When & Why Use Seed Starting Trays

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    Being able to properly use seed starting trays can open up amazing new garden opportunities. Let’s chat about what seed trays are all about and when they come in handy.

    When to Use Seed Starting Trays

    Timing is key, and using seed starting trays right helps your garden stretch its growing season and gets young plants set up for success. Here’s when to break out those seedling trays:

    • Get ahead of spring: Dodge late frosts by kicking off your seeds indoors 2 to 16 weeks before you plan to transplant them. This head start shields your seedlings from the unpredictable weather outside. Once they’re good to go outside, check your local frost schedule to avoid any surprises. After the last spring frost, your plants are good to thrive in the great outdoors.
    • Control the growing environment: When Mother Nature isn’t playing nice, give your seeds a cozy spot by a window or under a plant light indoors. Plus, you get to keep a close eye on their moisture levels.
    • Double your harvest: Some plants let you sow seeds more than once in a season. Start early, then plant another round right after the first to extend that growing season and load up on harvest.

    How to Choose Seedling Trays 

    There are a few categories to pick from when choosing seed starter trays.

    • Count the cells: You’ve got options from 32 cells, 50 cells, 72 cells, all the way up to 200+ cells. They usually fit in a 10×20-inch watering tray. More cells mean smaller space for each plant. Depending on your garden plans, figure out how many plants you need and whether they might need more space before moving outside.
    • Material matters: Plastic trays are tough and can be used again and again. Biodegradable ones can go straight into the soil, which is a win for reducing waste and making transplanting easier. Then there are terracotta trays, reusable and more breathable than plastic. Take your pick based on what suits your style and your garden’s vibe.

    Hope this gets you excited about adding seed trays to your gardening routine! Growing seeds in these trays is not just a practical step; it’s a fun process that helps your plants become stronger, healthier, and more productive.

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