Fact Sheets, Seed Starting

Mastering Herbs & Flowers with 5×5 Seed Starting Trays

Bootstrap Farmer 5X5 Trays, 5X5 Seed Starting Trays

5x5 Seed Starting Trays from Bootstrap Farmer

5x5 Seed Starting Trays from Bootstrap Farmer are versatile for use not just for our core microgreen crops, but a wide variety of flowers and herbs.

The humble 5x5 Seed Starting Trays might seem small, but in the world of seed starting, it's a giant leap towards a thriving herb and flower haven! This handy Aussie gardener's secret weapon, as championed by Bootstrap Farmer, packs a punch when it comes to nurturing delicate seedlings, especially those from tiny, dust-like seeds. But how do you harness the magic of these trays for your own backyard bounty? Let's dive in!

The 5x5 trays are ideal for a range of small-seeded plants including both herbs and flowers. These trays, measuring approximately 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm (5 inches x 5 inches), offer a compact yet effective way to nurture seedlings until they're ready for transplanting.

Why 5x5 Trays Rock for Herbs & Flowers:

  • Space Saviours: Perfect for balconies and windowsills, these compact trays maximise your limited space, allowing you to start a mini-nursery even in the tiniest of nooks.
  • Tiny Seed Tamers: Fiddly little seeds like basil, thyme, pansies, and snapdragons find their ideal home in the individual cells, preventing overcrowding and accidental scattering.
  • Moisture Masters: Controlled watering is key, and 5x5 trays, combining with and without drainage hole trays, let you bottom water efficiently, keeping the soil evenly moist without drowning your precious seedlings.
  • Transplant Teamwork: Individual cells make transplanting a breeze, minimising root disturbance and stress for your delicate sprouts.

Top Flower Seeds for 5x5 Seed Starting Trays:

  1. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus): Cheerful, low-maintenance blooms in vibrant hues – perfect for beginners!
  2. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans): A kaleidoscope of colours, attracting pollinators and adding pizzazz to borders.
  3. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus): Towering giants that delight kids and provide edible seeds – bonus!
  4. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus): Peppery blooms and leaves add spice to salads, while attracting beneficial insects.
  5. Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus): Classic blue charmers for bouquets and borders, easy to grow from seed.
  6. Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Cheerful orange and yellow blooms with healing properties.
  7. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus): Quirky, dragon-like flowers come in a delightful range of colours.
  8. Pansies (Viola tricolor): Long-blooming beauties for cool weather, perfect for pots and window boxes.
  9. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima): Fragrant, cascading blooms in white and purple, ideal for edging and containers.
  10. Borage (Borago officinalis): Star-shaped blue flowers and edible leaves add a unique touch to salads and cocktails.
  11. Marigolds – Noted for their uniquely shaped seeds and vibrant colors.
  12. Violas – Perfect for small trays due to their compact growth habit.
  13. Petunias – Popular for their varied and vibrant hues.
  14. Pansies – Ideal for cooler weather and add color to any garden.
  15. Lavender – A fragrant choice, perfect for both aesthetic and culinary uses.
  16. Chamomile – Known for its soothing properties, both in gardens and teas.

Top 10 Herb Seeds for 5x5 Seed Starting Trays:

  1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum): The king of herb gardens, with countless varieties to suit every taste.
  2. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): A kitchen staple, adding freshness to dishes and brightening up borders.
  3. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Versatile and fragrant, perfect for roasting, stews, and herbal teas.
  4. Oregano (Origanum vulgare): The soul of pizza and pasta, thrives in sunny spots.
  5. Mint (Mentha spp.): Refreshing and invigorating, ideal for teas, mojitos, and adding zing to salads.
  6. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum): Lemony and bright, essential for Mexican and Asian cuisine.
  7. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Onion-flavoured delights for dips, soups, and potato salads.
  8. Dill (Anethum graveolens): Perfect partner for fish and pickles, with feathery foliage and yellow blooms.
  9. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Woody and aromatic, elevates roasts, stews, and focaccia.
  10. Sage (Salvia officinalis): Earthy and slightly peppery, ideal for poultry, stuffing, and herbal teas.
5X5 Shallow Microgreen Trays, 5X5 Seed Starting Trays

5X5 Seed Starting Trays

5x5 Seed Starting Trays Tips & Tricks:

  • Fill 'em right: Use a lightweight, well-draining seed starting mix for optimal germination.
  • Seed spacing: Sow sparingly! Aim for 2-3 seeds per cell for tiny seeds, and one seed per cell for larger ones.
  • Light it up: Place your trays under grow lights or a sunny window for at least 6 hours daily.
  • Moisture matters: Bottom watering is key! Fill a shallow tray without holes, place your 5x5 tray on top, and pour water into the bottom tray to gently moisten the soil from below.
  • Dome sweet dome: Use a humidity dome to trap moisture and create mini-greenhouses for
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature suitable for the seeds you are growing, generally around 18°C to 24°C (65°F to 75°F).


Using 5x5 trays for starting flowers and herbs is an efficient, space-saving method that can yield a bountiful and diverse garden. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting, these trays provide an excellent foundation for a thriving garden. Remember, the key to success lies in choosing the right seeds, providing proper care, and understanding the nuances of planting in a confined space. Happy gardening!