Ph2, I think that a great deal of 'new gardeners' are basically fairly practical, intelligent, (lovely) people; those who are basically impractical are always going to struggle a bit. And that is through no fault of their own; some people are simply born that way. ...and it's great to get carried away with gardening
I love my heated windowsill propagator - been using it for a good few years now and nearly everything germinates - whereas before it was hit and miss. Once seeds are up they get moved to another windowsill, with no heat, and grow on slowly but happily til the clocks go back, when they get pricked out and put in an unheated GH. I do it once the evenings are lighter, so that i can check on them (lids/fleece etc when frost is forecast) before and after work. Works for me .....
Ph2, you have raised an interesting subject there I'm going to start a thread about the worst gardening 'old wives tales'
i've found using a heated propagator for streptocarpus cuttings much better than without, and it's a massive relief if i forget to sow seeds and need them to catch up with the rest.
I love my windowsill heated propagator and I have found that the bottom heat creates a perfect temperature for seedlings to grow. Having tried both the propagator and just growing on a sunny windowledge I would even say that it may be less worrying for a novice because the seeds come up much quicker and more reliably. I would hazard a guesstimate of seeds coming up probably in as much as half the time it takes without the bottom heat.
The rate of germination, I am finding, is much higher with a heated propagator; e.g. 28 tomato seeds planted and 24 germinated, 15 cerinthe seeds yealded 13 plants and counting; have always had probs with cerinthe before.
Strange you should say that about cerinthe. I bought the sarah Raven seeds and had a complete 100% with them, no propagator at all. I am not having the same success with my own collected seeds on certa