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User's guide

1. Introduction

Linfa is the appliance that allows you to have at home a small vegetable garden with fresh plants always at your fingertips. It is the small scale reproduction of a modern hydroponic greenhouse that does not need to be exposed to sunlight, because the LED lamp faithfully reproduces the natural cycle of day and night, simulating the variation of light intensity according to the time ( noon-dawn-dusk). Plants do not grow in the earth, but in a natural substrate made of pressed coconut fiber (* GrowPod *) and receive water and nutrients from the nutrient solution specially calibrated according to their needs. In this way we can guarantee plants everything they need and a high quality crop for you!

Whether you choose Linfa for your home, your office or your room, you can always admire your growing vegetable garden.

2. Illustrated Legend

Assembly your Linfa following the Assembly Instructions. Below are illustrations of all the parts that make up Linfa.

Fig. 1 - Component legend
  1. Window
  2. Base with USB-C cable
  3. Side
  4. Water tank
  5. Cultivation tray
  6. Cultivation panel (a+b)
  7. Lamp
  8. Torx Screws TT15
  9. Nutrient Capsule
  10. Seeds sachet
  11. GrowPod

3. Search for a suitable location for your Linfa

The choice of where to place Linfa in your home is very important, because it will influence both the growth of your vegetable garden and your grower experience.

Fig. 2 - Choose where to place Linfa

To make the best choice, keep in mind that:

  • Linfa works thanks to a modern LED lamp, optimized for plant growth. This is why, just like the sun, it must guarantee a certain number of hours of lighting at a specific light intensity, which varies with the passing of the day. Position it so that the light emitted does not bother you during your daily activities (especially in the evening and at night). To ensure the optimal growth of your garden make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight;
  • Linfa fans are very important for its operation and for the well-being of your vegetable garden, in fact they serve to ensure a regular exchange of air inside the cultivation chamber and help to reduce the onset of molds increasing hygiene of your garden. Remember that they may make a slight noise that may disturb you;
  • to work, Linfa needs a Wi-Fi connection, so you’ll have to choose a location where you can get a good signal.

You can always decide to move your Sap at a later time, however we recommend that you choose the final position before starting cultivation. In fact, the calibration procedure requires, for a correct reading of the water level, that the drawer is empty, which is obviously more convenient to do before the beginning of a cultivation, than when cultivation started.

WARNING! When you move your Linfa, make sure that the water tank is empty and handle it carefully, keeping it from underneath, never from the sides or from the lamp.

Fig. 3 - How to handle Linfa

Once you have chosen the final location for your Linfa, connect it to the electric power and download the App by searching for “Linfa” in the AppStore or Google Play..

4. Design your farm

The following indications will help you to sow and cultivate a luxuriant vegetable garden. Take the time to design your vegetable garden and you will get the benefits of healthy plants and abundant crops.

Variety of plants

Linfa can accommodate different types of plants, but not all varieties are suitable for cultivation in a hydroponic system; some plants such as carrots, beets, potatoes and onions develop a large plant beneath the ground, so they can not be grown in Linfa.

Height of plants

Our plant kits are specially designed to best fit the growing space within Linfa. The species present in the Mix have been chosen for their compact growth and the ability to develop harmoniously within the greenhouse. Some plants, such as basil, can reach considerable heights depending on the growing conditions; our advice, in these cases, is to cimare the plants so as to favor the development of the side branches obtaining a small bush. You will find advice on how to manage each plant within the app and in the package insert attached to the Paper Mix.

Although the varieties provided by us have known characteristics, it is important to remember that plants, as living beings, are not all identical, therefore small differences in height and development compared to what is described in the Mix are completely normal.

Bearing of the plants and their arrangement

The bearing of the plants is different depending on species and variety: some are bushy, others straight and elongated, some grow vertically, others still horizontally. Considering all these differences, we have studied the best arrangement of GrowPods in the growing tank in order to offer you an excellent experience with Linfa. Inside each Mix there is a leaflet in which you will find the recommended arrangement. However, if you prefer to arrange the plants in a different way according to your needs you can do it, but remember that once you start cultivation you will not be able to rearrange the GrowPod. The mixes proposed by us are designed to allow a harmonious development of cultivation. This is why not all the mixes have the same number of plants (eg the tomato mix has fewer plants than the basil mix). The homogeneous arrangement of the plants in the cultivation tank is very important to allow them the best access to the light coming from the lamp and to the nutrients present in the solution.

Nutrients

For the composition of the Mix we have chosen plants with similar nutritional requirements. For example, it is not recommended to grow plants with reduced nutritional needs (such as lettuces) with more demanding plants (such as tomatoes). Depending on the type of plants grown, the Mix includes one to three different types of nutrient solutions, the dosages of which vary depending on the stage of plant growth. The release of nutrients is regulated by the software through the cultivation profile selectable from the Linfa App: you only have to worry about replacing the capsules at the beginning of a new cultivation cycle.

Life cycle

We have created the Mixes by selecting plants with similar life cycles. For example, tomatoes and basil would be a combination of sensational flavor, but it would be difficult to cultivate them at the same time in Linfa. The basil, in fact, approaches the end of its growth cycle just when the dwarf tomatoes are beginning to mature!

5. Start to grow

Prepare a GrowPod

Robonica guarantees an effective and luxuriant growth of plants exclusively using the GrowPod provided inside the Mix.

Since seeds are living organisms, their germinability can never be 100% assured. This is why it is important to plant a few more seeds so as to guarantee the growth of the plants. For the larger seeds (tomato, pepper, beet, sage) 2 or 3 seeds are sufficient; for the very small ones, on the other hand, it is necessary to use a larger number, typically between 3 and 10 seeds. Depending on the type of cultivation you can grow one or several plants for each GrowPod. For example, some aromatic plants (basil, parsley) grow well in bunches, so you can hold up to 4 or 5 seedlings for GrowPod. Other plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, need more space and, in case you germinate more seeds, you will have to select only one shoot, gently eliminating the other smaller ones, taking care not to damage the most vigorous.

Sow your plants

  1. Place the seeds inside the hole in the middle of the upper face of the GrowPod (the casing should not be removed). It is not necessary to press the seeds or cover them.
  2. Insert the GrowPod in the cultivation plane as you find it in the Mix with the hole facing up.

Fill the water tank

Before starting the cultivation, make sure you have filled the water tank up to the MAX level (the capacity of the water tank is about 4.5 liters) from the appropriate hole.

Fig. 4 - Fill or refill the water tank

The water you use should be at room temperature. If it is too hot or too cold it could damage your vegetable garden.

ATTENTION! The quality of the water you use for your plants greatly influences their growth. Linfa guarantees excellent results using demineralised water at room temperature.

Choose a diet for your plants

Each mix is ​​equipped with capsules to meet the needs of plants during all phases of their life in Linfa. In particular, each recipe contains the basic ingredients to provide the plants with all the elements they need, while maintaining the pH levels and electrical conductivity of the nutritive solution ideal for plants grown in hydroponics.

Depending on the cultivation profile that you will select for your plants, the supply of nutrients will vary. Depending on the chosen fertilization profile, you can change some physical and organoleptic characteristics of your plants.

As you know, in addition to water and nutrients, plants need light in order to grow, develop, flower and produce fruit. Also by choosing the cultivation profile, you can select the duration of the photoperiod, depending on whether you want to opt for a traditional or intensive cultivation (with a greater number of hours of light). Set the start of the photoperiod so as to determine when the sun rises and sets, also depending on your domestic needs. In case you choose to set the lights on at night, we advise you to place the greenhouse in a dark place in the house, away from windows, lamps and other light sources: even plants need sleep!

Watch your garden grow

During the growth phases of your plants, it is important to frequently check what happens inside Linfa and do the following:

  • eliminate fallen leaves and flowers and non-vital parts of plants, so as to limit the appearance of mold on GrowPod;
  • make sure that the water level is always sufficient to allow the pump to operate;
  • remove the parts of plants that grow too close to the lamp or crushed against the sides of the greenhouse;
  • if you think the plants are too dense you can try to prune some branches in order to promote the circulation of air in the growth chamber and reduce the incidence of molds.

6. Conclude the cultivation

Each plant has its own life cycle, which includes a germination phase, a vegetative growth phase, a flowering phase and a fruiting phase.

Depending on the cultivation you choose, you will be interested in a specific phase rather than the others. For example, if you are cultivatin greens you want your plants to germinate easily and vigorously. If you are growing basil, you want to have a long vegetative phase, so as to have many leaves. If, instead, you are growing tomatoes, you will be interested in the fruiting phase.

Since the duration of these phases is variable, the cultivation profiles are referred to an average prediction of crop growth, it is quite normal if what you observe is not perfectly aligned with the steps indicated in the cultivation profile. When you have collected all your product or the cultivation cycle set in Linfa will be finished, all you have to do is remove the plants, remove and wash the cultivation plan, the cultivation tank and the water drawer. You can then clean all the components as described in the section on routine maintenance.

7. Maintenance

Unless the unexpected happens, Linfa’s water tank must not be emptied and washed while the cultivation is in progress. Sap must be cleaned at the end of each cultivation cycle, following the instructions below.

General cleaning of Linfa

After disconnecting the power supply from the mains, ordinary cleaning can be carried out using a dry soft cloth, paying particular attention to the electronic components. Do not use products containing the substances shown in Table X (TBD).

Should it be necessary to clean the lamp, it is recommended to use a dry cloth and to clean each cavity of the lamp individually, taking care not to touch the LEDs. Do not use water or other products.

Cleaning the water tank

  • Remove the water drawer from Linfa, remove the tank and the cultivation plan;
  • empty the water drawer and remove the tank and pump filter;
  • Rinse everything under running water. Clean with a soft sponge, using mild soap or dishwashing liquid. The complete list of non-usable substances is reported in Table X (TBD);
  • Rinse very carefully.
Fig. 5 - Water tank and cultivation tray extraction

Filter maintenance

Linfa is provided with 3 different filters, shown below. Regular cleaning of the filters is important and, for greater hygiene, it is advisable to replace them at the conclusion of some cultivation cycles according to their state.

Water tank filter

This filter is the one that gets dirty most, you can replace it about every 3 months of use or at the end of each cultivation cycle.

Fig. 6 - Water filter
Water tank filter extraction
Fig. 7 - Water tank filter extraction
Water tank filter
Fig. 8 - Water tank filter insertion

Water pump filter

This filter also gets dirty easily. For this it is good to replace it about every 3 months of use. Once replaced, make sure the filter is reinserted correctly and the tube is returned to position.

Fig. 9 - Water pump filter
Water pump filter extraction
Fig. 10 - Water pump filter extraction
Water pump filter insertion
Fig. 11 - Water pump filter insertion

Air filter

The air filter is to protect your vegetable garden from dust.

Fig. 12 - Air filter
Air filter extraction
Fig. 13 - Air filter extraction
Air filter insertion
Fig. 14 - Air filter insertion

Water management

To avoid water stagnation and technical problems remove the water if Linfa stays off for more than three days. In this case, remove the water drawer, after removing the cultivation tank, empty it. Clean the drawer following the operations described above.

Fig. 15 - Water tank and water tray extraction

Reset

On some occasions you may find yourself wanting or having to reset Linfa. For example, if you change the credentials of your Wi-Fi network, you will be forced to perform reset and repeat the Linfa network connection procedure. The same thing if, by entering the network credentials at the first Linfa connection,you make typing errors. The third case for reasons not otherwise correctable, Linfa behaves abnormally.

The operation can be carried out by pressing, with the rear end of a pen (or an object of similar size), a button located in a hole on the lamp in correspondence of the front ventilation grille.

Fig. 16 - Reset Linfa

Proceed as follows:

  • attaching Linfa to a power outlet;
  • keep the indicated button pressed for 4 seconds;
  • wait for Linfa to complete the reset (the light ring must turn white flashing);
  • repeat the association procedure as for a new greenhouse.

ATTENTION! The reset does NOT involve Linfa’s disassociation from your account. This means that following a reset, Linfa must be connected again with the same account to which it was previously associated. To bring it back to the factory state, refer to the dissociation procedure.

Disassociation

The procedure is very simple. From the app’s Settings you have to choose Linfa Settings> Disassociation> name of the Linfa you want to transfer. The disassociation deletes the selected Linfa from your users and removes all the information related to any active cultivation. Please note that disassociation implicitly implies reset which, in turn, deletes your Wi-Fi credentials from Linfa.

It is necessary for Linfa to be connected to the internet to perform this procedure.

8. Spare parts and accessories

Linfa spare parts and accessories can be obtained from an authorized Robonica dealer or on the website

WARNING! If damaged, the greenhouse power cable can not be replaced and the entire Sap must be replaced.