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Cost Saving with Automation: Sleeve & Tray Growing Environments

Proptek sleeve and tray systems are becoming ever more popular for plants that can withstand, or need, a large amount of automation. Significant time and cost savings can be made by turning from “loose fill” to the Ellepot®/Proptek system – especially since the talk of rising labor rates in recent months.

With the Proptek 8 Cell Sleeve and Tray propagation system, you’ll reap all the benefits of all Proptek propagation trays, such as our air pruning technology and super long life construction, but with the added bonus of time and cost saving with automation.

Here’s the key features:

Better Quality Roots – Better Quality Plants

Just like our 28 cell and 50 cell Pot-in-Frame loose-fill systems, the sleeve and tray growing enviroment provides exceptional air pruned roots. The Ellepot® is contained in either the sleeve (9” deep) or in the tray (4.5” deep). This creates a large numbers of young vigorous roots up the side of the Ellepot® with no circling roots. This means plants finish faster and stronger and reach caliper size at a faster rate. Even harder to root plants take well. Take a look at this video explaining the benefits of our 8 Cell SLET/SLED system and the incredible root structures it creates.

Very Labor Efficient

Whole process can be automated: seed into small Ellepot® transplanted into large or small Ellepot®, Ellepot® into plastic sleeve, plastic sleeve into frame. Plants can be moved 8 at a time, but also taken out individually to grade and quality check. Find out more about automation using our 8 Cell SLET/SLED system and Ellepots by viewing this helpful video.

Cost effective

The sleeve and tray system uses less soil than loose-fill systems and doesn’t require filling machines. Trays and sleeves are also super durable and will last for many years.

Exceptional Growing Environment

Tray allows air flow underneath the pots which means less pathogens such as bacteria and fungus, reducing the need for the use of expensive chemicals. Plants are spaced at proper distance, allowing for easy care and easy budding & grafting. Easy to add drip irrigation.

Easy to Ship

The Ellepot® is simply removed from the sleeve and shipped. Zero plastic leaves the nursery making them immediately ready for the next planting.


Farm Credit and Accord leasing companies see Proptek products as an asset and will loan on our products. Farm Credit leasing is payable per month. Check with your tax advisor whether the loan payments can be a complete write off and at the end of the loan you will have an asset, saving capital dollars.

Find Out More

For information, or if you are not sure if a sleeve and tray or loose-fill Pot-in-Frame solution is best for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch, and our industry experts will get back to you as soon as possible.