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Gravel/Water Trays

I'm quite new at growing my own plants and i've always watered from the top but now  i've got alot of potted on seedlings i've decided to buy some large gravel/water trays to try save time. Now most of the seedlings i have are Saponaria ocymoides, Thymus serpyllum & Saxifraga x arendsii, is it bast to use gravel in these trays or just put some water in?.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,425

    Are you thinking of leaving the seedling pots standing in water?

    I water from the bottom but I put the pots in shallow water and take them out when the compost is damp enough, it only takes a few seconds or minutes depending on how dry they are. I assess this by weight. 


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 650

    Today i left them in the water but i didn't put alot in and most of it was gone in a few minutes.

  • I made up some large trays like this a few years ago and find them very useful for growing on cuttings or for plants awaiting a permanent home. It avoids the pots standing in an inch of water if it's very rainy and water lasts longer in dry spells.

    For seedlings I used finer gravel trays and also trays lined with capillary matting asI I think that encourages the roots
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    Like nut, I stand them in water until the compost on the top changes colour (darkens) and then lift them out (it usually only takes a few of minutes.)   I then don't water again until the top surface is dry all over (which can be anything from a couple of days to a week or so later, depending on how warm the greenhouse gets.)  If the compost is kept too wet, the seeds won't germinate or can die if they do.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Same as you Nut and Bob imageI have two cheap washing up bowls one with the water in and the other to drain the excess water off. By the time the pots are drenched I've completed another task. I've got gravel on the floor of the greenhouse but decided not to use it as a big gravel tray.

  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 650

    Thanks for the input guys

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,874

    I do as others have said. leave to soak from bottom, then drain. If you have a layer of gravel in your tray, a shallow layer of water, but not so deep it touches the base of the seed trays, the increased humidity is useful.

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