Frequently Asked Questions
What is Air Pruning?
Air Pruning is a system which forces root tips out of a container into dry air which kills the root tip. This encourages the growth of secondary roots and means that the plant constantly produces new and healthy branching roots. This means that once the plant is transplanted it will have an exceptional root system and so will take up water and nutrients more efficiently, resulting in a healthier plant.
Where roots are not air pruned they will continue to circle around the container in a restricted pattern which results in twists and strangulation. This is called “Root Circling” or “Root Girdling” and is very bad indeed. Once the plant is installed, it is unlikely to establish a normal root structure and after planting will have a reduced uptake of water and nutrients. Read more about Air Pruning on our product support page.
If containers have air pruning holes, won’t these drain and dry out quicker?
Yes indeed – though this is a benefit to the plant! Improved drainage means more wet/dry cycles, which creates better and often hardier plants. Watering methods do sometimes have to be changed to accommodate this, and we generally say that you should water less, but more often. We advise trialing with samples to get the perfect watering and feeding schedule – often you can even save on fertilizer with our containers. Having these air pruning windows also improves aeration of the soil, creating an even better root-ball. Find out more about the benefits of air root pruning.
What are the benefits of using injection molded plastic trays and containers over Styrofoam or polystyrene?
Our injection molded plastic trays and containers will produce better quality plants with more uniform plant growth. This is because they remain impervious to water, fertilizer and roots, unlike Styrofoam trays. Added to this, plants pull more easily than from Styrofoam trays due to their smooth impervious walls. This means less plant loss at transplanting time.
You can find our more on our plastic vs Styrofoam page
I grow crops not listed on your product pages. Are your products still suitable?
Very likely, yes! We can only put the most common crops grown in nurseries – the list would become very unwieldy and hard to use otherwise. Virtually any crop that is not a tuber or where the produce is the roots will benefit from being grown in a Proptek Tray. Please contact us for our recommendations for your specific crops.
Why do you sell so many different sized trays?
We have 4 sizes of tray in our range: 26″x13″, 10″x20″, 26″x9″ and 16″x16″. The simple answer is: there are different standards across both the USA and the world. Different growers also have their preferences too. This, unfortunately, means more products to decide between but does give you flexibility in finding something that will work great for your current set up, without having to spend thousands of dollars adapting benching or work areas etc.
You don’t currently have a tray for our specific requirements. Can you help?
Quite possibly! If you require a large enough amount of trays, we have a specialist design service that can create a tray to your specification. We recommend you get in touch to discuss your requirements, as there are a lot of factors to take into account when designing a new product.
How much maintenance is involved with Proptek trays?
Proptek trays are easy to clean and sterilize as only surface sterilization is required. This means they are much more hygienic with no carryover of problems to the next crop.
To find out more please contact us.
Which cell count tray/container do I need?
This depends on the crop you are growing. More specifically, the plant density decides what tray you will need: some plants, like broccoli, can tolerate being spaced much tighter than crops like melons or zucchini. Plant density is also determined by the tray outer dimension: a 1020 144 count tray is much more dense than a 162 count 26″ x 13″ tray, for example. Please visit the tray category pages and select the crop you grow for recommendations or get in touch for more information.
How do Proptek manage to increase the number of plants per tray without compromising on plant quality?
Proptek’s vegetable trays do not require a large outer rim which means that it is possible to fit in more cells per tray. Styrofoam trays have large outer rims due to the nature of the material that they are made from, while thermoformed trays require the rim to stop them from bending and to add rigidity.
As Proptek trays do not require a rim we are able to produce them with more cells per tray. However, we are also able to space them out enough to ensure that plant quality is not compromised. Therefore you will be able to produce more cells per tray, which means more plants per greenhouse and more profit for you!
To find out visit our page on how to get more plants in the same space.
What are the commercial benefits that I might see from Proptek trays?
Our products can be more profitable than Styrofoam trays as you have more plants per tray but of better quality with a lower unit cost price. Furthermore, Proptek’s trays typically last many times longer than a Styrofoam or thermoformed plastic tray.
Additionally, finance leases may be available in some areas to finance these trays. This can mean they are cheaper in cash terms than other types of tray.
To find out more please contact us.
What are the environmental or ecological benefits of Proptek trays?
All our products are made from recycled plastics and in such a way that there is minimal impact on the environment.
Because our propagation trays last many years, there is reduced waste and impact on the environment compared to Styrofoam products. At the end of their life span, our products can be recycled once again. We even have some trays made in 1987 that are still in use today!
We also manufacture our products as local to customers as possible, resulting in shorter lead times, lower shipping costs and a reduced impact on the environment.
To find out more please click here.
How adaptable are the trays with my business?
Proptek trays are likely to be compatible with most automatic transplanting machines due to our longstanding understanding of the industry.
Trays can also be molded with your company name and address for identification and promotion.
What areas of the world do you cover?
Proptek is a global business and can provide our Propagation trays to most parts of the world, either through our local offices or through our approved partners. We manufacture in numerous countries to ensure you get the best possible freight and shipping deal.
For more details on our local offices, or to find out more, please contact us.
Can I get a sample?
We provide samples of our products to interested nurseries and growers for free, but depending on the product requested and your location, we may ask for the freight cost to be paid.
To request samples, go to the relevant product page and click the “Enquire/Request Sample” button. You may request up to 3 samples at once. Before sending out any samples a member of staff will be in touch to talk through your requirements to ensure you are sampling the most appropriate product for your needs.