Improvised Soaking Tubs to Water Seedlings

Soaking seedlings in a tray using tubs is a practical method for watering and fertilizing young plants. This would be nice if you had the garden tray and a matching soaking tub to utilize. But what if you didn't have or find an appropriate soaking tub to match your garden tray? Or what if you only had a couple of tubs, bins or pans?

In these situations, you can improvise a setup where you can still use the bins or trays that you have at hand. But you do need a couple pieces of whatever you have. This article discusses how you can set this up with nothing more than a big disposable plastic garbage bag.

Set Up Improvised Soaking Tubs With Two Trays

  • Garden Tray - 2 pcs.
    Use the mesh-type plastic tray.

  • Disposable Garbage Bag - 1 pc.
    It should be large enough to cover all sides and bottom of the inside of the Garden Tray. There should also be excess to hang over the sides.

  1. Lay the first garden tray on the ground.

  2. Take a disposable garbage bag and cover the bottom and sides of the first garden tray. Be sure to push the bag sheet on the inside surface so there is minimal air space between the bag and the inside surface of the garden tray.

  3. Tuck in the excess sheet of the garbage bag underneath the garden tray.

  4. Carefully add water or water/fertilizer solution on the plastic covered garden tray. As this happens, the plastic sheet may be pulled towards inside the garden tray. Ensure the plastic is well secured.

  5. Keep the water solution inside the garden tray as flat and level as possible.

  6. Slowly lower the garden tray with seedlings into the solution as shown below.

Set Up Improvised Soaking Tubs With Two Bins

If you don't have mesh trays but have two similar plastic bins or pans, then this project may be a bit more involved. But you'll be able to make a more permanent solution with this setup.

  • Garden Bin - 2 pcs.

  • Power drill with any sized drill bit.

  • Round file

  1. Convert the first garden bin into a garden tray by drilling holes on the bottom of the garden bin. You can tape a paper with a pattern to achieve a uniform result as shown in the photo below.

    I used this same technique to make homemade worm bins for vermicomposting.

  2. With a round file, remove and file the burrs on the drill holes.

  3. Fill the garden tray (the first bin with the drilled holes) with seedlings. The second garden bin will become the soaking tub. Pour water or fertilizer solution into the soaking tub as shown in the photo below.

  4. Pick the garden tray with seedlings and slowly lower in into the soaking tub.

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