Heated Propagation Bench:  Installing the heating cable...


Instaling a heating cable begins with about 2 inches of level sand. Mini flower pots filled with sand help hold the cable in place while laying it out correctly in the bench.

Once in place, begin to 
cover the cable with about 1 inch of sand.  Completely finish one half before starting on the second, as the cable is flexible and moves out of place easily. 

Cut a piece of hardware cloth to fit the bench and place it on top of the one inch of sand that is over the heating cable. This 6' long and 2' wide wood bench has a galvanized liner. It holds hundreds of  seeds in 2' rows and 3/4 inches apart. Cover the hardware cloth with the growing mix of your choice.  I prefer Peter's.  Firm the soil using a board as in the picture. When finished, I pour 2 gallons of warm water on the soil and let sit for 2 days to preheat before use.  A High-Low thermometer for daily record keepping and a special electric breaker and box for greenhouse use is necessary for electric for the bench.  The thermostat is for the exhaust system. Fan is for ME *S*.
    I use a ruler edge to make grooves in the soil for sowing.  Place the seeds at the required spacing as necessary then cover the seeds with vermiculite.  The bench will look like brown soil with grayish colored rows from the vermiculite.  The original 2 gallons of warm water is usually ample until the seedlings are up and growing. Note the plastic on hoops to cover this bench pictured on the other page.  On hot days, the ends of the plastic is lifted for ventilation otherwise the seedlings could fry!  by March 15th the most seedlings will need to be transplanted to individual containers.  At this time, I turn on the electric heater  to be used as necessary, set at 40 degrees to keep plants on the benches from freezing. When watering, mist with WARM water! 
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