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Author Topic: how to propagate seedlings?  (Read 273 times)

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3759allen

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how to propagate seedlings?
« on: April 19, 2017, 21:44 »
i used to have no problem starting seedlings off next to a radiator when my old central heating was all or nothing (usually all until i turned it off completely for summer). now i have a new system the house is a much more constant temperature, but the radiators aren't on much now so can't use them as a heat source.

any way enough of my rambling. how do people start their seedlings? heat mat? grow lamps? other?

also like to know peoples views on energy consumption of the equipment.


Luiska

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Re: how to propagate seedlings?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 00:12 »
I just start them on a south-facing window sill. I've never used any kind of heating, even for the seeds that the packet says do best with heat. Just stick too many in a 4 inch pot with seed compost, cover with cling film and leave in a tray with water in it - never water from above, mostly because it would make a mess of my window sills :) I think the only seeds that have ever given me problems were meconopsis and rosemary. I persevered with the first, and visited a garden centre for the second.

I gardened in Finland for years and the plants weren't supposed to go out until the first week of June - mid-May in a cool greenhouse - though I generally got impatient: such a short growing season. I have so enjoyed putting them into a friend's greenhouse in March here in Suffolk, and now my own polytunnel!

John

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Re: how to propagate seedlings?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 00:37 »
For greenhouse crops like tomatoes and peppers I use propagators in the greenhouses - we're stuck for suitable window sills here. This year I've been boosting with grow lights as well. Brilliant results so far.

http://www.allotment-garden.org/garden-diary/5213/what-is-even-better-than-a-vitopod/

Energy consumption isn't bad - the Vitopod is 100W but switches off when at temp so not on all the time. Lighting provides heat so the energy isn't wasted.

A lot depends on what the ambient temperature is, of course. My guess is an average cost of 3 a month to run a 100W propagator. Lighting (used as a booster morning and evening probably adds another 1 - 1.50 in electricity.

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3759allen

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Re: how to propagate seedlings?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 06:57 »
my window sills only get the sun in morning or evening so limits the heat. also had them in my polytunnel with a bubble wrap tunnel inside that and still had slow germination.

the light doesn't sound too expensive run. do you use in a foil lined box to keep the heat in? i could find some off cuts of celotex to make a box up.

John

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Re: how to propagate seedlings?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 08:02 »

the light doesn't sound too expensive run. do you use in a foil lined box to keep the heat in? i could find some off cuts of celotex to make a box up.
No, once the seedlings appear I want maximum light. The solar shed is pretty warm anyway but if we get a deep cold snap I've a heater for that to hold it at around 5 deg C



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