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Beginner Flowers: How important are heating mats?

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gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 19, 2007
8:59 PM

Post #3101038

I bought two very expensive 60" heating mats with a thermostat...have I blown my money. I use them, but i haven't heard anything but light in germinating seeds and rooting cuttings?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 19, 2007
11:00 PM

Post #3101442

I don't do much with cuttings (although I think that heat can help you there too), but I do know that heat mats can help with seed starting for many types of seeds. Depending on what you're growing you may not need them, but a lot of seeds will germinate faster with the heat mat. I attempt to grow a lot of tropical trees/shrubs from seed, and without the heat mat I don't think some of them would germinate at all, and they certainly germinate faster with the heat. And even if it's not weird tropical stuff, if you're starting seeds in the wintertime it can be a bit on the cool side even if you're doing it inside the house somewhere, so the heat mat can be a big help and may be a necessity if you've got your seed starting set up on a patio, in the garage, basement, etc.

If you want to read more about seed starting and cuttings, you can also check out the Propagation forum, lots of good information there.
http://davesgarden.com/forums/f/propagation/all/
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 20, 2007
2:00 AM

Post #3101974

I root cuttings and plant seeds, but I've never used a heating mat. I can't justify the $ for me ... but a lot of people use them all the time! The heat is great for speedier seed germination, and it would also be good for helping produce roots in new cuttings.


Lin
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2007
2:12 AM

Post #3102012

THANK YOU...LOTS OF HELP...and you are right, I am doing all this germinating and cuttings out on the front screened in porch until I get to have a greenhouse...I did place an order from Jungle something...love tropicals...
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 20, 2007
12:43 PM

Post #3102812

Lot's of people use heat mats for seedlings and rootings. They will grow germinaye and root faster if warm and less chance of losing them or having problems. Lot's of people use them for rotting African violet leaves to as Spring is really the very best time to do these but their fun to do all year long. Even in Florida they root better and faster in Spring/Summer.
I wish I could aford one but they just cost so much. I have some special seeds I bought 5 for $12.00 and they need to be kept at 80 degree's. I might warm the oven , then turn off keep light on and door open and check temp and keep them in there until they are a safe size and days when it's 80's and Sunny take them out in the windowshelves which we have been Blessed with a lot of days in the 80's. Even tomorrow will be 77 sunny and the Sun makes it even warmer !
I just want to make sure they grow !
But if I could aford a heat mat I'd be buying one.
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 20, 2007
2:11 PM

Post #3103023

Wow Allison! What kind of seeds did you buy? 5 for $12.00!!! I am still a novice I guess ... I've never seen any seeds at that price. Are they some kind of AV seed?

Wishing you the best of luck with germination, but I know you will be successful ... you are so smart with anything to do with plants and you know just the right care to give them! Keep us posted on how they do!

Lin
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2007
3:28 PM

Post #3103223

I just know that you know someone well who owns a nursery and would order the mats wholesale for you...gardeners love other gardeners and want them to succeed. My friend ordered my 60" heating mats which are 22 or 24" wide. The were 140.00 each...good investment and will last a life time...I also have a thermostat control.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 20, 2007
3:43 PM

Post #3103270

I just order a heating mat from Gadens Alive for $26.00 :)) for my special seeds :))
Reason being is you spend $40.00 they take $20.00 off right now ! I also ordered some of their seedling mix it does not need to be strelized and I have used it before love it !
http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=15553
If the heat mat was not of this great saving I would not have bought it. Hope it comes fast zI want to start my seeds. !!
Lin the seeds are Vigna Caracalla Corkscrew Vine/Snail
Shipping was free and she did send 8 ( Onalee) I shared 4 in a trade someone on DG was looking for them.
I did buy two more packages of them 5 seeds for $3.95 each from Parks no extras included and had to pay postage so comes out about the same. Thou I like Onalee's her's are home grown. I will keep track of which does best. I also added a package in the Valentine seed swap I am in in DG seed trading forum !
I hope to have six good plant three for each side of a large trellis, if extra I can use for trades, also can use wood cuttings to root . It's extremly fragrant ! Can be seen in PF .or on Onakee's home grown seed web sight. She is in Garden Watch with 100 percent feedback !

jeri11

jeri11
Central, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 20, 2007
4:16 PM

Post #3103387

Allison_Fl,

Thanks for that link. I've wanted a heating mat for awhile. I tried an old heating pad but it cut off every 20 minutes. I just ordered one from Gardens alive. Can't wait for it to come in.

