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Best 6 Hydroponic Trays For Multiple Purposes + Buyers’ Guide

People around the globe embrace different farming methods, among them, hydroponic agriculture, whereby you grow plants in a nutrient-rich solution other than of soil. Many urban dwellers are choosing this fantastic method of farming to grow crops in hydroponic trays with limited space.

Regardless of the season or weather conditions, hydroponic farming technology has proven to be a lucrative breakthrough for reliable food supply.

Exclusively for our readers, we provide a review of the best multi-purpose hydroponic trays, so you can pick one according to your needs!

1. Bootstrap Farmer 1020 Trays

Bootstrap Farmer 1020 Trays - Extra Strength No Holes, 5 Pack, for Propagation

What We Liked Most About This Product

A large grow tray that can withstand the strain from heavy loads without breaking or warping. The Bootstrap Farmer trays are durable, stackable, and you can store them with ease. Moreover, they have versatile use such as growing fodder, microgreens, wheat, and seed germinating.

Product overview

If you are looking for a sturdy and durable germination tray for domes, heat mats, microgreens, wheatgrass, and fodder, Bootstrap Farmer 1020 is an ideal match for your search.

They come with an outer dimension of 21” X 10.75” X2.5,” so they are large enough to hold multiple plants. Their inner dimensions are 19.6“X9.5X2.25”. They are a bit wider at the top and slight taper at the bottom. They are stackable for easy and safe storage

The tray can withstand the weight of multiple plants without bending. You can easily transport your plants without worrying about the tray warping, cracking, and even damaging your plants.

Besides, the trays are purely made with top-quality polypropylene, which is durable and free from BPA plastic. Bootstrap Farmer 1020 Trays are unique, durable, and slim.

Besides being leach resistant, they are also environmentally friendly with no harmful plasticizers added. More so, the trays can withstand various weather conditions. The tray is compatible with other Bootstrap Farmer 1020 products such as humidity domes and trays with cells to improve your yield.

Bootstrap Farmer grow rays comes with holes that offer excellent drainage for your plants. Besides, they come with a warranty of 2 years, and therefore you can focus on growing your plants without any worry of replacing them soon.

The packaging caters to both small scale and large-scale farming with a minimum of 5 trays. You will be able to get the quantity that suits you at an affordable price.

Pros:

  • They are long-lasting as they are made of top quality molded plastic
  • Environmental friendly with no harmful additives to polypropylene material
  • Fully recyclable
  • They have versatile applications from germinating to the growth of various plants
  • Compatible with other Bootstrap Farmer products such as humidity domes, among others

Cons:

  • A little bit expensive compared to other trays of the same kind
  • Only available in black color

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2. Thunder Acres Blue 1020 Growing Tray

Thunder Acres Made in USA Blue 1020 Growing Tray for Garden Seeds

What We Liked Most About This Product

If you are looking for a grow tray from a reputable manufacturer, without drain holes to hold solutions for your plants, then you will love ones from Thunder Acres.

They are very sturdy, and they have versatile uses such as drainage collectors for pots on top of hydroponic farming. There is a variety of vibrant bright colors to select from that will surely suit your needs.

Product overview

Thunder Acres growing tray is perfect for hydroponic growing and seed germination. They have no drain holes and, therefore, excellent in holding the solutions. They come with an outer dimension of 21.25” X 11” X2.5” – very unique when it comes to maximizing your little space. Generally, they are large enough to hold many plants.

The trays are really strong, and they can support a significant plant weight without cracking or bending. You are assured of quality and durable product that you can reuse for many seasons.

Moreover, it comes with a warranty of one year when used correctly as per instructions. The tray weighs 3.45 pounds.

It is an ideal tray for seed starting, microgreens, wheatgrass, and used as drainage collectors for pots. Blue 1020 growing trays can withstand various weather conditions, and they are less prone to cracking.

The product packaging caters to all individual needs, may it be large-scale or small-scale farming. You can buy a minimum of five trays in a single package.

Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • They are most suitable for nutrient film technique because they do not have holes
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • They have versatile uses such as hydroponic growing and drainage collectors for pots
  • Warranty of one year under regular use
  • The trays can be recycled

Cons:

  • They are expensive compared to other similar competitor products

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3. Natural Roots Stainless Steel Seed Sprouting Tray

Stainless Steel Seed Sprouting Tray-8 Inch Stackable Sprouter Seedling Germination Kit

What We Liked Most About This Product

Stainless steel seed sprouting tray, which is rust-resistant and not prone to corrosion. These trays are stackable, easy to clean, and safer to use compared to plastic trays. You can even use it to grow sprouts for your entire family and even involve your children to learn the fun of hydroponics.

Product overview

These trays come in a polished design that is resistant to both rust and corrosion. This stylish sprouting tray has an external diameter of 9 inches and a height of 2.9 inchesIt weighs 1.17 pounds.

It can hold quite much weight and a decent number of plants. Apart from its durability, it is friendly for the environment, free from toxic materials, and safer to use compared to other plastic materials.

Natural Roots stainless steel tray is easy to clean, and you can even put it in the dishwasher. It comes with an elegant mesh tray, that offers natural drainage and prevents small seeds from falling through.

More so, it comes with a set of instructions and tips for germinating your seeds, thus saving you the hustle of figuring out how to use it.

Stainless steel tray comes with a warranty of one year as long as you purchase it from an authorized dealer and use it according to its specifications. This ideal tray will enable you to sprout your seeds within three to five days.

You can reuse it over seasons, and you will not have to worry about incurring extra costs for replacements.

These trays are also stackable for safe storage and ideal for growing fresh organic broccoli sprouts, Alfalfa seeds, fenugreek, and beans wheatgrass, among others.

It ensures that your family gets to enjoy the health benefits of various vegetables throughout the year.

Pros:

  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Non-toxic and BPA free
  • Resistant to corrosion and rust
  • It has a warranty of one year under regular use
  • Comes with a set of instructions and seed sprouting tips
  • It offers excellent drainage, and the mesh prevents small seeds from falling off

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive compared to plastic trays

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4. USDREAM Seed Sprouting Tray

USDREAM Seed Sprouter Tray BPA Free PP Soilless Bean Sprout Grower Seedlings Germination Tray Sprouting Kit

What We Liked Most About This Product

If you are looking for a sprouting tray with a cover for faster growth of your plants, USDREAM seed sprouting tray would be ideal for you. The grow tray is durable, and it comes with a lid to help you to preserve moisture and heat that are vital for sprouting. Besides, it enables the plants to sprout and grow faster compared to other trays without covers.

Product overview

USDREAM seed sprouting tray comes with a cover that enables you to control the heat and moisture content for effective sprouting. The plants sprout faster when covered and you can remove the lid soon after the plants sprout out.

It is made of recyclable polypropylene plastic, which is free of BPA. Therefore, it is eco-friendly and sturdy enough to hold a significant plant weight.  It is very light and weighs 1.05 pounds and has a large capacity of 13″X10.4″ X4.6″.

Besides, the tray comes with a grid sprouter and water container that will make your budget even cheaper.

USDREAM seed sprouting tray has densely spaced small holes that offer excellent drainage for the system in addition to a high budding rate.

Besides, the tray has a grid design with excellent ventilation. It is easy to use, and you can even engage your children in this fun of hydroponics.

Apart from sprouting plants, you can also use it as a storage tray to hold fruits and vegetables. USDREAM tray is ideal for lentil and wheatgrass sprouting among other hydroponics. You will be able to enjoy healthy sprouts for your sandwiches and soups throughout the year.

Pros:

  • It has a large capacity to hold many plants
  • Versatile uses such as sprouting seeds and as a storage tray
  • Comes with a cover that speeds up sprouting
  • Can be recycled
  • BPA-free thus environmental friendly
  • Its grid design offers excellent ventilation which reduces plant rot

Cons:

  • No user’s guide

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5. Yield Lab 10 x 20 Inch Black PlasticTrays

Yield Lab 10 x 20 Inch Black Plastic Propagation Tray (10 Pack) – Hydroponic, Aeroponic

What We Liked Most About This Product

If you are looking for the best seed-germinating tray that will allow you to cut your plants easily once they are ready, then Yield Lab 10 x 20″ Propagation Trays will not disappoint you.

