Good or bad?
Personally I think they are responsible for a lot of disappointed to newcomers to gardening.
I absolutely agree David, also thompson and morgan telling you to put everthing in plastic bags, it can only sweat, causing too much damp for tiny seedlings.
If you sow at the correct time for your weather conditions, all will germinate under their own steam, IMO propagators drag them up quicker than they would otherwise grow.
I have never owned one and wouldnt want one.
Thank you, pleased to hear that others agree.
Personally I think it's the cheaper type without thermostats that are the biggest waste of time & money.
Indeed, when I started out (not recently!), I cooked lots of seedlings, not realising that is what I was doing, in a non thermostatic propagator. Rarely use mine with heat now, just as a sowing tray.
I think it is also worth mentioning their use to help cuttings root, for which purpose I find them invaluable.
I'm inclined to agree with the above......non thermostatic are a no no unless you are constantly standing over them. The better thermo controlled ones do have their uses and can be part of your growing regime.
I used to use soil warming cables in both an unheated and a heated g/h - more for raising "exotics" than anything else. I found them excellent but depending on the set up, a tad expensive given the cost of electric these days.
I would use a decent propagator for raising Toms, Aubergines and the likes but I am amazed how many people are sowing these seeds so early on windowsills Unless you have somewhere to put them to continue their growth now, I think it can be a bit of a waste.............tho I am always ready to be persuaded otherwise and those that manage to produce good plants that way should be saluted
So easy to understand the enthusiasm which gets people planting so early, but over the years I have discovered (not fast, 'cos these things take time to percolate through to my brain!), that sowing much later gives me much better results.
Interested in your remarks pundoc re rooting cuttings in the heated trays - I'll try that and hopefully get better results than previously.
I also get rather cross with the shops which sell rooted seedlings in February, the people whom buy them often don't have a place to rear them well, or possibly the knowledge - the plants die, the person thinks he/she cannot 'do' gardening - and spend a second lot of money later - I think this is just a cynical way of getting people to spend more money, which most of us can ill afford these days.
Bookertoo............couldn't agree more...........bottom heating for cuttings is the way to go
Also agree that many new gardeners can be put off by buying the wrong things at the wrong time....disaster follows and they automatically think they've done something wrong. Hopefully most will try again and get it right but it is a shame if people are put off by lack of correct info/advice
Bookertoo wrote (see
I second that, Bookertoo......It's something that's annoyed me for years.