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Back to How To....    |   Building a Seedling Tray

If you grow your own seedlings, you are faced with the problem of what to put them in.  It needs to be something that you can set in water to water the seedlings from the bottom, and that will carry a number of pots at a time.  This seedling tray will do just that.

I made mine from a 3/4 inch by 6 inch by 8 feet piece of cedar, which will not rot from the constant wet conditions it encounters.

You will also need a 18 inch by 30 1/2 inch square of hardware cloth, no. 8 X 1 1/2 inch deck screws, 16 gauge X 1 1/4” finish brads, and no. 5 X 3/8”  wire cloth staples or fencing staples.

Cut your board into the following pieces:

  • 2 ends 3/4” X 3 1/2 “ X 16 “
  • 2 sides 3/4” X 3 1/2” X 25 1/5”
  • 2 end retainers 3/4” X 3/4” X 17 1/2”
  • 2 side retainers 3/4” X 3/4” X 24”
  • 2 end trim pieces 3/4” X 5/8” X 18 1/4”
  • 2 side trim pieces 3/4” X 5/8” X 25 1/2”

First, fasten the two ends to the two sides.  Use the deck screws.  Be sure to drill pilot holes so you do not split the cedar.

Next, unroll the hardware cloth and fasten it to the bottom of the box with the fencing staples.  You should cut the cloth to fit the box before stapling it down. However, it may be easier to unroll the hardware cloth a little, put in the first staples, then gradually unroll the cloth a little and staple some more.  After the cloth is completely stapled to the frame, you can trim the excess away.

Next, fasten the retainer strips over the wire, using the deck screws to hold them in place.  Again, drill pilot holes or you will split the cedar.

Finally, bend any edges of wire up onto the sides and cover them with the trim pieces so they do not cut you.  Use the finish brads to fasten the trim to the box.

Your tray needs no paint, but sanding it is a good idea to prevent yourself from getting splinters when using it.

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