Seed Trays

Each year I try something new with my vegetable growing. A few years back it was no dig, which was a great success. This year I’m going to try long life seed trays.

I guessing I’m not alone in obsessing about giving my seedlings the best start in life. It’s completely silly because they are way tougher than we give them credit for. My main reason for losing seedlings is actually damping off which I cause by over watering, literally killing them with kindness.

One aspect of my seedling game that I thought I could improve was the trays I was using. I know some people use old butter containers or microwave meal containers but I just can’t be doing with the multitude of shapes and sizes. For that reason I’ve been using one time use seed trays, the sort with flexible plastic modules. They work but I find the plugs have a habit of getting stuck and the tray will go all floppy at just the wrong moment.

This year I’ve invested in long-life seedling trays from ContainerWise. They aren’t cheap but from what I’ve read online they will easily last 15+ years and people that have owned them for a decade or more say they are as good as new. I struggle to believe I’ll be making much use of them 20 years from now so they will probably see me out.

Naturally, there are plenty of different designs for things like this. The other two designs that were recommended to me were Bustaseed Tip Out Propagation Tray and Agralan Plug Plant. The tip out idea looked good but I got the feeling I would be buying into a proprietary design for life. The plug plant didn’t appear to offer any advantage and was more expensive.

In the end I bought the following containers which cost about £100. 4*28L, 1*28H, 4*40L, 3*40H, 3*77L. A 28L has 28 cells and is standard height, a 28H has 28 cells and is the tall variation.

My planting plant for 2024 is as follows.

140LGarlic4035 (seed limited)
1/440LCabbage (Kalibro)104
277LSilverskin Onions154125
177LSilverskin Onions77?
128HTomato (2 varieties)28?
1/240LFrench Bean20?
1/240LKohl Rabi20?

A question mark indicates I’ve not worked out exactly how many I need yet but it’s less than the number I’m planting.