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Heated propagator under the bench to dark?

I've just finished making a heated propagator to go in the polytunnel for starting seeds off. It's quite large as I used a pallet for the base and I'd prefer not to put it on the staging as it takes up quite a bit of space. My question is will it be to dark under the staging for the seeds to germinate properly. Or will it be a case of them just going leggy once they do. I can hopefully get them out as soon as they germinate as I've got a heater in there for any cold nights in March/April. It will be for bedding plants like marigold lobelia, and veg like tomatoes and peppers. I can't easily move it once its set up as its going to weigh an lot with all the wet sand in as well, so i need to make a decision now.


  • It would probably be OK until the seeds germinate.  Is your staging the type where you can actually remove the slats or at least slide them to one end ?  Or do you already have stuff on the staging ?  If you are sowing annuals as well as toms/peppers the germination won't always be at the same rate.
    If you think that you could pot on your seedlings soon after they germinate and put in a lighter position, that may well be sufficient.
    It sounds as if you have already made the decision due to weight/space so I guess your only option is to try it this year and see what you think :)
  • unfortunately the staging is solid so no light through the slats. I've started to assembly in underneath but not filled it with sand yet, so I could move it but the staging is always bursting at the seems in a few weeks once I start potting everything on until mid may when everything apart from toms and peppers get thrown outside after the last frost. Like you said i might try it this year and if I get issues with leggy seeds I could always try a grow light under there for a few weeks to help out.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,321
    Seedlings will need as much light as possible.
    If they get leggy soon after germinating you'll end up with weak plants.
    It's the early days that form the type of plant it will grow into, and you don't want a load of weedy ones. Short stout seedlings are what you're after and that needs as much light as possible - esp during early Spring
    Try and fit it on the staging if you can.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    I agree - tomatoes in particular need light. That's more important than heat just now, although at this time of year, they also need that to germinate and thrive.
    You'll end up with etiolated, weak plants if you keep them under a bench or anything solid.
    It might have been better to wait for sowing toms if you don't have room to give them what they need  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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