Does anyone have any recommendations for brand/style of heat pad to use for our starts this year? Any dos/don'ts? We have done starts every year but have recently moved and don't have the indoor sunny window space. We will be putting the starts in the greenhouse which gets cold at night (Living in the mountains of Colorado).
So I got one on Amazon and burned it the first week. Had a water bowl that reflected in the sun. Woops! I had an idea last week. I have one of the heaters that LOOKS like a retro steam heater but is really just some oil in metal/electric. Turned on low I put my seedlings on it. Works great! Was able to put this by the window I am using and keeps everything warmer at night. Also, if you have a place in your house where it gets very warm-top of refrigerator, or next to a freezer... I have found it to work for the 2-3 days of germination. Permaculture has helped me look at any alternative before purchasing. I am soooo grateful. I no longer want to make the many purchases but feel a sense of accomplishment when I figure out how to use what I have. Having gone on, my amazon purchase worked great while I had it.
The temp controller has a little probe that is hard to keep in the soil of my 72 seed tray, when I was trying to harden off the seedlings and taking them outside yet keep them warm to help along the stragglers that weren't germinating. In hindsight, I planted too many different things in one large tray and should have used smaller trays. Things I germinated: Lavender, chamomile, malabar spinach, chile pepper, cucumber comfrey, tomato, kale, rosemary, hollyhock. Those were all in one tray. Then I had two pie tins each onion seedlings and I successfully germinated some honey mesquite from a large specimen in a park from some old pods that were on the ground.
I like having the controller for consistency and record-keeping, to figure out what works best for different plants. If I were germinating on a larger scale I'd probably go the route of soil-warming cables, which I think would work best in a greenhouse situation.
Do you have thermal mass in your greenhouse?
I was wondering about heat pads too, the only space for my starts is in my bus house with us, we have a long low table with a light over head...it is warm when we have a fire going, but it gets cold at night. I wonder if i should just turn on the pads at night (i just found two old Super Sprouter mats buried in our shop), i hope the changing temperature does not mess with the babies too much.
Bring me the box labeled "thinking cap" ... and then read this tiny ad: