Best Trays For Microgreens (Better Growth & Long Lasting)
Microgreens trays are a very important piece of equipment for growing microgreens, and it's critical that you buy the right trays. When I first started my business four years ago, I ended up buying the wrong trays. They were super low quality and would crack and break. This ended up causing, what I like to call, a tray graveyard. Not only is this a waste of money, but there’s also a lot of other problems with these kinds of trays.
There are two main factors that make a microgreens tray good for growing microgreens. The first factor to consider when buying trays is the shape and more specifically, the depth. In terms of depth, there are two main options, the first of which is a deep tray, around 2.5" deep and the second of which is a shallower tray, around 1.25" deep. You want to buy the shallower trays for a few key reasons.
Because these trays are shallower, there's less volume, so you’re going to be able to use less soil to grow your crops, which is going to save you money in the long run. Because the shallower trays also have a lower profile, they take up less space in your farm. This makes the trays easy to store and allows for you to fit a lot of them onto your super racks. You’ll also get better airflow across the base of your plants, which is helpful for preventing mold.
When it comes time to harvest your microgreens, you’re going to be able to achieve a cut that is very close to the base of the plant. Because the base of the plants are right at the same level of these trays, not only are your yields going to be higher, but your microgreens are going to be a lot easier and quicker to harvest.
Additionally, the shorter trays are harder to break. Shallow trays have a shorter height, so there’s less leverage being put on the tray as opposed to the deeper, taller trays.
The second factor to consider when buying microgreens trays is their durability or strength. You want a tray that is super strong and will essentially never break on you. Why would you ever want to keep buying something over and over again when you could be relying on trays that allow for great re-use, plant growth, and profit? Even if the price is two or three times the cost of the cheaper trays, you're going to have these trays forever, which make them an asset for your business rather than an ongoing cost.
Furthermore, it’s going to be harder to grow high quality greens in the cheaper trays because the plants actually sag down in the center of the tray. With these trays, as a result, you’re going to get more water absorbing up into the soil and at the center of the tray, which is a problem from the beginning. If your crops in the middle are going to be more wet and more prone to getting damp, you’re going to have a lesser quality and a shorter shelf life. Having more water at the center also increases the chance of dehydration around the edges of the tray.
Watering, in my opinion, is probably the most difficult and challenging skill to learn as a microgreens farmer, so you might as well make your life a little easier and buy the good trays from the get-go.
Now, you know what makes a good tray and a bad tray and what tray works best for microgreens, but what if you want to know about the other supplies and equipment that is needed to start your business and to even grow your business? Head on over to my Microgreens Support Group on Facebook, where growers all over the world are connecting and discussing the equipment that they use in their own businesses.