Seeds, Lighting and Heat Mats.

ohiogrown

Mame
Messages
222
Reaction score
203
Location
Ohio
USDA Zone
5/6
Hello, I bought about 30 different kinds of seeds that I plan to start this spring. I’m trying to plan for it and so far I have seed trays and jiffy seed starting mix. My next expenses are going to be some sort of lighting and heat mats. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is that what I should do? Start them inside about a month before the last frost? I’m just trying to get this all figured out. Also if anyone has any links on where I can get some lights that would work good enough to start seeds but not cost a ton of money. Same with heat mats. I’m probably going to be starting like 1500 seeds so I’m just trying to figure out the best way to go about this. If anyone has experience with this or can lead me in the right direction this would be much appreciated!
 
Messages
1,623
Reaction score
2,395
Location
Belgium
I don't start inside but i used a heating cable some time ago. It worked well, so i'll do that again. Heating mat is a better option if you work with individual pots or you want it to be movable.
 

ohiogrown

Mame
Messages
222
Reaction score
203
Location
Ohio
USDA Zone
5/6
I don't start inside but i used a heating cable some time ago. It worked well, so i'll do that again. Heating mat is a better option if you work with individual pots or you want it to be movable.
I will research a heating “cable”. I’ve never heard of that or how it’s used but sounds like something to look into. Thank you!
 

cbroad

Omono
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
I think starting seeds indoors is a good idea to get a head start in spring, as long as you can satisfy any stratification requirements before. You might have to do a bonsai two step if you have late/sporadic freezes.

I just bought a new growth light from www.growershouse.com , they have literally everything you'd need and they were probably the cheapest I found. Really, any two bulb 4 foot fluorescent fixture should be fine for starting seeds, you can buy them for around $20 from the big box stores. I might opt for a HO (high output) fluorescent fixture though, they put out about double the light than regular fluorescents.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
3,574
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
1500 seems like a lot to start inside. I've done it, but in much lesser numbers. I utilized a heat mat and lighting system to start things in winter. Lighting system had 4 bulbs, but only used two when seedlings were very young. Had to buy a timer as well for lighting to go on and off appropriately.

My two cents would be think about how many plants you actually want to care for in your home and if you have a designated spot for them. Remember they take up space, need to be watered, can smell etc....Mine were in my basement and watering every few days meant everything had to be moved to a sink.

Edit: oh yea we spoke via PM lol.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
13,377
Reaction score
19,730
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
I have some seeds I'm starting early here. I'll be starting them under 400w metal halide. No bottom heat. It's a balmy 80 degrees in the room.
 

garywood

Chumono
Messages
912
Reaction score
600
Location
N. Alabama
USDA Zone
7
Ohio, what kind of space and area do yo have? If you limit to 4 weeks, then no "fancy" light setup is necessary. I use clear utility storage bins on regular heat pad covered with plastic. Invert the bin(s) and use the tops as bottoms. It's perfect for me starting veggies.
 

ohiogrown

Mame
Messages
222
Reaction score
203
Location
Ohio
USDA Zone
5/6
@milehigh_7 posted something DIY heat mats using LED strip lights: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/diy-heat-mat.30755/
Thank you I will check that out!
1500 seems like a lot to start inside. I've done it, but in much lesser numbers. I utilized a heat mat and lighting system to start things in winter. Lighting system had 4 bulbs, but only used two when seedlings were very young. Had to buy a timer as well for lighting to go on and off appropriately.

My two cents would be think about how many plants you actually want to care for in your home and if you have a designated spot for them. Remember they take up space, need to be watered, can smell etc....Mine were in my basement and watering every few days meant everything had to be moved to a sink.

Edit: oh yea we spoke via PM lol.
Thank you! Yeah I have lots of options on space. I was thinking If I set it up in the basement by the drain I can water and not worry about it getting on the floor. Im starting a bunch because I’m sure they all will not work out and I will pay closer attention to some more then others. My plan is to plant the ones I don’t really care about in the field and hope they will grow Into something interesting on there own. My goal is in the distant future have some stock to work with. I just want to make sure I take the right steps to get them going in the spring.

I have some seeds I'm starting early here. I'll be starting them under 400w metal halide. No bottom heat. It's a balmy 80 degrees in the room.
Yeah that would be ideal but I don’t really want to pay the electric bill for a light like that. Unless I was growing that one stuff;) lol.

Ohio, what kind of space and area do yo have? If you limit to 4 weeks, then no "fancy" light setup is necessary. I use clear utility storage bins on regular heat pad covered with plastic. Invert the bin(s) and use the tops as bottoms. It's perfect for me starting veggies.
I got all kinds of space . Yeah that’s my plan is to just get a little head start inside then move outside in spring. I’m not looking to grow them inside long term. I like ur idea with the storage bins I might have to try that!
 

DeanoAZ

Yamadori
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
Peoria, AZ
If you don't mind, I'm going to hijack this thread with my experience to see if I can learn anything from you experts. I have tried JBP, Chinese Elm, Trident Maple and Zelkova, in that order. I started with a sandy/seed starter mixture (JBP) and some un-strained top soil and some seed starter for the elm (I split the elm between the mixture and the top soil). They are sitting on germination mats with a grow light close overhead. The maple and zelkova are now in the fridge for 90 days. So far, NOTHING! It appears something will sprout from a grain of sand before the seeds do. This is my first pass at trying to grow from seed. I'm probably watering every other day. Do any of you germination experts have thoughts, good or bad, about my techniques? I know I said on a previous posting on the forum I liked to concentrate on the process.....I'm going crazy with this process! I keep reading postings that are like "I just threw some seeds out in the back yard and they grew". Should I expect to be watering the JBP and elms for 6 months? Help!
 

cbroad

Omono
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
@ohiogrown
Honestly, to illuminate enough area to hold 1500 seedlings you'd have to have a regular t12 or t8 fluorescent fixture so high up that the amount of light reaching the plants would be very weak. Those could work if you have a lot of room to set up multiple tables and lights.

@M. Frary's suggestion might be the best alternative, and you could probably find one for around $150-$200. I'm not positive but I think a 400w if ran 16-18 hours a day would be less than $20 a month
 
Last edited:

ohiogrown

Mame
Messages
222
Reaction score
203
Location
Ohio
USDA Zone
5/6
@ohiogrown
Honestly, to illuminate enough area to hold 1500 seedlings you'd have to have a regular t12 or t8 fluorescent fixture so high up that the amount of light reaching the plants would be very weak. Those could work if you have a lot of room to set up multiple tables and lights.

@M. Frary's suggestion might be the best alternative, and you could probably find one for around $150-$200. I'm not positive but I think a 400w if ran 16-18 hours a day would be less than $20 a month
I was kinda planning on using shelving units and some T8s but I guess the 400w is no where near as bad as what I thought someone told me it was. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
Messages
11,609
Reaction score
15,313
Location
South East of Cols. OH
USDA Zone
5b
You can get seedling heat mats for under 20. for a regular flat size. And just use florescent shop lights, make sure that you have a system to keep them close to the new sprouts, then be able to raise them as the sprouts grow.
 

ohiogrown

Mame
Messages
222
Reaction score
203
Location
Ohio
USDA Zone
5/6
You can get seedling heat mats for under 20. for a regular flat size. And just use florescent shop lights, make sure that you have a system to keep them close to the new sprouts, then be able to raise them as the sprouts grow.
Okay that’s what I will do. I just need to buy the heat pads and lights. I can’t wait till spring! Thanks for the suggestions.
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom