The benefits of growing microgreens are that they can be grown all year anywhere you live. The reason is that they can be easily grown indoors, in greenhouses or other protective arrangements. With the right temperatures, airflow, light, and supplies you are set for success.
As you start growing microgreens selecting the right trays can be a challenge as there are so many options and many of them look the same. What should you look for? Do I need one with holes or without, or even both, what are the advantages, how deep should it be, with a transparent cover or blackout dome?
We know how it is; we have been through the entire journey to find microgreens trays and to get you started we have done the legwork to source and research what we find are the best trays available on the market. The result is a list of a variety of trays which we believe offer excellent quality and provide value for money!
Today we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know about microgreen trays. Before we present the list of the different trays, let us understand what type of trays you may need; how they can be used, and the qualities they should contain. What fits one farmer may not be the best choice for another. We have done the research and found trays with different features. This will help you decide what tray you may go for, as we present our top ones on the market.
- What Type of Trays Do I Need for Growing Microgreens?
- Do Microgreen Trays Need Drainage Holes?
- Do I Need a Deep Tray?
- How Many Seeds Do I Need for Each Tray?
- Do I Need to Cover My Microgreen Trays?
- The Top 12 Best Microgreen Trays
- 1. Urban Farm Supply – Extra Strength Microgreens Seedling Trays
- 2. LeJoy Garden – Seed Sprouter Tray
- 3. Living Whole Foods – Plant Growing Trays
- 4. Bootstrap Farmer – Extra Strength Seedling Trays
- 5. Bootstrap Farmer – 5×5 Seed Tray
- 6. King Creek Farms – 1020 Plant Trays
- 7. Bootstrap Farmer – Microgreen Tray Grower with Humidity Domes
- 8. Vanalan – Seed Trays
- 9. True Leaf Market – 1020 Growing Trays
- 10. Yield Lab – Propagation Tray
- 11. Microgreen Pros – Wooden Microgreen Tray
- 12. True Leaf Market – Eco Compostable Trays
What Type of Trays Do I Need for Growing Microgreens?
You can use several different types of trays to grow microgreens. The trays come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your choice really depends on the size of the crops you want to grow, how you are going to grow, where you are going to store them, the aesthetics, and last but not least, your budget.
Generally speaking, you want a tray that is durable and sturdy, especially if you’re going to be moving the tray around. We’d recommend staying away from flimsy trays. They may be cheaper, but they will not last you as long. You’ll see them break or warp too easily.
You also don’t need anything too deep. Microgreens can grow in very shallow trays. When I say shallow, I’m talking about between one and two inches. That’s all you need. The shallower your tray is, the less soil you waste, and the easier it will be for you to cut when ready to harvest. Let us go through what you should consider before you decide what trays to go for.
We will present you with different options for your own evaluation.
Do Microgreen Trays Need Drainage Holes?
Well, that depends. You’ll notice that some of the best microgreen trays have holes in the bottom, and others don’t. So which one is better? The truth is neither of them is better than the other. They serve different purposes and can both be useful to grow microgreens.
You can use both trays with holes and trays without holes. The deciding factor is how you plan to grow your microgreens.
Even though microgreen trays don’t necessarily require holes, they are still a good idea in many cases.
You don’t need to invest in a tray with holes, but they can be useful for watering your crops from underneath. Holes in the bottom of a tray can allow water to be wicked from a tray underneath, eliminating the need for overhead watering of the microgreens. You place your seeds in a tray with holes and place it inside of a hole-less tray that has water in it. This way of watering gives good control and easier to overcome the issue of excessive watering.
Another thing you can do with a tray without holes is to flip it over and use it on top of another tray (with or without holes) as a humidity and blackout dome.
When using a tray without holes, you have to water the microgreens from the top, using a spray bottle to moisten the soil. It’s important you don’t over-water your microgreens, to avoid any water buildup in the bottoms of the trays.
RELATED: Do Microgreen Trays Need Holes?
Do I Need a Deep Tray?
