Hardy PLASTIC TRAYS to start my seedlings, any suggestion?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I need a good and cheap source for hardy plant trays to start my seedlings.
I have use the regular 1020 plants trays and they keep cracking ... making the water going all over.
I have found those trays below and I wonder if anybody has tried them (I'd like to know before I will buy a bunch)

http://indoorgardensupplies.com/permanest-plant-tray-11x22x2...

Perma-Nest Plant Tray Tan 11x22x2.5

Rugged polystyrene
Will last for years
Hot and cold sterilized
Holds a seed flat, or cell insert
Dimensions: 11" x 22" x 2 1/2"

Thumbnail by drthor
Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

I use the large-sized aluminum trays, the kind caterers use, from Sam's. Very inexpensive, I think that there were 20 trays in the package for about $8. They are a little flimsy when filled with seed pots so you have to have one hand underneath them when you pick them up or move them.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks hrp50. I am looking for something heavy.
When I use the 5" pots I need support on the bottom.
I will wait a little bit more to see if somebody will answer this thread.
I have also posted in the SEED GERMINATION forum, but no answer there either.

Austin, TX

I am trying a Boot Tray that I purchased from The Container Store. It cost about $6.50 or so.

http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10007173&N=&Ntt=Boot+tray

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Check out wallpaper trays(used to hold water for soaking )- They are very sturdy.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I need about 21" x 11", so I could fit 4 trays on my shelf.
I will check those wallpaper trays. Thanks

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

My Lowe's will give you empty growers flats- I save the ones with 4" square cavities. I use them to hold pots of seedlings- they have them in all sizes- and free!!!

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

drthor, yes, I have used the perma-nest trays for a few years now and I love them. And it looks like you've found the cheapest prices on them. That's where I buy mine from. They aren't indestructible, but with a little care and caution (don't pick one up with just one hand on the end ... too much stress on the middle), they'll last a long time.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

yeeeaaahhhh .... thanks p1mkw, that is what I wanted to hear.
I will place an order then.
Sincerely

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Just finding this thread, but I've started using cat liter trays from our local $1 store. They're $1.09. VERY STURDY, although I can only get twelve 16 oz. red solo cups per tray, vs. the fifteen I can put into a standard FLIMSY, CRACK-WHEN-YOU-CARRY-IT, seedling tray. But, I can carry 12 filled cups with one hand, and CONFIDENCE it won't crack on me!

I can fit three trays side x side under a 48" fluorescent light kit.

Linda

This message was edited Jul 13, 2011 8:44 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Lookin' good Linda!

Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

drthor, I second the recommendation for Permanest trays. They aren't cheap, but they are very sturdy and come in a variety of sizes and colors.

For some reason, the link you provided above is not working for me, so I can't tell what price you got.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

here is the link again.
Your are right the first link is not working anymore.

http://indoorgardensupplies.com/permanest-plant-tray-11x22x25-p-686.html

Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

Yep, those are good prices - the cheapest I've seen.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I've been thinking about buying a 4'x8' sheet of wooden paneling and cutting 16 tray-sized supports out of it. I only need 4 or 6 so I could double them up for stiffness.

Corey

Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

I just found this thread. I have those polystyrene trays. Got them from IGS but I bought the light green ones.

Thumbnail by 2gardenkate
Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

I have several sizes: 8x12x2.5" , 4x8x2.5" and the large 11x22x2.5".

Thumbnail by 2gardenkate
Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

I like the 8x12x2.5 they work for just about everything I germinate.

Thumbnail by 2gardenkate
Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

I've only found one problem. Since I don't have a potting shed (or much garden space) I have left the trays sitting in the sun before I got to washing them. The plastic got a bit brittle and the edges have broken on a few of them and some have gotten discolored.

Thumbnail by 2gardenkate
Lombard, IL(Zone 5a)

I use boot trays as well- they are very sturdy and can be purchased for $4-7 each. I also use kitty litter boxes, never used of course. Sometime, somewhere, sombody gave me ten brand new boxes and I've used them in the garden countless times- as drip trays, for garden debris, to haul stones, to store compost, just tons of uses.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I love the kitty litter box idea. Some friends just gave me two great trays they no longer need (due to moving to a retirement home) which look like the Permarest 8x12x2.5". They are very sturdy and were a welcome gift just one day after reading this thread!! But I plan to start checking out the local Dollar stores as well!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

One thing that keeps tripping me up is that my web-bottom trays are smaller than my 1020 trays. I guess that's so the web trays fit INSIDE the 1020s so you can do things like bottom-water by dipping a web tray into a solid-bottom 1020.

