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Using seed trays with holes in

Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 435
I've inherited a number of seed trays with holes in but I've never quite worked out how best to use them as I work on the basis that you would have to put the holey trays into other trays to catch excess water, and then surely the holey trays are sitting in water anyway?

Previously when sowing seeds I have used modular trays that sit inside another tray but there is a gap between the bottom of each module and the tray it sits in.  Otherwise I sow into small pots and then sit them in trays with no holes in them.

So, is the whole point of holey trays that they absorb water from a try beneath them, or is it that they sit on a slatted shelf and any excess water drips on the GH floor?

Thoughts welcome, thanks 


  • Seed trays usually have holes. The ones without holes are called gravel trays.
    Seed trays sit on the greenhouse shelf, which may be slatted or solid, if it is an aluminium one, and excess water can drain away. They are also useful outside when growing on as they are less likely to get waterlogged.
    Gravel trays are good for standing pots on, makes watering easier, and for plants that need a humid atmosphere, or those that don't need much watering and need good drainage you can stand them on gravel and keep them either moist or dry accordingly. I put large gravel trays on my greenhouse shelves for my fuchsias and pelargoniums and also on the house windowsills when raising seedlings indoors in early spring.

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 943
    I use gravel trays to stand the tomatoes in pots on, filled with fish tank pebbles, the roots from the tomatoes go down into the pebbles so that is where I water, feed into the pot, use trays with holes in to sow normal seeds, placed on a bench with capilliary matting.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,929
    I use holey seed trays to start things off on the windowsills indoors (no greenhouse).  I stand them in larger hole-less trays which have ridges in the base so the seed trays don't stand directly in excess water (unless there's loads in which case the whole lot can be taken to the sink and excess water tipped out)
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