Eco friendly module trays

Discussion in 'Tools And Equipment' started by Peas, May 4, 2021.

  1. Peas

    Peas Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    On a bughet it's very easy to succumb to the cheap plug module trays at places like B&M but I do try and recycle, reuse and go eco friendly as much as I can. I've seen wilko are offering seedling trays made from some sort of fibre (not coco coir) that can be planted straight into the ground and it breaks down, and they are cheap so I don't mind paying for something I can't reuse.

    My question is, can these break down quick enough for the roots to grow and spread out nice and quickly? Are they a good idea in theory and not in practice or have many of you had success with these?

    Thank you.
     
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    • flounder

      flounder Gardener

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      They sound like the compressed cardboard ones I saw a couple of years age. Once they've got wet, roots can easily get through them....it's even cheaper to use bog roll tubes
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        All of my module trays are second hand, fished out of the bins at garden centres (most do this on a swap/help yourself basis). They last years so I don't see this being an eco problem.

        I use toilet roll inners as flounder says. Years ago I used compressed peat pots but they were very susceptible to drying out, once planted you had to make sure it was buried otherwise it acted as a wick, the wind dried it out and roots would not penetrate.
         
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        • Peas

          Peas Apprentice Gardener

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          Ahh OK thank you both for your answers. I've started saving up my loo rolls for later in the season. Yeah I guess if they stay soggy long enough they will break down quickly, either that or the bottoms could be snipped out I suppose?

          Yeah I'd be happy to get free second hand ones rather than them go to waste. I just feel I shouldn't buy them anymore.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener Staff Member

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            It's possible to make them from newspapers, think there is a thread on here about that. If you still buy a newspaper that might be an option.
             
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            • Sheal

              Sheal Total Gardener

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              I made 300 pots from newspaper over the confining winter months and started to fill them from 12 trays of Aubrieta seedlings today. I wasn't prepared to spend out on that amount of pots that are being used as a one off to grow them.
               
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              • SandyNI

                SandyNI Gardener

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                Brilliant idea. Do you have a picture please?
                 
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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                  • Peas

                    Peas Apprentice Gardener

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                    Fantastic, thank you!
                     
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                    • SandyNI

                      SandyNI Gardener

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                      Thank you @JWK . Wish I'd put my seedlings in these. I didn't have enough pots so I just put them straight into soil in the cold frame. Don't know how I'm going to get them out and transplant them into the garden without damaging their roots.cold frame.jpg
                       
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                      • Sian in Belgium

                        Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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                        I use toilet roll inners, and I also keep the plastic trays that so much food comes in. Mushrooms, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, cherries, etc. Some even have hinged lids that snap closed, creating a mini greenhouse. I keep the modules that bedding plants come in, which I find will last for 5-6 years before finally breaking up, and going in the bin.

                        I don’t think I’ve ever bought a plastic flower pot smaller than a 2-litre, as I just keep the pots when I buy plants. As I tend do buy smaller plants, and grow them on, I don’t have so many of the bigger pots, so I do sometimes have to buy one or two.

                        (basically - I’m stinge-y, and being “green” is a great excuse!)
                         
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                        • JWK

                          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                          It shouldn't be much different as transplanting from a seed tray, make sure they are well watered before lifting and try and keep as much soil around them as possible. Should be OK unless you have some root veggies - like parsnip (can't see any in your photo)
                           
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                          • SandyNI

                            SandyNI Gardener

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                            Thanks @JWK . No veg... mostly bedding and a couple of perennials.
                             
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                            • Sheal

                              Sheal Total Gardener

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                              I will take a couple at the weekend for you @SandyNI. I used a rigid 3 inch square plant pot to make mine in a similar way to the link that @JWK posted.
                               
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                              • Sheal

                                Sheal Total Gardener

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                                Here you are @SandyNI. :) I used one sheet of paper folded in half for every pot knowing they would be more difficult to handle when wet. I wound them round the pot I used on a diagonal. Just a few of them below, the rest are gradually taking over my utility room with more to be added. :doh:

                                IMG_6125.JPG

                                IMG_6129.JPG

                                IMG_6128.JPG
                                 
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