Author Topic: Has anybody used heat mats to increase seed germination? And if so, did it help?  (Read 398 times)

djseaquist

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
    • United States, California, Escondido, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
I certainly hear of people using heat mats for vegetable seeds, but what about fruit seeds?

Ognin525

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
    • Buffalo, ny, zone 5b
    • View Profile
Heat mats really helped me speed up the germination process and get a better % of successful seeds. I really think it's dependent on what your temps are where your germinating the seeds. I germinate in my basement where temps never hit higher than 70 , 85 is where I like the mats to be seems to be a good temp for me.
Bill

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3150
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Yes, they definitely help when sprouting indoors but they can get too hot sometimes.  I usually put some kind of spacer between the heat mat and the seed tray

NateTheGreat

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
    • SF Bay Area, 9B
    • View Profile
I have a bit, now there doesn't seem to be a reason to. For some things like tomatoes you really need heat, but most tropical/subtropical stuff I grow doesn't seem to need it. It can help, but it's also going to create a better environment for mold etc. I think it helps with Psidiums. Plus I'm mostly starting seeds when it's warm out. And if a seed has a dormancy that requires heat, it probably lasts long enough under the surface to wait until spring to come up. If something's really hard to germinate, I might keep it in a vermiculite bag until it starts.

ScottR

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2174
    • USA,Arroyo Grande,Calif. 93420,zone 9b
    • View Profile
I've used heating mats for years i think it helps on many tropical seeds but also coming around to closed bag with moist vermiculite to start seeds in warm place. i do have a g.h. but live in cool Spring-Summer area so g.h. helps with zone pushing plants. I think many people over look stratification technique because even some sub-tropical seed need heat-cool cycles to germinate well. Just saying you need to take in your seed cycle since coming off of tree which can be hard to do no knowing how some folks store seeds you have to think that reliable seed dealers do the right storage.

SDPirate

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • Chula Vista, Zone 10B Coast/Inland
    • View Profile
I think the heat mats work well with Psidiums and speeds up the process a bit.  I have been using mine for cacti also and it really speeds up things as well as they need consistent warm/hot temperature, highly recommend for cacti in general.  My results with Sapotacaea and Garcinia are mixed results so I think it just depends.  You can always play around with different methods if you have plenty of seeds e.g. heatmat, moist vermiculite in a bag, small container in greenhouse etc and see what works best.

Elijah

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
    • United States, California, San Diego
    • View Profile
I have a rice cooker which is on low temp most of time so I keep my fruit seeds near by it, and it helps good to germinate any seeds.

Daintree

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1133
    • Boise, Idaho - zone 6, with a zone 12 greenhouse...
    • View Profile
Well, you can tell from the responses that it is a hearty "Yes" to your question!
I do everything I can to boost germination - soaking, H2O2, heat, humidity. I find this especially important because if I have been fruit hunting at fruit stands, and only aquired a couple fruits, I may have limited seed supply.

Happy germinating!

drymifolia

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
    • Seattle 9a/sunset zone 5
    • View Profile
    • the drymifolia collective
It really depends on your ambient temperature and the requirements of the species.

I mostly germinate avocado seeds of the Mexican botanical group, which ripen in the late summer to early winter in most places they grow. That means I'm usually trying to sprout them over the winter! Here in Seattle, even in my greenhouse, the low temperatures typically range from the upper 30'sF to low 50's during that time. But with a heating pad, most of the seeds sprout by early spring.

But stone fruit? No, they sprout in the fridge even! Or anything being germinated in summer? No, a heating pad dries things out too much. A pot in part sun gets plenty warm for most things I'm starting then. But I'm not growing many true tropicals, those might be different.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2023, 02:13:05 AM by drymifolia »

Elijah

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
    • United States, California, San Diego
    • View Profile
It really depends on your ambient temperature and the requirements of the species.

I mostly germinate avocado seeds of the Mexican botanical group, which ripen in the late summer to early winter in most places they grow. That means I'm usually trying to sprout them over the winter! Here in Seattle, even in my greenhouse, the low temperatures typically range from the upper 30'sF to low 50's during that time. But with a heating pad, most of the seeds sprout by early spring.

But stone fruit? No, they sprout in the fridge even! Or anything being germinated in summer? No, a heating pad dries things out too much. A pot in part sun gets plenty warm for most things I'm starting then. But I'm not growing many true tropicals, those might be different.

I didn't even think of anyone possibly growing avocado in Seattle. That is very impressive. Do you have to keep the avocado tree in the green house all year round? If yes, I assume the green house has to be very tall and wide.

drymifolia

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
    • Seattle 9a/sunset zone 5
    • View Profile
    • the drymifolia collective

I didn't even think of anyone possibly growing avocado in Seattle. That is very impressive. Do you have to keep the avocado tree in the green house all year round? If yes, I assume the green house has to be very tall and wide.

Answering the question of whether it's possible to grow avocados here is the point of the project. I wrote an FAQ about a year ago, which is definitely in need of updating, but I distributed about 30 trees to members this spring to plant out, and have about 50-60 to distribute next year. About 70 people have signed up, but that includes some people outside the project area, so they won't get trees but will get email updates. ;D

I've got dozens of trees planted in the ground outside in my yard, some planted as long ago as February 2021, and more over the entire period since then. Many have been winter killed, a few were knocked back to ground level by 16F the first winter and 17F this last winter, but many keep coming back!

The greenhouse multi-graft mother trees range from six months to 2.5 years in the ground, with various different ages of grafts, but I'm hoping to finally get some fruit set next year in there. The largest 3 trees are about 7 to 9 feet tall, and I'll prune them to keep them at least a foot below the roof, which ranges from 9 ft at the walls to 13.5' at the peak. About 310 sq ft that's planted very high density (5 trees), with just one corner left to maybe add one more tree at some point.

And sorry about going off topic! I haven't made a thread about the project on here yet, but there is one over on GF for anyone who's also on there. I could start one here if there's interest, to keep me from going off topic so much in other threads!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2023, 07:25:05 PM by drymifolia »

foresight

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 36
    • San Diego, zone 10a
    • View Profile
Ive never specifically used a heat-mat, but my seeds are generally kept in the same room as my indoor grow tents so that means they were generally in the upper 70s and low 80s in San Diego. With that said I moved to the Vegas area in early June, and on short notice so the A/C was not set up properly. Daytime temps indoors were typically in the mid to high 90s through the summer and my germination rates were much better than what I had with the lower temps.

Fresh seeds germinated more rapidly and old seeds that had spent many months in San Diego temps finally sprung to life. For context the majority of my seeds are Brazilian or other South American species and I germinate all seeds in tupperware containers of moist vermiculite, sealed airtight and kept under a small 9W led lamp. If you dont have a warm room or indoor setup that you can use to germinate your seeds then a heat mat will absolutely speed up seed germination (genus and/or species dependent of course).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2023, 06:29:01 AM by foresight »

Jchui288

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 32
    • Los Angeles, CA 10b
    • View Profile
If you use a heat mat I would highly suggest a thermostat for it to control the heat mats power, theyre an extra $20 on Amazon. Otherwise the heat mat will run at its full capacity and you could cook your seeds, as mentioned by others youll have to create a gap inbetween to reduce the heat. Having a laser temp gun to check your heat mats surface would also be ideal.
Jeff

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk