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Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

Posted by rain2fall 8/Oregon (rain2fall@comcast.net) on
Sat, Oct 3, 09 at 20:18

I'd like to buy a seed mat. Online, I find prices of $20 to $45 for a small one, 9x19 inches. That doesn't include the thermostat. Is there a less-expensive source?

Rain2Fall


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

You can find one with the thermostat built in set at about 70 degrees. Buying a separate thermo will double the price, and for most gardeners an adjustable temperature is not required. Al


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

Many of us have used heating pads for sore back muscles. There was a time when one could get them quite inexpensively at thrift stores. There are Gardenweb threads here: heating mats and others can be found.


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

I think that the soil heating cables are just as effective, but cheaper than the heating mats for larger areas.

For several years I have used a heating cable attached to a sheet of plywood (to hold it in place - cable ties through holes in the plywood) covered with a vinyl sheet (to keep the wood dry). The plywood acts as an insulator as well.

Chad


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

I like the heating cable idea, Chad. Did you have to buy a thermostat with them?


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

I made a heating plate 3 feet by 6 feet using a 300 watt heating cable used for keeping rain gutters from freezing. I used a one half inch foam core which I covered with fiberglass enclosing the cable in the fiberglass. The foam acts as a heat insulator under the cable. A ten gauge aluminum plate was purchased from a metal salvage company and laid on top of the cable. An adjustable thermostat with a bulb type sensor was mounted on the plate. It has worked perfectly for over ten years. Al


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

My heating cable has a built in thermostat in the middle of the cable, I think that most of the budget ones are this way.

In my case I am not using it that way. I have the cable controlled by a separate thermostat set to turn ON when temps go below 45 degrees. I am using the cable to insure that a small section of my greenhouse is safe for overwintering starts of coleus etc.


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

The heating cable like chad describes is available from many locations. The longest one is about 180 watts and is good for about a four foot by four foot area with the builtin thermostat set for about 70 degrees. When I used this type cable I used 1/4 inch hardware cloth which I tied the cable to. If the cable is allowed to cross its self it will over heat at that point and burn out. I first tried covering the cable with damp sand and setting my pots on it. This only worked as long as the sand remained damp,not long. Then I used about a 20 gauge aluminum sheet directly on the hardware cloth and cable. This worked well for several years until I needed more room. I left it plugged in 24/7 as it only heated when the temperature dropped below 70 degrees. Al


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

By hardware cloth, do you mean window screening and its more modern substitutes?

Rain2Fall


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RE: Inexpensivce Seed Heating Mat

Have you considered shopping at thrift stores or yard sales for a waterbed heater?


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