Heat Propagator - Germination Station
Hi, I'm totally new to growing plants and trees from seed and purchased a heat mat germination station (actually, it's one of these cheap hydrofarm products you can buy on Amazon) to get some seeds going indoors. I have a few questions I thought you learned folks could help me out with:
1. I'm finding that my germination medium (peat moss/perlite) is drying out even though the propagator has a 2" plastic cover over it to retain moisture. I understand that seeds generally need moisture (but not wetness) to germinate. What's the best way to keep this kind of mixture appropriately moist throughout? I spray water over the mixture every other day, but the peat on top absorbs the water and it's hard to get the mixture consistently moist all the way through. Too much water and it becomes dripping wet. I'm wondering if a different germination material is better when using a propagator--something that is easier to keep sufficiently moist throughout. Any thoughts?
2. I tried laying plastic over the seed pods to keep the moisture in. But I'm reading elsewhere that this would likely increase mold and other undesirable effects. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. Anyone have any experience with this?
3. How warm is too warm for seeds? With the 2" plastic cover, the temperature under the dome is about 28C. With plastic directly covering the seed pods, the temperature reaches about 34C. I suspect the air temperature is warmer than the soil temperature, but is 34C too warm?
If it helps, 'm trying to germinate a number of different seeds (ensete ventricosum, musa cheesmanii, musa ornata, various palms, among other tropical plants/trees).
Sorry for the long-winded questions. I'd greatly appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.