Want a Seedling Heating Mat? You May Already Own One!
Many seeds like tomatoes and peppers prefer warmth for germination. During the holidays I noticed that my decorative LED rope lights (see them at Amazon.com) give off a small amount of heat so I decided to test them in place of seedling heating mats.
Commercial seed starting heating mats (see them at Amazon.com) work really well but they can be a bit pricey. As it turns out, the LED rope lights work really well too.
Before you try this, be certain that the rope lights you choose will be safe for the project. This judgement is entirely up to you as I have no way of testing the zillions of types available. Use them at your risk. Any time you take a product and use it for a purpose it is not intended for, you are assuming the risk. My lights have a note saying the only caution is to make sure they do not get submersed in water (which I would never do).
Here’s The Setup
- I simply place the lights on my grow light shelves. They stay in place on their own.
- The container with the newly planted seeds is placed right on top of the rope lights.
- These decorative rope lights provide a little extra warmth from the base without drying out the soil/seed growing medium.
This is my kale just two days after planting the seeds this way—
Sproing! That was fast. Good thing I checked on them early.
Once they’re up like this, you move them off the LED rope lights, open the lid, and place them right under the grow lights.
Here’s the peas on day four after planting the seeds
So yes, some heating underfoot, either by LED rope lights or heating mats can definitely speed up germination.