[Market-farming] Heat Mat

Andrew R. King andrew.king2 at worldnet.att.net
Tue Dec 11 07:19:00 EST 2007


Tim

 

Thanks for the idea. I just bought some clear low energy christmas lights.
They are raped around my plug trays and seem to only heat up to 80F. Thanks
to you, the trays are at the temperature I was looking for with the added
bonus of extra light.

 

Andy King

Sunflower King's Farm

Pa Zone 6

 

 

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>
http://erehwonfarm.com/SeasExtend_WarmBoxes.html 

 

Tim Fuller, z4-5, 40 mi w of Chicago

 

 

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