Regardless of the medium, you will use, another factor to consider is the depth of the tray. They come in different sizes and depths. When growing microgreens the tray doesn’t need to be deep.
You may want to look for trays that have a depth allowing for about 1.5 inches of growing medium. The reason is that the seedlings will not need a lot of root space since they will only grow to about 1-2 inches in height.
If you are growing in soil, using a shallow tray may cause your tray to drop soil and you cant add more soil than 1.5 inches. If you are planning to harvest for commercial scale, then this may slow down your growing, but if you are growing a few trays for yourself it is enough with a 2 inches tray.
When it comes to depth, another important factor is that when you harvest your microgreens and the tray is high, you may have to take out the growing mat to cut close to the growing medium. Alternatively, you will cut higher up than what you normally would and lose nutritious stems.
How Many Seeds Do I Need for Each Tray?
Well, that depends on how large your tray is. You can plant seeds based on their weight or volume. You can also do it by eye. Penn State University recommends using 10 to 15 grams of seed for each 12-inch by 20-inch tray. That’s based on 10 rows of seeding.
Once you determine how many grams fit in a tablespoon, you can apply the seeds by volume. A tablespoon of brassica seeds, for example, weighs around 11 or 12 grams.
If you are doing it by eye, we recommend using 6 to 8 large seeds per square inch of your tray, or you can use 10 to 12 small seeds for each square inch.
Do I Need to Cover My Microgreen Trays?
You can, but you don’t have to. The benefit of covering them with another tray flipped upside down is it gives your microgreens a blackout period.
If you are growing larger volume, you can stack the trays on top of each other and use the other tray as a cover to get the darkness.
There are different options to cover your microgreens. You can, for example, use paper towels, domed lids, or white plastic trays.
If you don’t use the blackout lids, then you will have to put your microgreens in a place where you can give them the darkness they require for germination.
As we have now gone through the most important factors to consider when buying microgreen trays, let’s now see what are the best microgreen trays on the market.
The Top 12 Best Microgreen Trays
1. Urban Farm Supply – Extra Strength Microgreens Seedling Trays
One of the best trays on the market is the Urban Farm Supply Extra Strength Microgreens Seedling Tray. These trays are very durable and designed for repeated use. The supplier even says that they are indestructible! You can estimate to have these ones last you 6-8 years if not longer. They’re made of safe, BPA free, non-leaching PP polypropylene #5 plastic.
These trays have drainage holes, and if you stack them, they provide a 5mm air gap between the trays. This is ideal for airflow. And they’ll work for both indoor and outdoor growing. You get 10 separate trays in this set.
These are heavy-duty trays. They have been reinforced to hold more than 20 pounds without breaking or warping. Another thing we like about them is that they are shallow, which is ideal for growing microgreens.
The Urban Farm trays are also larger than most trays so that you can grow a larger crop. They measure 23.62 inches by 11.81 inches, and they are 1.38 inches deep. You can use them for seeds, sprouts, shoots, and germination. They’ll also work for hydroponic growing.
This supplier is providing a Guarantee 100% Satisfaction or you’ll get your money back!
|Dimensions:||L: 23.62” x W: 11.81” x H: 1.38″|
|Special features:||Stackable and very durable|
|Remark:||100% guarantee satisfaction!|
2. LeJoy Garden – Seed Sprouter Tray
Another tray we find excellent is the LeJoy Garden Seed Sprouter Tray. This one is different from the more traditional black sturdy trays. This tray is made of durable food-grade BPA free PP material and it comes in green color.
One of the things that we love about this one is that it comes with both grid seed sprouter, tray, and cover (dome lid). Having a cover means that you can preserve heat and moisture, making the microgreens grow faster.
You can use it with or without soil. And you can use the seed sprouter and storage tray to grow multiple types of seeds, including soybean, mung bean, black bean, wheat, and more.
