“ Brand: Wilkinsons „
I really enjoy growing vegetables and flowers, and I have spent a lot of time doing that since moving into the new house a couple of years ago. We now have a larger garden, meaning more space for the vegetables and flowers to be grown. When I was in Wilkinsons and saw these seed trays last October I thought they would be ideal to use for growing more vegetables and flowers in the next few months.
The trays themselves came in packs of three (and I bought five packs, so fifteen seed trays in total). The trays themselves are black in colour, although I believe they also come in green (I bought some of those years ago, although whether they're still available in green now, I'm unsure). Each of the individual trays contains forty individual pots for the seeds to go in.
As each of the individual pots is approximately seven centimetres deep and four centimetres across either way, it means that they are the perfect size for the plants when they're small, giving them enough room to get started without being overcrowded, so they really are the perfect size.
The trays fit perfectly on my miniature greenhouse as well, which is another added bonus. The trays as a whole are approximately 35cm long and 20cm wide, which makes them pretty decent in terms of size as a whole as well.
In terms of how much compost each of the seed pots hold, it does depend on how large the seeds are (larger seeds are going to need less compost than those tiny seeds you can't even see, after all!) but in general, I would say each one probably holds around three to four spoonfuls of compost. This is a good thing in my opinion because it means that the compost will last a lot longer than it would have done if it was used to fill deeper pots per plant.
The trays are made of thin plastic which is fairly flimsy and very easily crushed, which is something that I find to be quite annoying given that the seeds and seedlings within the seed pots are quite fragile when they're young and can easily be broken or disturbed to the point where they won't grow any more and could die very easily. For this reason, I try to make sure that they are transplanted into other pots before they are able to be crushed.
However, the trays are pretty good in general at starting plants off because they provide individual support for the individual plants in order to make sure that they grow well to begin with. I think that they do work well in this respect. As long as you put one seed in each of the different pots, they'll have enough space to grow without being overcrowded for their first few days and weeks of life before getting moved on into larger pots.
In terms of price, I paid 10p per pack of three (so 3p each!), which to say the least is a bargain! However I believe that the recommended retail price for these currently is £1.50, making them 50p per tray.
I love growing my own vegetables, flowers and herbs and am always on the look out for good quality seed trays at a good price. I do also tend to keep yoghurt pots to use, but there never seems to be enough and you also need to put your own holes in the bottom for drainage, so when I saw these seed trays in Wilkinsons a while ago, priced at a very reasonable 3 trays for £1.50 I picked up a pack.
The trays are made of a thin black plastic with ridges on the outer edges, they are quite sturdy. The trays measure 5.5 cm in height, 23cm X 36cm in overall width and depth. Each tray has 40 individual seed pots, 5 X 8. Each individual seed tray has small holes in the base of each pot that are a good size to allow for adequate drainage, though not so large that when you fill them with soil and compost it falls through the bottom. I put the tray inserts onto a large plastic tray so when they are watered it contains the water and it is not messy, plus the seeds can then soak up the water throughout the day.
As I tend to plant a lot of seeds I also found that the trays can be cut along the top where they are attached so that they can fit in odd gaps I have on my larger plastic trays, the edges can become a bit sharp after they have been cut though so I would recommend being careful not to nick or scratch yourself when cutting them.
As I previously said I grow all different types of things and find that when I plant my seeds in these trays that they are best filled to nearly the top to allow you to give the seed enough room to grow and establish itself before it needs to be either potted on or moved in the garden. Once the seed trays are full they do become quite heavy and also as they are quite large, it is best to slide your hand underneath them to move them around rather that picking them up as you would a tray, as they tend to either fold in on themselves or out and then you can end up dropping them and wasting all the hard work you did putting the seeds in in the first place.
Once my seeds have reached the stage where they need potting on I find that they are very easy to remove, I just push up on the underneath of the individual seed pot and life the plant out or sometimes I use a lollipop stick, gently pushed down the side to lift the seedling from the bottom, making sure I do not damage them. Now that most of my seeds have been potted on and are growing well in the garden, I have washed two of the seeds trays just using water and they are ready to use next year. They washed quite well, as I was careful not to damage them, but they are a little thin so it is best to not be heavy handed if you want to re-use them.
Overall I would recommend these seeds trays to others are they are cheap, do a good job and are easy to use and re-use.