Choosing the Perfect Seedling Trays: A Guide for Busy Gardeners

Choosing the Perfect Seedling Trays: A Guide for Busy Gardeners

Choosing the Perfect Seedling Trays: Know your trays

Spring has sprung (or is about to!), and for many gardeners, that means seed starting indoors. Seedling trays are an essential tool for getting a head start on your favorite vegetables and flowers. But with so many options available, choosing the right tray can feel overwhelming.

Types of Seedling Trays

  1. Standard Plastic Trays
72 cell seedling tray - growers galore
  • Benefits: Affordable, widely available, reusable, easy to clean.
  • Drawbacks: Can be prone to over-watering if not careful. Roots can become tangled if seedlings stay in them too long.
  • Suitable for: Peppers, tomatoes (with careful transplanting), beets, lettuce, other short-season crops.
  1. Biodegradable Trays
bio-degradeable pulp seedling tray - growers galore
  • Benefits: Eco-friendly, eliminates transplanting shock, roots grow right through the pot.
  • Drawbacks: More expensive than plastic trays, can dry out faster.
  • Suitable for: Broccoli, cabbage, herbs, other plants that dislike root disturbance.
  1. Deep Cell Trays
deep base seedling tray - growers galore
  • Benefits: Provides more space for root development, ideal for plants that need more room early on.
  • Drawbacks: Larger footprint requires more space, fewer cells per tray.
  • Suitable for: Tomatoes (especially larger varieties), peppers (later transplanting), eggplant, melons.
  1. Self-Watering Trays
self watering seedning tray -growers galore
  • Benefits: Reduces watering frequency, maintains consistent moisture levels, minimizes risk of over-watering.
  • Drawbacks: More expensive than standard trays, requires refilling the reservoir.
  • Suitable for: Busy gardeners, beginners, plants that need consistent moisture like lettuce and spinach.

Choosing the Right Tray for Your Needs

Here's a quick guide to help you select the best seedling tray for your chosen plants:

  • Tomatoes & Peppers: Start in standard trays or deep cell trays for larger varieties. Transplant carefully when seedlings have a few sets of true leaves.
  • Broccoli & Cabbage: Biodegradable trays are ideal to avoid root disturbance.
  • Beets: Standard trays work well, as beets don't mind some root restriction.
  • Lettuce & Other Leafy Greens: Self-watering trays or standard trays with frequent watering are perfect.


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