Microgreens are good sources of vitamins and minerals

Are you aware of all the vitamins and minerals necessary to stay healthy, both internally and externally? Do you know in what foods you can find them, the quantities present and how they are best consumed?

Vitamins are essential for maintaining growth, development and health. Mineral supplements and trace elements are the key to keeping your body working as well as it should.

Food is the best source of vitamins and minerals

Food is always the best way to get vitamins and minerals. Humans have evolved to extract these resources from food and then put them to good use.

So, instead of reaching for the jar of nutritional supplements, whenever possible you should think about what goes on your plate and in your glass. Is your diet giving you all the resources you need to stay healthy?

Plantui microgreens are full of these good resources. The vitamin and mineral contents of microgreens are 40-50 times higher than those of adult plants. In addition to high levels of vitamins C, E, and K, microgreens are also high in carotenoids, especially beta-carotene. Carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A and act in the body as antioxidants, protecting against cell damage and inflammation. Microgreens are also rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium, iron, zinc and copper.

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins

The importance of vitamin C has long been known. In addition to keeping us lively and boosting our immune system, vitamin C is important for healthy skin, hair and teeth. In addition to tissues, vitamin C is important for bone growth and cell regeneration. Vitamin C is important if you are seeking to keep your body’s production of collagen functioning well so that your skin will stay smooth.

Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron, promotes the function of vitamin E and protects against various diseases.

Vitamin C is a revitalizing vitamin and it is a recommended part of our daily intake because of its water solubility.

Vitamin K for strong bones and clear arteries

Vitamin K plays an essential role in blood clotting, and is also important for bones. Adequate intake of vitamin K prevents osteoporosis as it affects calcium metabolism. Vitamin K improves resistance and also prevents calcification of arteries.

Vitamin E brings external and internal well-being

Vitamin E ensures that the skin stays healthy and glowing. If your skin is dry and flaky, make sure you get enough vitamin E to prevent inflammation and protect your skin from oxygen radicals.

Vitamin E also protects us on a deeper level below the surface by blocking free radicals and disrupting the destructive impact they have on our cell structures. Studies also suggest that vitamin E may p

revent cardiovascular disease. Another important study into vitamin E is the potential protective effect against cancer.

Beta-carotene – not just available in carrots

Carotenoids, which can be converted into vitamin A, act as antioxidants in our bodies. Carotene is stored in the body and converted to vitamin A as needed. Vitamin A takes care of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as our eyes and visual well-being.

Minerals contained in Plantui microgreens

Minerals have their own special functions in our body. Essential minerals must be obtained from food, because our bodies cannot produce them independently. Plantui’s microgreens provide an abundance of calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, zinc and copper.

Calcium is a building block for bone development; potassium supports the heart, muscl

es and nervous system; magnesium is needed by both muscles and bones; sodium plays an important role in regulating body fluid balance; iron affects not only physical endurance but also our mood; zinc is great for the hair and strengthens our immune system; whilst the main function of copper is regulate the pigmentation in our skin and hair.

 

Plantui Lighting: patented technology brings the best out of plants

Did you know?

  • Plants use only 37% of sunlight
  • A Plantui device is optimized to produce the exact light spectrum plants require
  • Plantui’s unique system also provides light to the lower parts of the plants

Many indoor plant growers run into problems as not all plants thrive indoors, especially during the dark winter. Seeds may not germinate properly, and if they do, a lack of light can cause seedlings to grow a weak and thin stem as they try to reach out to the sun. In addition, the plant has insufficient energy to grow decent roots. This results in wasted seeds, yellowing leaves, plant diseases that affect weak plants, pest infestations as well as low-yield crops – all the things that drive gardeners crazy!

At Plantui, our smart garden plant lamps are specially developed to delight plants at every stage of growth. Thanks to our patented lighting technology (used by professional farmers), you can be sure your plant will receive all the light it needs – guaranteed! This is still true even if you place your Plantui behind a pitch-black cabinet!

