1020 Microgreen Trays is a new system of growing microgreens in water. It is an aquaponic system that uses rows of colorful plastic boxes with holes at their bottom’s. This tray system is based on the first principles of aquaculture: nutrients are circulated through the bottom of the tray, while waste is recycled. So, while your veggies sit on top of a bed of gravel, they are also getting the nutrients they need.
The way this works is rather simple, as illustrated in the photo. One female plant grows horizontally in the box below the holes on the bottom. The light can reach the other plants via the holes. As they grow, new leaves and growths push up into the holes and add to the canopy of foliage on the top. This is a very simplistic way of describing how 1020 microgreen trays work.
But what are “microgreen” trays? Just like regular trays, these are trays filled with water that is layered in different colors of green. Microgreen trays usually have holes in the bottom that allow for the draining of water. However, unlike regular trays, they have tiny holes just above the water level. And, there are three different kinds of these trays: shallow trays, deep trays, and box bottom trays.
A microgreen tray that has holes at the bottom would be a deep tray, otherwise it wouldn’t be called a micro green tray. There are many plants that prefer the shade provided by a deep, dark tray, but not all. For example, the Mediterranean citrus fruit likes a sunny climate, with its morning rays hitting just right. You will also find that microgreens grow well in a variety of conditions – you can plant them in potting soil, and have them bloom year-round if you’re careful about watering. But what about if you’re not? In this case, you’ll need to either make your own box bottom tray, or buy one.
Box bottom trays are made of thick plastic, with small holes in their surface. The key to their suitability for growing microgreens is in their material, and in their design. Most box bottom trays have small, shallow holes that allow good water draining, but not enough room for growing roots. Thus, without holes at the bottom, they can’t support the weight of a plant, which could lead to it falling over. That’s why some manufacturers have designed deeper, more substantial microgreen growing trays.
Deep tray models, on the other hand, have holes on the bottom that goes almost all the way to the top. This allows for proper water drainage, but also means that roots can reach the top of the tray, where they’ll be protected from winter frost. Some models even have a space between the holes on the bottom. This lets water drain away from the plant, while still allowing roots to grow properly. Like box bottom watering trays, these types of trays should be placed in a location with direct sunlight, but you may find that they need to be placed on low, shaded areas to get the best results.
Microgreen growing trays come in several different sizes, too. Some are designed as simple box-bottom versions, but there are also models with two-year warranties, and with covers for the top and bottom. Those who don’t plan to plant anything for a few years should opt for the two-year warranty model. When choosing a tray, check for the type of covering that comes with it – some Microgreen trays come with a vinyl cover, but others come with cloth covers.
While most 1020 microgreen growing trays are about three quarters of an inch thick, there are some models available that are thicker. There is a difference in the number and sizes of the holes, as well. Most have holes about two and a half inches apart, although some are as small as just over one quarter of an inch. The larger the holes, the more air circulation there will be in the tray. However, keep in mind that the more microgreens you place in a tray, the larger the plants you’ll be able to grow – so plan accordingly. Trays generally range in size from eight and a half inches to twelve inches; again, the bigger the plant, the larger your growing area should be.