How Long Should Seedlings Stay in Nursery Trays

December 1, 2021

The number of weeks or days seedlings can stay in nursery trays or seedlings trays depends on a lot of factors.

Two tomato farmers can seed their tomato seeds in nursery trays and transplant the tomato seedlings at different days because the seedlings of both farmers do not mature at the same time.

The type of crop can also determine how long seedlings can stay in the nursery tray.

nursery tray in nigeria

Factors that can determine how long seedlings can stay in seedlings trays

The following factors can determine how long seedlings can stay in nursery trays:

Type of crops

Seedlings of some crops require few days or weeks in nursery trays. For example, tomato seedlings are usually transplanted after 4 weeks while chilli pepper seedlings may use 7 weeks in nursery trays before transplanting.

Climatic Condition

Seedlings mature faster in tropical areas because of higher temperature. In temperate climes, seedlings take longer time to mature so they can spend longer time in seedling trays. Tomato seedlings are likely to spend shorter days in nursery trays in Nigeria than in the United Kingdom.


Fertile substrates in seedlings trays can speed up the maturity of seedlings. If the substrate or soil you use for your nursery tray is fertile, your seedlings may likely not spend a lot of time in the trays.

Pests and Diseases

The prevalence of pests and diseases may delay the time needed for seedlings to be transplanted. Seedlings affected with pests and diseases may have delayed time to maturity and stunted growth.

How long can Seedlings Stay in Nursery Trays

  • Tomato Seedlings 4 – 6 weeks
  • Hot Pepper Seedlings 5 – 8 weeks
  • Sweet Pepper Seedlings – 4 – 6 weeks
  • Cucumber Seedlings – 3 – 5 weeks
  • Watermelon Seedlings – 4 -7 weeks

Do you grow seedlings in nursery trays? If yes, why not share with us in the comments’ section how long your seedlings stay in nursery trays.

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