How to get the Best from a Vitopod Heated Propagator
An electric heated propagator provides the ideal growing environment to give your seeds and cuttings the best possible head start.
If you’re using a height adjustable propagator such as our Award Winning Vitopod Propagator, you can add extra layers to create your own mini greenhouse. Perfect for keeping taller plants frost free over winter and giving seeds and cuttings extra time and space to grow.
Read our Gardening Angels top tips on how to get the best out of your heated propagator.
Optimum Temperature Settings
Ensure the best possible growth by setting your heated propagator to the right temperature for what you are growing. The temperatures required for each plant can vary depending on what seeds you are propagating, so always check the seed packets for any suggested growing temperatures.
We would recommend setting the Vitopod’s thermostatic control for 20˚C, as this will generally provide the ideal temperature for the majority of propagated plants. This way, you can, for example, grow chillies and tomatoes at the same time, without the risk of either seed being cooked.
When growing your own chilies, your seeds will benefit from temperatures between 25-30˚C for germination. Once germinated, set the temperature around 18-24˚C in the daytime and lower to 15-18˚C at night to ensure consistent growth.
Tomato growers will want to set their propagator for 22-30˚C when germinating, then adjust to 16-22˚C during the day and 14-16˚C overnight for optimum growth. Generally, most other vegetables will require temperatures around 15-20˚C.
Controlling Humidity in Your Propagator
Humidity can be a real problem in a heated propagator so watch out for a build-up of condensation which can cause young plants to rot and die off. If you see condensation running down the sides of your propagator, open the vents or remove the lid to allow excess heat to escape. If you do remove the lid, remember to replace it overnight!
Do I Need to Use Gravel or Sand?
If you’re using a Vitopod Heated Propagator to propagate your seeds and cuttings, heat is distributed evenly throughout the base of your propagator so there is no need to use sand or gravel.
Some propagators do not provide even heat across their base. This is essential when ensuring even growth in your propagator, so if you do not have a Vitopod, you may want to consider lining the base of your propagator with either gravel or sand. This will allow the heat to be spread evenly through your propagators base. If you don’t even out the heat you may find some of your seeds may germinate faster than others and your seed trays may dry out faster.
Do I Need to Use Capillary Matting?
Rather than watering from above, some gardeners prefer to place a wet capillary mat below their plants, allowing them to absorb the water from below. This can be done with the Vitopod propagator, however keep an eye out for any humidity issues and be careful not to over-water your plants.
Young seedlings will not require a great deal of water, but you still don’t want them to dry out. Monitor moisture levels using a moisture meter and ensure your seedlings receive the right level of watering. Ideally, you should aim to keep the soil moist but should not see any surface water.
Providing Light for Your Seedlings
If seedlings don’t get the light they need, they develop long and skinny stems that are unable to support the plant’s growth. This will lead to your plants being increasingly susceptible to disease and pests whilst failing to provide a great harvest. To increase your plant’s exposure to light, move your propagator to a sunny windowsill or greenhouse.
Keeping Your Propagator Clean
At the start and end of the sowing season ensure you have cleaned your Vitopod Electric Heated Propagator, seed trays and pots before adding any new plants. By using a biodegradable soap, you can keep everything neat and tidy whilst helping to prevent the spread of any plant diseases.
There are many different ways you can utilise the Vitopod Electric Propagator, so if you have any questions about setting up the propagator or any tips from your experience, feel free to call us on 0845 602 3774 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Gardening Angels are always happy to help and love hearing your propagation success stories!