RickCorey's blog: Plug Trays, Inserts and 1020 Trays

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 3:21 PM


"1020" only means the size of the tray. A 1020 tray can have a plain bottom, or slits for drainage, or an open, web bottom.  They are (usually?) undivided and used for carrying pots, inserts or "liners" (small, square pots).

Thumb of 2013-04-05/RickCorey/f18be3

"Web" refers to very open  bottoms.  Mainly they hold pots so you can carry them around easier, and so you can dunk them into something bigger for bottom-watering.The webs are so far apart that sometimes I lay down a piece of window screening so that small pots will be better supported and less likely to tip over.

I think web trays tend to be sturdier than the kind shown above:

Thumb of 2013-04-05/RickCorey/a4d8d8

 I thought all 1020 trays were 11"x22", but now I see they are not really quite that long, and different manufactures make slightly different lengths:
11" wide x  21.37" long  x 2.44" deep
11" wide x  21.25" long  x 2.44" deep

Besides being slightly variable in length, the "standard" defines the outside dimensions, not the inside dimensions.  That must really drive commercial greenhouse owners crazy, when they buy a case of 100 insert trays or plug trays (propagation trays) that don 't quite fit their 1020 trays!  To be sure that inserts and plug trays really will fit 1020 trays, you might have to buy both from the same supplier. The depth of a tray matter if you want your inserts t6o sit flat onj the bottom without you having to trim off the inserts' lips.

An "insert tray" is always very flimsy, 11"x21", and usually lets you tear them apart in 'paks' of 4 or 6.  That's where the term "6-pak" comes from, if you never drink beer. They can be like a "tray of shallow, flimsy pots taped together so that they don't tip over", if there are only 12, 16 or 24 cells.  If there are 64 or 72 cells, each cell will be only 1-2" square, so small that they only hold seedlings briefly, until you can get them into the garden.  

The whole 11"x21" sheet of inserts is so flimsy that you really NEED a 1020 tray under them, or they fall apart when you try to lift them.

These are deep  "1206" inserts: 12 6-paks.   (I call these 72-cell inserts.  They fit a 1020 tray with 12 rows of 6 cells per row.)

Thumb of 2013-04-05/RickCorey/43f008

more photos of "deep" inserts:

diagrams  of inserts with names:

What are plug trays (propagation trays)?  Sturdier than inserts and not tear-apart-able.  They are sturdy enough that, if you don't mind mud on your shelves, they don't need a 1020 tray under them when  you move them (just keep one hand underneath, as with a baby).

The cool thin g about plug trays is that they are aimed at commercial growers and super-gardeners who want to propagate vast tracts of seedlings.  Like 128, 200, 288, 392 or even 512 seedlings per tray!  Cells in the 512-tray are only 0.56" square!  

They have rows and columns of cells like 8x16, 12x24 and 16x32

tiny plug trays


Thumb of 2013-04-05/RickCorey/801223

<img class="decoded" style="cursor: -moz-zoom-out;" src="http://garden.org/pics/2013-04-05/RickCorey/4a5ac6.jpg" alt="http://garden.org/pics/2013-04-05/RickCorey/4a5ac6.jpg" />

And here is a tray that has 20 rows instead of hundreds of cells:

Thumb of 2013-04-05/RickCorey/161697

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Thank You ) by curtsheirlooms Apr 24, 2013 2:56 PM 1

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