[Market-farming] Heat Mat

Tim Fuller timf7 at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 9 08:18:05 EST 2007


As an alternative to heat mats, we use a home-made germination box.  We constructed a rectangular box, 2' x 8' x 18", from two-inch thick polystyrene.  We used "liquid nails" to glue it together and taped all the seams with 3M all-weather duct tape.  We put a lid on top of the same material.
 
In the bottom we spread out two or three strings of indoor-outdoor Christmas lights.  If the box is properly sealed, three strings of lights will bring the temperature from 20 degrees to 90 degrees in about 20 minutes.  It will take quite a bit longer to heat up newly watered trays.  We can stack seed trays three or four high when we get busy. You control the temperature by sliding the lid to let some heat out. It's important to check the trays twice a day for germination because they get leggy fast in the dark!
 
Last year we germinated about 40,000 seedlings, enough for our 140-person CSA, three markets, and our store sales.  You can see a picture of the first box we made at   http://erehwonfarm.com/SeasExtend_WarmBoxes.html 
 
Tim Fuller, z4-5, 40 mi w of Chicago
 
>Does anyone know a source for low priced germination heat mats? 

>Andy King

>Sunflower King's Farm
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