What Is The Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat And How Does It Work?
Most seeds require warmth to germinate and sticking them by a window often isn’t enough. If you grow all year round, hydroponically or in a green house for example then you’ll really struggle to germinate seeds in the cold weather.
At this stage seeds don’t really need light, but they do need lots of heat. This is where heat mats come into play!
People use the Hydrofarm in a variety of ways. If we forget for a moment that it’s also a foot warmer, can be used to heat the tea and for the cat to sleep on, you can also germinate your seeds in one of two ways.
First, you can use seedling trays to house your seeds for the germination process to take place. Second, you can simply place your seeds directly on the mat and throw your dirt over that. Which ever method you choose, you should first soak your seeds in water for about 24 hours. Don’t worry, the Hydrofarm is completely waterproof.
Once sprouts begin to show, that is when you relocate the seedlings to a window in a new container, or you can place under a grow light. The grow light will give extra heat as well as more intense light, but really is an optional extra.
I have been getting my tomatoes to sprout in 60% less time with the heat mat than those that don’t use the mat. That is a huge difference. But you really can use it with almost anything. As well as the fast time for germination, they look and feel very strong and have a wonderful color to them. I have been acheiving a germination rate of above 95% consistently using the Hydrofarm.
What To Look For When Buying A Heat Mat?
Is it waterproof?
First of all, it really does need to be water proof. As explained above, many people simply put the moist seeds straight onto the mat with the soil on top of that. That’s no problem as the Hydrofarm is water proof.
How large is the mat?
Since everybody’s needs are different, it would be nice to have heat mats that come in a range of sizes so we can choose the one to best suit our specifications. The Hydrofarm seedling heat mat comes in three different sizes; 9 x 19.5″, 20 x 20″ and 48 x 20″.
How much power does it use?
You’ll be needing to keep your heat mats on for the bulk of the day and night to get the full benefits. If they eat up your power then this is going to be a huge drain on your resources. The Hydrofarm uses a tiny 17 watts of electricity so you can confidently leave it on as long as you need it and you know your power bill is not going to sky rocket.
What Others Are Saying?
The Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat has an average rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon! Here are some of the comments to date:
– I couldn’t believe how much quicker it took for them to germinate when using this mat.
– This hydrofarm seedling heat mat does an excellent job, takes up zero room, and is EXACTLY as advertised.
– I bought 2 of these seedling heat mats, and my seedlings were sprouting in half the expected time.
– This is worth every penny. My seedlings sprouted within a couple of days of planting compared to seedlings grown without which took 2-3 times longer.
– Take it out of the box, plug it in, and go from there. It has provided the heat I needed for seed germination. No problems have been encountered.
– I’m using it to start my tomatoes and eggplants. I’m perfectly happy with it.
As it arrives rolled up, a few people mentioned it took a couple of days to get the creases out.
A couple of reviewers mentioned the size of the mat, wishing it was larger. They do however come in three sizes and the majority of people are more than happy with the size.
One person mentioned the smell of plastic when he turned it on! He returned the product and was happy with the replacement.
A couple of people wished it had temperature control on the mat. One person got round this problem by purchasing a thermostat separately.
Where Can You Buy The Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat?
From the manufacturer website for $35, $45 or $70 respectively as the mats get larger. However you should not have to pay that much for it! Having looked around at several online merchants, the cheapest place to get the Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat is on Amazon! This is especially true when taking advantage of free shipping!