Propagators & Seed Sowing
Our range of propagators have been specially designed to ensure your plants get the best start to life.
We have dozens of different kinds of propagators in stock, and each one is designed to help you in a slightly different way. You mainly need to consider whether you are growing from seeds or cuttings, and how much space you will need for them to grow.
Our excellent range of heated electric propagators include our award-winning Vitopod heated propagators with optional lights and Hydropod cuttings propagator that are designed and manufactured by Greenhouse Sensation in Lancashire.
Throughout propagation plants can become very vulnerable and their environment needs to be prudently controlled with the right levels of light, humidity, warmth and hygiene. Ensuring you have well designed propagators, seed trays, and growing-on pots can be highly beneficial in this process.
Heated propagators provide continuous warmth that can be controlled effortlessly. Unheated propagators are perfect for use on an indoor windowsill, conservatory or heated greenhouse.
Once your seedlings begin to establish and grow leaves in your propagator its best to transfer them into pots with a seed tray which makes life simpler and makes them less prone to damage and can be easily moved outside before the time comes to eventually plant them.
If you are eco-conscious grower and seek to utilise recycled materials over using plastic then use the Eco Pot Maker which uses newspaper to easily make your own pots at home.
When choosing a heated propagator you are presented with a greater degree of flexibility allowing your propagator to reach a constant temperature over a long enough period to encourage germination in a wider range of plants.
For the best propagation results choose an electric heated propagator. The best electric heated propagators such as the Vitopod come with optional lights and have a variable thermostat so that you can set the propagator to the correct temperature for your seeds.
Electric heated propagators are best for starting seeds off early, before temperatures are at the level required for seed germination. They also enable you to propagate seeds in a greenhouse or polytunnel because they will keep the seeds at a stable temperature.
If you choose an electric propagator that does not have a variable thermostat the propagator will generally raise the temperature by 8 - 12C regardless of the outside temperature.
Advantages of unheated propagators
If you are happy to start sowing your seeds in your house straight away you can use an unheated propagator. These propagators get seeds off to a better start than just starting seeds in trays on a windowsill because the lid traps the warm air that seeds need for germination and prevents draughts from causing severe changes in temperature.
How large a propagator do you need?
Many people forget to consider ventilation when selecting a propagator. This is important whether you are buying a top of the range heated propagator or a beginner's unheated propagator.
Look out for large vents that you can open to allow airflow, seedlings will transpire (release water) and if the propagator vents are not large enough the water released by the seedlings will produce too much humidity and the seedlings will dampen off and rot.
Sowing Seeds In Heated Propagators
Sow thin rows of seeds in the seed tray without seeds touching each other, just put some in your hand and sprinkle in the seed tray in your propagator. Sow large seeds individually. Put a few at a time in your hand and place the seeds at intervals along the row.
Don’t sow seeds too close together but you will need to sow more seeds than you need in your propagator because some seeds may not germinate.
After sowing the seeds, cover with finely sieved compost to the same depth as the length of your seeds e.g. if your seeds are 1cm diameter, cover with 1 – 1.5cm of sieved compost. Level the compost out so that the seed is in contact with the compost a tamper is handy for this.
Place seed trays or pots in a Vitopod heated electric Propagator and set the temperature indicated on your seed packet. Depending on how warm your propagator is, you may need to water the compost before the seeds emerge, and take care not to over-heat.
If you are splitting & dividing plants to grow more of your favourites from cuttings then they can be propagated in pots of gritty compost. If you really want to improve your cuttings success rate you might choose to try our electric Hydropod Cuttings Propagator. This misting soil-less cuttings propagator is used by professionals. It’s perfect for taking plant cuttings and you can typically expect to be transplanting in just 10-14 days.
Our award winning Hydropod Cuttings Propagator was recently featured on BBC's Gardeners World and has been used by Chelsea Flower Show Award Winner Jonathan Hogarth for his Award Winning Hostas. Click here to see the full video.
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