Heat mat for seedlings

bberkmor(6a)January 26, 2014

Quick question, How long do you guys keep using your heat mats on seedlings after they have sprouted. Do you cycle it on and off with the lights? How does it affect your growth? My seedlings have mostly popped thanks to Ottawapepper and this is my first year with the heat mat. I used the peat pellets (first) and not to impressed with them so far, I can't wait until I can transplant into some regular soil.

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jutsFL(9b (Orlando))

This is my first year w seedlings, but I take them off right after they sprout, and switch to only lights at that point. Until now I've always grown from prestarted plants, but from what I have gathered the heat mats could make them leggy if kept on after sprouting.

Then again I live in FL, so the temps aren't too cold by any means. Suppose I would actually utilize a heat mat longer if it were to be drastically cold inside (or where ever they may be germinating).

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:43PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I agree . Heat mat is just a soil heater for fast and efficient seed germination. Once the seed is germinated it needs light and of course moderate amount of ambient temperature. With an air temperatures of 60F and higher, there is no need for heating up the soil. That is how the normal soil temperatures are outdoors in spring time. However, if you want faster growth rate, you can raise the ambient temperatures to up to 85F.

jmo

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:08PM
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jonfrum(6)

Agree with the above posters. By the way, peat pellets are not a good idea. Better to use a proper starter mix to get good drainage. Most mixes have peat in them, but pure peat is something no nursery would use.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:46PM
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esox07 (4b)

It seems a lot of people have good luck with the peat pellets but a couple things to consider. First, you will want to transplant them very soon after they sprout. This isn't something you should be growing peppers in two or three weeks after sprouting. Second, you have to watch them real close and make sure they don't dry out completely and conversely, you don't want to over water them. Pure peat is hard to control the moisture content on. I would suggest a simple starter mix with perlite and/or bark to start your seeds. And if you use something like the common 3.5" starter cells, you won't have to transplant them for many weeks after sprouting. But I digress. I agree, the heat mats can be removed soon after the seedlings emerge unless the room temps are too low. Anything above 60 should be fine.
Bruce

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 4:14PM
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ottawapepper

bberkmor, good to hear most of your seeds have popped (sprouted I hope!).

I too pull the plug on my mats after my seeds germinate.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 6:35PM
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