Jeri
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 20, 2007
11:28 PM

Post #3104525

Yes me too. I bought $40.00 worth so I could get $20.00 off :)) I had goen on to buy the seedling mix I've used before and was great so I feel I'm just about getting the mat free and it was on sale too ! Glad you got one ! I can't wait so I can start my special seeds :))
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 21, 2007
1:51 AM

Post #3104954

There are also a few good bargain on Ebay for heating mats. I just bought two this week. These were the large ones that fit under four flats. I think they were $59 each. They are 20 X 48". I am just waiting for them to arrive!

Somewhere I read that geraniums needed heat to germinate, as well as some of the echinecea. I'll figuire it out before I start!
Sparisi1122
Gloucester, MA

January 23, 2007
6:50 PM

Post #3114570

If you want a cheap alternative to a heat mat, put them on your heater. But only if it is a realy big old one that does not get too hot. Not an electric one thoses get realy hot.

I got my Jimsonweed to germinate on them, and I could not germinate them anywhere else. Read my journal for the full story.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 23, 2007
8:34 PM

Post #3114856

We don't have any heaters here :)) But several of my seeds need 80 degrees. Sure glad I fount the heat mat for almost free as if you spend $40.00 from Gardens Alive they take $20.00 dollars off right now .
Sorry you have your heat going I lived in RI and MA most of my life but
we don't miss the cold or the Heat bills . Stay warm !
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

January 24, 2007
9:03 PM

Post #3118559

Betty,
As you love tropicals, I think you will find your heat mats a wise investments. Many tropical seeds and cuttings do better if a heat mat is used (assuming that it's not hot outside in which case a heat mat isn't necessary).

During fall and winter, my heat mats are used to just start cuttings that I am rooting. And in the late winter, they are used to start seeds inside.

Nat
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 25, 2007
12:05 AM

Post #3119152

Nat, thanks a lot!!! All my seeds for now have germinated and are off the mats...so I am headed straight to all my cuttings and place them on the mat (but only on 70 I guess) All of you DG gardeners are just the best!!!
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2007
11:38 PM

Post #3122648

I use my heat mat to keep tropical plants warm through the winter, without raising my energy bill significantly. I just ordered another one so I can start seeds and then keep more plants warm. Some plants really need the bottom heat to root or germinate, other maybe not. In the summer time I used the hot cement outside in place of the heat mat for rooting things, but with temps in the teens tonight, I'm glad to let it keep my plants warm.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 27, 2007
12:51 AM

Post #3126601

I got my heating mat today I'm very pleased ! Now ready to do my seeds !
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2007
9:49 PM

Post #3129078

This may be a little late, but I just found this thread. Here's a link to a diy heat mat. We have made these and they work GREAT! Right now I have 4 of them set up and have containers to make 2 more.

http://www.gardengrapevine.com/BottomHeater.html

We did our own take on these, changing things a bit. We only used one container and we've used scoopable kitty litter instead of sand, simply because it's easier to find this time of year...and cheaper. We secured the rope light to a piece of plywood and set the plywood in the bottom of the container, covered it w/ the kitty litter...and that's about all there is to it. I have my cells in the flats and the flats are setting right on top of the litter. Very easy, very cheap! =^)

Hope this helps someone out!
Heather
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 27, 2007
11:01 PM

Post #3129272

Hi Heather ! How are you. Thanks for the info.
Allison
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 28, 2007
1:31 AM

Post #3129699

Hi Allison! Doin ok, how are you? =^)

This info just shows how cheap I am, tee hee hee!
Ironsides
Eastlake, OH
(Zone 5a)

January 29, 2007
11:59 PM

Post #3136584

Heat mats with a thermostat are the best way to go as you have. Certain seeds require more heat then others do to germinate. Learning these temperatures are helpful. If you use a mat without a thermostat, you can dry up the seeds fast. Good luck, and you did well pruchasing that product.