How is Plantui’s lighting different from lights in other indoor gardens?

Light is a plant’s energy source and the most important thing necessary for growth.

Plants often need additional light but the question is what kind? If you were to ask the plant, it would need a light that is sufficiently powerful and supports them at different stages of growth. From germination to harvest, a plant needs different wavelengths of light and in the right proportions, so the plants also have time to rest.

Fortunately, understanding plants and their growth is our specialty! Plantui’s plant light gives plants everything they need, and nothing unnecessary or harmful. That’s why we’ve removed harmful wavelengths, such as UV and IR rays, from our plant lights.

And unlike many other indoor gardens, our plant lights offer more than just white LED light. Ordinary white LED plant lights give plants the extra light it needs. However, for photosynthesis, the plant needs support from a wider range of the light spectrum.

Plants need an average of at least 1,000 lux of light for 10-16 hours a day, sometimes even more. Normally, indoors, the amount of lux without a plant lamp is well below the required demand.

With Plantui’s professional standard LED Grow Lights, well-being is not limited by lux, as there is enough luminance, up to 10,000 lux.

Also, there’s no need to worry about being dazzled when standing next to a Plantui – the lights are aimed directly at the plant and the light is harmless to the eyes. As a decorative feature, a Plantui is stylish and a delight to the eye in every way. At night, the Plantui automatically turns off its lights for eight hours, set to a time of your choice. This way, both you and your plant can sleep peacefully and wake up refreshed for a new day.

Plants need different wavelengths of light

 

Strong light alone is not enough. Different wavelengths of light are required.

The wavelength and intensity of the light emitted by a Plantui light hat varies according to the growth stage of the plant. All you have to do is add a height block whenever the plants start to touch the light hat. Plantui takes care to provide the best dosage of light for the growth of your plant.

During the germination phase, seeds germinate better in dimmer light, as strong light may dry out the seed. When a plant germinates, it must first lay proper roots whilst also growing a strong stem. For this reason, Plantui provides more suitable blue and red light to support plant germination and development in the seedling stage. That’s why, during the germination phase, the light shining from the Plantui is a delightful pink.

When the first height block is added to the smart garden after the first leaves have grown, the pink germination light changes to a brighter light. In addition to the red wavelength, the light dosage is supplemented with green, and the amount of blue light also increases.

Plants in the growth stage need a lot of blue wavelength in particular to support growth and to create flavor, vitamins, and antioxidants. The blue wavelength is familiar from the sunlight of northern climates. It is this blue light, which is so distinct in Lapland and has a special impact on taste and nutritional value, that inspired us to create the best light for plants.

Boosting light for the plant’s lower and inner sections

 

Want to really treat your plants? Give them something only available in professional greenhouses.

Plantui is the world’s only indoor garden in which your plants receive light even to their lower and inner sections. Plantui’s boosting light block can be used in place of a regular height block. The boosting light helps to provide light to the plant’s otherwise shaded parts, bathing them in light. A consequence of this unique light solution is that the plants produce an intense taste and plentiful harvest.

An ecological and sustainable light solution for plants

The Plantui light hat contains either 9 or 18 LED bulbs, depending on the size of the device, which operate for 16 hours a day. At this point, you may be wondering, “How much electricity does this consume?” or “How long until the LED bulbs burn out?”

The Plantui device consumes less electricity than an incandescent bulb. In addition, the electricity use of the device fulfills other operations than just lighting. The lifespan of a Plantui LED plant light is 100,000 hours.

In the event of any fault arising from the lights (or any other part of the Plantui device), you can of course request replacement spare parts through us. We will also help to maintain the equipment, keeping it in perfect condition whenever possible. If you have any concerns, please contact our customer service at hi@plantui.com

Pre-growing: the fast way to healthy and vibrant seedlings

Following the growth of seedlings is a rewarding activity. You get a front row seat for the springtime action of an outdoor garden, even whilst the ground outside is still too hard to dig. Pre-growing also gives the plants a head-start on spring. This way, they get their growth cycle up and running whilst also being kept safe from the cold, darkness, rain and wind, which lies in wait for them outside.

Pre-growing plants is necessary for many varieties, especially for any gardener living in more northern climates. For these shorter growing seasons, many plants would not have time to bloom and produce at all if they were not first pre-grown indoors.

Whether you’re planning to grow summer flowers on your balcony, pre-grow herbs in a potted garden, or even create a thriving greenhouse, Plantui will help you make your green dreams come true.

Plantui: the only pre-growing pot you need

Seedlings can be grown in all our devices, but you will get the largest number of seedlings when you add a separate pre-grow tray to the Plantui Smart Garden 6. This will turn your inner garden into a 12-slot nursery without the need for other pre-growing equipment.

In this article, we’ll walk you through:

  • The benefits of pre-growing in a Plantui device
  • Ideas for choosing plants to pre-grow
  • When to start pre-growing
  • How to transplant seedlings to the soil

Benefits of pre-growing in a Plantui

There are a few tricks to growing healthy and vibrant seedlings so they can be used in a short time. Pre-growing in a Plantui is particularly easy, fast, and hassle-free, as smart technology ensures that every green enthusiast is successful.

Suitably moist for germination and seedling growth
A germinating seed is particularly fragile, making it vulnerable to drying out or being over-watered. The Plantui device ensures that moisture is even and suitable at all times. Your seedlings can also be left alone for longer periods of time, unlike in small, soil-filled growing pots, from which moisture can quickly evaporate.

Seedlings get plenty of the light they really need
Pre-growing seedlings requires a lot of light, several hours a day. Otherwise, there is a risk that the seedling will stretch, growing ‘leggy’ and weak. In the Plantui device, the plants receive enough light without them having to reach out for the sun’s rays, leaving the stem in peace to grow strong.
This optimum dosage of light means the pre-growing of seedlings can start much earlier in a Plantui than would be possible on the windowsill, for example. This is especially useful for plants that grow very slowly, such as chilies and peppers.

Fast growth
Plantui’s patented technology enables fast growth. This means, if necessary, seedlings can be pre-grown more quickly, long into the spring and summer.

Strong roots
Adequate light ensures that the plant does not have to use too much energy in order to reach it. In addition to strong stems for pre-grown seedlings, it is also possible to grow healthy roots in a Plantui. When you lift out the plant capsules, you’ll see how beautifully white the roots are. When the roots are healthy, it’s easier to transfer the plant to the soil later. A decomposing, rockwool plant capsule can be left in place to support the entire plant as it’s transferred to the soil. Only the plastic part needs to be removed.

Safe from plant diseases and weeds
When seedlings are pre-grown in soil, it must be hygienic. Such good fortune is not guaranteed. For example, a small, sensitive seedling can easily contract and die from a fungal disease. In a Plantui, a seedling grows in clean conditions, safe not only from plant diseases carried by the soil but also from weeds.

Ideas for pre-grown seedlings

How attractive is the thought of your own herb garden, from which you can pick aromatic rosemary to spice up steaks and give your potatoes a flutter of flavour with thyme and oregano, all summer long? Mint flourishing alongside in the same garden will give you the summer’s freshest mojitos.

Rosemary is a good example of a herb that needs pre-growing to get started. When rosemary starts to grow, with good care, it can be turned into a perennial friend. Rosemary shouldn’t be watered too much because its leaves will dry out and turn brown.

Thyme is also a perennial species that grows larger year by year. Did you know that thyme also grows wild in Finnish nature? The beautiful purple flowers of flourishing thyme can be found on sandy beaches.

No herb garden is complete without oregano, which should be pruned at a young age so it branches out and grows thick. It’s worth growing mint in moderation. It grows slowly at first, but soon nothing will hold it back. The cooler evenings of late summer are perfect when spent under a blanket in the garden sipping mint tea.

The pre-growing time for these herbs is about a month.

In addition to herbs, you may want to try pre-growing other things. Plantui’s Experimental Kit also allows you to select seeds to pre-grow from outside the Plantui range. A Plantui is also great for pre-growing vegetables. For example, cucumbers, pumpkins, and peppers that thrive in the greenhouse. For these plants, it is a good idea to put 1-3 seeds in each empty seed capsule and, after sprouting, leave only one seedling to continue growing. This means the plant will flourish as it has plenty of room to grow. The pre-growing time for these plants is six weeks.

Do not move cucumbers, pumpkins and peppers outside until the temperature stays above ten degrees celsius, even at night.

When to start pre-growing

Starting pre-growing is affected by several things and it is difficult to give one answer. As a rule of thumb, however, it is a good idea to start pre-growing plants a little late rather than too early.

To find out the best time to begin pre-growing, count backwards. So, if you know that in mid-June the climates are suitable for moving tomatoes outside, count back the time to pre-growing. For a tomato, it’s about two months. The same goes for pre-growing summer flowers. If you want your flowers to reach full splendor in early July, sow Marigolds, Asters, Ipomoea, Black-eyed Susan and Malope’s six weeks before. The pre-growing period for the Impatiens and Bellflowers is eight weeks and about twelve weeks for Violet, Lavender and Geraniums.

The pre-growing times of plants in the Plantui plant range are approximately the same as the growth rate category to which they belong. Thus, growing herbs typically takes 5-8 weeks, while tomatoes and chilies take 8-12 weeks.

How to transfer seedlings to the soil

When it’s time for the seedlings to leave the nest, remember this:

Before transplanting to a greenhouse or potting garden, cut off the plastic parts of the plant capsule. The rockwool capsule can be left in place. It will decompose and also protect the roots during transplantation and after planting.
When transplanting plants outdoors, keep in mind that they are not used to sunlight. You should let them get used to sunlight during the first week or two by:

  • placing them outside or in a greenhouse without UV-protection. When planting, cover the plants with a thin fabric for a week or two.
  • putting the seedlings planted in pots and putting the pots outside for an hour or two at a time, before taking them back inside.

Transplanting is always a bit stressful for the plants. You can make the process easier by watering the plants for 1-2 weeks with water containing Plantui’s nutrient solution that the plants are already familiar with. Use the same proportions as before: one measuring spoon in one litre of water.

Before transplanting, be sure to make sure the plants are prepared for the outdoors. If the air suddenly cools too much, especially at night, you can cover the seedlings with a meshed blanket.

Sofia from Turku is a seasoned Plantui user

What kind of gardener are you?
I’m actually a horticulturist by training, but I would really regard myself as a gardening hobbyist. I’m mostly interested in functional gardening. We have recently moved to our own house, with great potential for small farming. Previously, while living in the city, I cultivated plants on a balcony, on raised beds, and on allotment plots. And of course in my Plantui!

When did you get your first Plantui?
In February 2015, six years ago!

Can you tell us about your current or most recent cultivation projects?
Currently, I am growing chilies, peppers, and eggplant, as well as experimenting with honeydew melons in the Plantui device. To get them to germinate, I might have to move it above the fireplace (as it requires a lot of heat), but then transfer it back to the device. My intention is to transplant them to soil later and then to the greenhouse in the summer.

Who do you share your crops with?
With my family, and particularly the children. The eldest boy, who’s four years old, is himself really excited about growing plants. The younger one, who turns three in the spring, is very excited about harvesting the delicious treats. For my husband, herbs go down really well in dishes, and he enjoys the radish microgreens just as they are.

How does the Plantui device help you in the kitchen?
I’m guaranteed a good harvest and aromatic herbs! My favourite varieties at the moment are all the basils as well as the microgreens.

What do you use the plants for? Do you use the Plantui crops in a specific recipe?
I’m certainly no chef, however with fresh herbs, even dishes just thrown together get a boost in flavour. I think Thai basil fits ridiculously well in a cheese omelette, giving it an exciting taste. The microgreens provide a wonderful zesty seasoning on top of pureed vegetable soup.

Do you have more than one device or Plantui accessory?
Unfortunately, I went and gave the older device to my sister. Now that I have more space, I miss it. On the other hand, I am glad that now her family, and especially my godson, get pleasure from the Plantui. You see, my sister won’t ever part with it, because it’s “Absolutely awesome!”
I have a Plantui 6, a microgreen tray for sprouting, a 12-slot Pre-Grow Tray for pre-growing plants, and a couple of extra height blocks. The boosting light block is next on my wish list.

What is the best thing about your Plantui?
For a green-fingered person, the device spoils you with endless possibilities. I get fresh and tasty herbs even in winter. Before, I hadn’t used the Plantui device as much in the summer because I was growing things outdoors, but now I’ll be sure to grow even microgreens in the summer. They are a great addition to salads and absolutely wonderful on sandwiches!

Have you done any of your own experiments?
My current ones are perhaps most worth mentioning. Next to the light of the Plantui device I’ve been growing cat grass, as well as using it to keep stored-bought potted salads fresh.
I’m also thinking about experimenting with plant cuttings in the Plantui. Maybe I’ll try that next?

Has any project ever gone especially well? Or have there been any memorable moments?
Everything seems to be successful in a Plantui and every moment is a special moment!

Any special message to potential Plantui users?
Please take my recommendation, which comes with years of experience! With all the accessories, Plantui offers so many ways to grow things. It’s easy to do your own experiments. Plantui lets you see the wonder of growth, from seed to harvest, which is such an amazing thing to follow with your children. Just yesterday we marvelled at the roots growing through the capsule. Plantui would also be a great thing for kindergartens, schools and perhaps even nursing homes. Watching things grow is educational, inspiring and therapeutic!

Asian Greens: Tatsoi, Pok choy, Komatsuna, Mizuna

You may have noticed those plants with weird names in Plantui Plant capsule selection: Tatsoi, Pok choy, Komatsuna, Mizuna. Asian greens might seem a bit mysterious, but are absolutely worth trying. Oriental vegetables have a long history. The selection of different vegetables and their varieties is huge, and they are essential in Asian cookery. Here in Europe we should get to know especially the leafy greens because of their health benefits.

The greens of the cabbage family (which scientific genus Brassica) are especially interesting for urban gardeners. Those plants work very well in hydroponics and make a big yield without requiring much space. Leafy greens are highly nutritious but low in calories. They are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Researches seem to show that the glucosinolates in the plants of the cabbage family may have anti-carcinogenic properties. And let’s not forget aesthetics: these greens are very pretty with their shiny green leaves and decorative appearance.

Leaf Mustards: Fringed Red, Red Giant and Wasabina

Asian greens are a good choice for those who can’t wait to see the results of their gardening. These leafy vegetables germinate and grow quickly making a big yield, but they should also be harvested quickly. Unlike many herbs, the Asian greens shouldn’t be left growing for months. They make long roots and will be hard to remove from the device if left growing for too long. A quick cycle suits them best: grow for six to eight weeks, enjoy the harvest and then make a fresh start.

For continuous harvest, pick the biggest or outer leaves of the rosette. You can use the leaves in cooking in many ways: fresh in salads or on a sandwich, or very shortly cooked for soups, stews or stir-fries.

Click to read more about the characteristics of Tatsoi, Pok choy, Komatsuna, Mizuna and Mustard Wasabina.

If you like gardening books, I’ll recommend Oriental Vegetables: The Complete Guide for the Gardening Cook by Joy Larkcom. It’s a magnificent guide for anyone who wants to know everything about Asian vegetables.

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