Propagation Heat Mat

sandhill_farms(10 NV)December 30, 2010

I'm getting ready to start a number of hot chili plants and need to buy a heat mat. I don't need the best ever made but one that works well. Do any of you know the best online store with decent prices and quality products? Thanks!


Soutern Nevada

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loribee2(CA 9)

I bought mine from

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 2:27PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

Thanks, Loribee2 I'll check there.

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 3:17PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I use a hog farrowing mat with thermostat. Then I have to check the temperature of the soil with a soil thermometer because the thermostat has numbers, not temperatures.

It's big enough that I can start a lot of seeds on it.

Seed mats aren't cheap and they tend to be small, so check the size before you buy.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 2:40PM
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I start most everything from seed, and have had 4 of the germination mats. They seemed just okay, and i did have one replaced that simply didn't work. Since, i have tried various low-cost ways to make germination stations! Now, i use a 1.50 styro ice chest, and put a simple light bulb fitted into the lower side, and iside a stainless bowl for any protection needed to the styrofoam surface. Atop it, i use a large oven rack to set two flats atop, with a greenhouse lid cover. This cost me 2.00, with things i had at home, and i have used these for four years now.
I also use a medical heating pad, on low setting, that is well wrapped against moisture, and sits between two equal pieces of wood. Another oven rack atop the wood sides, and flat atop that.
The germination mats that i used to use, cost $30-$70. each, and barely kept the soil warm all around. I now can germinate many flats at a time, at a pittance!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 8:59PM
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Glad, That's a great idea. What is your bulb wattage?
I've heard of the same method used to hatch eggs. I have
a homemade incubator made from a single drawer file cabinet
wrapped in styrofoam boards, two 40 watt bulbs, a wooden door with window, a fan, and heat control. It is sized for two egg flats. I could probably adapt it to start seeds but likely easier to just start from scratch. But thanks for the idea, I may just build one of those.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 2:13AM
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For the past year or two, I have been ordering most of my gardening supplies, including an additional seed starting mat, from Greenhouse Megastore online. They have good prices, very efficient and fast handling of orders, and don't mind dealing with small purchases.
Trying once again this year, to start pepper seeds.LOL

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 8:44PM
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I may be a little late to the game, but I will toss out what I am trying. I got an old 9"x13" cake pan from my wife and have placed 40 small xmas lights under (18 watts total). I have 2- 9 packs with grain rye in it now, just placed them today. I am having a little trouble with the temp. It is running 84 degrees now. I have every thing in a clear plastic bag. If I open the bag a little temp comes down. The bottom of the pan is insulated foil backed fiberglass so all the heat radiates out the top of the cake pan.

I expect I may have to install a light dimmer switch, or maybe just bag the plant holders themselves and let the rest of the heat radiate out of the pan. I just started playing with the heater today so I have a lot of tweaking to do.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Hi everyone!

Strange! I've never used heating mat for seeds germination and in 99'9 of cases I've got them growing.

I use an old fish tank with a daylight on a top and thermometer when temperature rising I just slide Plexiglas lead and then put it back. But it happens very rarely I mean Temperature rising.

I know some people I know use heat mats for rooting of cuttings. But I think that I am to lazy and cheap ... I root mine in cold frame and tray with plastic Dome like covers and a couple of holes in it. lol Very seldom they do not root.

But you people don't listen to me .... maybe I am just lucky. Because if you will try to use and fail ... you gonna curse me. lol But who knows maybe it shall work for some of you too.

By the way I need to take all my germination gear out.

January is the beginning of germination, which means SPRING is almost here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 5:35PM
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This may have been mentioned before. I've been looking into making a bottom heating unit from a Christmas rope light. I purchased an 18' one for $8.00 around Christmas time and plugged it in to test it. It gets warm, not hot and there have been several articles on the web about people who have done this. I'm going to try a modified version this Spring on some vegetable seeds. With the 18 footer, I can snake it on a 4' long area to make 4 runs and have a little to spare. I've included a link that gave me the idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas rope light heater

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 2:21PM
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bper, I think you are in good shape. I looked at the same light rope you got, but the 18' was all they had. I have a 48 ft heat cable but dont have a place large enough to use it now. I wanted to build something small to set up in my bathroom. Maybe next year I can think big.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:37PM
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kiddo_1(NE OH 5)

I've built my own bottom heat tray and made up a nice post about it on the Melissa Majora Garden Projects page. I use this tray all the time now and don't know how I did without it before.

