+27% yield boost in microgreens trial
Added on 23 March 2023
ABOUT THE PROJECT
This study, locally known as the ‘Glow and Grow’ project, monitored the growth and development of two aquaponic microgreen crops: mizuna (a Japanese mustard green) and a 7-crop braising mix. These crops were grown under an orange-red UbiGro luminescent quantum dot (QD) greenhouse film, and identical crops were grown in a control area without a QD film.
Figure 1. QD film installation at Kunia Country Farms on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
At Kunia Country Farms in Oahu, Hawaii, UbiGro QD greenhouse films emitting 600 nm were installed above 3,200 ft2 (297 m2) of aquaponic floating raft tabletop grow beds, sheltered with an open-sided polycarbonate greenhouse cover structure. An identical neighboring area in the greenhouse was chosen to serve as the control group, where no QD films were installed. Crops were grown using the farm’s standard aquaponic nutrients.
Figure 2. QD films were installed above aquaponic float grow beds in Oahu, Hawaii. Above the film is the polycarbonate greenhouse roof.
Harvest datasets were collected from April through November, covering nine different harvests; over 74 flats of crops were harvested. For wet weights, flats (2’x4′) of mature microgreens from both sides of the experiment were randomly chosen, photographed, cut at the stem, bagged, and weighed, following the farm’s standard harvest procedures. Spectra were recorded during install week to quantify the color-shifting effects of the QD films on the sunlight spectrum.
Plants grown under the QD film exhibited larger wet weights for every mizuna and braising mix harvest. Average wet weights for each harvest are shown in Table 1, and in the form of bar plots is in Figure 3. The average wet weight yield increase was +15.3% for mizuna and +35.8% for braising mix. Taken together, the yield improvement across both crops was +27%.
All Photos: UbiGro