I am responding to your concerns about your climate in Hawaii and the frequency of the watering cycle of the Freshlife automatic sprouter. My customers in Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas do pay more attention to managing temperatures and seed varieties than those of us in dry and northern climates. But the temperature is more of a concern than the humidity. Most sprouting seeds love temps in the 70s, just like people! Several varieties can tolerate the 80s, but few of them like the 90s. So learning which varieties are most heat tolerant and putting in the extra effort to keep them cool are the secrets to successful sprouting in the tropics.
The plants actually love the extra humidity. Tropical climates are natural greenhouses and the Freshlife is designed to be a mini-greenhouse. The downside is that if the sun is beating on the Freshlife the temperatures inside can rise dramatically. In hot climates, we need to locate the sprouter in the shade. Indirect light is all most of our seed varieties need to green up successfully. To further control temperature, after the leaves have popped out of their shells (about 3-4 days), you can remove the top lid. This will improve air circulation, increase light, and reduce temperatures.
As for the watering, the Freshlife waters on and off 4 times per hour. This frequency is modeled after commercial sprouting equipment, which are designed to water at this frequency in order to improve the rate of growth. At approximately 100 dollars, the Freshlife is the most affordable auto-watering sprouter in the world. The commercial sprouters upon which it is modeled, cost over 100 thousand dollars and have lots of engineering and research behind their design. The issue is not the amount of water, because plants love water. You can find examples of that in nature in places like rainforests. The quantity of water is less crucial than balancing it with sufficient drainage and air exchange. The Freshlife actually has a mini-ecosystem where drainage, air circulation, and watering are all in a happy equilibrium.
Here’s my recommendation: Start a batch of mung beans. They tolerate temperatures well and grow quickly. Locate your Freshlife in a cool, shady place. Freshen the reservoir with cold water daily. Remove the top lid after 3-4 days. Do this, and report back. I know you’ll have great results.
Steve Meyerowitz, Sproutman
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