When you have plants in pots, trays are great. For indoor plants they keep your surfaces clean. You can fill them with gravel to create a humid microclimate and stop the leaves falling off your fussy plants. Bigger ones are fantastic for carrying lots of pots of seedlings around the garden. Most importantly, when you water your plants they catch the water that drains straight through dry compost and give it time to soak in.
I am reducing the number of plants in containers in my garden for next year, but there will always be some. I am moving them towards bigger containers, but even so there are still issues with watering in the summer, especially when whatever water you give them drains straight through and escapes onto the floor. Every time I go out into the garden and water I think about getting more trays to put under the larger pots (I only have 3 garden trays of any size), and then I forget. This morning I came back inside to make a note.
For indoor use and carrying pots, I have cat litter trays. They’re the perfect size and a good depth, easy to find and cheap. Garden trays from garden centres are – for a mass-produced piece of plastic – frighteningly expensive. But they won’t be suitable for all the pots in the garden, as their rectangular shape isn’t right for big, round pots. And they tend to come in garish colours, although the last batch I bought were silver or black.
I am quite prepared to invest in some more garden trays, because they do last and they will help the plants for the rest of this season and in future years. But before I do that, I thought I would ask you what you use. Do you shell out for garden trays, or do you buy something else that does the job? Have you found something that you can recycle that is perfect? Or is there another solution to this problem that I haven’t thought of? Do let me know!