Starting your grow comes with several challenges this time of year since colder weather can decrease plant enzyme activity and stunt growth. Germinating seeds to bring into your grow tent can be especially challenging, which is why proper use of your seedling heat mat is important. Knowing where to use your heat mat and for long is key to improving the success of your seed starting.
Before sowing your seeds in your plant tray, you must first find a room with adequate insulation. Placing your seed starting setup in cold places with little to no insulation will inhibit the germination process. Climates in such rooms will work against your seedling mat’s heat output, despite its ability to warm ambient temperatures up to 20°. Placing your setup in an insulated room will allow your seedling mat to warm your seeds and give them the best chance to germinate.
How Long Do I Leave My Heating Mat On?
Once you sow your seeds and place your plant tray onto your seedling mat, keep it on for 24 hours a day; this process will not involve any intermittent on/off operation. Your seeds must be subjected to consistent heating to keep the propagation process going. Signs of successful germination will include small sprouts popping up from the dirt, and leaves starting to form from those sprouts. It is at this point when you may remove your tray from the seedling mat and turn it off.
Your seedling mat’s heating output is regulated, providing evenly distributed and consistent warmth at up to 86°. While you will not have to worry about any overheating, leaving your seed tray well after your seeds germinate will result in poor consequences. If left on top of the heat mat your seedlings may end up lanky and weak, while its roots and the soil surrounding it dries up. Your germination can be successful even if all the pockets don’t result in sprouts.