Making wooden seed trays

Tools and equipment tequired

Wooden seed trays or indeed planting trays are great for sowing seeds and growing plants that don’t need to be in a propagator. I have many happy memories of repairing and decorating them every year at mottisfont. And they are brilliant for an environmentally and cost friendly of growing our plants on

Tools and equipment requirements

  • A sharp hand saw
  • 30-40mm galvanised round headed nails
  • A claw hammer
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Gloves
  • Plasters for when you get a splinter or the saw jumps
Of course you can also ‘cheat and use power tools
After taking the wood off the pallets, remove the nails before starting work in them
Measure up to the size you want to build them, I wanted them 350mm long but you can do them in whatever length you want. Always start with the sides and bottom first
Saws are designed to have a inbuilt right angle, so after measuring up, I ensure that the square bit is tight to the wood and then draw a straight line across
Then cut it straight across, take time and don’t rush it. Make sure you have a sharp saw!
After cutting 3 bottom sections, it’s time to work out the width. Pallet wood can be all different sizes, so I lay them on a flat surface, leave a small gap between the planks for drainage and then measure how wide this is.
Then take off the width of the sides and then this is the length of wood I need to cut for the end sections
Next grab one of the side sections and drill a couple of pilot holes just in from the ends. This will help to reduce the chances of the wood splitting. I would do 2 each end
The next bit is easier with an extra set of hands no matter how young they are! Balance the 2 end sections on a flat surface, make sure it’s all square. Then grab a hammer and knock in the nails whilst not hitting your thumb!
Repeat with other side
Now the frame is together, turn it over and space out the bottom bits and hammer in the nails
The finished tray! You can paint it or stain it to preserve the wood or just use it as it is! Nice and simple, will last for years and cheap to make! Timbers free and nails are pretty cheap!
To use, just add a bit of paper to the bottom
Add compost and use

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon says:

    You make that look very easy. I’ve made one, but didn’t measure up the base first. I’m inspired now to have another go.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    OH, how nice! My Pa made a few years ago. They lasted for many years, which was impressive for the flimsy wood they were made from. They would not be practical at work, where we use many hundreds of flats, but they are so nice for the home garden.

    1. thomashort says:

      They are lovely, my memories were of using them with my dad many years ago at mottisfont, they lasted years well all the wood was replaced over time but it was the same trays, used to produce about 1000 bedding plants per year, just that smell is amazing from them isn’t

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Yes. At work, I must use what is most efficient. At home, where I am not concerned about efficiency, it is comforting to use simpler tools and equipment such as these.

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