Indoor temps for sprouting

avantown(5)February 19, 2014

Last year, I sprouted and grew most of my vegetables indoors, before planting outside. I'm in northern Illinois (zone 5). They all grew great indoors and adjusted well to outside.

This year, I'm in a new house with a huge basement that I'd like to utilize for starting all my plants, but I'm concerned it's not warm enough. It's a steady 58 degrees right now. I have space in my dining room to grow the plants, but I would prefer to keep it out of the way.

What should the temperature be to grow vegetables effectively indoors?

I have a warming mat for sprouting the seeds. And I know it will be a bit warmer under the lights, once they start growing. Will that matter? Can I put up plastic to help hold in heat and keep it warmer?

Thanks for any input.

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

My basement runs at about 55-60 F

The above light box set up runs at about 75F at the floor and about 100F at the top. I have nails in the walls to hang the planted cups at a height needed to get the best temperature for germination. In your own house you can place a shelf at 6 feet and the light fixture on the joist. This could be 10F or more from the floor. In my experience the higher the temperature the quicker the sprout. up to 105F

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:25PM
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I'd say do the heat mat with a ventilated covering on until the first true leaves appear and then remove WHILE using a heat mat thermostat.

You can get one on amazon for about 30$ - and check your seed packages or an online resource for germination temperatures on seeds, some actually prefer to be cool

...but it's important to realize soil temperature is 'usually' lower than air temperature, hence the importance of using a heat mat thermostat.

This is a good example from cultivators corner on min, best, and max temps and the effects of temp on seedlings.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:03AM
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