There is provided an apparatus and method for propagating, growing and handling plants. A tray is provided having a pluralilty of spaced apart elongated containers which are removably attached to one another. Each container has a plurality of planting compartments with adjacent planting compartments being separated by an air compartment each having an elongated opening which permits the movement of air into the root system of a plant located in an adjacent compartment. The air compartments also provide for vertical airflow to the leafy parts of the plants. The elongated containers are readily separated from one another and reassembled using automated apparatus. The automated apparatus removes the plants from the container for grading, transplanting and/or packaging.