If you make one I'd LOVE to hear how it turned out for you!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 7:04AM
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I used the 4'x2' heat mats (4 of them) with thermostats from the mega greenhouse for 5 years now. Many different seeds require different temperatures to germinate so this gives me 4 different temperature zones.

My pepper seeds germinate at 80-85 F, once true leaves appear they are removed them from the heat mat and grown at 70F to 80F transplanting them from the plug trays (when roots have developed well) to 606's (36 cell count) for growing for garden planting or individual 14" pots for growing in the greenhouse.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mega Greenhouse

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:35PM
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I use a waterbed heater. Build a grow box that will hold 3 1020 nursery trays with a little room to spare. Put the heater on the bottom, laid a small block in each corner and a piece of wood on top of them - with about an inch of room on each side. I sit the flats on the board. The box is covered with a glass window. The temps stay at 85-86 degrees and the humidity level at 26-35 percent, depending on whether I mist the sides or not.

I can germinate seeds extremely fast in this thing. It didn't cost anything, as I had the lumber, heater, blocks and glass laying around. Plus, I can see if any seeds have sprouted in a jiffy.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 6:48PM
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I read somewhere that you can make a bottom head pad out of a string of holiday lights sandwiched between disposable aluminum lasagna pans. I have not tried this but it would be a very inexpensive option if it works. Not sure if this would make too much heat or not enough heat however.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:15PM
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My father made our with foil, heavy duty card stock cardboard, a heating cable and adhesive. I put a link of the type of heating cable it is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jung

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Here is what I did and my results. I am a newby; so pardon me if my techniques are dumb. LOL

I bought two 2-bulb fluorescent fixtures (4 footers). Placed the fixtures facing UP, not down. I put 2 pieces of 18" x 24" plexiglass on top of the fixtures.

My ambient room temp was 68. On the stand, with normal fixtures above the seedlings, the temp rose to 72.

However, when I placed the seed trays on top of the plexiglass, the temp of the soil went to 82 degrees in a couple of hours.

So now I have a 5 tier stand I bought at Lowes (stainless steel, 5 shelves, 72" x 48" x 20" ($69), very sturdy).
I bought a cover for the stand at Indoor Garden Supplies ($30 with 2 zippers) 48" x 72". Fits great.

I put plants that need about 75 degrees on top shelf, under fluorescent lights.
I put plants that need 80 degrees on middle shelf, on top of the fluorescent's as above.

Cooler plants I put on the bottom shelf.

Seems to work great.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:30PM
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I have an old fashioned gas oven that uses a pilot light. With the oven door closed the inside of the oven will usually run around 90 to 105 degrees F, depending upon what the air temperature is in the kitchen. But by propping the oven door open slightly with a piece of wood I can make the temperature around 70 to 80 which is ideal for starting tomato seeds , or 80 to 90 which is ideal for pepper seeds. Its dark in the oven so I have to check the oven several times a day and take the seed starting containers out as soon as the first seed starts to sprout and put them either directly outside under full sun or else under my fluorescent lights which will keep them warm. The heat from the oven is essentially free because the pilot light would be on whether I used the oven for starting seeds or not.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Has anyone tried this? (below)

Similar to that posted by Kiddo above, but I'd imagine the sand would be a better heat conductor than foam.

If I tried this, how cool of a room do you think I could use this in? (hoping to put one in a shed)

Here is a link that might be useful: ehow's version of a bed warmer

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 10:24PM
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Use heat cable in seed flat.Last 2 years placed seeded peppers on 4" spacer over floor heat duct in family room.Cover with plastic tray cover. Very good results & cost-0

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 2:11PM
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I'm using 72 cell trays with clear covers and 2-1/4" square peat pots (36 per tray) instead of the plastic flats. With a 2 lamp 4 ft. shop light just above the cover, the inside temp is 80-82 degrees. Cabbage and broccoli germinated in 2 days, tomatoes in 3, peppers in 4-5. Right now I think I may not use heat again. Also haven't had to water again since planting. Today is 6 days and I took the cover off of the cabbage & broccoli. Room temp is about 65-68.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:23PM
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