Starting Seedlings with Heated Propagators
Here at Urban Grow we want to provide growers with everything they need to cater for their plants throughout their life cycles. A plant must go through the process of germination. To allow this to happen the conditions must be spot on, and here we will be discussing how you can provide such conditions for your seeds at home.
Many seeds will only start to germinate once over 15°C, so it is important that propagators can reach these temperatures, and higher, to provide plants with their optimum conditions. Artificial or heated propagators are fantastic methods of providing a stable environment for seeds from tender or half-hardy plants. The heating element at the base warms the soil and encourages germination. Most importantly, the bottom heat generates downwards root growth during the germination process, which is vital for healthy, resilient plants. The Urban Grow propagators are set at a temperature between 15-19°C this is a well-known recommended germination temperature.
In addition to the importance of temperature control, it is also vital that you can control the humidity in artificial propagators. Adjustable ventilation dials are a key feature to look out for when purchasing a new propagating unit, as these allow you to control not only the airflow, but the moisture and oxygen levels also. The optimal humidity level in your propagator will depend on the seeds you are trying to germinate, so make sure to read up on their ideal conditions before sowing them!
Indoor propagators are ideal for starting off your vegetable cultivars early, as if you were to plant them outdoors, the soil would be far too chilly for the seeds to germinate. When it comes to seeds, for the first time grower, or those that have not collected their own seeds, seed packets are the ideal start. Make sure that once you have opened them you keep the name and key information visible on the packet for future use. If you have collected your own seeds from previous crops however, growing these will not only be more rewarding, but they are also more likely to flourish when potting-on. This is due to the fact that the mother plant was able to produce seed and become accustomed to the growing media and environment you have available.
We have a number of propagators available here at Urban Grow, the Urban Grow 3-Bay Heated Windowsill Propagator is the ideal product for the first time grower. With robust plastic trays and shatterproof lids, these propagators make for fantastic long-term indoor use. However, if you are more experienced in propagation techniques or prefer a larger individual tray, the Urban Grow Heated Medium Propagator is a brilliant alternative from the multi-tray propagators. Finally, for the grower who spends lots of time out of the house, the Urban Grow 3-Bay Heated Windowsill Propagator with Capillary Mat and Tray is the perfect combination of practicality and simplicity. With its own capillary mat built in you won’t need to worry about keeping a close eye on your seedlings watering schedule, all you’ll need to do is make sure the mat is topped up regularly so your roots don’t go looking too far for water!
When using your Urban Grow propagators, always remember to:
- Use suitable growing media, e.g. coir or seed compost.
- Tap and then firm down your container (if using compost) before sowing.
- Avoid over watering, this puts you at risk of Damping Off your seedlings.
- Label your seeds so you know what you’re growing.
- Monitor your seedlings humidity levels
- Space your seeds out correctly when sowing – if they are sown too close, pricking out can become a challenge.
Overall, for an ingenious alternative from outdoor cold-frames and grand glasshouses, artificial propagators provide the urban grower with the ideal set up for starting their plants on the right foot; and all you need is one spare windowsill!
If in doubt contact us and we will try and help choose your perfect propagator.
The Urban Grow Team