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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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heating mat Toplef10heating mat 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

heating mat I22gcj10heating mat 14dhcg10

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Post  tdnmm 2/17/2015, 8:32 pm

Hello everyone,
  What can I use under my heating mat to raise the temperature to 85. I have a thermostat but it only gets up to 80. I went to home depot and purchased a thermal insulation board. After reading the label, it said it was combustible so I removed it. Thank you-Tom
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Post  quiltbea 2/17/2015, 9:12 pm

glad you\'re here to the forum.
Why the heck would you want to increase the heat to 85 degrees?  Starting seeds don't need that much heat and once they germinate, they can get by with even lower temps, like in the low- to mid-60s, to give them a spring boost.
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Post  boffer 2/17/2015, 9:35 pm

Welcome to the forum.

I put my heat mats on 1 inch foil faced foam board.  (foil up)  I let the built-in thermostats do the work. I cover the trays with clear plastic covers to keep the heat in. No problems in 8 years.  

I'm as puzzled as QB about the need for higher temps.  There are several charts in the back of the ANSFG book.  The temp points listed in your range are 77° and 86°.  Only a few variety of seeds germinate faster at 86 than 77, and then only by a day or two.  Interestingly, the percentage of seeds that germinate at 77 is better than 86 for nearly all varieties listed.

Is there something out of the ordinary that you're trying to do?
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Post  Turan 2/17/2015, 11:39 pm

The only seeds I find I need extra heat for are peppers.  I used a heat lamp over them as well as the heat mat underneath.  Gotta be very careful then to not dry them out.

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Post  sanderson 2/18/2015, 12:11 am

Tdnmm, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

Are you trying to germinate exotic/tropical seeds? Did someone tell you that you needed 85*F? My thermostat is set 68-72*F and the small warmth of fluorescent tubes is sufficient to germinate veggie, herb and flower seeds. I have the plastic trays on tile flooring so I put a doubled towel under the trays and have the trays doubled up with cardboard between the 2 pans as insulation from the cold floors.

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Post  camprn 2/18/2015, 1:46 pm

Ditto what sanderson said. And you only need that temp for about 24- 48 hours. Also consider you will still get germination at lower temps but it may take a day or two more.
heating mat Temperature-chart

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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/18/2015, 3:22 pm

Hi Tom.  Don't have any heating mats, so can't chime in on that. 

But welcome from Atlanta, GA!
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Post  quiltbea 2/18/2015, 4:18 pm

Camprn........Great chart and from the look of it, the range from 68-77* seems ideal for just about everything.
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Post  yolos 2/18/2015, 5:33 pm

Camprn - just to make sure I have it right, are the temps in that chart soil temps or air temps.
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Post  camprn 2/18/2015, 6:26 pm

yolos wrote:Camprn - just to make sure I have it right, are the temps in that chart soil temps or air temps.
soil temps

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Post  countrynaturals 3/26/2019, 2:24 pm

Are heating mats just for sprouting? Once they break ground can I take them off the heat and start something else? I only have two heating pads and way more seeds to sprout.
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Post  OhioGardener 3/26/2019, 2:40 pm

countrynaturals wrote:Are heating mats just for sprouting? Once they break ground can I take them off the heat and start something else?

Yes, yes.  As soon as the seedlings sprout, I removed the plastic dome and unplug the heating mat. The seeds need (want?) heat to germinate, but the plants don't need heat to grow.

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Post  countrynaturals 3/26/2019, 3:34 pm

OhioGardener wrote:
countrynaturals wrote:Are heating mats just for sprouting? Once they break ground can I take them off the heat and start something else?

Yes, yes.  As soon as the seedlings sprout, I removed the plastic dome and unplug the heating mat. The seeds need (want?) heat to germinate, but the plants don't need heat to grow.

Thanks, OG. You always give me the answers I'm looking for. I love you
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Post  sanderson 3/26/2019, 4:20 pm

+1

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Post  jimmy cee 3/26/2019, 10:20 pm

A much better solution for heat ( if needed ) would be a slow cooker...( crock pot ) placed at the bottom of your seed rack. open with no cover, set on low. water will need to be added everyday, and moisture will also be added as the water evaporates from the pot. I covered my rack with plastic. Kept the temps below 75 degrees F. Spinach seeds are noted not to germinate above 75 F. Even without heat, an enclosed cubicle will maintain proper temps by just lighting, even using the low temp bulbs.
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Post  yolos 3/26/2019, 11:51 pm

I tried Jimmy's method of putting a slow cooker placed at the bottom of my seed rack and inside a small greenhouse shelf and it worked perfectly.
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Post  sanderson 3/27/2019, 3:50 am

Good to know.

I used the new heating mats with no improvement. Back to the drawing board for 2020 germination.

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Post  trolleydriver 3/27/2019, 9:24 am

sanderson wrote:Good to know.

I used the new heating mats with no improvement.  Back to the drawing board for 2020 germination.
Do you have a thermostat on your heating mats?  If not maybe they got too hot.
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Post  yolos 3/27/2019, 10:07 am

I have been starting seedlings for years and using a heat mat.  I used an oven temperature gauge to test the heat of the soil.  What I found was that the soil got too hot with the heat mat on full time.  So what I used to do was unplug the heat mat throughout the day.  But this year I finally purchased a heat mat with a thermostat that will turn off the heat mat when it reaches a preset temperature.  Works like a charm.
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Post  sanderson 3/28/2019, 5:18 am

Yes, the heating mats had thermostats and probes. The temp was around 70*F. I had a large number of herb failures, also. I will have to buy some starts this spring. Sad

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Post  ralitaco 3/28/2019, 11:05 pm

jimmy cee wrote:A much better solution for heat ( if needed ) would be a slow cooker...( crock pot ) placed at the bottom of your seed rack. open with no cover, set on low. water will need to be added everyday, and moisture will also be added as the water evaporates from the pot.
Wow!!! That is genius.
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Post  sanderson 3/31/2019, 11:14 pm

Now, Jimmy Cee is going to have a big head. Very Happy

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Post  jimmy cee 4/1/2019, 10:45 pm

sanderson wrote:Now, Jimmy Cee is going to have a big head. Very Happy
goes with the rest of my body, however , head is getting bigger than my frail body every year....ha ha...
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