand 12 hr. and weighs in at an average of . Fennel can be planted 10-12 plants/tower. It can take up to 100 days to become mature. thrips. • Height: 18”-24” • Harvest: Continuous Pests include nematodes. Numerous varieties of basil are available. root rot./ tower/ 5-week turn • pH range: 5. leaf spot diseases.6 • PPM: 700-1120 • Light: Full sun/ (14-18) hr. growth will be slower. Basil can be harvested multiple times. Diseases include damping off. while moderately difficult to produce. cuttings can be easily used to propagate more crops. Proper drainage is critical to preventing diseases from forming during production. Basil grows best in heat and high light. and if pruned properly will produce more each har- vest. If you have limited light or cool conditions. whiteflies.6-6. 20 Back to Top . SWEET BASIL • Seed to germination: 7-10 days • Seed to transplant: 3-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5 weeks • Yield: 3-4-lbs. light. and snails/slugs. nearly all fetch $1. aphids.99-$2. About Sweet Basil Basil. Once a plant has been established. is popular in almost any market and produces higher yields in ZipGrow towers than any other growing method in the world. or both. and downy mildew. fusarium wilt. flea beetles. depending on the market. You may need to supplement heat.99 per oz. This crop prefers cooler temperatures (40-75 degrees Fahrenheit) and low salt.5-2. 21 Back to Top . aphids. About Cilantro Cilantro can be a tricky crop to grow since it bolts very easily. • Height: 18”-24” • Harvest: Continuous Pests include fungal wilt./ 5’ tower/ 5 weeks • pH range: 6.5 lbs. leafhoppers. If bolting is triggered. trim the bolts and adjust environmental conditions. CILANTRO • Seed to germination: 7-10 days • Seed to transplant: 4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 4-6 weeks • Yield: 1. Be aware that the flavor of the greens becomes more bitter and harsh once the plant has bolted. Growers can purchase slow bolting seeds to minimize the potential for crop failure.7 • Light: Full sun/ (14-18) hr.5-6. especially in hot conditions. diseases include powdery mildew. • Height: 12”-18” • Harvest: Continuous Pests include whitefly. Since this herb is so versatile in how it can be used. leaf blight. aphids. damping off. spider mites. and will bolt if temperatures exceed 75 degrees for a long time. while diseases include leaf spot./ tower/ 5-week turn • pH range: 5. About Parsley Parsley germinates slowly but produces a high yield once established. and nematodes. powdery mildew. Check out Haydn Christensen’s greenhouse to see how parsley is grown in ZipGrows.4 • PPM: 560-1260 • Light: Full sun/ (14-18) hr. PARSLEY • Seed to germination: 21-28 days • Seed to transplant:3-4 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5-6 weeks • Yield: 3-4-lbs.8-6. it’s popular in stores and restaurants alike. Parsley is another cool weather crop. 22 Back to Top . 23 Back to Top .99 per ounce. and it can be used as a natural pest deterrent within the greenhouse. The crop is a slow grower. This is a great crop to offer as personalized production for chefs. • Height: 12”-36” Pests are minimal due to the aromatic compound that lemongrass produces.5 • Light: Full sun/ (14-18) hr.5-6. where lemongrass may fetch up to $4. moist climates with lots of sun. or at the farmer’s market. LEMONGRASS • Seed to germination: 10-40 days • Seed to transplant: 4-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 5-6 weeks • pH range: 5. About Lemongrass Lemongrass is native to India and prefers warm. taking about three months to grow to maturity. 5-7. many people won’t know what you can do with it. consider including a recipe card to inspire customers. If you offer chervil in a grocery store or at a farmer’s market. CHERVIL • Seed to germination: 7-14 days • Seed to transplant: 4-5 weeks • Transplant to harvest: 3-5 weeks • Yield: 1/5lbs/tower/ 6-7 weeks • pH range: 5. 24 Back to Top . Since chervil is such a unique herb to offer. About Chervil Chervil is a mildly flavored herb that is often used in fine French cuisine. Flavor is best when grown in moderate conditions.0 • Light: Partial sun/shade • Height: 10”-28” • Harvest: Multiple harvests Pest are generally not a significant con- cern with chervil. but are slightly more labor intensive due to the typical size of fruiting crops and to higher nutrient requirements. Since fruiting crops have to produce both vegetative and reproductive growth. and cucumbers. wood. squash. 