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heated propagator

I am planning to construct a heated propagator bed.
Simple timber sided tray on legs, lined with polythene and filled with sharp sand and heated by thermostat controlled heating cable.
Have browsed Amazon for latter stuff, problem is the reviews of such things...who can you trust? 
Can anyone recommend a reasonable priced but decent heating cable and thermostat.
Cheers
Owd.
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Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,173
    I made a propagator a couple of years ago, but I bought a large heated tray-
    https://www.twowests.co.uk/orchid-staging-heated-tray
    Not very well presented on their site, but it's a bigger version of this
    https://www.twowests.co.uk/seed-tray-rack-heated-tray

    and got one of these to sit on top
    https://www.twowests.co.uk/titan-watertight-plastic-tray

    This is the thermostat I bought (not available at present)
    https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DZRXKM4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    And I got one of these to act as a cover-
    https://www.agriframes.co.uk/grow-at-home/cloches-tunnels/kitchen-garden-cloche?gclid=CjwKCAiA-P7xBRAvEiwAow-VaS_-8uZD9otfqKIGnw2e56O9-eHoZIt81igW_wlA5ffRirHPgZWpbxoCTxwQAvD_BwE

    I'm pleased to say it works very well.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • KiliKili Posts: 439
    Have a look at this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwkGXEatKSk
    Just adjust to your size requirements.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 666
    Kili I one exactly like that one in my Keder Greenhouse and is magic for growing from seed.
  • Thanks all.
    @Kili thanks for link, video confirms just what I had in mind.
    Cheers

  • KiliKili Posts: 439
    edited February 2020
    I was too lazy to build one so bought two of these: The 100 watt versions. I've had them a few years now so didn't cost so much then.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • Hi Kili,
    How about a large heat matt such as this one:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005910KF0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

    I am looking at something similar and am weighing up the choice between a matt and cables, and then the different options within these two domains. As you say, it's difficult to have faith in the reviews of these items, so it's hard to choose. As such, i would be very interested in how you get on. And I will update you on my progress.
    Kind regards.
  • Pta55Pta55 Oxfordshire Posts: 28
    I have been given a new Vitapod heated propagator for Xmas. It is in my new greenhouse, I am not sure about how to use the vents, as in how much air should you have circulating and how much condensation is ok. Hope someone can clue me in on the best way to use one of these, going to the very basic info would be great. Thank you. Peta
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,881
    @Pta55 The best tip I can give you about using heated propagators is to not start using them too early, unless you are also heating the greenhouse.  As soon as seeds germinate, they need to come out of the propagator otherwise they will grow too quickly, become tall lanky seedlings which will never do well.  The major benefit of using them is to help germinate certain types of seed which require higher temperatures then we can normally provide, such as chillies, and to get even germination from a batch of seeds.  Condensation should be removed whenever seen and the vents opened when you see the first seed to two from a particular batch germinate.  The humid conditions and poor airflow often result in dampening off (a fungal disease on the surface of the compost) so always remove things from the prop. as soon as possible after germination.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • KiliKili Posts: 439
    @Pta55 The best tip I can give you about using heated propagators is to not start using them too early, unless you are also heating the greenhouse.  As soon as seeds germinate, they need to come out of the propagator otherwise they will grow too quickly, become tall lanky seedlings which will never do well.  The major benefit of using them is to help germinate certain types of seed which require higher temperatures then we can normally provide, such as chillies, and to get even germination from a batch of seeds.  Condensation should be removed whenever seen and the vents opened when you see the first seed to two from a particular batch germinate.  The humid conditions and poor airflow often result in dampening off (a fungal disease on the surface of the compost) so always remove things from the prop. as soon as possible after germination.
    Spot on Bob, that's the problem we all face when growing with heated propagators. I've solved that problem as I'm lucky enough to have in my house a small office in which I have a 5 rack shelving unit with T5 grow lights under each shelf.
    As the house never drops below 19 degrees in winter (due to good insulation) I can successfully bring on my plants early . I also have a porch which never drops below 10 degrees in which I move them on to when I need the space under the grow lights.
    If you have the room I would recommend doing this to any one wanting to bring on their heated propagator sowings early.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

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