While working on the Bifarm customer support end we often get asked: “How do you grow ‘insert very specific plant here’ in your device?” This hasn’t been the easiest question to answer. Why? Because no one solution can completely cover every plant species you may happen to be growing. And I’m not an encyclopedia with knowledge of every plant species either. However, after spending time with my own grow, there are some best practices that anyone can use to get started with their Bifarm aeroponic device.
Misting and Feeding
Misting and feeding are one of those specs that fall under “no one size fits all.” Different plants have different needs. For whichever plant you decide to grow, it’s always best to research general water needs for each stage. This helps when it is time to program your misting intervals and duration in the GrowOS App. For our tomato and basil clones, we started them off by oversaturating their environment with a misting duration of 5 seconds every 2 minutes. As roots developed we dialed these settings back to eventually reach a misting duration of 3 seconds every 4 minutes. These settings worked great for our grow and as of today, they are happy and healthy.
Bonus tip for a fellow novice: Throughout the growing process I’d check in on our plants and feel the leaves. Soft leaves on our basil was a good indicator that I didn’t have the misting settings just right and that the plant wasn’t getting enough water/nutrient solution.
Bifarm Aeroponics Nozzle Position
Another good practice to implement with your grow is testing the nozzle positions in your Bifarm aeroponics device. The nozzles are almost 360° customizable and position can make all of the difference. If your nozzles are pointed down and not towards roots, the plant won’t receive enough mist to survive. Bad position = dead plants. Clones and seeds will need to be more saturated so its best to position nozzles directly to stems and seed sites. As the roots grow out, the nozzles can be readjusted to avoid over saturation.
Bonus tip: To test nozzle placement, I made my position adjustments and place the lid back onto my device. At this point, my plants didn’t have large root growth and could be easily removed from my Bifarm device. I then stuck my hand into the grow slots to the depths my plant roots were reaching to see if I could feel adequate moisture. If my hand felt too dry I repositioned the nozzle to be slightly more direct and vice versa if my hand was too wet.
Starting Clones and Seeds
Starting seeds and clones is a relatively generic process but the question still comes around every so often. If you are starting a clone or seed in a Bifarm aeroponic device you should be aware of your plant’s needs. Most clones will need to be supersaturated as they develop roots but for seeds, it’s another “no one size” deal. Some seeds don’t do well with oversaturation while others could be dropped into a glass of water and will do just fine. Chia pets anyone? You’ll need to consider these factors while programming misting settings and nozzle position.
Bonus tip: When using clones with collars and Bifarm aeroponics standard 3-inch grow nets, make sure the stems are long enough to extend past the nets. If the stems are too short they won’t effectively reach the path of the nozzles. A similar practice can be applied to seeds. They must be in an adequate position in their growing medium (typically Rockwool) for their needs.