So, you have decided to grow your cannabis the hydroponic way. Excellent decision! Now, you probably know that you need to have in your arsenal good grow lights, grow media, great hydro nutrients, and such sort of items to have your plants grow successfully. After getting everything, there’s one important component you cannot forget — a hydroponic flood table and food tray.
You see, you will need to have something that will hold all your plants to ensure the hydroponic system functions properly. In layman’s language, these are called grow trays and are used to grow the seedlings and offer the much-needed support to the root system. The hydroponic setting allows the cannabis to obtain all the needed nutrients, without putting them through the effort of pulling them out of the soil you prepare. What’s even more amazing is that hydroponic gardening utilizes less water.
But even with all the great things hydroponic flood tables and flood trays offer, purchasing one can be hectic, especially considering that there are thousands of models out there. If you want to get started on your hydroponic garden, worry not because we have reviewed the best eight trays in the market for you.
Sit tight and read through!
- 1. 10 Plant Growing Trays (No Drain Holes)- 20’’ X 10’’
- 2. Curtis Wagner Plastics Plant Tray Carpet Savers (5-pack)
- 3. Heavy Duty, made in USA, 1020 Growing Tray for garden seeds, Microgreens, Wheatgrass (With Drain Holes)
- 4. Hydrofarm Jump Start CK64060 Hot House with Heat Mat, Tray, 72 Cell Insert
- 5. Botanicare GTOD46X46X6B Tray x 4ft OD-Black, 4×4
- 6. Hydrofarm HGFT24 2-Foot by 4-Foot Black Flood Tray Table
- 7. Fast Fit 706121 Tray Stand, 3’ x 3’
- 8. 1020 Trays w/Humidity Dome Extra Strength, 2 Pack
- Choosing the Best Hydroponic Flood Tables and Trays- The Ultimate Buying Guide
1. 10 Plant Growing Trays (No Drain Holes)- 20’’ X 10’’
Finally, you want to try your hand at indoor gardening. Your idea is microgreens or wheatgrass or maybe something else altogether. First things first, you need a great seed starter grow tray. The 10 Plant Growing Tray is what you should look for. These trays are wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.
With a 20’’X10’’ dimensions, they can accommodate hydroponics grow pads and micro-mats precisely. Although these trays are flexible, they are sturdy and can serve you for a good number of years. The best part is, they are made from recycled polypropylene and can be reused over and over again. These trays are able to hold 18 pods weighing at most 10 pounds.
- They work great with heat mats
- Sturdy and durable
- They are leak-proof
- The plastic is thin and can be a bit flimsy
- Need extra- care when lifting up as corners can crack easily
- A bit expensive
2. Curtis Wagner Plastics Plant Tray Carpet Savers (5-pack)
Curtis Wagner is a leading plastic company that provides advanced lawn and garden equipment. These trays are perfect for both indoor and outdoor gardens of any size. And because of that, they are made from durable plastic material that is able to withstand any weather conditions. Additionally, the tray has a planter water catcher design that prevents you from making a mess during watering.
Because these trays have super cool drainage and airflow design, you will not have to worry about overwatering your plants. This is because water and dirt will not be trapped at the bottom of the saucers. There are different saucer sizes ranging from 4-inch to 25-inch. They come in 3 different colors; Black, Terra cotta and Clear.
- Quality tray at an attractive price
- Allows air- circulation under the plants
- They can hold a big plant with a lot of weight
- The plastic could have been slightly thicker
- Colors a little bit different from the website
- The round indentations traps run-off water which could easily harbor mosquitos
3. Heavy Duty, made in USA, 1020 Growing Tray for garden seeds, Microgreens, Wheatgrass (With Drain Holes)
If you are looking for durable trays to start your microgreens or wheatgrass seedlings, then the 1020 Growing Trays are perfect for you. They are flexible but not flimsy. The heavy-duty material makes them strong and therefore, will serve you for a long time. These trays are also perfect for hydroponic environments.
If you want to water your plants from below, you can easily place the trays on a flood table with water. And since the growing trays have holes, the plants will absorb water. Impressive, right? Since the trays are sturdy in nature, they do not collapse when you move them around. They come in cool, vibrant colors.
- Trays are heavy-duty, sturdy and durable
- Flexible but not flimsy
- Comes in vibrant colors
- Made from material that is hard to recycle and toxic when heated
- They twist easy when full of soil
- Can crack easily on the edges
4. Hydrofarm Jump Start CK64060 Hot House with Heat Mat, Tray, 72 Cell Insert
If you want to get a jump start at a growing season, then you need the Hydrofarm Trays with Heat as your trays of choice. This particular heat tray provides a temperature of 10°F-20°F more than the room temperature, which makes the seed germinate super-fast. More so, there is a total humidity control that allows healthy fast growth.
This seedling mat will provide subtle heat that does not damage the roots of the plants. This tray set includes 72-cell insert, vented dome, and a good quality 120-volt heating mat. The 7.5’’ humidity dome has adjustable vents that increased the germination process. Additionally, it features an 11’ x 22 watertight base tray. These trays are perfect for young plants or plants that do not need to grow so big. When you buy this tray, it will come with an instruction manual with tips on how to grow your plants.
- They increase the germination process
- Very strongly built to accommodate many seedlings
- You will not spill any water because the base is super water-tight
- The dome does not sit perfectly over the tray
- The dome’s lip does can extend over the bottom tray making water to leak out
- The hothouse is a bit thin making it flimsy
5. Botanicare GTOD46X46X6B Tray x 4ft OD-Black, 4×4
In 1996, Botanicare launched its quality product to hydroponic growers. Botanicare products have today become very popular in the hydroponic industry. Botanicare Trays are perfect because you can grow just about anything in them. Besides, they are studying and can fit on the exact footprint of a 4×4 garden.
