Propagation Mats and woodstoves

robert schuler sunnfarm at
Sat Dec 30 19:03:07 EST 2000

I use 650 sq ft of hot water bottom heat tubing but spent many years building up to the
point where I could afford it, but now I can direct seed and germ 480 trays every week
,I also use sweat chambers which are shelves one tray deep x five trays wide with four
40 watt flor.tubes as heat source on each shelf I have four levels all enclosed with
insulation,these are great for impatiens and petunias , I also used heat cables as seen
in Parks Wholesale catalog page 150 the 168 watt cables mounted on foam boards 3x4 feet
work very well, I have 14 of them, I can germ 126 trays at a time and even stack trays
putting slow germ seed like bell pepper 14days, on bottom and tomato 7d,directly on top
of the peppers can even put a third layer of fast germ seed like cole crops 3d on top of
tomato trays covering the whole thing with plastic.
I used to use wood but too much work loading all the time, a double 55 gal barrel wood
stove is best the single barrel and home stoves are a waste of good wood, use one stove
per 1000 sq feet and get excellent heat, you will have to load three times at 6 pm 10 pm
and 3AM !, roughly one 12" thick x60' tall oak tree will be consumed every 3-4 days, oil
heat costs about $300 a month per 1000 sq ft of double poly house, before using wood
figure what your time is worth you might find oil cheaper in the long run.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton NJ.

Leigh Hauter wrote:

> I've successfully used electric blankets.  They are cheaper (even new) than
> commercial propagation mats and cables.  I think, though, in the long run,
> the insulated commercial mats and cable will last longer and therefore be
> more economical.
> Is there a commercial product out there that works like a waterbed for
> keeping seedlings warm, but the bladder would be better shaped.  A waterbed
> bladder would be, in seems, a little awkward with flats on top and only an
> inch or two of water in it.  Anyway, I've cut up the old waterbed bladders
> around here to use as covers for firewood.
> Does anyone heat their greenhouse with wood?  I have an extra stove and
> plenty of wood and was considering using it this coming season.  What
> problems?
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