Register with us or sign in
in Tools and techniques
Just wondered if anyone out there has used a Vitopod Propogator? and if so would you recommend one?
I have 3 small electric propogaters, but not Vitopod. So I looked up Vitopod and thought it was very expensive. Then I read more. They start at about 55cms square. Mine are 36 x 21. So Vitopod are quite big. There is room in them for several seed trays. Also you can control the temperature, whereas mine are a fixed temperature. Then I read the reviews which are excellent. My small ones were about £35 each and the Vitopod starts at about £110.
Hi Busy Lizzie
Like you I thought Vitopod are expensive , hence me asking for advice before investing.
I need a propogater with a thermostate control, I'm also considering a Stewarts propagater. I need to weigh all the alternatives up.
Thanks for your reply.
I have 3 large vipods and 1small one,I purchased them over aa period of 3 years and I swear by them.My reason for using them is primarily to reduce the cost of heating the greenhouse and having the advantage of controlling different temperatures
The thermostats control is excellent,also the abilty to increase the hieght is a great advantage.
Expensive yes but a rolls royce product,the Stewart is the Lada.You pay your money etc
Thanks for your advice, your end comment is my thought exactly ..... you get what you pay for.
My current propogators don't have thermostat controls on them, and with new ideas for 2013, I really need to control the temperature.
I too considered a vitapod, however I decided on using the diy video on the bbc, for about 60-70 pound made a thermostatically controlled propagator which can germinate 7-8 (maybe more) seed trays in a single sitting. Very very simple to make and should last years. One word of warning, they weigh a tonne, so make where they are going to be used! When I consider I was thinking of spending lots of cash on a pre-made job, it makes me shudder. The bonus with the diy version is you can use the cheap propagator 'sets' (the cells with the transparent top that fits over the tray). If you want to grow plants on, you can use some heavy duty plastic set on posts screwed to the sides to extend the height to whatever you need. I've used mine to grow spinach and cabbage throughout the winter as well, and of course it being in my green house helps ward off the frosts. Cost pennies a day to run, a very simple project and can be made to any size to suit. here's the link to Toby: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardenersworld/video/toby_30minfix/heated_propagator.shtml
I don't possess a Vitopod myself, though the Vitopod website says that their propagator was rated as the "Best Buy" by Gardeners World Magazine. ( http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/propagators/vitopod-heated-propagators.html )I don't know which issue of Gardeners World reviewed heated propagators. I'm sure that someone here must be sitting on a pile of back issues, and could probably tell us exactly what was said, about that propagator, and others.Which? magazine have also reviewed 'heated windowsill propagators'. I don't have any details, or know what their best buy was.
Hi I've taken a look and the articles are on the webiste as pdfs. It seems thequotes used refer to articles in 2007, 2010 and 2012 http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/media/gardenersworldfeb07vito.pdf
Thank you all for your informative contributions. I can now say 'go ahead' to my sons who want to buy me a small Vitapod for birthday. I am a novice gardener, interested in growing from seeds and propagating cuttings. Does anyone know a good resource on this subject, with advice on pricking, thinning and transplanting seedlings?
Here are a few links to different articles i liked
A handy quick introduction with planners and fact sheets.
Some of its a bit high tech, well theres a bit of a difference between making plants comfortable and putting them in intensive care. Still worth a read thou
This very good article should help too with transplanting
This blog post should inspire, plenty of links to explore on related subjects.
Finally there are also lots of friendly gardeners on these forums all willing to give good advice on more specific questions you may have.
I think the key to successful fast germination is heat and around 15-25 degrees C soil temperature seems good for many different seeds my DIY propagator uses a plate warmer for heat and at 60 watts (average about 30 watts an hour) just over 5 KW a week or about £1 (sunny days will half that) I seem to find a couple of days will bring forth seedlings maybe it helps that they have been in my greenhouse a week before they get the heat.
I have a large single height VITOPOD..it is really fantastic and well worth every penny.Do not hesitate.
Also it gets so much use as you can control the temperature to suit different seeds ..chilli seeds like it hot and others a cooler germination heat.
The novelty of a Vitopod doesn't wear off after a few weeks either like buying an expensive handbag !!! GO FOR IT !!
Blackest and Jane, thank you very much.
I use one of the "heated windowsill propagators" mentioned above - I am a big fan. It is long and thin and fits on a windowsill (I suppose that much is obvious!) and then plugs in the mains. It doesn't have controllable heat. It came with 7 half trays (with covers) which are perfect for starting seeds off. It will also take the larger trays turned sideways.
I have another version of the same thing which is one of the self watering ones (trays stand on a bit of material which soaks up water from a resevoir below). So when my seeds have germinated on the heated one I move the trays onto the self watering one, and then eventually they get moved on to the unheated greenhouse - so from Feb onwards I have a sort of production line going.
Both my windowsill contraptions are made by Garland - I think they are called something like Mini-7.
I have bought 2 different propagators. My first one is Bio Green's jumbo propagator with heat mat, mini staging, thermostat and polypropalene cover, which works brilliantly, though would be about the same price. The advantage over the vitopod one is that it already has plenty of head room, the down side is that the condensation runs down the covering and onto whatever surface it's on, mine being wood = mould, where as the vitopod one is encased and the condensation runs back to the tray, however, for the height of the Bio Green propagator, you'd have to buy another layer, which is not cheap at all. That said, even though I've got the Bio Green one, I can see that both are very much the Rolls Royce of the gardening world.
The second one I bought is from TwoWests and Elliotts, and it's the electric blanket with cover. This comes with polystyrene sheets, heat mat and thermostat, (feels better built than the Bio Green one) plastic protective covering, and a self assembly polycarbonate and metal casing unit. It is highly, highly, impressive and I think, will whip the other 2 for what you get.
The way I look at it, is that buying just a single heat mat, nothing else, and not even to the length of the Bio Green jumbo propagator, and certainly nowehere near the TwoWests electric blankets, will cost anything up tp £200, yet, for the same price or just £100 more (that's assuming you can stretch that far) you get so, so, much more, which in my eyes, though costs more, is more economical and so, so, much better. Honestly, the way this spring is going, I'm so happy I bought them. My cheaper propagators would see 2 foot high seedlings and no true leaves about now, and it has certainly saved money on heating as it's far more localised than heating a whole greenhouse to tropical temperatures.
Does anyone know how well how well Vitopod propagators do at the top of the thermostat range around 30C please? I have had excellent germination at this temperature but other thermostatically controlled propagators that I have used, struggled to achieve the top of their range.