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Giving Root Trainers A Try

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This year I was keen to grow as many vegetables and flowers as I could from seed. So I did a little research into how I could have the most success and noticed that a lot of magazines, blogs and fellow Instagrammers were suggesting to buy root trainers, especially if you want to grow your own Legumes. I'm very passionate about keeping gardening as sustainable as possible, so I was hesitant to spend money on plastic. But after finding a sturdy tray of root trainers, I was hopeful they would last for a long time.

Root trainers are tall, narrow and are usually a rectangular shape. They are designed to allow seedlings to establish a significant and fibrous root system. Crops such as broad beans, sweetpeas and mangetout really benefit from the luxury of having a little extra space. The ridges inside each cell then help guide the roots to grow downwards rather than lateral. When you come to transfer the plant to a bigger growing space, you simply pull down one half of the tray which means you don't have to disturb the plant too much in the process.

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This week I planted out my broad beans which were sown in root trainers around mid-March. Every seed germinated well and peeped through the surface of the soil much quicker than expected. Having that extra depth for the seedlings to grow in meant I didn't have to worry about them needing to be potted on. They didn't seem to mind the move into their new home in the raised bed, and it was great to see their roots looking strong and healthy.

All of the trays are still in excellent condition, and I was relieved that none of the plastic had broken. A 32 cell tray cost me around £9.00, which at the time I thought was expensive, but since seeing the results, I think they were a great investment! And to top it off, the broad beans are thriving in the raised bed. Lovely stuff.

Louise Smith