But I have dozens of square 3-3.5" pots that fit perfectly into a 1020 tray - 3x6, I think, with no wasted space..
But only 2 of those 3" pots fit accross a web tray, so 30% of the space is wasted.
I can use 1/3 Dixie cups to take up the wasted space, but that's inconvenient and they fall over as soon as there's any empty spot in a tray.

The only solutioon I've thought of is to buy a bunch more 1020 trays with slit bottoms, and re-inforce those flimsy trays with plywood or woodpaneling ... but then what function are the trays serving? Would it be looney to make heavy, rottable wooden trays to hold plastic pots, re-inventing the "flat"?

Corey

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

You don't want a flat that bends in your hands if the load is too heavy. Something sturdier would be better. You should be able to pick it up one handed when you want to lift or move the 'flat'.....and your other hand is occupied.

I hit Target today and picked up 3 'serving trays' for two bucks each. They are small'ish, 6"x10" maybe. My grow rooms are the two back bedrooms and negotiating a standard doorway with furniture in the way while carrying a large tray is......fraught with troubles for me. :-) It sounds like I am operating on a much smaller scale than what you are doing sa well. Good luck with it all, it's often just trial and error.....and then the weather factors in.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I have been using and reusing wallpaper trays for the past several years. Sometimes I plant in them directly, but mostly I use them to hold the 3oz plastic Solo cups I start seeds in. The ones I have will hold 28 little cups.

I also save anything produce comes in - such as mushrooms. They are great for starting seeds in, too.

This photo of tomato seedlings was taken April 13th 2011 .

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Honey....I've used those before too and they are great. Looking good there!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I'm not big-scale, I just collect gadgets and try to buy or scrounge economical sizes (meaning, more than I'll use up in the next 5 years).

My largest seed-starting adveture was this year: 4 trays at once, which meant that some of them didn't get much light at the edges.

It would be smarter to have a cold frame / hoop tunnel to move started trays out to ... one of these years!

But I'm already reaching the state of enthusiasm that many have reported:

"I've started all these seeds, now WHERE am I gonna plant them all?!?"

Corey

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

The Perma trays arrived and I am very very HAPPY with those trays. Exact what I was looking for.
Strong and very strong. Impossible to break them ... maybe if I jump on top of them ... but I will not.
I am thrilled

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

Drthor, They do have a tendency to be brittle after taking them outside in the sun to harden off your plants. Just so you are aware.

Ramona, CA(Zone 9b)

drthor, If you don't mind, which size trays did you end up purchasing? Looks like you were leaning toward the 11x22...? Are you still happy with them?

I like the idea of 4 trays per shelf, and having only 1 row of trays (with none back behind others), but then again, the 8x12s might hold 4 inch pots better.


Thumbnail by TLeaves
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I bought the 11x22" and I am able to have a row of four in each shelf.
I absolutely love them. They are very strong.
You can fit 18 four inches pots or even 21 if you squeeze them ...
Definetly the best investiment on trays I have ever done.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from drthor :
I need a good and cheap source for hardy plant trays to start my seedlings.
I have use the regular 1020 plants trays and they keep cracking ... making the water going all over.
I have found those trays below and I wonder if anybody has tried them (I'd like to know before I will buy a bunch)

http://indoorgardensupplies.com/permanest-plant-tray-11x22x2...



Park Seed sells the same Perma-Nest brand. I've had a couple I've used for years - VERY sturdy, stiff, won't fold up with weight, hold up well in sun (though I wouldn't leave them out), don't break easily (I haven't managed yet!). Mine are just big enough to nest a standard plastic tray. I would buy them again.

-Rich

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Since the original link no longer goes to the page for the Perma-Nests I am updating that link again to Indoorgardensupplies for any new people trying to reach that site. It seems they renamed the parts numbers so that explains the problem. The page you will go to now lists different sizes as well as the 11 x 22". Not too early to be thinking about sowing seeds!! Hope this link works for all of you!

Here is the new link as of March 11, 2013. http://indoorgardensupplies.com/shop/product-category/plant-trays/




This message was edited Mar 11, 2013 10:36 AM

Ramona, CA(Zone 9b)

Quote from drthor :
I bought the 11x22" and I am able to have a row of four in each shelf.
I absolutely love them. They are very strong.
You can fit 18 four inches pots or even 21 if you squeeze them ...


