Seed Starting in a Mini Greenhouse with Heat Pads

I started seedlings this year in a mini-greenhouse. You know, the $20-ish vinyl covered shelf unit, similar to this one (maybe exactly – looks just like it). Affiliate Link alert!

I didn’t use it outside though like I’ve seen some people do. Maybe that would work in late spring or down south. I set it up in the enclosed porch (we call it the breezeway) in a window facing somewhat south.

The breezeway is partially heated but it gets very cool. However under the flats of seed starts, I put heating pads. I didn’t buy those expensive heat pads they sell in the plant section. Just a couple old ones we had around for sore muscles and backs.

It worked great. Between the little bit of sun and the warmth from the heating pads, the temp, at least at the soil surface was perfect.

The aluminum loaf tins you see in the photos didn’t seem to work that well for me. I don’t know why, or if it was just a coincidence. I also think the seed starting mix I bought cheap may not be the best. I have since started using a Miracle Gro mix but not in the aluminum so I can’t say if that made a difference. I also had trouble in the small compartmental peat pots so maybe it was the mix or maybe just my brown thumb :(. I am thinking of trying a soil blocker next year. I also have had success with toilet paper tubes (more in a later post). All in all, I may have to buy some starts this year, particularly hot, and maybe sweet, peppers. I am going to transplant some of them today and see if they improve. But they probably should be going out into the garden. *sigh* Late as usual. Once it gets going though, it should do very well.

Happy Gardening!

PS I should point out that I have Kale started in an aluminum tray with that starting mix and it’s doing well. It’s not huge but it is alive and healthy looking. Kale is a tough plant though I think (my first time growing it), but it was worth noting. I think I’ll transplant that today too.

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