This tray is very accommodating, and it can hold many plants due to its large size. Besides, it is sturdy, light, and you can reuse it over seasons without deteriorating in quality.

Product overview

Yield Lab 10 x 20.75 Inch Black Plastic Propagation Trays is light and easy to use. A ten pack of tray weighs 2.9 pounds, and they are useful when it comes to seed germination. It has outer measurements of 23.7″X11.8″ X3.1″.

Therefore, it can hold more plants – about 20 seedlings or clones due to its large size. Its design can accommodate an 8″ dome with ease.

This straight tray enables you to conveniently cut your plants once they are ready. The tray is ideal for propagating cuttings, clones, and seeds, among other hydroponics, as it allows the plants to achieve massive and robust root structure.

Yield Lab 10 x 20.75 Inch Black Plastic Trays does not have drainage holes, and therefore is ideal for nutrient film technique to hold your solution.

It can also be used as a propagating tray as well as a drip tray, yet it is compatible with hydroponic micro-mats, and grow mats. The tray comes with fitting domes that will provide your plants with humidity necessary for optimal growth.

Other than being sturdy, they are made of durable plastic, and you can reuse the trays as many times as possible without losing the quality. Therefore, you will not worry about the replacements. Moreover, they are eco- friendly, non-toxic, BPA free and easy to dispose of as the tray is recyclable.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable
  • They have versatile uses in hydroponics
  • BPA-free thus environmental friendly
  • The tray can be recycled
  • It has a large capacity to hold many plants

Cons:

  • The seal on the trays with domes sometimes may not be airtight

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6. VIVOSUN 10×20 Inches Plant Growing Tray

VIVOSUN 10x20 Inches Plant Growing Tray No Drain Holes Heavy Duty for Seed Starter, Plant Propagation Hydroponic Growing

What We Liked Most About This Product

The tray is sturdy, durable, thick, and it can hold the plants properly without bending or cracking. VIVOSUN 10×20″ growing tray is durable, and you can use it for many seasons without it deteriorating. It can withstand all weather conditions in your growing environment.

Product overview

VIVOSUN 10×20 Inches Plant Growing Tray is built with a thick material as compared to any other traditional trays, which makes them sturdy.

They come in size of 10.8″X20.8″ X2.3″ with a thickness of 1mm. Although they are light, the trays can carry a significant weight without cracking or bending.

Their large size enables them to hold many plants, and therefore, you will be able to maximize the available space for your hydroponic practice.

Apart from being sturdy and durable, they are made from a recyclable polystyrene plastic that can withstand the harsh conditions in the growing environment. The 33-pound capacity tray has no drainage holes and, therefore, is ideal for nutrient film technique.

VIVOSUN 10×20 Inches Plant Growing Trays are designed in such a way that they perfectly fit under grow lights or on a shelve. Moreover, the tray is ideal for indoor gardening, propagating cuttings growing micro-greens, fodder, wheatgrass, and other hydroponic plants. You can easily stack the trays for secure storage, so you do not have to worry about space.

The minimum number of trays you can purchase is ten, and they weigh six pounds. Besides, they come in a special packaging during shipment, and therefore, you will not have to worry about any breakages. Besides, you get plant labels to assist you in keeping starts organized and make the correct schedules for watering the plants.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable and thick enough to hold more weight
  • The trays are stackable for secure storage
  • They have versatile uses in hydroponics
  • BPA free
  • They are recyclable and reusable

Cons:

  • It is difficult to remove the seeds from the tray without affecting the entire plants in it. Therefore, you will need to purchase tray cells.