This set up has a great size capacity and with a depth of 2.6 inches its good for both growing in soil and water. It’s easy to use; you just follow the instructions to grow microgreens or sprouts.
|Dimensions:||L: 13.4” x W: 9.8” x H: 4.7”|
|Special features:||Works as both a seed sprouter and a storage tray. Includes a seed grid, tray, and dome lid.|
Buy here: LeJoy Garden – Seed Sprouter Tray
3. Living Whole Foods – Plant Growing Trays
Next on our list of the best microgreen trays are the Living Whole Foods Plant Growing Trays. With this set, you get 10 separate trays. They are made of very durable plastic and can be reused over and over again. The plastic is made of recycled polypropylene.
The great thing with these trays is that you have the ability to buy them in a set of 5 with humidity domes (transparent). This is excellent when you grow your microgreens in a dry environment and you need to keep the soil moist and air humid. Using a transparent dome helps to keep the growing medium moist, and encourages seed germination.
The Living Whole Foods trays have no drainage holes. They can be used for growing in soil as well as hydroponic growing, as a drip tray, or for seed starting. If you are growing hydroponically, these trays can fit grow pads and micro-mats perfectly.
The trays don’t come with a blackout dome but you can use one tray for growing and another tray as cover. Flip it over and use it as a blackout dome for the seeds to germinate.
|Dimensions:||Top of tray – L: 20.5” x W: 10 1/8”|
Bottom of tray – L: 19 7/8” x W: 9 3/8”
Depth of tray – H: 2 3/8”
|Special features:||You can flip the trays over and use them as cover during the blackout period.|
|Remark:||You can buy them as trays only or you can buy them in a set of trays and humidity domes.|
Buy here: Living Whole Foods – Plant Growing Trays
4. Bootstrap Farmer – Extra Strength Seedling Trays
Another one of our favorites this year is the Bootstrap Farmer Extra Strength Seedling Trays. In this set, you get 10″ x 10″ separate trays and you can choose to order 10, 20, or 60 trays. Because they are ultra-durable, you should be able to use them for many years.
They come in black or white and the trays are made of the highest quality, recyclable BPA free polypropylene PP #5 plastic. The plastic is leach resistant, and it includes no harmful additives. There are have no drainage holes. These are perfect trays for growing microgreens that work well with humidity domes and heat mats.
One of the things we like about these trays is that they match several of the other Bootstrap Farmer trays. We have included several of them on our list this year.
This supplier has a reputation for providing good quality and they stand by their products, providing a one-year warranty. We love that the company guarantees that these trays will not break, or you’ll get a full refund.
These trays measure 10.75 inches by 10.5 inches. And they are about 2 inches deep.
|Dimensions:||Outer dimension – L: 10.75″ x W: 10.5″ x H: 2.375″|
Inner dimension – L: 9″ x W: 8.75″
|Special features:||They are built to withstand heavyweight. The fact that they are squared allows them to fit into the 10×20 trays so you can grow two types of microgreens and place them in a larger tray.|
|Remark:||You get a one-year warranty. This same type of tray from Bootstrap Farmers also comes in a set of different colors! If you want to differentiate yourself and add some color to your growth, then have a look at this collection.|
5. Bootstrap Farmer – 5×5 Seed Tray
Bootstrap Farmer makes some excellent microgreen trays. And they take another spot on our list with their multicolor 5×5 Seed Trays. These trays are perfect for growing small batches of microgreens.
Like the other Bootstrap Farmer trays, these are super durable and will last for many seasons.
These trays will work well with the Bootstrap Farmer 1020 Heavy Duty Flats. You can fit eight of these smaller flats into one of the 1020 trays. Like the others, these trays are made of high-quality BPA free thick plastic.
With this set, you will get nothing less than 80 multicolored trays. Each of them has six drainage slits on the bottom.
|Dimensions:||L: 5.125″ x W: 4.25″ x H: 2.25″|
|Special features:||They are built to withstand heavyweight. The fact that they are squared allows them to fit into the 10×20 trays so you can grow multiple types of microgreens and place them in a larger tray.|
Buy here: Bootstrap Farmer – 5×5 Seed Tray
6. King Creek Farms – 1020 Plant Trays
Another sturdy high-quality tray we recommend is the King Creek Farms 1020 Plant Trays. We love these trays because they are some of the thickest on the market, and with 2,3 mm they dominate the market.
