In hydroponics, you will find that there are different kinds of hydroponics trays. Trays that are smaller are often used for nurturing seeds into “plugs,” which are small seedlings with few leaves.
Plugs are often more resilient and able to grow fully, as compared to seeds that are directly planted within a hydroponics system.
Once the seeds have germinated into plugs of sufficiently good quality, they are transferred into rows for growth into mature plants.
This article serves as a guide offering you a list of recommended grow trays, available in the market today.
Hydroponic trays for starting seeds, seedlings, clones, and small plants
Plant Grow Trays by Living Whole Foods
This plant grow tray by Living Whole Foods is used for starting seeds, and has sufficient space for ten sprouting plants or seedlings. With its firm and well-designed shape, this tray, built for use in hydroponics systems, is suitable for growing new seeds.
Each tray measures 21” x 11” and is sold in packs of 10, meaning that you can nurture 100 seedlings with every pack purchased.
Jump Start Heat House by Hydro Farm
The Hydro Farm Jump Start Heat House is a growing tray that works similarly to both grow cabinets and seedling trays.
The heat map installed in this tray allows you to control for optimal warmth for germination, enhancing seedling growth. Its ability to raise temperatures also reduces the likelihood of root rot, as well as other diseases like mold.
With an abundant 72 cells for seedlings, the Jump Start Heat House is an excellent tray for growing seedlings.
1020 Trays, Extra Strength by Bootstrap Farmer
Bootstrap Farmer 1020 trays are designed for passive hydroponics, where you are only required to add a nutrient solution to the tray. Draining is not required, but holes can be added to the tray if you want to as well.
The manufacturer, Bootstrap Farmer, is involved in hydroponics as well, and the trays sold on their site are also used in the growth of their crops.
These trays are well made and durable, so you can be sure that these will last you a long time. Simply wash and reuse the same trays after the growth of a new batch of seedlings.
Large hydroponic trays and flood tables
Low Tide Trays by Botanicare
These Botanicare low tide trays measure at 1’ x 4’ ft each – a generous amount of space that is perfect for producing a high number of seedlings within one batch.
This low tide tray is suitable if you are dealing with a large hydroponics system, as it allows you to quickly produce a high number of seedlings at once. If you have several different plant strains, these trays will be essential in separating strains of seedlings according to batch.
Additionally, the Botanicare low tide tray is also designed to conserve the nutrient solution of your grow bed. This is nicely managed by the diagonal drainage spaces that drain out the excess solution, without wetting the grow media.
Grow Tray by Botanicare
When looking for grow trays, the best would be those that can accommodate multiple uses. One nice alternative would be the Botanicare grow tray, which measures at 36’ x 36’ x 6’. As these trays are deep, they are a versatile option as they can function as grow beds, as well as grow trays for plants that are nearing their mature stages.
If you are looking for reliable grow trays, these products by Botanicare might be safe opt for as these are quality products that are long-lasting, yet priced affordably.
Tray Stand by Fast Fit
For growers who are new to the field of hydroponics, the Fast Fit tray stand will be good to start with. Given its size of 2’ x 4’, the tray stand is fit to be used for various purposes – as a grow bed for seedlings, a large grow bed for higher yields, or even to provide stable support for small tanks.
Assembly of the tray stand is simple as it takes only about five minutes, and does not require any tools. Furthermore, its white design allows it to blend nicely with any garden setting you have.
Tray Stand by HydroFarm
The HydroFarm tray stand has many excellent features. Firstly, its stainless steel structure ensures durability, while its attached light hanging bar allows you to hang up your grow lights (great for setups that are indoors). Secondly, the tray stand is also designed to have a low height, ensuring that trays are placed directly above their reservoirs, allowing more vertical space to accommodate plant growth.
Finally, the tray stand is mobile as it comes with caster wheels, making this a convenient addition to any growing station.
Final tips for building a growing station
For those who are setting up their hydroponics station for the first time, here are some essential tips:
Selecting appropriate grow media
When plants are at the seedling stage, they require plenty of oxygen and air circulation. To ensure these requirements are met, try to use grow media that is catered to starting seedling growth.
Selecting appropriate fertilizers for seed germination
For hydroponics, there are three types of fertilizing stages – starting, blooming, and maintenance.
When plants are in the germination stage, fertilizers for the starting and maintenance phases are suitable options. Be careful not to add excessive amounts to the nutrient reservoir, as this can cause seedlings to die.
Understanding the requirements for healthy plant growth
Different plants have different requirements for optimal growth. Look out for the nutrient requirements of your plant type, as well as the pH levels needed for various hydroponic systems.
Hydroponic gardening can seem daunting at the start, but it doesn’t have to be! With this list of recommended grow trays and flood tables, you will be able to find something that is both handy and long-lasting for your hydroponics journey. Reach out to experienced growers for advice and useful information on how to grow your crops. Not to mention, the internet is your best friend when finding information on hydroponics. Have fun growing!