Sili-Seedlings Seed Starting Tray: Product Review
An innovative seed-starting tray that works extremely well
Available on Amazon
I’ve started seeds in every type of container imaginable, from soil blocks to paper, peat, and cow manure pots to plastic pots and seed starting trays of all kinds. Over the years, I’ve developed some favorites that I turn to over and over when sowing seeds indoors. This year, I’ve added a new favorite to the list – the Sili-Seedlings silicone seed starting tray sold by eHabitus.
- Made of 100% FDA-approved, BPA-free, food-grade silicone
- Dishwasher safe
- Each tray is 6″ x 4″ and has 6 planting cells
- Cells are 2″ x 2″ x 2.25″ deep
- Package contains 2 trays
Why I Like the Sili-Seedlings Seed Starter Tray
The trays are packaged, two to a pack, in minimal packaging – just a cardboard sleeve around the middle. That’s a refreshing change from the typical over-packaged (usually in non-biodegradable plastic) product.
The company can do that because the trays are crush-proof. Unlike plastic trays, they won’t break when dropped or crushed, even if you stomp on them (which I did just to see how they’d hold up – they were unscathed).
The trays have a handle at each end, making it easy to pick up, even when wearing gloves. If you’ve ever struggled to pull pots or seed starting trays of a crowded table or out of a tray, you’ll appreciate this feature. It’s a small thing but it makes a difference.
The sides of each tray are slightly taller than the dividers between cells so the seed starting mix stays put, even if you water from the top. The sides of most other seed starting trays are level with the interior dividers so soil spills over, especially when watering.
Cells are slightly tapered and have a drainage hole (shaped like a slot) at the bottom. I prefer to water seedlings from the bottom and found that the drainage holes worked well to absorb water from the tray below. I also tried watering the seedlings by placing the Sili-Seedlings on a capillary mat above a water reservoir. That worked equally well.
All of my seeds sprouted and grew extremely well in the Sili-Seedlings trays. For comparison, I also started the same seeds in a regular seed germinating tray. I didn’t see any difference in germination rates, but I felt the seedlings grew better in the slightly larger cells of the Sili-Seedlings silicone tray. Plus, I could let them grow a little larger before transplanting into 4-inch pots, making the transplanting task a bit easier.
Removing seedlings from the 2-inch silicone cells was a snap. Because the cells are highly flexible (and don’t dent, crush or tear), I easily got each seedling out with the roots and surrounding potting mix intact. This means less transplant shock, less mess, and better outcomes.
Cleaning the seedling trays is also extremely easy. I simply rinsed the trays and then placed them on the top rack in the dishwasher. They came out clean and sterilized, although the color seemed to have faded a little. Cleaning and sterilizing plastic seedling pots and trays has always been a pain in the neck (and I have to admit that I haven’t always done it as thoroughly as I should, usually to my detriment), so I’m thrilled that the Sili-Seedlings have made that task so much easier. There are very few other seed-starting trays that can survive multiple runs through a dishwasher without noticeable damage.
The silicone cell walls are thicker than I’d expected (which is a good thing) and held up well to everything I did to “abuse” them, including putting them in the freezer (they didn’t become brittle or crack). They clearly stand up to high heat (I used the high heat “dry” cycle on the dishwasher after washing the trays).
Finally, because Sili-Seedlings trays are made of FDA-approved, BPA-free, food-grade silicone, they’re a good choice for organic gardeners and for starting vegetables, fruit or herbs.
The product has a lifetime warranty. As the company says, “These seed starter trays are made to last a lifetime. Our seedling trays will never melt, become brittle or crack, even under the most extreme conditions.”
Sili-Seedlings silicone seed starting trays are well-designed, easy to work with, sterilizable (just wash them in the dishwasher) and crush-proof. Best of all, seedlings grow in them extremely well and, because the cells are a little larger, don’t need to be transplanted as quickly. They’re not the cheapest seed-starting option available but, unlike cheaper options, Sili-Seedling trays will last many, many years. I recommend Sili-Seedlings without hesitation and will be using them for nearly all my future seed-starting needs (I’ll continue to use bigger pots for large, fast-growing plants).
Where to Buy
Sili-Seedlings Seed Starting Trays are currently available only through Amazon.
In This Review
Seeds from Renee’s Garden Seeds
Seedlings were grown in Coast of Maine Sprout Island Organic Seed Starter mix
Lighting system: SunBlaster SLB1600200 Grow Light Garden
Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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