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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 February 18, 2018   #1
Andrey_BY
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Default What is the best Seedling Heat Mat?

Please, share your experience with heat mats - what is the best to choose from compact types with thermostat.
We don't have them here available in shops so I'm thinking about ordering from China, but don't know too much about them and don't want to have low-quality item for a one-time use
https://ru.aliexpress.com/item/Mayit...831767090.html

European voltage is different here (220-240V), plug C or F.
I know I'm quite late for this season
Thanks for your comments and tips.
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1 kg=2.2 lb , 1 m=39,37 in , 1 oz=28.35 g , 1 ft=30.48 cm , 1 lb= 0,4536 kg , 1 in=2.54 cm , 1 l = 0.26 gallon , 0 C=32 F

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Last edited by Andrey_BY; February 18, 2018 at 02:31 AM.
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Old February 18, 2018   #2
loulac
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Though I still use mats from time to time I must say I prefer heating cables tied on a perforated plywood board. The wattage is much higher and can – and should - be controlled with a thermostat, you can choose the precise temperature you need, first from 25°C to 35°C, (75°F – 95°F) depending on varieties, then lower after germination. You can choose as well the exact surface you intend to heat.

Both articles can be found on Amazon, I can’t say anything about Ali, I don’t know them.
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Old February 18, 2018   #3
FourOaks
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Although it doesnt directly answer your question, I dont use heat mats myself.

I put my flats ON TOP of T8 lights. They produce ample heat. But if this is not an option... I guess it doesnt help.
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Old February 18, 2018   #4
JerryHaskins
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I have the same question, OP.

I have been trying to germinate hot pepper seeds. They need a really warm temperature.

I was given an old heat mat made for this, but it does not get hot enough and only comes on around 50 degrees F.

New heating pads (sold for sore muscles and pains) now turn off after 1 or 2 hours due to new safety regulations or something.

But I finally found a Sunbeam heating pad with a "stay on" setting and bought two. They are not very big and don't get very warm:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sunbeam-X....0.1#read-more


Last edited by JerryHaskins; February 18, 2018 at 05:07 PM.
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Old February 18, 2018   #5
jtjmartin
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I bought two seedling heat mats off of Amazon for about $12 to $13 dollars each. They work great.
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Old February 18, 2018   #6
greenthumbomaha
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I have three heat mats, the cheap ones with green writing and black plastic. I purchased a thermostat for each. I was desperate for more capacity. I was going to upgrade to the pro cables as mentioned above. I'm glad I didn't.

The low end mats really don't have good temp control imho. They are very sensitive to ambient room temp. This year I didn't bother to plug them in. I have been placing a tray on top of a dvd/vcr , and another on the carpeted floor next to a heat vent (not directly on top so they don't dry out). That alone would get me nowhere. To capture the heat. I have three towels and a folded blanket draped over each tray/lid combo. Seems to be working. My jalapenos popped today.

- Lisa
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Old February 18, 2018   #7
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtjmartin View Post
I bought two seedling heat mats off of Amazon for about $12 to $13 dollars each. They work great.
We were writing at the same time. If you use these mats, put them on a sheet of styrofoam to direct the heat upwards, and you can also use the towels on top to raise the temp if needed. If the medium is really wet be careful not to cook your seedlings!!!!!

- Lisa
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Old February 18, 2018   #8
TomNJ
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I have six of these large heating pads that fit perfectly under standard 1020 seedling trays. They have three temperature settings and can easily hold the soil temperature in the 80s of higher for pepper germination. Also keeping the fluorescent lights on just above the soil surface will warm the seeds well, but may be more difficult to control.

https://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-King-...000FGDDI0?th=1

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Old February 18, 2018   #9
Father'sDaughter
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Default What is the best Seedling Heat Mat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
I have six of these large heating pads that fit perfectly under standard 1020 seedling trays. They have three temperature settings and can easily hold the soil temperature in the 80s of higher for pepper germination. Also keeping the fluorescent lights on just above the soil surface will warm the seeds well, but may be more difficult to control.



https://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-King-...000FGDDI0?th=1



TomNJ/VA


I bought one of these for my husband after I killed his old one using it for seeds. I borrowed it from him last year and it worked great for all my seed starting where heat was needed.

This year he's still recovering from shoulder surgery and needs it from time to time, so I bought myself a couple of the cheap heat mats from Amazon that come as s kit with thermostats for $25. I'm using them under the trays with my pepper seeds and they're working beautifully, but I've only had them on for a couple of days so far.
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Old February 18, 2018   #10
bower
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Andrey, I have the same one you linked on Alibaba (for 110 V here) which I've been using for 4 or 5 years. It doesn't have temperature controls, but it seems to be about the right temperature so it doesn't matter.. If you put a 1020 tray on top of the mat it's a bit cooler than if you put seedlings directly on the mat, but either way seems alright.

I think mine may be a bit uneven heating (hotter in the middle) so sometimes I move the trays around if I see a patch not germinating as quickly. I use cell packs that are about the same depth as a 1020 tray, and this seems to be the right amount of heat for tomatoes, peppers and other seeds fairly near the surface at that depth. I've also used it to germinate squash, they seemed to love the extra heat (being planted deeper so closer to the heat source).

What can I say? Not as fancy as the heating pads for arthritis, but seems okay for seeds.
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Old February 18, 2018   #11
ScottinAtlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
I have six of these large heating pads that fit perfectly under standard 1020 seedling trays. They have three temperature settings and can easily hold the soil temperature in the 80s of higher for pepper germination. Also keeping the fluorescent lights on just above the soil surface will warm the seeds well, but may be more difficult to control.

https://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-King-...000FGDDI0?th=1

TomNJ/VA
Don't these have the one hour turnoff safety feature of heating pads for the last 15 years? If so, how do you use them?
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Old February 18, 2018   #12
Father'sDaughter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Don't these have the one hour turnoff safety feature of heating pads for the last 15 years? If so, how do you use them?

Mine doesn't turn off. I used to keep it on for days at a time.
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Old February 18, 2018   #13
ScottinAtlanta
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Thank goodness! I have been buying old heating pads at Goodwill for years.
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Old February 19, 2018   #14
TomNJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Don't these have the one hour turnoff safety feature of heating pads for the last 15 years? If so, how do you use them?
No these stay on. You can put them on a timer but I keep mine on 24/7 until the seeds germinate. If you also turn on the grow lights just be careful to not over heat. I leave the lights off until the first seeds germinate, then turn on the lights and lower the setting on the heating pads. I also check the temperature regularly in the top 1/2" of soil and regulate it for peppers to the upper 80s or lower 90s.
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Old February 19, 2018   #15
jtjmartin
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I usually keep a thermometer in the 1020 tray - Tom's idea of measuring the soil temp is even better.

Jeff
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