Seeds forum: New, inexpensive brand of heat mat

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 7, 2017 12:31 PM CST
Has anyone tried the iPower brand of heat mats? They are quite a bit less expensive than the ones I've been getting. I found one source that has the small ones for about $10, and Amazon has a combination thermostat and 20x48 inch mat for about $45. Just wondering if anyone here knows anything about them.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Jan 8, 2017 1:59 PM CST

Moderator

Hey Woofie--I've not heard of that brand, but if you decide to buy one please report back to us!
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Jan 17, 2017 7:09 PM CST
I agree I never heard heard of them. But one never knows.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jan 18, 2017 1:28 PM CST
Well, I decided to give it a try. So far, I'm not too impressed. Darn thing does not want to unroll. (This is the big one, 20 x 48) Gonna try plugging it in to see if a little heat will convince it to lay flat.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 18, 2017 8:22 PM CST
Too, I would think if you set a plant tray on the mat it would tend to hold it down flat.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jan 18, 2017 10:23 PM CST
It's cold here, so I don't want to get too forceful initially. I didn't even open the box till it had a chance to warm up to room temp. But this is certainly not near the quality of the Hydrofarm mats I've bought in the past. But, hey, the mat and controller together were half the cost of the HF mat alone. I'm in no rush and heck I haven't even been able to get the darn table opened up and set up either. Sigh, getting old is a drag. My greenhouse is out of commission till the weather warms up, so I'm having to rig a temporary set up in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 19, 2017 8:36 AM CST
No green house here during any season, but I do have my table and lights set up in the basement. Heck I am still using and old electric heating pad I had used for my back. I am fortunate that I can have that sat up permanently. I seem to have pretty good luck also just sitting a tray on top of the fridge down there.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jan 19, 2017 9:45 AM CST
Oh yeah, the top of the fridge is a great place! That was where I did my first seed starting. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2017 8:12 PM CST
I have never bought a heat mat but I got 2 today from Menards. The name is Ferry Morse Heat Mat for seedlings. It is 17 watts and the size is 9" X 19.5. The price was $16.77 with 11% off plus tax. I decided to give it a try. I also picked up 2 72-cell grower kits and some Burpee seed starter 8 qt. bags. I hope things work well for me in my garage. If not, I am not out that much.
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 20, 2017 8:17 PM CST
I think if you grow peppers you will really appreciate them. My tomatoes do better with some heat, but peppers are the only thing I grow that just almost demand a heat source of some sort. I have bought the 72 cell grow kits but I have found for me I prefer the six pacs for most things now. But for starting a lot of flowers or a large vegetable garden they are great.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jan 21, 2017 10:23 AM CST
That was a good deal, Jeanne!

One of the things I find interesting is that 4 small heat mats (17 W each) use less power than one big one (100 W) that will hold 4 trays.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jan 21, 2017 2:48 PM CST
Thanks Woofie. Now I wish I would have gotten a few more. Menards is an hour away. I don't have these in use yet so I will just wait and see how I do with these.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Jan 24, 2017 8:40 PM CST
The ones from Ferry Morse are ok. Not as good as Hydrofarms but close.

After you run the mats for awhile the curl will tend to work itself out.

I also use a controller, but question its value overall. It does not provide near the control one would think.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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mom2goldens
Jan 25, 2017 7:36 PM CST

Moderator

I've never used a controller.....so far no problems. I have 2 hydrofarm seed mats. One tip our MG propagator instructor taught us was to us something like water bottle caps under the seedling tray if it was a little too warm. Adding that little space seemed to provide a little less heat... and it was "adjustable" by the amount of space you left.
[Last edited by mom2goldens - Jan 26, 2017 4:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jan 25, 2017 8:02 PM CST
Thanks for the tip. Nice to know just in case needed.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Gibsonville, NC (Zone 7b)
Region: North Carolina
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Keymaster101
Jan 28, 2017 5:59 AM CST
I ordered 2 of the small ones on ebay. They should get here on Tuesday, at last check of tracking info.

My question is . . . I have my plant stand on a timer, so the lights will go on/off without me having to do this manually. Will the heat mats work that way, or do I need to figure out a way to have them on all the time? Confused
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 28, 2017 9:38 AM CST
I've generally turned my heat mats off when the lights come on. I can't seem to wrap my mind around a way to get my timer to do this for me. Hmmm, come to think of it, I need another timer. Any recommendations?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 28, 2017 11:07 AM CST
And, finally, after a couple of weeks unrolled, it's relatively flat. Still pretty rippled, but I think it will work ok. Haven't tried out the controller yet, that will wait till I have a couple of flats in place.
Thumb of 2017-01-28/woofie/52be22

Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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dsyantis
Jan 28, 2017 11:17 AM CST
I have had a Hydrofarm 20X20 for probably 5 years now and it has worked great. I do not use an temperature control devices with it. I built a tray with two inch sides to go under it that is lined with pond liner and has 1" of foam under the liner so it can concentrate the heat on the trays above and not get cooled by the counter under it. It is in an heated greenhouse attached to our house so that also helps. I mainly use it to speed germination. Once the plants break ground they are moved off the mat and others are placed on the mat. I saw the mat on e-bay this morning for $19.99 with free shipping.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Jan 28, 2017 11:22 AM CST
Regarding turning off heat mats when your lights come on, I wonder if one of those outdoor Christmas light outlets with the light sensor would work. You can set them to turn off the Christmas lights off when the sun rises and on again when the sun sets. If you happen to have one already for your Christmas lights then it would be free to try. Shrug!
[Last edited by Danita - Jan 28, 2017 11:22 AM (+)]
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