How to choose the suitable seedling tray for your plants?


2023-02-18 11:52

Nowadays, plug seedling in tray has become the mainstream choice no matter vegetables, fruits or flowers. It is convenient and quick to raise seedlings in plug trays, and large-scale mass production can be achieved with machine sowing. Plug seedlings are also suitable for growers to standardize seedlings, with good seedling effects and easy to transplant. Together with us on how to select the suitable seed trays for seedlings.

Material of seedling tray

At present, the seed trays used for seedling cultivation mainly include plastic seed trays and polystyrene foam trays. The main materials of the plastic plug are polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polypropylene (PP).


The PS is resistant to high temperature, not easy to deform in summer, has good toughness, and does not break easily in winter;

The PVC has poor stability and will decompose in long-term high-temperature exposure, become fragile and easily damaged;

The PP is hard, brittle texture, and is easy to break in winter.


The PS is more practical, but higher cost, so the low-cost PVC tray is used mostly.

The EPS foam tray has a low density and can be floated on the nutrient solution pools or Ebb and flow seedbeds, and can be reused after disinfection.


Thickness of seedling tray

The thickness of the common seed trays on the market is 0.6~1.2 mm. 0.6~0.8 mm thickness plug trays are mostly used for manual sowing or one-time use, for example, if selling the young plants with seed trays, the seedling company can choose 0.6-0.8mm thickness tray. 1.0~1.2 mm thickness trays are suitable for machine sowing and reuse after disinfection.


Depth of seedling tray

The depth of the seed tray on the market is 3~5 cm, the deeper the tray depth, the larger substrate quantity and the greater the substrate water retention, then the more conductive to roof growth. There are also special-purpose seeding trays with a depth up to 9~11 cm.


Hole shape of seedling tray

There are two shapes of holes in seeding trays: round and square. The round hole has a smooth inner wall, without corners of the square hole, which is conductive to the winding of the root of plant on the inner wall. The square hole is good for guiding the roots to extend downward, and the substrate capacity is about 30% more than the round one. The water is distributed evenly and the roots can grow better.


Specification of seedling tray

The common seedling tray size is 540mm x 280mm with different cells. The less the number, the larger the cell. The numbers of cells are 32, 50, 72, 105, 128, 200, etc. The selection of plug tray specifications should not only consider the size and shape of the seeds, but also the size of the young plant. Only by selecting the proper size can the seedlings achieve optimal growth.


Suitable trays for vegetable and fruit seedlings

Generally, 50 cells tray is fixed for fruits plant seedling, such as cucumbers, luffa gourd, melon, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. (Insert picture of seeding tray)

The 72 cells one seeding tray is mostly for solanaceous vegetable propagation, such as eggplant, tomatoes, etc.

105 cells and 128 cells are mostly for leafy vegetable propagation, such as lettuce, cabbage, kale, pak choi, water spinach, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, etc.

128-hole seeding trays are mostly used to seedling celery, coriander or parsley. 

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