Well, the sprout season is over and the downtime is nice. But I am already looking ahead to next season. My biggest challenge will be finding a piece of suitable land in the city for production. I do have a few leads but still have some looking to do.
I will also be making a few changes to the system. Nothing too major – just some improvements. Including:
– Enclosing the sprouting bench with a mesh as well as the coroplast. This way the coroplast cane removed when it is quite hot and the mesh will do a good job of keeping bugs out while still allowing for air flow. I did not have any bug or insect problems this year, but they were able to get into the bench. They can be a disease vector so if it is easy to keep them out then I will do so.
– Improving storage facilities. I will enclose the tray transfer bench below and use it to store the harvest bin (for cleaning), harvest supplies, and buckets for soaking and rinsing seeds. Extra trays and tarps can be stores here as well.
– I may make some wooden platforms for the harvest to keep the area cleaner (depending where I end up).
– I will try to slightly increase the size of he harvest area to make manouevering a bit easier.
– I may build a stacked germination bench where trays go when they are covered and before they hit the sprouting bench. With this model they would be covered by something other than another tray which will reduce the risk of cross contamination between batches. I will likely also do some winter greenhouse trials to see the difference between growing the trays without weight on top and with excessive weight to see how it affects sprout quality and overall sprout weight. If I used the germination bench without a weighted cover it would make things very much easier. The weight just seems to really improve sprout quality and size.
– I will definitely be using a lighter soil mix next year, though still have several yards left from this season to use. I can mix it with perlite to lighten it up.