Seed Starting Alternatives to Pricey Seedling Heat Mats

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.” 
~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
Hello fellow gardeners.  Today, I am sowing my long-growing varieties of seeds indoors and I would like to share several low-cost methods of bottom heating that have worked for me in the past.
Electric Blankets – I purchased an old blanket a few years ago from a local thrift shop and was pleased to notice it had no damage and the heating elements worked well.  I place the blanket on top of a table I use indoors for sowing and placed an old plastic liner on top to protect it from moisture.  It worked like a charm.  My total investment amount was only $5.00! Although smaller than blankets, medical heating pads (avialable at your local drug store or pharmacy) are also less expensive options.
Aquariums – I found an old 30 gallon aquarium during one of my curbside excursions and it still contained the hood and a working bulb.  The only damage was a small crack at the bottom of the tank. I placed an old metal baking rack set with stands at the bottom and placed my seed trays on top.  Because of the heat from the lighting and the humidity, I received a high germination rate.  My total investment amount was zero!
Electronics and appliances – In the past, I have placed seed trays on top of a DVR, cable boxes, refrigerators and freezers.  I received various degrees of success with them all but I did achieve good germination.  Total investment amount:  zero.
Well, I hope this post will help you out with your future seed starting endeavors.  Until the next time, happy planting!

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