Name of Product: Root It Heat Mats & Thermostat Heated Propagation Heaters
The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk
Product Dimensions: 25cm x 35cm, 40 x 60cm and 40 x 120cm.
My Score: 9/10
In this article, I will be talking about heat mats and their importance on propagating seeds, especially the root it heat mats . In a previous article, I talked about electrical propagators and their use in germinating seeds, but if you have a large number of seeds then a heat mat becomes necessary.
Propagators are generally used if you have a small number of seeds to germinate but for the person with a bigger garden then seed mats become more effective.
The great advantage of heat mats is the uniform temperature that is generated. They tend to not suffer from hot spots or cold areas, thus avoid uneven germination rates.
This is an effective way of controlling temperature, so any wide temperature fluctuations outside can be controlled to a tight tolerance that not an even an electric propagator will give.
WHAT YOU GET?
The mat itself contains a fine wire mesh throughout it highly durable, polypropylene double layer. The fine wire ensures that the heat mat is uniformly heated throughout the mat. It has such low power demands and the mat itself can go from 20 degrees to 42 degrees on the surface.
This is much higher than an electric propagator can deliver. You do not what to use the highest setting, as this is much too high to germinate seeds, as it is likely to cook it. Higher temperature will also dry the compost too quickly and will need watering almost daily.
The mat itself can hold 5 full-sized seed trays and should supply heat to the most important area i.e. the rooting area. This will allow the seeds to germinate very quickly, as long as the optimal germination temperature is reached.
The problem with most mats is that they come without a thermostat. This means that the mat is constantly switched on, so the compost is constantly heating. This means that the plants do not get any rest.
NO MORE TEMPERATURE SWING
Most plants are expected to suffer some temperature swing, where the temperature is warmer during the day and cooler in the night. When the mat is constantly switched on the temperature swing will not be there so that the plant continues to grow.
If you use a thermostat the plant will not be exposed to heat 24 hours per day, so only get heat when the plant needs it and therefore saving energy when it is not required and switching on when the temperature of the compost drops by 1 degree Celsius.
Thermostats will do this job, as it now controls the temperature the compost is set to. For example, you have to set the soil temperature to 21 degree Celsius. Then the probe placed in the compost will switch on the mat when the temperature recorded in the probe reaches 20 degree Celsius.
IT WILL NEVER OVERHEAT THE SEEDS
The mat when then switch off when the temperature reaches up to 21.5 degree Celsius. In this way, the heat is supplied to the seeds when they need it. The thermostat will save you unnecessary electricity been used to heat when it is not required.
The added bonus would be that soil at no time will overheat, saving you the need to water frequently, especially if the compost gets too dry. You must remember although the mat can heat up to 42 degree Celsius, the heat will not be directed to the compost in the trays. As some will be lost to the air that surrounds it.
This is why the soils will be heated from 8 to 11.5 degree Celsius above ambient temperature, which in a home that is heated with central heating can be large in the first place (i.e. 20 degrees to 31.5 degrees Celsius). It will give you the extra heat that is required to germinate those seeds that like higher temperature.
YOU GET A THERMOSTAT
The thermostat is a must to my eyes and is optional, as you can buy the product without it, but to me, it makes sense to buy it. You do not what to overheat your precious seeds.
What must be stressed that the thermostat provided with this seed heat mat is not the root it recommended thermostat, but an alternative. It should work just as well, but there is no guarantee that it should. The device should work as well, but if it does not I would get in contact with the seller to get a replacement.
The device is so durable that it can be used both indoors and outdoors in the greenhouse. It works great in hot and dry conditions without fear of causing damage.
One thing I like about the heat meats is that all written instructions are on the mat itself so that you can set the temperature depending on what seeds you are growing. Remember if you are using mixed seeds of different varieties, it is best to compromise and use a mean germination temperature that gives the best germination rates.
For example, the optimal temperature for growing aubergines may be 24 degrees Celsius and the optimal temperature for growing tomatoes is 20 degrees Celsius, then I would set the heat mat to 22 degree Celsius. This will get the best from both, with only a slight deteriorate in germination times. This temperature on the mat is a handy guide for those who do not know what the optimal germinating temperature to use.
- Easy to use.
- You can get a lot of seeds to germinate.
- Very economical to run, more so if you are using the thermostat.
- Written instructions on the mat itself that are easy to follow.
- Can be used indoors or outdoors in a greenhouse.
- Can be used to control the temperature with a high tolerance.
- Not the cheapest thing you can buy, but well worth the price tag.
- From my experience, it can be difficult to roll the mat up after you have finished using it for the year. It tends to be difficult to keep it roll tight as it has a tendency to unfurl at every opportunity, especially if you want to place it back into the original box it came in.
WHY I BOUGHT THE ROOT IT MAT AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME?
I made the jump many years ago to propagate my heat-loving seeds like aubergine, chilli and sweet peppers. I can remember waiting days for the seeds to germinate before buying the heat mat.
Believe me that it does save days, where every seed germinates 3 days earlier than if no heat has been applied. It is a great device for those impatient gardeners. The thermostat is such a great addition, switching on when it is required, switching off when it is not.
I highly recommend the whole system, the mat and the thermostat as they work well together.
If you want to give your seeds a great head start, then I recommend you buy this heat mat and thermostat here.
Give your seed the best treatment. If you have any questions and comments you want to germinate and sprout. Please do so in the seedbox (comment box) below.
Plant your seeds today and use a heat mat.