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Want A Seedling Heating Mat? You May Already Own One!

When starting seeds indoors, one way to get your seeds to sprout faster is to offer a little extra warmth while still keeping the soil mixture moist. You can buy germination heating mats to place under the containers or make your own like I did here.
The idea actually came to me when I was putting away some decorative LED rope lights during the holidays and I noticed they were slightly warm. Perfect temperature for gently warming my seedling containers!
-Simply string the rope lights back and forth in rows along the shelves and sit the water-tight seedling containers on top of them. No need to tie the lights down-the weight of the containers holds them in place.
-Most seeds don't actually need light until they have germinated so just move them to the grow lights once they have sprouted. .
Make sure you read the label on your lights. MIne says it's fine to leave them on but do not ever submerse them in water so I make sure all of my containers do not leak.
More details on my blog including my inexpensive DIY grow light setup: http://www.empressofdirt.net/easy-homemade-heating-mat-for-starting-seeds/

To see more: http://www.empressofdirt.net/easy-homemade-heating-mat-for-starting-seeds/

Ask the creator about this project

  • Z
    on Apr 15, 2013

    What a great idea Melissa. I have four or five boxes of these that I bought in hopes of lighting up the kick area in our kitchen that never happened. Maybe I should trying growing from seed again. Last year mine did well, but as it is this year, it's staying cold outside too long and they all died. I figured it I ever did it again I'd start later. It's later.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Apr 16, 2013

    Interesting. I didn't think LED lights really put off much heat. When we have the occasional threat of a freeze, one of the suggestions that always comes up is to cover the plants after putting Christmas lights around them, but they always say not to use LEDs.

  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    Empress of Dirt - Melissa Canada
    on Apr 16, 2013

    @Douglas Hunt One of the selling features of LED lights is that they are not supposed to get hot (a great improvement on traditional lights). Mine say right on the label that they will get warm (and, of course, they do, and why they are useful for the seedlings).

  • Penster47
    Penster47 Verona, MO
    on Apr 16, 2013

    and you can get those clear boxes for free!! Every time you buy strawberries or other fruit!! I always wanted to save them, but never could figure out what for. Now I know!!!

  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    Empress of Dirt - Melissa Canada
    on Apr 16, 2013

    @Penster47 Yes, they work really well for seed starting and you can reuse them over and over again. :)

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!