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Post  catnip on 4/20/2010, 5:15 pm

I broke down and bought a seed heating mat this year. Oh boy, everything jumped right up. Last year it took 3 weeks for my pumpkins to sprout, I was just about to start over when they came up. I started my seeds last Wednesday at noon, put them on the mat, and Saturday morning I looked, for no reason other than compulsive, and nearly all 12 of 19 seeds I planted were up. Now it's Tuesday and all but 2 seeds are up. It's like watching an amarylis grow. It's incredible. I want to plant more but it's cold outside and no where to put them. Highly recommend them, for me worth the cost. Marrell
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/20/2010, 5:22 pm

I jury-rigged my own this year, and I agree with you -- wowza! Seed heating mat Icon_eek I laid a 50 strand of Christmas lights in a disposable aluminum turkey roaster, covered it with foil, allowing one corner open for heat escape. It was the perfect size for the jiffy greenhouses I use, and a thermometer laid between the greenhouse and foil registered 78 degrees. Everything came up in half the time except parsley which likes a cooler bed. Certainly wouldn't meet UL standards for safety, but it surely did convince me that bottom heat is necessary.
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Post  Shoda on 4/20/2010, 5:23 pm

That sounds great. I wondered about those. Is it warm to the touch? Could a heating pad work or would that be too hot?
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/20/2010, 5:32 pm

Unfortunately, a heating pad would be much too hot and most of the newer ones have an automatic shut-off. My homemade one was just slightly warm to the touch. That was when the weather was cooler and my house was 60 during the day and 50 at night.
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Post  jenjehle on 4/20/2010, 6:23 pm

I have a heating mat also. Can't believe how fast everything comes up! Sometimes in a couple of days!


Def think mine was a good investment!
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Post  desertgirl on 4/22/2010, 11:21 am

I actually do use a heating pad, but I wrap it in a pillow case ad set a large cookie sheet on top of that. I got lucky and found an older one that doesn't turn itself off. It really does speed up sprouting-2-5 days quicker than the package tells you.
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Post  Shoda on 4/22/2010, 12:39 pm

Do you leave the seedlings on the heating mat after they have sprouted? My tomatoes are growing very slowy indoors.

Also, I found an old Lecto-Kennel heated dog bed in the garage that we purchased for an outside cat. The internet says they get to 102 degrees. Since they stay on all the time at that temp, I thought I might try it under an upside down 9x12 pan to see if that lowers the temp enough for the seedlings. Just can't afford the "real thing" right now as I am busy spending all my money on the SFG beds.
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 1:53 pm

@shoda wrote:Do you leave the seedlings on the heating mat after they have sprouted? My tomatoes are growing very slowy indoors.

Also, I found an old Lecto-Kennel heated dog bed in the garage that we purchased for an outside cat. The internet says they get to 102 degrees. Since they stay on all the time at that temp, I thought I might try it under an upside down 9x12 pan to see if that lowers the temp enough for the seedlings. Just can't afford the "real thing" right now as I am busy spending all my money on the SFG beds.

I would think that would work great. Perhaps instead of the pan, you might just use a thin pad of some kind, or folded flannel. You can test the temps. by putting a thermometer under the seedling tray.

I took my seedlings off as soon as they sprouted because the heat unit wasn't under lights, but I see no reason you can't keep them on the unit longer as long as they have really good lighting.
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Post  Shoda on 4/22/2010, 2:28 pm

I hadn't thought of a therm. under the seedling tray. Duh! That is a great idea. Thanks. Will definately give it a try.
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Post  desertgirl on 4/22/2010, 2:48 pm

I leave turn off the mat as soon as they sprout, but then I switch to a grow lamp so they won't get leggy (and they get a little heat from the lamp, I suppose). I have a thermometer in the tray next to the plants-most want a soil temp around 75 ish to sprout. Also-bottom water your seeds (so its almost like a warm water bath).
Good luck!
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Post  jenjehle on 4/22/2010, 11:28 pm

After I see the first seed sprout, I remove the tray from the heating mat. Then they go directly under the grow lights. I found that if I leave them on the heat mat, the do get leggy, very fast. So I try to move them as soon as possible.


Happy sprouting!
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