Furthermore, they are shallow enough for water to flood well on them with an easy drain system. You will not have dirty trays as they are made with an easy to clean design. If you need a well-constructed durable flood bed, then this one is worth every penny. They come in black.
- Quality, durable and very sturdy
- Fits on a 4×4 tent perfectly
- Easy to clean
- Very expensive
- You have to drill the drainage holes
- Does not come packaged in a discrete box
6. Hydrofarm HGFT24 2-Foot by 4-Foot Black Flood Tray Table
For your hydroponic garden, you need to invest in a very solid and sturdy flood table. Where better to look than the Hydrofarm Flood Tray Table. These rugged trays are made from premium ABS plastic with a multi-level drainage grid system. Despite the many flexible drain holes, the corners are very stable.
If you want a flood table that you can monitor the content of water, then these are perfect as they have gradation levels inside. And besides, you will not have a problem cleaning them. The rounded corners make it super easy. These trays are made from UV resistant material and will give you many years of service. They are large solid trays that make excellent grow beds. They also come in black.
- Heavy-duty, solid and durable
- Have many drain holes and rounded corners for easy cleaning
- Made from ABS UV resistant plastics.
- Drilling the drain holes need extreme accuracy
- Does not come in any packaging exposing it to everyone
- Cracks and breaks easily while being shipped
7. Fast Fit 706121 Tray Stand, 3’ x 3’
Grow trays are important aspects of your indoor gardening. Imagine you have your hydroponic garden idea, all is set, from lighting to the seeds. But there is one aspect missing. The flood trays. Fast Fit is an awesome 3’’ x 3’’ tray stand that is perfect for your hydroponic grow system. What’s amazing is that it has an easy assembly tray stand. You will not need any tools to set it up. And by the way, assembling this tray stand takes less than 5 minutes.
This stand can carry any hydroponic tray that you want. With an outer measurement of 53- inch x 28.5-inch and an inside dimension of 51-inches x 26.5- inches, this tray stand can fit a lot. In fact, the 4 legs stand can hold about 240 pounds while the six-leg can hold 360 pounds in weight.
- Stable with a little wiggle room
- Can hold a lot of weight
- Heavy-duty and durable
- It does not come with the tray
- Tray is heavy, not easy to move around
- Costs more when you have to buy the tray separately
8. 1020 Trays w/Humidity Dome Extra Strength, 2 Pack
You might be thinking of starting a seedbed but you don’t have an idea on where to start when it comes to flood table trays. And because you want to get it right the first time, you need an ultra-durable tray. The 1020 trays come with that and more. Because they are made from BPA free plastic, they are the best to microgreens, wheatgrass, lettuce, kale, peppers and more even medicinal cannabis.
With the extra strength humidity dome, these trays are sturdy and can hold a lot of weight. You can carry these trays around without bending. On top of that, the trays can be used for other uses, and it’s amazing how you can reuse it over and over again. They are big at the top and gets narrow at the bottom. And since they come with a 2-year warranty, you can be sure that the manufacturers are quite confident with this product. They are made from plastic material that is completely rust free.
- Premium, ultra-durable trays
- Great for plant germination
- Sturdy and can hold a lot of weigh
- The polypropylene plastic smell is a bit off
- The plastic cover goes outside the tray, and when condensation happens, you get drips on the floor
- They are expensive
Choosing the Best Hydroponic Flood Tables and Trays- The Ultimate Buying Guide
No matter how you look at it, it just does not make sense to make random purchases without thinking about the bigger picture. How will this particular product help you in the long run? So, because we want an enviable hydroponic garden, let’s also take time to consider the factors that will help us buy the right flood table or tray. Since we have many companies out there offering different products, the following guidelines will help you come up with the perfect pick.
Size of the Tray
When you are planning to grow plants on your hydroponic garden, you must consider how many plants you want to have. So, when you are choosing the size of the tray, consider the size of your garden and the number of your plants. While some trays are quite large and can hold many big plants, others are quite small and perfect for small plants. The size of the plants you intend to grow will determine the size of the tray. En sure to leave a little wiggle room as well.
It is important to take into consideration the amount of money you have to buy the tray. We all want beautiful gardens, and therefore, we invest in top quality products. You might be planting to sell or for home use. Regardless, you should not compromise on the quality. If you research well, you can definitely get a good quality tray without denting your pockets.
Quality is one of the top things we look out for when we are buying anything. Because gardening is a continuous process, it is wise to invest in durable products. It’s no secret that some trays are more durable than others. Some trays actually are made for reusing over and over again, giving value for money.
Ease of cleaning
For indoor gardens, you want some to invest on some trays that are easy to clean. Some trays are designed in a way that you can clean and maintain comfortably. Plastic material makes it easy to clean and furthermore; they do not rot or rust. It’s no wonder plastic is a popular material for trays that are used in hydroponic gardens.
With or Drain Without holes
When choosing for the best flood tables and trays, it’s important to keep in mind the type of plant you would like to plant. While some trays come with drain holes, some do not have holes. For trays with drain holes, you can set them on another tray without holes that are filled with water — allowing plants to absorb water from below. To choose to buy a tray with or without hole lies with you and the plant you want to grow.
There you have it! Deciding on which flood table or tray to buy should not be a daunting exercise, thanks to this review. Irrespective of the type of plant you want to grow we have you covered. The bottom line is that; you need to think about the type of plants versus the size of the tray you want to buy, you need to consider your pockets, maintenance, quality as well as the design.