An electric heated propagator is a significant investment, so it’s important that you choose the one that’s right for your needs by considering the following factors.
Most gardeners want the largest electric heated propagator they can fit into their greenhouse space. Often it does work out more economical to buy a larger size rather than 2 smaller ones. Think about how many pots and trays you will be able to fit into the propagator and make sure that the one you choose has enough space.
Don’t only consider the length and width of the electric propagator; the height is also very important. A taller heated propagator will help you to keep young plants in a protective environment for longer; which is very useful if the spring takes longer than expected to warm up! Our Vitopod height adjustable heated propagator is very energy efficient because it is height adjustable, so when starting seeds gardeners can use it as a single height so energy isn’t wasted heating up empty space, then when your plants need more space you add the extra layer and the plants themselves contribute to the warmth.
Some electric propagators, like our Vitopod propagator, are what is known as variable heated propagators. These can be set to a specific temperature. Non-variable options are simply plugged in and will increase the temperature of the propagator by a few degrees.
Consider which seeds you will be propagating and what temperatures these seeds need to be propagated at. Check that the electric propagator you choose will reach the desired temperatures and with the consistency required by your seeds.
Look out for the wattage of the electric propagators you are considering. If you choose a heated propagator, a higher wattage rating will be cost effective because it will have the necessary power to increase the temperature quickly but it will not use more power than necessary, as it will switch off when the desired temperature is reached.
Look out for propagators that deliver an even heat. Some heated propagators contain a heated coil which only heats parts of the base. This will mean that some seeds are cold, some are very hot and that soil will dry out unevenly – all adding up to poorer germination rates and weaker plants. An evenly distributed heat is much more desirable.
Plants release water as they grow and proper ventilation enables this moisture to escape so the plants don’t rot-off. Look for propagators with good sized vents.
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