Posted: 25/01/2015 at 14:43
Hi All. I have two of the Stewart 52cm heated propagators which each fit two of the large seed trays and they have been absolutely brilliant! Over the last two growing seasons they have enabled me to bring on multiple sowings of chosen seeds far quicker than I could have achieved using a non-heated propagator (which I had previously). I don't have a proper working greenhouse (yet!) so seedlings live on either on a windowsill or in a small 4-shelf, budget, outdoor 'greenhouse'. The propagators have certainly helped achieve fairly consistent results (coreopsis, echinacea, cosmos, rudbeckia etc!
David K raises an interesting point when he says '...trying to beat nature by producing stuff early is doomed to fail'. In part, I'd agree. Raising seedlings too early in the season can certainly result in failure if the outside growing conditions aren't conducive to planting on and you don't have a greenhouse or similar. However, if you are planting seeds in a heated propagator within the recommended planting times then I don't see you are trying to beat nature per se. I view it that you are simply helping to create the optimum conditions for seed germination rather than relying on opportune weather conditions and possible disappointment as a result of our crazy climate. Exactly what having a greenhouse - perhaps with a heated bench - is trying to achieve. They can certainly give us 'greenhouseless' folks the chance to create a greenhouse effect in miniature although I accept that its probably not a tool everyone is comfortable using or would want to use