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Old February 24, 2018   #31
BigVanVader
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I have 2. A big one that holds 2 1020 flats and a 1 flat size. I bought the big one years ago offline for about $50 bucks. It cuts germination time in half for me. Covering the flats with press and seal very tightly also helps. I get 3 day germination all the time (on maters) using this method. I think like most things you get what you pay for. My older one is really stiff and thick, looks more professional level. The newer one seems cheap, but going on year 2 and still working the same.
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Old February 25, 2018   #32
cjp1953
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Bought my cells today went with the Pro Hex 72 cell.Cut them into 2- 36 cell blocks and then one of those into 2- 9 cell blocks.I'll use a 9 cell to start all my different peppers and will put 3 or 4 seeds per cell.Then later on do the same with my tomatoes in April.This way I should have enough cells for another 3 growing seasons.Not bad for $5.Like the Burpees starting set but for a 36 cell it was $10 and the only difference was a mat that drew water from the bottom of the tray.Could not see paying $5 more for that.Also the cells are 3 inches deep with the Ferry Morse and Burpees were around 2 inches.Going to plant today after I go to the store and try to find plastic markers to put in my cells.
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Old February 25, 2018   #33
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Originally Posted by clkeiper View Post
Get them started any day now. from now until the 15th is a good time. after that they are small when you get them in the garden. if they start to get too big-grow them where it is cooler but bright.
Started them this afternoon.I put some poster board under the mat and this sits on a hardwood floor upstairs in a spare bedroom.I put a outdoor thermometer inside the tray and it's showing around 90 degrees.I used only a 9 cell tray and have the starting soil nice and wet.I did not add any water to the bottom of the tray but have the whole tray covered with the clear lid that came with it.It's already showing moisture inside the tray.Just going to watch it and make sure they don't dry out.I might just put the tray inside a clear plastic bag if it show signs of drying out to fast.
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Old February 28, 2018   #34
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cjp1953, I finally remembered to buy a thermometer for where our tomatoes are potted up. Thanks for reminding me
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Old February 28, 2018   #35
cjp1953
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cjp1953, I finally remembered to buy a thermometer for where our tomatoes are potted up. Thanks for reminding me
It's not to often I can help someone,your very welcome!!!I have mine inside the tray covered by the clear lid and it's reading 95 degrees.Water beads all over the clear lid on the inside.
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Old February 28, 2018   #36
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prop the lid and put a couple canning rings ( or another tray trurned upside down)under the tray to get it up a little off the mat. 95° is a bit warm. almost too warm.
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Old February 28, 2018   #37
cjp1953
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I have the mat on some poster board,maybe it's too insulated.I'll prop the lid up.Thanks ,what temperature should I try to be at?
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Old February 28, 2018   #38
cjp1953
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I propped the lid up at the rear corners,the temp was at 90 degrees before I did that.It was 95 yesterday.It went down after I added some water at the bottom of the tray yesterday afternoon.
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Old February 28, 2018   #39
rhines81
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I have the mat on some poster board,maybe it's too insulated.I'll prop the lid up.Thanks ,what temperature should I try to be at?
Tomatoes 80F is perfect
Peppers 85F is perfect

90F+ is too much (unless you are growing some one-off type that needs that). Germination rates will drop off when the temp is too high, just like it does when it is too low.

You might have to wait a couple days to a week longer, but most tomato seeds germinate just fine at 70F. Most peppers will to, but the wait may be longer.

I am sure most people here can vouch for the volunteers that pop up in the garden every year that have been through freezing temps all Winter and the early Summer temps are still in the 70s ... the soil temps never even come close to 80F and yet the volunteers are popping up.

Last edited by rhines81; February 28, 2018 at 09:11 PM.
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Old March 1, 2018   #40
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For me, I like the air and starting/potting mix temperature to be between 73 and 76 degrees for tomatoes.

Pepper plants are different - a lot of them like 80F+ soil temperature. I personally have never grown a pepper hotter than Datil - which is not considered a super hot, but 100,000+ Scoville Units is HOT to me. Anyway, I have read many times that the super hots need warmer than 85F soil/potting mix to germinate - and they take longer than usual. That's just what I've read though.

We have volunteer pepper and tomato plants every year.
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Old March 1, 2018   #41
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I put some plastic lids under the tray as it was reading around 95 degrees..Thanks for the information.
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Old March 1, 2018   #42
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Anyway, I have read many times that the super hots need warmer than 85F soil/potting mix to germinate - and they take longer than usual. That's just what I've read though.
My Carolina Reaper and Fatali seeds sprouted between 11-17 days this year @ 80-85F, 100% germination.
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Old March 1, 2018   #43
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Rhines, that is excellent. I really enjoy seeing every seed germinating.
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Old March 1, 2018   #44
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Once I took the poster board out from under the heat mat the temperature came down to 85 from the 90 plus it was at since Sunday afternoon.Thanks to all for your great advice.Now just have to wait for my pepper and eggplant to pop through the soil.
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Old March 1, 2018   #45
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just to make sure you didn't cook them gently squeeze one or two between your finger and thumb to make sure they aren't mushy. the innards will push out if the mat got them too hot.
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