If you are conscious about reducing waste, the environment, and helping those in need, this supplier is a great choice. Green living is their passion and they donate 5% of every purchase to supply water wells in Africa.
The King Creek trays are safe to grow in. They are made of food-grade BPA free polypropylene plastic #5. With this set, you get five different trays. They have no drainage holes.
You can use them with soil or without if you want to grow hydroponically. They also work well with heat mats. They don’t come with a lid but you can flip one over and use it as cover during the blackout period.
|Dimensions:||L: 5.125″ x W: 4.25″ x H: 2.25″|
|Special features:||They are extra heavy-duty with a thickness of 2,3 mm. They are built to withstand heavyweight. They fit most domes and cell plug trays and can be stacked for storing.|
|Remark:||One unique thing about this company is that they donate 5 % of every purchase to build wells in Africa.|
Buy here: King Creek Farms – 1020 Plant Trays
7. Bootstrap Farmer – Microgreen Tray Grower with Humidity Domes
Of all of the great Bootstrap Farmer trays, this microgreen tray grower kit is one of our favorite. They offer the same excellent quality as others, but this set comes with more trays and everything that you need to grow microgreens, including humidity domes.
With this set, you get 10 microgreen trays with drainage holes, 10 trays without holes, and 5 humidity domes. The domes will fit all of the other Bootstrap Farmer trays on our list. Using trays without holes underneath the ones with holes enables you to bottom water making it easier to water with reduced risk of mold.
These trays will last for many years. They are made of durable, recyclable high-quality BPA free polypropylene PP #5 plastic. And like the others, these are leach resistant and include no toxic additives.
These trays measure 21 inches by 11 inches. And they are nice and shallow, so you don’t waste soil. They are just 1.25 inches deep. If you have other Bootstrap Farmer trays, these will work great with them.
|Dimensions:||L: 21″ x W: 11″ x H: 1.25″|
Humitidy domes: H: 6″ with interior space of 5.5″
|Special features:||They are extra heavy-duty and they are built to withstand heavyweight. The trays come with wholes and without and you get humidity domes.|
|Remark:||If you have other Bootstrap Farmer trays, these will work great with them.|
8. Vanalan – Seed Trays
Next up on our list of great trays are the Vanalan Seed Trays. With this set, you get a pack of 10 trays. They don’t have drainage holes. These trays can handle heavy loads without breaking or warping. They are made of durable BPA free polypropylene food-safe plastic. And they can be used over and over again.
These Vanalan trays measure 21.2 inches by 11 inches. And they are 2.4 inches deep. Like some of the others on our list, these are slightly wider on the top and taper to the bottom. That means that they easily stack for storage. You can also flip them upside down to use them as a humidity blackout dome.
|Dimensions:||L: 21.2” x W: 11” x H: 2.4″|
|Special features:||Sturdy and reusable and easy for storage.|
Buy here: Vanalan – Seed Trays
9. True Leaf Market – 1020 Growing Trays
Another excellent choice for trays is provided by True Leaf Market. These durable black plastic trays come with or without holes. These guys are known for delivering good quality products for a good price and these trays are no exception. The trays are sturdy and they will as well last you for a long time.
One additional benefit is that these trays can be bought as a single tray or in packages of 5, 10, or 50.
The dimensions are: top (mouth) of tray – 20.5″x 10 1/8th” – (522 mm x 255 mm) and bottom (base) of tray – 19 7/8th” x 9 3/8th” – (504 mm x 238 mm). Dimensions: depth: 2 3/8th” (60 mm)
If you are buying the one without holes you can easily use it for growing hydroponically or as a drip tray if you have one with holes on top.
|Dimensions:||Top of tray – L: 20.5″x W: 10 1/8th”|
Bottom of tray – L: 19 7/8th” x W: 9 3/8th”
Depth – H: 2 3/8th”
|Special features:||Sturdy and reusable and easy for storage. The top of the box has a raised area that acts as a handle.|
|Remark:||They are manufactured in the US.|
10. Yield Lab – Propagation Tray
The next tray on our list of the best microgreen trays is the Yield Lab Propagation Tray. This one is made of a heavy-duty, sturdy, durable plastic. What we find amazing with this supplier is that they offer us to buy only the trays, or you can add the dome separately. You can also choose to buy them as a package and last but not least they also offer a heat mat which of course fits perfectly with their trays. This flexibility to invest in the whole package or parts of it is what we value.
