I’ve got a couple of cheap electric propagators which are useful but without thermostatic control they can become a death trap for seedlings. You switch them on to cope with a cold night and in the morning the sun comes up and heats things up. By the time you get to the greenhouse, it’s too late – cooked seedlings.
Simple & Effective
A simpler and better solution, albeit a little more expensive, is to buy a thermostatically controlled electric propagator. The TwoWests & Elliott Quadruple Electric Propagator is an excellent, straightforward product that does the job and, being simple, will last for many years.
First of all you get a 100W aluminium heating panel, just the right size for 4 standard seed trays. It sits well on narrow staging in the greenhouse. Connected to the aluminium heating base, there is a thermostatic controller which plugs into a mains socket.
The thermostat can be attached to a wall or side of a greenhouse, keeping it out of the way but accessible. The lead with the temperature sensor can be placed inside the seed tray through the vent in a cover and either pushed into the compost or left dangling in the air to measure the air temperature.
You can also use the sensor to just measure air temperature which is helpful in winter when you can use the base to provide supplementary heat for over-wintering plants.
Then you get four top quality Stewart Plastics 3″ deep seed trays complete with 41/2″ deep clear covers with vents. In the event of accident or age, these are easily replaced with any standard seed tray and propagator cover.
Robust, Long Lasting Construction
The thermostat isn’t fancy, state of the art and trimmed to reduce price. My electronic engineer pal commented that it should last longer than him!
With the seed trays, the worst that can happen is the plastic lids go opaque or brittle and need replacing but I’ve had this kit for 5 years now and they still look as good as the day I opened the box.
The quadruple propagator is available direct from the manufacturer in the UK.For more information, usage instructions etc. and to purchase go to TwoWests & Elliott
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