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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old December 26, 2018   #46
PlainJane
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Originally Posted by roper2008 View Post
I use Jumpstart heating mats. No thermostat, but it works for me. Doesn't overcook
my seeds. I have some now germinating on it.
I’ve been looking at that brand. Good to hear you’re managing fine without a thermostat.
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Old December 26, 2018   #47
Rajun Gardener
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Don't over think it, it's used to start seeds not grow plants on that's why it's called a seed starting mat and not a growing mat so just grab a cheap one and go with it. Remove the flats after the seeds pop and you'll never have to worry about burning your plants.

I have the plain Jane he he! iPower Seedling Heat Mat without a t-stat and they have been working as described=10-20° above ambient temperature. They withstood the moisture in the greenhouse for 2 years so for the price I can't complain.

You can also get them from Prime if you have it.
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Old December 26, 2018   #48
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I’m thinking of purchasing some flex watt heat tape and doing a whole shelf of my seed starting rack with it.
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Old December 26, 2018   #49
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Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
Don't over think it, it's used to start seeds not grow plants on that's why it's called a seed starting mat and not a growing mat so just grab a cheap one and go with it.
Exactly. You'll gain a few extra days (to a point), then after 85F or so it can be diminishing returns with lower germination rates. Most every study shows tomato and pepper seeds germinate just fine at room temperatures (68-72F). Germination "rate" is fine, germination "time" is a few days delayed.
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Old December 27, 2018   #50
PlainJane
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Exactly. You'll gain a few extra days (to a point), then after 85F or so it can be diminishing returns with lower germination rates. Most every study shows tomato and pepper seeds germinate just fine at room temperatures (68-72F). Germination "rate" is fine, germination "time" is a few days delayed.
True ... most of my seeds germinate eventually, and tomato seeds are never an issue.
It’s the peppers that (seem to) take forever.
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Old December 27, 2018   #51
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The price is right if I truly don’t need a thermostat.
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Old December 27, 2018   #52
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Cats
Make
Good
Heat
Mats
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Old December 27, 2018   #53
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Merci Loulac, great info, I appreciate the time you took to post it.
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Old December 27, 2018   #54
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Merci Loulac, great info, I appreciate the time you took to post it.
I do appreciate your comment, it's quite gratifynig to know we can bring help to fellow gardeners on Tville.
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Old December 27, 2018   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJane View Post
It’s the peppers that (seem to) take forever.

Just because they need more heat than tomatoes.


If I try to have most seeds germinate at the same time it's because I find it difficult to keep a correct dampness for seedlings and still dormant seeds in the same flat. Of course it's not a problem for small batches. It would be interesting to know how professional growers find a solution.
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Old December 27, 2018   #56
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Originally Posted by loulac View Post

If I try to have most seeds germinate at the same time it's because I find it difficult to keep a correct dampness for seedlings and still dormant seeds in the same flat. Of course it's not a problem for small batches. It would be interesting to know how professional growers find a solution.
This reminds me to share my experience, that good technique has at least as much to do with successful and productive germination (and subsequent seedling health) as the equipment itself. I've only used the most basic heating pads (mostly ones that come packaged with a 10x20 tray and pucks) and alter the technique to match the plant variety and batch size.

Even when germinating all seeds of-one-kind in a flat, many days separate the first ones from the laggards. As Loulac mentions, the dormant seeds and seedlings need different environment, not only moisture, but also different heat and light ideally.

I've settled on using "removable" media, either tiny 2x2 square pots (with one or 2 seeds per) or peat pucks in my germinating trays. I inspect every day for emerging seedlings, and immediately remove them to a cooler shelf under intense lights. I then can replenish the vacant spots with new seeds and media.
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Old December 27, 2018   #57
PlainJane
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Cats
Make
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Heat
Mats
Worth
Lol, I have one on me now.
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Old December 27, 2018   #58
PlainJane
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Originally Posted by loulac View Post
Just because they need more heat than tomatoes.


If I try to have most seeds germinate at the same time it's because I find it difficult to keep a correct dampness for seedlings and still dormant seeds in the same flat. Of course it's not a problem for small batches. It would be interesting to know how professional growers find a solution.
I imagine they throw out all the outliers...
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Old December 27, 2018   #59
PlainJane
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This reminds me to share my experience, that good technique has at least as much to do with successful and productive germination (and subsequent seedling health) as the equipment itself. I've only used the most basic heating pads (mostly ones that come packaged with a 10x20 tray and pucks) and alter the technique to match the plant variety and batch size.

Even when germinating all seeds of-one-kind in a flat, many days separate the first ones from the laggards. As Loulac mentions, the dormant seeds and seedlings need different environment, not only moisture, but also different heat and light ideally.

I've settled on using "removable" media, either tiny 2x2 square pots (with one or 2 seeds per) or peat pucks in my germinating trays. I inspect every day for emerging seedlings, and immediately remove them to a cooler shelf under intense lights. I then can replenish the vacant spots with new seeds and media.
When starting seeds outside (which is most of the year) I use small flats and just make rows for individual varieties. I scoop them out as they’re ready.
For the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant I’ll have 2x2 inch square pots with 1 or 2 seeds in each one, and like you say be able to shuffle them around as needed.
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Old December 28, 2018   #60
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I've settled on using "removable" media, either tiny 2x2 square pots (with one or 2 seeds per) or peat pucks in my germinating trays.
Simple solutions are most often the best. From now on I’ll add more peat to the mix I usually use and make my own pucks with my tool. I’ll move them about when necessary. The only problem will be keeping the names of the varieties. Now I label my flats with the crosswords technique, letters and numbers. Whenever I have at least four or five identical seeds I’ll switch to homemade peat pucks.
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