About Us & History

Our History

The seeds of Proptek were sewn back in 1958 when John Cooley got his first wheelbarrow at the age of four.

Ever since, it has been impossible to get him out of his garden and, in 1972, John began working as a vegetable grower for a UK nursery. Always looking to improve and better himself and the industry, John set up his own nursery in 1981.

Not happy with the propagation trays available to him, in 1987 John started researching plastics and injection molding. In 1988 he began to sell his trays and containers into California, USA, and he’s not looked back since. In the blink of an eye, 30 years has now passed and millions of Proptek trays and containers have now been sold all over the USA and to over 20 countries worldwide.

John Wheelbarrow

What We Do

Proptek is one of the world’s leading propagation technology companies. We develop propagation trays and containers that deliver real benefits to growers and commercial propagation nurseries.

We know that while each nursery’s operational requirements are unique, we all share the same goals:

  • To grow healthy, consistent plants with great roots, quickly.
  • To reduce costs via plant performance and labor savings.

Proptek stands for Propagation Technology. It brings together modern technology and the ancient art of crop growing. Through innovation, we aim to create durable, high quality products that give long term financial benefits to commercial nurseries. Our products are designed to enable growers to grow better plants that give greater yields with lower cost inputs and improved compatibility with mechanization where possible.

“We know that while each nursery’s operational requirements are unique, we all share the same goals”

Our key design considerations are:

– Long-life and economical containers that stand the test of time.

Because our trays and containers are made from injection molded plastic, they have a very long working life – potentially several decades if treated well. Some trays made in 1987 are still being used today! This not only saves you, the grower, money in the long term – but saves on waste too.

– Must produce exceptional quality roots – “Good” will not do.

Exceptional roots mean exceptional plants that are healthier and grow quicker too. Proptek is committed to plant growth and promoting yield through air-pruning which produces a healthier and more natural root structure. We use innovative tray designs to make the most of this natural growth technique without the need for labor intensive methods or nasty chemicals.

– Must be practical and fit all current and future nursery set ups.

– Interface with automation machinery to reduce labor costs.

– Where possible, products are  to be made from recycled plastics and in such a way that there is minimal impact on the environment.

– Manufacture the products as local to customers as possible for shorter lead times, lower shipping costs and a reduced impact on the environment.