Heated seed beds?

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by mazambo, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. mazambo

    mazambo Super Gardener

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    Hi everyone, I'm just mulling over the idea of making some heated sand beds for propagation next year, I know some of you have built them so I'm just wondering if it would be worth it for me? I've googled how to make them so don't see any problem there, Size is only 5ft x 21" and would split into 2 or 3 beds with thermostats if that was felt necessary, I can't say how much seed I will be growing but I've used two propagators this year, honest opinions please.
     
  2. andrews

    andrews Super Gardener

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    I use both. Props where I'm fighting cold nights in the polytunnel. They tend to stay a bit warmer.

    I've switched the heated bed on again this week to encourage some tropical seeds on. It seems to have worked as the strelitzia seeds have shown their faces. The heated bed also acts as a bit of a storage heater when the weather is warmer, smoothing out the temperature difference at night.

    If you build a heated bed I would use only one thermostat but buy a decent one. The cheap ones don't last in my experience. The cost of three stats would outweigh the savings for quite some years and I find that I fill mine very easily, meaning that I need to heat all of the bed. I did install two heater cables and have them both powered when heating - just a bit of a fail safe for cold nights.
     
  3. mazambo

    mazambo Super Gardener

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  4. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    What I have found is you can use 2 or 3 seed tray sized little electric props for germinating seeds and rooting cuttings and then a larger area like your bench with a heating cable at a lower temp for growing both on / keeping them frost free.

    I use digital thermostats (diy) for all of them as the little props can easily overheat even in the winter sun.

    Did try heated sand beds a long time ago, too damp in my experience; now just set up a bench with an insulating 25mm sheet of polystyrene with a layer of strong foil on top to reflect the heat and light and just lay a heating cable on top of it, pinning it down with a few cable clips etc.

    If you want a high temp in there, then a constructed closed structure is needed, but I just use one of those cheap mini greenhouses 4x2ft £10 from Wilko, which also serve as a hardening off frame outside later on.

    Have a little remote display in the house so I can see whats going on in the really bad weather.

    IMG_0783.jpg
     
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    • mazambo

      mazambo Super Gardener

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