I built my own seed starting trays for starting seeds inside my greenhouse this weekend out of the leftover scraps of lumber from the salvaged pallets I used to build a potting / seed starting bench in our greenhouse.
Building your own seedling trays is relatively easy and inexpensive and they will last for years!
- Steps to build your own seed starting trays:
- Cut all the 1/2″ pieces you need to 18″ long and the 3/4″ pieces to 17″ long.
- For each tray, rip two pieces of the 3/4″ and two pieces of the 1/2″ to 2 3/4″ wide and make a frame 18″x18″.
- Assemble the remaining pieces on the bottom leaving 1/8″ – 1/4″ gaps for drainage.
For assembly, I recommend and use Gorilla Glue then pinned the slats together with a small pneumatic nail gun.
For homemade seed starting mix for good seed germination, I mixed together
- 10 parts moistened peat or coco coir (my favorite)
- 7 parts all purpose sand and
- 3 parts perlite
I do NOT recommend using compost or manure for seed starting mix! Both contain excess salts and the potential for pathogens, weed seeds and herbicides that can hinder or prevent healthy seed germination and growth.
Detailed instructions and additional seed starting recipes can be found in the Mittleider Gardening Coursebook written by Dr. Jacob Mittleider and available from The Food for Everyone Foundation.