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Hot Bed for Starting seeds

Posted by seramas 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 4, 11 at 11:52

Has anyone tried using a hot bed to start seed on inside your greenhouse?

Several years ago I built tables of 1/2' plywood with 1"x2" welded wire for the table top. They were 4'W x 8'L x 2'D. They were lined with greenhouse plastic then filled with a 50/50% mixture of horse manure and coco seed hulls. Then covered it with a double layer of ground-cover cloth this allows the water to drain into the working compost. The surface temperature was about 75 to 80F. The seeded pug trays were placed on the top of the ground cover and then tented with clear window shrink wrap plastic to maintain heat and moisture.

After the seedling were sprouted and grown to about 1" tall they were removed. The compost was stirred between plantings to keep the compost's heat process at it's peak.

Then when all the seeds that needed starting were finished I then used the compost table to set 4" pots of salad greens, collard greens and such on top to give them a boost so when you plant outside you had plants that were producing from the start.

To get the proper heat production from working compost a minimum deapth and width of 2' x 3' with the proper moisture levels is a must. After it is completely composted it makes great malch or an additive to your potted plants or around your fruit trees.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hot Bed for Starting seeds

It is an interesting experiment and a use of a hotbed going back to Thomas Jefferson's time. The fault I find is it is an awful lot of labor to save a small amount of electricity needed to heat a bottom heat tray. Al

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