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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Super Sprouter Review

Super Sprouter Review

Premium Plant Propagation Trays, Lids & Matts. Are They Worth the Money?

This Spring Planting Season we decided to perform a Super Sprouter Review. Super Sprouter is brand of plant propagation trays, inserts, domes, heating mats and controls used by growers for starting seeds, rooting cuttings and establishing young plants.  When it comes to buying these Spring Planting essentials, it’s possible to save a little money and buy generic–we wanted to see if it was worth the extra sheckles to go premium in our Super Sprouter Review.

Besides the energy savings, the results are better–you are heating the seed or cutting more directly, and from underneath versus heating all the air around it in hopes that the cuttings or seed plugs will warm up to the optimal temperature you desire.

sprouting wheatgrass

Above: Sprouting Wheatgrass

Super Sprouter Review, Clear Cut Tray System

The Clear Cut Tray System is an innovative idea. On top, a tall tight fitting clear humidity dome with adjustable vents.  Below a sturdy black base 1020 tray (ie, standard nursery flat, no holes) with a clear insert tray that has drainage holes.

So, what’s the Big Deal–it’s a tray, right?

The cool thing about this particular tray in tray system that we liked a lot is that you can inspect young and emerging root systems without disturbing sensitive young plants.  You don’t even need to lift the humidity dome.  Simply lift the clear insert, with the dome still on, right out of the base tray and you can see if new roots have emerged from cuttings or if it’s time to pot your seed plugs up into the next stage.  It’s also a great way to check and ensure that seedlings or cuttings are not sitting in freestanding water at the bottom of the tray; a common entry point for root disease when young root systems sit in warm pooled water for a length of time.

tray in tray system

 

Super Sprouter Review, Built Sturdy & Tight Fitting

The Super Sprouter trays, domes and inserts are the most sturdy we have ever started plants with, for real–and we hope you believe us if we say that’s a LOT of plants on as many occasions using standard prop gear from a wide range of supply sources. The domes and trays provide a complete seal, there are no raised areas from imperfections in the plastics that are common to other we have used that allow humidity to escape or unwanted insects to enter.  Besides having an extra generous internal volume of air, the domes are sturdy enough that you can stack several trays, completely saturated with moisture, on top of one another–we tried it three high, and observed no signs of buckling.  This makes handling and shipping larger volumes of rooted cuttings or seedlings a breeze without worrying about damaging the precious cargo they contain.

The base trays themselves are super sturdy and can be purchased as standard, double thick and even triple thick.  We had no problems pick up a tray of saturated started plugs with one hand in these trays without the Super Sprouter tray giving way, ripping  and sending precious and delicate young plants to the floor–if you’ve been propagating plants for any length of time you know this happens; and it’s a nightmare watching your hard work become ruined as stems snap when they hit the deck after spilling out of a flimsy tray that ripped.

sturdy propagation trays

Super Sprouter Review, Heat Mats & Controller

Applying even and gentle bottom heat is an easy and low energy way to improve results when rooting cuttings or starting seeds.  In our greenhouse, this is especially true during the early part of the growing season.  The wattage or energy it takes to heat the entire air volume of the greenhouse for ideal propagation temperatures to keep starter cubes or pellets warm inside propagation domes and trays is considerably more than maintaining moderate air temperatures and applying bottom heat via propagation heat mats.  Besides the energy savings, the results are better–you are heating the seed or cutting more directly, and from underneath versus heating all the air around it in hopes that the cuttings or seed plugs will warm up to the optimal temperature you desire.




In our Super Sprouter Review, we trialled the Two Tray Mats.

We liked these mats because they fit perfect inside our standard 4′ X 8′ tray and could be daisy chained together easily and safely.  We were able to connect Eight mats together and run them all with one temperature controller.  If your needs change and you need two different temperature zones, no problem, just disconnect the portion you want to use for another temperature setting and add another Digital Heat Mat Control. Note the control has a generous length sealed temperature probe that you can insert right into your propagation media–it will allow the control to keep the exact temperature you desire right at seeding or rooting media. Easily raises the temperature 10 Deg F or better versus ambient, and for very little wattage (especially versus trying to heat the entire volume of greenhouse air).

Super Sprouter Review, Additional Thoughts

These trays and domes are easily worth the extra 50 cents or buck a piece, especially if you intend to reuse.  In  fact these are built so sturdy, it’s unlikely they will need replacing for quite some time.  Even under strong natural with supplemental lighting conditions in our greenhouse we have not seen any sign of cracking, fading, becoming brittle etc.  All in all a really good buy, especially if you want to spend more time shipping or potting up healthy transplants versus handling your trays one by one daintily with both hands.  As a matter of fact, after using these Super Sprouter trays, domes and inserts anything else we have tried in the past just isn’t going to measure up anymore, ie get spoiled once you try these these versus standard fare. The only thing we can even think to say as a negative is that the extra thick trays lose a few millimetres of space inside the tray, so some standard inserts may fit a little tighter than before–which really isn’t a big deal and besides, Super Sprouter offers a variety of cell trays designed to fit perfectly inside.

triple thick super sprouter tray

 

Super Sprouter Clear Cut Tray in Tray System, Average Street Price (USD):

 

Triple Thick Base Tray: $4.25

Clear Cut 7 inch Dome: $6.50

Clear Insert Tray: $2.75

Double Heat Mat: $52.00

Digital Temperature Control: $45.00

 

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