25 Back to Top . Nutrient levels in a system with fruiting crops require more active management than systems with greens or herbs. being smaller plants. Other common fruiting crops include tomatoes. The large plants may make your towers bulkier and more awkward to move. or wire. Largely statured plants may require trellising. netting. FRUITING CROPS Fruiting crops are productive and satisfying to grow in ZipGrow towers. which may be done with string. melons. Strawberries are the easiest fruiting crop to grow. peppers. nutrient re- quirements are much higher. 1 lbs/day at maturity • Spacing: 18” between plants Pests of strawberries include arachnids like spider mites. Before ordering seeds or root stock to grow. They also require fewer nutrients than other fruiting crops. pythium.8-6.2-1. (ideal=12-18 hr. Strawberries require full sun exposure and a pH from 5. research different varieties.5/840-1050 • Light: 8-10 hr. Some varieties of strawberries are day neutral (produce year round). while others have seasonal flushes of production. rhizoctonia. STRAWBERRIES • pH range: 5.8 • EC/PPM: 1. and other fungal pathogens.) • Yield: 0. 26 Back to Top . One day neutral variety well-suited to ZipGrow Towers is the Seascape variety.5-6. About Strawberries Strawberries are the hardiest and easiest of the fruiting crops to grow.2. CROP SETS Cool Region Crops Warm Region Crops Lettuce Bok Choy Arugula Oregano Kale Basil Mustard Greens Lemongrass Bok Choy Spearmint Mint Cilantro (Coriander) Tarragon Fennel Nasturtiums Peppermint Low Water Crops Crops For Beginners Cilantro Lettuce Sage Bok Choy Chives Mustard Greens Oregano Chard Tarragon Kale Fennel Mint Nasturtiums Arugula Peppermint Chives Fennel 27 Back to Top .APPENDIX A . Time till time plant sale(turn) Lettuce 7-14 days 3-4 weeks 5 weeks *Chard 5-7 days 3-4 weeks 5-6 weeks Bok Choy 4-7 days 3-4 weeks 4-6 weeks *Mustard 4-7 days 3-4 weeks 4-6 weeks Greens *Kale 4-7 days 4-5 weeks 5-6 weeks *Arugula 5-7 days 3-4 weeks 6-7 weeks Strawberries 7-42 days 9-35 weeks 28 Back to Top .APPENDIX B .GROWTH RATES Herbs Seed to Germination Transplant germination to transplant to harvest *Genovese 7-10 days 3-5 weeks 5 weeks Basil *Lime Basil 5-15 days 3-5 weeks 5 weeks *Cilantro 7-10 days 3-5 weeks 5 weeks *Oregano 8-14 days 5-7 weeks 8-10 weeks Fennel 7-14 days 3-5 weeks 6-7 weeks *Mint 12-16 days 4-5 weeks 6 weeks *Parsley 21-28 days 3-4 weeks 5-6 weeks *Chives 15-21 days 4 weeks 6-8 weeks *Lemon 8-20 days 4 weeks 6-8 weeks Thyme Lemongrass 10-90 days 4-5 weeks 5-6 weeks *Nasturtiums 7-14 days 3-4 weeks 3-4 weeks *Tarragon 10-14 days 5-7 weeks 8-10 weeks *Chervil 7-10 days 4-5 weeks 3-5 weeks Greens Germination Time to trans. 0-8.4) 840-1680 Greens Kale 6.0-7.8 - Tarragon 6.5 - Chervil 5.8 1260-1540 Thyme 6.0-7.0-6.za 29 Back to Top .2-6.8-1.5-2.5-7.0-7.5-7.0-7.co.0 560-1260 Chives 6.2-6.8 (1.0 - Lettuce 6.5 (1.0-7.0 - Fennel 6.PH Crop pH EC(mS/cm)/PPM Basil 6. Hydroponic.8 (0.0) 1050-1400 Mustard 6.0-8.5-7.0 560-1120 Lemongrass 5.0-7.8 700-1120 Cilantro 6.2) 1260-1540 Cabbage 6.0 1750-2100 More information GTG Hydroponics.0 1260-1610 Bok Choy 6.5-7.5-6.8-2.APPENDIX C .8 Max 1400 Strawberries 5.5 - Oregano 6.0 1400-1680 Parsley 6.5 700-980 Mint 6.0 - Nasturtiums 6.5-7.1-7.5-7.1-7.2) 560-840 Chard 6.6 - Arugula 6.2-2.5 (1. increase their margins. We want to help farmers live better. 307-288-1188 [email protected]
Call us and we can guide you through the planning and ordering process as well as addressing any concerns you might have with growing. GET SUPPORT We would love to help you get started. and give their consumer the most high quality produce possible.WHO IS BRIGHT AGROTECH? Bright Agrotech is composed of a rapidly growing group of incredibly hard working. Our ZipGrow vertical farming/gardening towers help small hobbyist growers and commercial producers everywhere see maximum yields and economic profit. passionate individuals committed to empowering the farmers of tomorrow.com .