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Factors to Consider While Choosing the Hydroponic Trays

Hydroponic grow trays are containers designed to hold the nutrients, which are essential for the growth of plants. The trays come in different materials, sizes, shapes, and colors. Their design depends on the type of hydroponic system in use. Some can hold grow media such as pebbles, coco coir, among others, while others are designed to hold plant pots and cups.

Hydroponic trays without holes are most suitable for nutrient film technique, where the plant roots float in water. They directly take up nutrients from the solution and drainage is not necessary.

Sloppy and perforated grow trays are suited for flood and drain (EBB) systems.

Sometimes it might prove to be a daunting task, especially when you are not sure of which hydroponic tray to purchase. The following factors will guide you to make the best choice:

Durability

The benefit of having a long-lasting tray is that it eliminates the annoyance of having to replace your trays each season and parting with extra cash.

Durable trays must be made of plastics, which are thick enough to withstand any strain caused by the weight of the plants, or a metal that is corrosion and rust-resistant.

Type of plants to propagate

Shallow hydroponic trays are suitable for small plants and seedlings. However, for plants with massive roots, deep trays are better enough to accommodate more plants.

Some plants may not thrive well in a flooded environment, and therefore you might need to look for trays that offer proper drainage.

Safety and health of the plants

The safety and health of the plants are paramount for a choice of the tray. You should get one that provides proper anchoring for healthy plant roots, natural absorption of nutrients that aid in vegetative growth.

Also, when growing edible plants, ensure that you choose those that are recommended by the FDA, such as propylene. This is because other plastics such as PVC tend to leach harmful chemicals into the water, which is later absorbed by the plants.

Type of hydroponic system

In case you need to engage in nutrient film technique, the best trays to look for are those that do not have holes so that they can hold water for easy absorption of nutrients by plants.

For the flood and drain (EBB) systems, trays with perforations or rails in addition to slanting grid, are the best to offer good drainage.

Extra equipment needed

Some trays are used together with other items such as tray cells, domes, heat mats, and thermostats, among others. You should consider the financial implications for the additional types of equipment.

Compatibility with other types of equipment

You should always check the measurements of the tray to ensure that they are the standard measures before making any purchase.

Most manufacturers design different types of equipment that you will use in conjunction with the trays, using the standard gauge. Alternatively, you can buy all the other materials from one manufacturer.

Growing space

The size of your growing space determines whether to opt for smaller or larger trays. You need to check the exterior dimensions of the trays that will fit well in the room without wasting the space.

Cost

Going for cheap trays may compromise the quality. You might end up spending more when it comes to replacing them frequently. However, you should stick to your budget and buy a quality tray that will offer you a longer service life.

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

How safe is it to consume food that I grow in plastic trays?

The plastic trays are mostly made of recycled plastics such as propylene, which are deemed very safe by the FDA.

Can the trays break in the process of shipping?

The trays are sturdy and well stack and packaged. Therefore they do not break easily.

Which is the best hydroponic tray to use?

The choice of tray depends on various factors such as durability, type of plants, and hydroponic system size, among others. Your choice should entirely depend on your immediate needs.

Conclusion

Buying a quality tray is worth the investment. These trays are not only robust and durable but also have smart designs. Besides, plastic hydroponic trays are made from high-grade plastics that are eco-friendly and very safe for growing consumables. Also, you can hand in the plastic trays for recycling to minimize waste pollution.

These hydroponic trays come from accredited manufacturers, and they have standard measurements, which make them compatible with other types of equipment that you might require during your indoor farming.

Besides, they have a warranty that covers damage during shipment and while using them as specified. You can purchase either a smaller or a large tray that will suit your growing space.

The packaging suits different needs, and the prices are not too high. You can get a minimum of five or ten trays on one purchase without worrying about the maximum. Most of these trays can be used for various purposes apart from hydroponics. You can use them for holding fruits or vegetables during storage.

Before you purchase your tray, it is essential to consider the durability, cost, compatibility, safety method of hydroponic system that you intend to use, and above all, the cost of the trays. These factors will guide you on choosing the best of a hydroponic tray that will not disappoint. Happy gardening!