What did Future Farming lead to grow its own seedlings

What did Future Farming lead to grow its own seedlings

One of our most successful research projects has been our seedling production research, which helped us to start our own seedling production for our production farms at Kaly Farm in the summer of 2021. This step was important not only for self-sufficiency in crop production, but also to reduce operating costs.

Our research and production Kaly aquaponic farm with production of up to 45 tons of vegetables per year was put into operation in 2020 and due to continuous technological innovations still maintains its position as the most modern aquaponic workplace in the Czech Republic. In 2021, intensive research was conducted on the farm to optimize the controlled environment in which we produce food – mainly leafy vegetables and herbs. The research team has led projects and continues to this day to work closely with prestigious Czech universities and scientific departments of the Czech Academy of Sciences. How did we manage to start our own seedling production?

Optimizing growing conditions

An evaluation of own experiment with growing lettuce under improved conditions was carried out on the Kaly aquaponic farm in 2021. The experiment focused on a higher degree of air circulation and the duration of artificial light for the crops. We compared lettuce cultivation with and without air circulation in the growing room. In addition, we conducted a second experiment on growing lettuce seedlings to increase the root volume of the lettuce, improve nutrient uptake and, most importantly, shorten the growth cycle of the seedlings by three to five days (depending on the lettuce variety).

In both cases we have achieved success, which confirms the effectiveness of our optimisation measures. By continuously fine-tuning the growing conditions (careful attention to air temperature, humidity, sufficient nutrients, artificial LED lighting, etc.), we have managed to start growing first-class leafy vegetables from seed.

Own seedling production from 2021

In the third quarter of 2021, we successfully started our own seedling production at the Kaly aquaponic farm thanks to careful optimization of growing conditions in a controlled environment. Previously, we were forced to import seedlings from abroad, which not only increased our costs but also limited our quality control. With an optimized approach to cultivation, we can now grow lettuces in just 52 days from sowing to harvest. Lettuces grown from our own seedlings now have an average shipping weight of 190 grams, but some varieties reach almost 230 grams. 

This move has not only increased the self-sufficiency of our farm, but also ensured the consistent quality of our aquaponic lettuces and reduced the costs associated with importing seedlings from abroad.

Key advantages of having your own seedling nursery

  1. Quality and control – growing your own seedlings allows better control over the quality of production and hygiene of growing conditions. This allows us to closely monitor the growing process from the start and ensure optimal growing conditions for the plants. 
  2. Responsibility for the supply chain – setting up your own nursery reduces your vulnerability to market fluctuations or supply problems. We are then able to plan and manage our inventory more effectively. 
  3. Innovation and specific needs – having your own growing facility allows you to adapt to specific needs. We can focus on special plant varieties or innovations in aquaponic and hydroponic growing methods. 
  4. Sustainability – with our own growing facility we can implement sustainable practices, minimize our ecological footprint and contribute to environmental goals. 
  5. Cost reduction – we will reduce costs in the long run by avoiding purchasing seedlings from outside suppliers. 
  6. Increased flexibility – we have gained greater flexibility in deciding on growing plans and farm development because it is not dependent on external factors that may not always be predictable.
  7. Development of the local economy – by creating our own growing farm we are contributing to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting local customers and businesses.

Overall, investing in our own seedling nursery has allowed us to achieve greater autonomy, efficiency and sustainability.

Today at Future Farming we have a state-of-the-art growing facility for our own salad and herb seedlings with a capacity of around 25,000 seedlings per week. By using the entire Kaly aquaponic farm to produce seedlings, we can increase our capacity up to 100,000 per week.

We can’t do without cooperation


CzechGlobe acts as a public research institution of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The benefit of cooperation lies in research activities related to the cultivation of own seedlings. We have been researching the best way to grow seedlings so that they are as vigorous as possible and have a rich root system. 

CzechGlobe Brno has, among other things, phytotrons in its equipment in which the spectral color of light, the length of artificial illumination, carbon dioxide content, humidity and temperature can be simulated. All important parameters for plant growth. Thanks to our collaboration with this Institute of the Academy of Sciences, we have been able to use the phytotrons for our own experiments to try to optimize the production of lettuce seedlings, herbs and other leafy vegetables. We succeeded. We evaluated the root systems of the plants, the content of nutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids and based on this we set up suitable growing conditions in our seedling nursery in the Kaly aquaponic farm.


Reprosam is a distributor of vegetable seeds from Dutch producer Rijk Zwaan and a key supplier of seeds for aquaponic cultivation for Future Farming. The cooperation with Reprosam consists in supplying high quality seeds, while constantly innovating and breeding new varieties of leafy vegetables and Future Farming is interested in supplying its customers with the best quality products based on high nutritional values, vitamin content, etc.

For us, Reprosam is synonymous with 100% seed germination and high resistance of leafy vegetables to diseases, illnesses and pests. So far, we have screened around thirty varieties of lettuce and selected those that are suitable for vertical aquaponic farms in terms of resistance, productivity and sensory qualities.

Mendel University in Brno

The Faculty of Horticulture at Mendel University in Brno (Mendel Uni) is a top institution in the field of plant physiology research and is a long-term partner in aquaponic research and development. In cooperation with ZF Mendelu, we are optimizing technological procedures for the integrated cultivation of leafy vegetables on aquaponic farms.

Our farming successes are not only the result of technological innovation, but also a testament to our dedication to continuously improving growing methods. We believe that this knowledge will benefit not only us, but also the entire community of people interested in sustainable and efficient agriculture.

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