Posts Tagged ‘seed pan’

Seed Pans

November 20, 2015

A couple of years ago we featured one seed pan on this blog. Today we look at three of them. They are all Victorian and all were made at the Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery works on Broadway. They date from the era when the Box family were in charge there.

Victorian seed pans at Market Lavington Museum

Victorian seed pans at Market Lavington Museum

Their purpose is really indicated by the name ‘seed pan’. They were for planting seeds in – the seed trays of their day.

Mostly, these days, we use rather flimsy plastic seed trays which have a short life. They are typical of today’s throw-away society.

These Victorian pans have done what they should. They have lasted a lifetime and more and whilst no longer pristine they could still do the job they were designed for.

Clearly there were different shapes, sizes and depths to suit different seeds and locations.

For those of us who like brick type products these are really lovely items.


A seed pan

October 11, 2013

These days those of us who grow plants from seed expect to put seeds in trays made of rather flimsy plastic. Such trays are suitably shallow and have plenty of drainage holes so that it is hard to swamp the little seedlings with too much water.

But what about times past?

Our curator remembers his dad using wooden trays that greengrocers had – the kind that citrus fruits came in with the fruits each wrapped in tissue paper. But such boxes rotted away quickly.

In times even longer past, gardeners used seed pans made of clay. These were made by the local brickworks. We have a number of these seed pans at Market Lavington Museum and this is one of them.

19th century seed pan at Market Lavington Museum

19th century seed pan at Market Lavington Museum

This pan dates from the second half of the nineteenth century. It is about 9 inches square and is deeper than a modern plastic tray. If we turn it on its side we can see that it has four holes for drainage.


seed pan drainage holes

seed pan drainage holes

A prudent gardener would have covered these with large stones to make sure not too much of his compost washed away.

The chances are that this was made at the Lavington brickworks when it was owned by William Box, but we cannot be certain of this.