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Heated propagation tray question

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Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/2/2012, 7:42 pm

I'm looking into getting a heated propagation tray for starting seeds and wasn't sure what was the best way to go.

I can get a tray or mat that will sit under seed trays that will apparently heat things to 10-15C above ambient temp or I can spend a bit more and get something that has a thermostat. Is it worthwhile getting a thermostat one or would the one without do the job fine?

About halfway down the page there is a propagation tray and also an electric propagator.
http://greenharvest.com.au/tools/propagation_supplies_prod.html

Or I could go the whole hog and get this one...
http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/propagation-tray-with-thermostat/

Any thoughts from those with experience would be appreciated!
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  camprn on 9/3/2012, 6:29 am

I have never used a heat mat for seed starting but have wished for heat when starting seeds indoors. Does it freeze and frost at your place? If it doesn't you may just be able to get away with just starting a few on the windowsill, coldframe or direct planting. Some seeds only need to a bit of warmth to germinate and most seeds don't need any extra heat after that.

I just checked your weather forecast. My guess is you may not need a heat mat at all. It really depends upon what you are trying to grow.

If I had to buy one and I had the money I would go with the one with the thermostat.

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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/3/2012, 4:55 pm

Trying to start tomatoes at the moment, I started them on the 25th Aug and so far no sign of them even with putting them out in the sunshine as much as I can.

Most things I can plant direct in the garden but there are still things that are recommended to start indoors and my house is pretty cool, particularly at this time of year. Even though we are getting some lovely daytime temps at the moment, it is still cold at night and the house just doesn't warm up that much.

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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  plantoid on 9/3/2012, 5:04 pm

Erica,
If you can afford it go for the thermostatically controlled one with a ventable lid clear acrylic lid ... different seeds need different bottom heat and they stay within a reasonable temperature band width.
some seeds will damp off if there is no ventilation .
the bottom heat helps warm the air above so having a lid helps retain it.

The unregulated ones can get a bit too warm sometimes .

Have you got a chart showing you the optimum germination temperatures ?
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/3/2012, 5:10 pm

Not that I know of, haven't really gotten into the specifics of it yet, just trying to work out where to start.

Having said that, I do have a few gardening books around the place and you never know what's in them!

Otherwise, there is my standard motto....Google is your friend! Very Happy
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  thegreatcob on 9/4/2012, 5:33 am

just get heat mat separate if can find it. the rest of stuff looks over priced.
as for the crops that you need the mat for watermelon,tomatoes,peppers both hot and sweet,squash, cucumbers all benefit from bottom heat to germinate. most other crop types don't benefit or are adversely affected.
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  Pollinator on 9/4/2012, 9:09 am

@thegreatcob wrote:just get heat mat separate if can find it. the rest of stuff looks over priced.
as for the crops that you need the mat for watermelon,tomatoes,peppers both hot and sweet,squash, cucumbers all benefit from bottom heat to germinate. most other crop types don't benefit or are adversely affected.

I have a mat, and it works for me. The only thing I've ever had trouble germinating without a mat is peppers. For a couple years I filled the crockpot with water, set it on low and germinated my peppers on a screen over that. It worked OK but only warms a small area, so I finally got a mat. Broke my cheapskate heart...they are pricey!
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/16/2012, 5:18 am

Well I ended up going the whole hog and buying the one with the thermostat. Cost me $140 but already it was worth it!



I had tried to start tomato seeds without it and in over two weeks there was no sign of seedlings. I got the propagater on Wednesday afternoon, put new seeds in that night and this afternoon (Sunday) I found sprouts. Four days! Pretty happy with that. Very Happy



Not the best pic, iPad in low light so I circled them. Those ones are the San Marzanos and I also found some of the Earl of Edgecombes as well. Just waiting for the Baby Red Pear now.

I have been talking to hubby during the week about a light for my babies and he's building me a LED light from some LED strips he had leftover from something else and some aluminium sheet he had in the shed. He just has to get a plug pack for it and then I'll have a light too. bounce

Edited to add: he just finished it and he's loaning me his "good" plug pack until he can get another one.


Temporarily sitting on to of the propagator, just need to rig up some fishing line or something to hang it and make it adjustable!




Last edited by ericam on 9/16/2012, 5:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding more pics!)
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  camprn on 9/16/2012, 8:34 am

Sweet! okay well done!

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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  RoOsTeR on 9/16/2012, 11:04 am

That's awesome Erica! I love that LED light set up Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/16/2012, 5:54 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:I love that LED light set up Like a Star @ heaven

The best bit about that is, to buy a LED propagation light here they start at about $400! affraid

This one cost about $12 for the LED strips and the rest is stuff scrounged from around the house. Very Happy
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  plantoid on 9/16/2012, 6:42 pm

Keep an eye on the emerging seedlings they can be prone to damping off if you have other seeds to germinate in the same tray.

I tend to have much smaller cut down trays of only four or six sowing positions and sow that number of seeds , once they emerge and start to grow I move them out and put some other new seedtray in .

I then grow the new seedlings on either in day light on a window cill or under a different set of lights away from the heated .
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 9/16/2012, 10:02 pm

Thanks Plantoid, the Baby Red Pears were emerging this morning so I have taken the cover off and turned the heat off and have strung up the lights just above the seedlings, so I think they should be OK.

If I lose a few of the San Marzanos it doesn't really matter as I have way too many! Laughing
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  Goosegirl on 9/17/2012, 8:05 am

@ericam wrote:
@RoOsTeR wrote:I love that LED light set up Like a Star @ heaven

The best bit about that is, to buy a LED propagation light here they start at about $400! affraid

This one cost about $12 for the LED strips and the rest is stuff scrounged from around the house. Very Happy



GG
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  ericam on 10/1/2012, 4:59 am

Started potting up my seedlings today, forgot to take a pic until after I had already started...


And the ones I had already done
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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/1/2012, 1:24 pm

They look lovely, Erica! Apparently your lite works great!

Your photo of these babies kinda makes me feel melancholy about being at the end of the show here in the States. Rolling Eyes So glad you'll be here to lighten our winter!

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Re: Heated propagation tray question

Post  walshevak on 10/1/2012, 8:52 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:They look lovely, Erica! Apparently your lite works great!

Your photo of these babies kinda makes me feel melancholy about being at the end of the show here in the States. Rolling Eyes So glad you'll be here to lighten our winter!

CC

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