Warriston variety of the month
A monthly selection of fruit, veg or flowers that flourish on the Warriston site. Find more in our variety archive
A heated propagator in action Photo NR
Turbo-charged germination Photo NR
March 2020—Heated Propagator
A great way to extend the growing season and to get seedlings off to the earliest of starts is a heated propagator. The sealed environment and gentle bottom heat is all it takes to accelerate germination of seeds that would normally require much warmer temperatures e.g. tomatoes, cucumber, chillies, and peppers, but anything can be started off this way when it’s too cold.
Seeds are sown thinly on good quality, fine compost and cover lightly, watered, labelled, and placed in the propagator with the lid on and the vent closed and not allowed to dry out. When all the seeds have germinated the vent can be open during the day at first, then ventilation can be increased until the lid can be removed during the day and so on.
You can pick one up for as little as £20. Models vary with the cheapest having no control of temperature, but usual this falls between 12 – 20oC. More expensive ones have variable temperature and some have lights. They all come with their own electrical power source and fitted seed trays, but any plastic module container can be used.
Propagators can be used year on year and just need to be cleaned before storing for the next year. February to April is the best time to use a propagator, ideally in a well-lit location.