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Tray Size Matters!

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Tray Size Matters!

Four Star has shown that the 84-count liner tray supplies the best mix of plant quality and crop timing in most applications.  Smaller plugs are less expensive but can cost money in the long run.

Trays
Standard 84 liners are more developed and well branched, with
more room in the tray for air movement.  This means healthier
plants and a better finish.

Historically, the industry has been moving to develop larger plug sizes because they help improve timing, speed up crop turns and provide more hardy plants to grow. One example is the Supernova® liner for certain crops.  Another is the popular 84-count tray.

Comprison of plugs
Standard 84 liner (left) compared to a standard
465 plug tray.  

Recently, we’ve seen smaller plugs reintroduced and marketed as an inexpensive alternative, but we wonder if that’s the best way to save money.

You get what you pay for

Four Star has grown plants in the 84-size tray for 19 years and we have found consistent results:

  • 84-count liner plants are more developed, pinched, well branched, and bulked up before they are shipped.  This means a quicker and better finish for growers.
  • More room in the tray allows for greater air movement and reduced disease.
  • More mature plants have well-developed root systems, more branching, and shorter finishing times.
  • 84-count liner plants are more forgiving and hold better on the bench, if needed.
Plug
SUPERNOVA® 84 liner is treated to enhance performance beyond standard 84 liners.

With plants from smaller tray sizes, growers receive a smaller plant that is not much more than an unrooted cutting.  These plants will only be partially rooted and smaller, and may not be pinched or well branched.  They can be difficult to care for in both the liner tray and in the finished container, requiring additional crop time and labor if a comparable finished product is expected. 

The decision to cut input costs could result in higher overhead for a few extra weeks of growing, not to mention possibly having fewer crop turns to deliver.

To learn more about the 84-size tray and other Four Star programs, contact info@pwfourstar.com, or call 734-654-6420.

 

 

 


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