Best flats to use and obtaining size
I'm planning to start a large number of flower seeds this year including hardy perennials, native plants and naturalizing annuals. In the past I've started seeds in aluminum flats and 4 inch pots, then transplanted the tiny seedlings into prepared beds. This go, I'd like to grow the perennials to a larger size plug, then pot on so that I have something more substantial--possibly over a years time or earliest plant out in the fall. It gives me time to prepare my new planting area too.
Looking at all the options for flats, is there any advantage to particular shapes and sizes or depths for flower plugs? I've seen germination trays and plug flats with 200 /128/72/28/24 cells.
Most discussions I've seen on tray sizes have been from professional/market growers who don't want to spend a lot of time transplanting into progressively larger sizes. I would like to know if there are *advantages* to the hobbyist in using the smaller tray cells versus starting in the larger cells.
Do seeds germinate more quickly in smaller amounts of growing mix? How many times would one transplant to get to a quart sized plant? (I've seen single bitty plugs plunked into the center of gallon pots but those were for assembly line nurseries that have watering systems and whatnot to care for the plant from seeding through loading the trucks with product).