As you prepare seeds for the next season, it’s time to test your heat mat and make sure it’s working correctly. First, plug it in, set your desired temperature, and place a thermometer on the mat. This test will determine if the mat is keeping proper temperature or if you need to make adjustments.
After you are satisfied with your temperatures the next step is to sanitize the mat. A solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) will work. Rinse the mat thoroughly and allow to dry.
Now, you are ready to place your seed trays on your mat. Set the mat to the correct germination temperature and allow it to heat up. During the seed germination process you will want to rotate your seed trays, as your trays may be as much as 5 degrees cooler at the edges. This can be caused by the air temperature or the tray being placed too close to the edge of the mat. Rotating the seed trays will allow an even germination process to take place. If your heat mat seems over crowded, you may want to consider purchasing an additional mat or a larger one unit.