heating cables for starting seeds

Asked March 22, 2017, 10:57 PM EDT

What is the best method for using heating cables to start seeds indoors? I have a bed that has a floor of a sheet of insulating board to which I laid heating cable, over which I put 2 inches of contractors sand. the cable is warm until I put the sand over it then it seems to quit. The surface temp never seems to rise above the ambient air temp. The cables do not cross. The rows are approx. 1+1/2 inches apart. Should I use less sand, or a finer sand, nothing, or some other medium?

Blair County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

Here is a link to a Penn State publication on building a seed starting box from heating cables and sand. Perhaps if you warm your sand in the oven before adding it, the cables will be able to maintain the desired temperature.

I am pretty sure I might have to live in the basement if I used the oven to heat sand. There are three differences in the plan the extention shows from mine. One is that the sand is fine sand, there is less cover and the cables are farther apart. I will find a way to do as suggested. Thankyou

That's because you probably don't live with a sculptor. I never know what I'll find in my refrigerator or my oven. I'm sure you will succeed. Feel free to contact us with any further questions.