I'm trying to find some good pots for my permanest trays. While the outside dimension of the permanest tray is 11x22, the INSIDE dimensions are 9.5" x 20" at the bottom and then the tray tapers up to about 10 x 20.5 at the top. Do 4" pots really fit? Are they round or square?

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

I would like to find permanest trays that fit my shelves with lights better. I believe that the shelves are 48" long x 19" wide. I have several of the 11'' x 22'' trays and with 48" long shelves I can place two trays end to end that fill most of the shelf. The problem is that at 11" wide there is a lot of shelf space being wasted since the shelf isn't wide enough to place two trays side by side lenghtwise. I went looking online one day for trays that are approximately 19" x 22" but I couldn't anything in that range. Has anyone seen trays that are that size?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

TLeaves
on my permanest trays I use regular 4" pots. I can fit 18 or 21 pots (if I squeeze a little).
I never bought those pots. I have millions in my garage saved from my annuals.

hrp50,
look at the pictures below.
Yes you can fit 4 permanest trays on your shelf. You just need to overlap them a little bit. Can you see in the close-up? you see one tray on top of the other.
You will just need to get used at the beginning to slide the trays in and out if you need (and not lift them).
You always are so funny ... always looking for the hardest solution ... giggle ...

Those trays are just amazing.

Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor
Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

drthor
I got it and I will try it. I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist and like things to fit together without an overlap. Don't you agree that a 22" x 19" tray would be a perfect size if they came in that size. It would also give you more square inches of tray space. 1,672 square inches (19" x 22" x 4) vs 968 square inches (11"x 22"x 4). I can't even calculate how many additional 4" peat pots that would equate to. Maybe 1,67- 968=704/16 sq " per peat pot=44 additional peat pots. That sounds high so I need someone to double check my calculations since I was a CPA for thirty-five years but I wasn't good with numbers, at least near the end. :) But the fact remains that the trays aren't available in that size that I can find.

This message was edited Feb 25, 2013 9:29 AM

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree. I'd love to have those trays to fit perfectly ... but I could leave with overlaps.
I did do a lot of searches before buying these trays and nothing smaller was available.
I do really like them anyway!

Update this thread if you will find anything else.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)




This message was edited Feb 25, 2013 3:46 PM

This message was edited Feb 25, 2013 4:12 PM

This message was edited Feb 26, 2013 7:29 AM

This message was edited Feb 26, 2013 10:28 AM

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

DavidofDeLand

I really don't understand what you’re trying to say about my question regarding the permanest trays. I was seriously curious about why companies don't make the trays in the size that I think would best utilize the space on our 48" shelves which I know many of us use and 11" wide is pretty standard for a shelf width. Of course if I find them in the size I'm looking for I will share that with other DGer's on this thread. That's the point of belonging to a web site like this one where you share your experience and information with like-minded gardeners. And you are right that I’m a very persistent person (my wife even referred to my persistent pursuit of her to marry me in her wedding vows to me 26 years ago) as well as having OCB and being ADHD, and yes I will find a solution to what I consider a “tray size dilemma” at some point. I mean 116 - 4” peat pots per shelf vs. 72 peat pots per shelf, why wouldn’t I? Yes, I planted my tomato seeds on 1/1, 1/4 & 5 and potted up some but not all of them on 1/23/13 but haven’t had a chance to plant them out yet due to my recent surgery and doctor’s requirement to being non-weight bearing on my left foot. Yes, I’m pleased with the 16oz clear plastic cups (but not Dixie cups) I used for potting up my tomato seedlings and will post a picture soon showing how you can see a cup full of hyphae attached to the roots from using the mycorrhizae fungi. However, I’m thinking about upgrading my trays right now because I wanted to find a solution at the same time I’m planning for my seed starting needs and upgrades for next year and I still have some other seeds to plant for this season. Yes, I’m very passionate about gardening now that I self-forced myself to retire from the CPA business two years ago and wish I had paused long enough during my 35 year career as a CPA to smell the flowers so to speak and not spent so many hours at the office. I feel that I have so much to learn and wish I had started my gardening career sooner. Finally, I have no idea what a “Skinny Linda” is but I would love to hear your or someone else’s explanation.

Sincere thanks for your input, David.


This message was edited Feb 25, 2013 8:23 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have often wonder why the garden essentials don't really work together..it doesn't make sense. I use the 1020 trays but they are flimsy I just buy new ones. Cat litter boxes work well and are sturdy but they don't fit perfectly either. For pots I use 2.5 or 3.25 so it's impossible to make trays that fit the different size pots.

What are wedding vowels? Maybe if I'd done those it would have lasted...

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP