Seedling Trays for Nursery, also known as nursery trays, germination trays, seed germination trays, and seed propagation trays, are plastic containers with multiple cells that are used to start seeds indoors or outdoors. They are a popular choice for nurseries and home gardeners alike, as they offer a number of advantages over other methods of seed starting, such as direct sowing in the ground or using individual pots.
Benefits of Using Seedling Trays
There are many benefits to using seedling trays, including:
- Improved germination rates: Seedling trays provide a controlled environment for seed germination, with optimal levels of moisture, temperature, and light. This can lead to higher germination rates and healthier seedlings.
- Reduced transplant shock: Seedling trays allow you to transplant seedlings into their permanent location with minimal root disturbance. This can help to reduce transplant shock and improve plant survival rates.
- Efficient use of space: Seedling trays are a space-efficient way to start seeds, as they allow you to grow a large number of seedlings in a relatively small area.
- Easy to use: Seedling trays are easy to use and maintain, even for beginners.
- Reusable: Seedling trays can be reused for multiple seasons, which makes them a cost-effective investment.
How to Use Seedling Trays
Using seedling trays is simple. Here are the basic steps:
- Fill each cell in the seedling tray with a seed-starting mix.
- Water the seed-starting mix until it is moist but not soggy.
- Plant the seeds in the seed-starting mix, following the instructions on the seed packet.
- Water the seeds again.
- Place the seedling tray in a warm, sunny location.
- Keep the seed-starting mix moist but not soggy.
- Once the seedlings have emerged, fertilize them regularly with a weak liquid fertilizer.
- Transplant the seedlings into their permanent location when they have a few sets of true leaves.
Types of Seedling Trays
Seedling trays come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The most common type of seedling tray is made of plastic. Plastic seedling trays are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. They are also relatively inexpensive.
Another type of seedling tray is made of biodegradable materials, such as peat or paper. Biodegradable seedling trays are environmentally friendly, but they are more expensive than plastic seedling trays and they may not be as durable.
Seedling trays also come in a variety of cell sizes. The cell size will determine how many seeds or seedlings you can plant in the tray. Small cell trays are ideal for starting small seeds, such as carrots and lettuce. Large cell trays are ideal for starting larger seeds, such as tomatoes and peppers.
Choosing the Right Seedling Trays for Nursery
When choosing a seedling tray, there are a few factors to consider:
- Size: Choose a seedling tray that is the right size for the amount of seeds or seedlings you want to start.
- Material: Choose a seedling tray that is made of a durable material that is easy to clean.
- Cell size: Choose a seedling tray with the right cell size for the type of seeds or seedlings you want to start.
- Drainage: Make sure that the seedling tray has drainage holes to prevent the roots of your seedlings from sitting in water.
- Price: Seedling trays can range in price from a few dollars to over twenty dollars. Choose a seedling tray that fits your budget.
Tips for Using Seedling Trays for Nursery
Here are a few tips for using seedling trays effectively:
- Use a high-quality seed-starting mix: Seed-starting mix is a lightweight, well-draining medium that is ideal for germinating seeds.
- Water the seed-starting mix regularly: Seed-starting mix should be kept moist but not soggy. Water the seedlings deeply and allow the excess water to drain out of the drainage holes.
- Fertilize the seedlings regularly: Seedlings need regular fertilization to grow strong and healthy. Use a weak liquid fertilizer, such as half-strength fish emulsion or seaweed extract.
- Harden off the seedlings before transplanting: Once the seedlings have a few sets of true leaves, it is time to start hardening them off. This means exposing them to gradually cooler temperatures and more direct sunlight. This will help the seedlings to adjust to their new environment and reduce the risk of transplant shock.