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Do Trays Have to have drain holes

Posted by cookie_ks az (My Page) on
Sat, May 26, 12 at 16:15

I have some plastic trays that I have already started some seeds in and they do not have any holes in them. Should I go ahead and drill some holes in the containers even though I have already planted some seeds to start the plants outdoors? What should I cover them with?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do Trays Have to have drain holes

Hi cookie,

Yes, you should put drain holes in the bottom of the trays; the soil needs good drainage to allow oxygen to reach the roots. The soil needs to be damp but not wet.

Don't know what kind of plastic trays you have, but some plastics will crack or break if you try to drill holes through it. I usually burn the holes through using an old soldering iron, but of course anything hot enough would work as wall.

As for what to cover the trays with, keep in mind that the only purpose of covering the trays is to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. If you're home all the time and can make sure the soil stays slightly damp, you really don't need to cover the trays at all. In fact, in my opinion, it's better if you can get by without covers. If you work all day and can't watch the plants close enough, then you might be better off covering the trays with something that would let the light in (glass, clear plastic, or even Saran or Handi Wrap).

Hope this helps,


RE: Do Trays Have to have drain holes

Yes, trays without holes are intended for holding other containers like cell packs, containers that already have holes in them. Solid trays should not be used for direct planting in.

Since it is already planted, rather than drilling you can use a hot nail, solder iron, woodburner iron, etc. to melt small holes in the bottom of the tray.


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