The Yield Lab trays are reusable, and they’re also super affordable, especially compared to some of the others on our list this year. They are eco-friendly and will both cut down on your cost and reduce waste. With this set, you get five separate trays. They have no drainage holes.
These trays aren’t as thick as some of the others and they’re fairly lightweight. But they get the job done, and you can’t beat the price.
The Yield Lab trays measure 10 inches by 20.75 inches, and they are about 2 inches deep. You can use them with soil, or you can use a mat to grow your microgreens hydroponically. These trays are standard sized, so they will work with most 1020 dome lids.
|Dimensions:||L: 21.2″ x W: 12″ x H: 3.4″|
|Special features:||Sturdy and reusable and easy for storage. The top of the box has a raised area that acts as a handle.|
Buy here: Yield Lab – Propagation Tray
11. Microgreen Pros – Wooden Microgreen Tray
A different and great microgreen tray comes from Microgreen Pros. This one is special. Unlike all the plastic flats on our list, this one is made of wood. If you want to display your microgreens in your home, this one is the way to go. It’s not only aesthetically awesome but the size is great as it fits perfectly on window ledges.
This tray measures 15.75 inches by 8 inches, and it is 3.5 inches tall. Each of the walls is 3/4 inches thick.
The gorgeous wooden tray comes with an invisible BPA free plastic waterproof liner that you can reuse over and over again. The clear liner is nice because it allows you to see the plants as they grow, and you can check on whether you’re watering the right amount.
If you have friends or family who like to grow microgreens, this one will make an excellent gift. It includes only the tray but you can buy from the same supplier premeasured fiber soil and seeds Refill Kits. And it comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t like the tray for any reason, you can return it for a refund.
|Dimensions:||15.8″ x 8.4″ x 3.3″|
|Special features:||Cool design and each wooden microgreens tray come with an invisible reusable BPA FREE plastic liner and spray bottle. The supplier also offers seeds refill kits.|
|Remark:||They offer a risk-free 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so love it or you’ll get your money back.|
12. True Leaf Market – Eco Compostable Trays
If you want to try growing microgreens but not sure yet which trays you want to invest in, you can try out these compostable ones. Alternatively, if you are planning to grow and sell to restaurants or maybe at a market, then these trays are ideal!
Unlike traditional trays for growing microgreens, these ones are an eco-friendly alternative and have been created to replace plastic trays. They come in packs of 5, 20, 25, and 50 trays.
These eco compostable trays are water-resistant and will hold their shape well for a single grow. They are made out of stiff molded paper. They are shallow and they fit perfectly inside a standard 10×20 drip tray.
The ideal grow media for these kits is potting soil, loose coco coir, or micro mat hydroponic confetti.
|Dimensions:||L: 19″ x W: 9″ x H: 1.5″|
|Special features:||It nests inside a standard 10×20 inch drip tray with plenty of room to spare.|
Buy here: True Leaf Market – Eco Compostable Trays
Finding the best trays to grow microgreens can be daunting as there are so many options out there. We hope that our list of top trays on the markets, have been able to give you a good overview and will aid you to find your best choice.
We believe that quality must be considered as it makes it worth the money. If you invest in strong and durable trays, they will last you long. You may find that there are cheaper ones out there, but in the end, if you need to dispose and replace them, they are not providing value for money. An environmentally friendly alternative (this is something we care for), is to select the compost trays for single-use. As mentioned they are ideal if you want to try growing microgreens or are planning to sell your crops.
Best of luck with your microgreen crops and happy growing!