"Stay Happy and Keep Gardening!"
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 30, 2007
12:01 AM

Post #3136590

I do have a thermostat that supports both mats...the problem is that i don't know where to set the temp for seeds or cuttings...right now all the seeds have germinated and are elsewhere under lights. I have cuttings of hibiscus, and two colors of Jatropha on the mat...any suggestions on temp...i have it set on 70 degrees and they look good.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 30, 2007
12:11 AM

Post #3136621

I have seeds that need 80 degrees. My new heat mat does not have thermostat but that's Ok I like it and after my $20.00 of coupon only cost me $6.00 :)) It says it keeps them approximately 10-20 above ambient air temperature which will be great for me !
I just have some special seeds I need it for so glad I could get one that did not cost me an arm and a leg.
beaker_ch
Columbia Heights, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 30, 2007
12:44 AM

Post #3136731

Maybe this has already been mentioned, but did anyone notice that Gardens Alive is associated with some of the worst vendors out there? Their WD rating is only 70%, so I'd be careful what you order.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 1, 2007
12:20 AM

Post #3143641

I don't understand that as I have ordered from GardenAlive for years and always pleased.
Another seller I buy from often fro years is Secretgardens ..
The owner says anyone can write any opinion they want on DG garden watch even if they have never bought from them.
Not like on Ebay or Amazon you must buy from first before leaving feedback.
I for one can say Gardenalive is a wonderful company. !!
mornin_gayle
Bloomingdale, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2007
12:25 AM

Post #3143661

never mind
mg

This message was edited Jan 31, 2007 8:11 PM
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 1, 2007
12:27 AM

Post #3143671

I did pay $6.00 with my coupn for my heat mat I'm happy using !
I don't think my Hubby will go for any used electrical items, being I'm bed bound and we live in a trailer/mobile home not safe.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 1, 2007
12:47 AM

Post #3143764

I've seen it discussed on other threads that you shouldn't use the waterbed heaters, they can be a fire hazard.
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/683350/
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 1, 2007
12:51 AM

Post #3143777

Yes not safe Fires a waiting . You have to be careful what you use.
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 1, 2007
1:40 AM

Post #3143954

My instructions on my heating mats say that they run at 80-85 without the thermostat on any setting...
babybird
Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2007
3:12 PM

Post #3145478

I used a heating pad for sore muscles with -high ,med, low settings and it made my seedlings pop up in about 4 days! But I watch it carefully!
Lenjo
Mount Angel, OR
(Zone 8a)

February 1, 2007
3:31 PM

Post #3145520

I have a heating cable which my dh got me for Christmas and I think it makes all the difference in the world. My cable is buried in sand and so my space total for germinating flats of seeds is about 5 feet by 5 feet. I use it for cuttings too.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 1, 2007
4:12 PM

Post #3145681

heating pad can be very dangerous beware FIRE hazzard big time only takes a second.
babybird
Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2007
4:17 PM

Post #3145705

true, I will more likely reconsider it!
Momsnthegarden
Starkville, MS
(Zone 7b)

February 6, 2007
9:41 PM

Post #3164367

I used a heating pad to germinate the impatients seeds for my May wedding. It was a little too warm at first so I padded it with a towel to dissapate some of the heat . I stared at them nearly 24/7 so I wasn't too worried about a fire. Some of my family thought I was nuts for growing my own wedding flowers. But Hey they were beautiful and I spent the saved money on our honeymoon :)
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 7, 2007
4:17 PM

Post #3166591

Sounds awesome ! Have pictures please !!!
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 7, 2007
4:40 PM

Post #3166652

allison, I thought you had seen mine outside...he still hasn't put the big stands on rollers yet in the house...maybe next week. The carpenter built these I put on my front porch for now as the weather is pretty and the cuttings do better on heated mats in the humidity rather than those zip lock bags (which begs for pests)...

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 7, 2007
4:43 PM

Post #3166659

Until i get my big gro-lights on stands with rollers (next week??) this is what i do with my african violets in the kitchen.

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

February 8, 2007
1:24 AM

Post #3168065

Yes I saw your new light stands awesome ! You have some nice plants there too :))
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 8, 2007
1:52 AM

Post #3168144

I have used a heat mat for years to germinate seeds that like it warm -- especially peppers and eggplants. In fact I put any seeds that like hot weather on it if there is room. Not necessary for lettuce and broccoli and cabbage however. Most seed packages tell you the temperature the seeds like for germanation. I think heat mats only reach about 85 degrees F. And I have never had a fire or a thrown breaker.
picante
Helena, MT
(Zone 4b)

February 26, 2007
6:50 PM

Post #3227224

I've used a heat mat without a thermostat. You can designate a place in your tray to stick in a soil thermometer. If the soil gets too warm, raise the tray off the heat mat a bit until you get the right temp. Now, if you're starting Meconopsis, you'll kill them with a heat mat. They like 55-60 F, so although they were in the basement, I even had to raise the shop lights up several inches to keep from cooking them.

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