Soaking Seedlings in Tray Using a Tub

For convenience, we re-pot seedlings propagated from cuttings into seedling bags. This frees up the seedling trays for other cutting propagation and the new seedling bags allows the roots to grow in a bigger and coarser medium. These many bagged seedlings are located in different parts of the garden, some in our nursery racks, some on the ground and elsewhere. In this situation, watering the seedlings using a garden sprayer may not be the best method.

One practical option is had was to place the seedlings in garden mesh trays and then position these in my homemade garden nursery racks. I then soak these mesh trays in soaking tubs to water the seedlings. Here's a garden mesh tray with the seedlings inside. The garden mesh tray is put in a soaking tub to water the seedlings.

How to Water Seedlings by Soaking in Tubs

  • Garden Mesh Tray - 1 pc.
    The garden mesh tray I use is an ordinary plastic mesh tray with holes at the sides and bottom.

    You may find these in the plastic-ware section of supermarket or department stores. In the photo below, the garden tray is colored blue, and the soaking tub is colored white.

  • Garden Soaking Tub - 1 pc.
    The garden soaking tub is wider and longer (although lower in height) than the garden mesh tray. The garden mesh tray easily fits inside the soaking tub. You may also find these in the plasticware section of supermarket or department stores. Finding the right size for the garden tray may be tricky.

    So you may also want to look for them in office supplies (paper trays) as well as "Daiso" retail shops. These items may also be called storage bins, trays or pans.

Soaking Seedlings in Tubs Tutorial

  1. Prepare the water or fertilizer/water solution to put in the soaking tub.

  2. Pour the water solution into the soaking tub until it reaches one-third to one-half of the soaking tub's height.

    You may estimate the height by being aware of the water displacement brought by the soaking of the garden tray.

  3. Take the garden tray containing the seedlings or plants from the garden rack. Be sure the seedlings are properly labeled. I use homemade plant labels from window blinds for this purpose.

  4. Carefully lower the garden tray containing the seedlings or plants into the soaking tub with solution.

  5. Watch the water/fertilizer solution as it displaces. If the water/fertilizer solution is inadequate, add more using a watering can (no sprinkler head) with a spout. Preferably, pour the water/fertilizer solution in one of the corners of the soaking tub. Do not pour directly on the plants.

  6. After an hour or until the seedlings have been fully soaked, lift the garden tray with seedlings and plants above the soaking tub. If the there's excess water/fertilizer solution, let the garden tray drip over the soaking tub for a few seconds.

  7. Return the garden tray to the rack. Here's how you can make a homemade garden nursery rack as shown below.

Advantages of Using Soaking Tubs to Water Seedlings
  • Watering comes from below rather than above. Roots reach down to where the water is.

  • No need to disturb seedlings and plants if they're in garden trays. You only need to carry the garden tray.

  • No need to attend to each plant individually. Seedlings are watered/fertilize in batches.

  • There is less waste of water and/or fertilizer. There is no runoff.

You can improvise a soaking tub setup if you cannot find matching soaking tub for your garden tray.

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