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Looking for an alternative to expensive heat mats.

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by mrsb on February 02, 2006 10:49 PM
I love to start seeds indoors and over the years have had success with growing from seed. I usually use wicking system trays, works better for me than watering from the top, but this year I am using a purchased seed starter, with a 15 watt bulb for the heat source, but I have to water from the top.
I've looked at the heat mats and for one that is large, they are quite pricey...pricey is what I try to stay away from. Does anyone have any ideas for making a heat mat that I can make, in the large size I would like, and be able to use my wicking trays for growing seeds.
I will be looking for any ideas from the posters on this forum.
Thank you and happy growing!
by weezie13 on February 05, 2006 12:53 AM
I have heard of some of our memebers here
of starting them on top of the frig...
It's nice and warm up there...

And MrsB, Welcome to The Garden Helper's Forum by the way, we are very glad you found us..
Don't forget to take a peak around, ther'es lot's to do here, and to keep you busy, especially during the winter months...
We've got recipes, crafts, hobbies, and all sorts of gardening areas...
Stick around and jump right on in!!! [thumb] [flower] [gabby]

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by moon8989 on February 05, 2006 09:18 PM
I've used old heating pads! (usually turned on low) If I need to water to water the plants I lift the tray off to water and return it dry! [grin]
by MissJamie on February 06, 2006 04:41 AM
or you can always use the heating vents on your floor! just take the plant or tray of seedlings and put it over the vent [Smile]

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*~*Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.
by maja24 on February 15, 2006 05:12 AM
Strip the cloth of an electric blanket (don't know if it's the right word in English..)and use the cable. It already has isolation and is protected against overheating! You can buy them very cheaply secondhand! [flower]

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by peppereater on February 18, 2006 04:22 AM
Great idea maja, in fact these are all good ideas. I once used one of those metal folding tables, I guess a typewriter table with the folding leaf at either end, and put a clip-on shop light under the top. It worked well...the meatl conducted the heat through to the flats.
If you get a catalogue from Gardens Alive, they'll include a coupon for $25 toward your purchase. They do this twice a year! Then if you buy their heating mat, it only $15 or $20, less than half price. They have lots of other goodies, too.

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Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Francine on February 18, 2006 12:37 PM
Hello mrs : B,

first of all,welcome to the forum,hope you stay with us.i like your user name,is Hazel with you.

your question is xactly the one i just sat down to ask ,for now i m using a tummy ache heating pad,but it s rather small and i wanted to know if there was anything else i could use.

i knew of some answers exept maja s electric blanket trick,like that,always in being careful of electric hazards of course.

also the fridge trick i do but i at first damp a sheet of paper towel,then put my seeds in it ,put it all in a ziplock bag and finaly on the fridge,it sprouts like crazy being nice and cozy .(look at that,i m a poet [Big Grin] )

well,thanks for the help and have a good week-end!!


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by njoynit on February 28, 2006 08:58 PM
My sister has done the electric blanket.she laid plastic over it.she had like 700 of them peat discs that you water up into sowing pots all in meat trays,cookie sheets etc. This was about 5 yrs ago.

I've done heating pads& the heaters from waterbed(great...can set the temp too)

I do wintersowing& have metal under my all my trays,but is mostly so will kill the grass underneath I plan to grow a lil right there,but they also hold the heat.I actually had less germination in the trays without it is how I figured it out.
I got brugmansia seeds sprouting on top of computer.

And I've filled milk jugs with hot water and placed in a circle around the plant for protection before.was a tomato plant cutting that had been inground for 3 days with a washrag across top.

You could always buy a twin waterbed cheap and just set all the trays on the bed(you'd need a thin blanket to hold heat in the bed)worse that will happen is folks think your NUTZ [nutz] [Big Grin]

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!
by Francine on March 04, 2006 09:32 AM

i normally put my seedlings on a cookie sheet on a heat pad,well i ve discovered something else(it might not heat for as long but it does the trick. )...and the secret is ...tiles,you know those pottery little tiles,or anything that is made out of ottery that you can put a pot on;just heat the tile a few minutes in the oven first,then put your pot on it and it should give heat to your plant for a need of electricity...and especialy no need to pay ...tomorrow i ll try posting a pix of my little tiles.

hope it was clear enough,i m not too good at explaining.

have a good evening !


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