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One of the best accessories you can buy for your greenhouse is a heated propagator and with a little planning you can get this set this up just right. First off you’re going to need electricity. If starting from scratch then electricity is best brought into the greenhouse through a conduit in the ground and this can be done when the base is being laid. This will allow you to get electrics (and other services) into the greenhouse without having to drill holes through the greenhouse frame or having cables draped through windows. Once the greenhouse is constructed it is worth having a electrician commission the electrics and if we can provide any guidance here it is advised to mount any plug sockets above the height at which you will be regularly watering. Sockets should be the type suitable for outdoor use since a greenhouse is generally a wet environment. So give some thought as to where you want your propagator and have any plug sockets mounted close by. It’s worth checking the length of the cable that any propagator comes with to ensure it’s long enough, where possible it is best to avoid extension leads. Depending on the size of the propagator you choose this can either sit on top of the greenhouse staging or in the instance it is a large propagator like the one pictured from greenhouse sensation then perhaps it is possible to make a bench for it. This bench comes complete with a lower shelf which provides a useful storage facility for any pots and compost when in use. In the summer months when the propagator is not in use the clear frames and lids can be stored here and it can be used as a bench. Care should be taken though not to overload the propagator tray which is better suited to small pots of seedlings than big heavy plants in pots.
Advantages of heated propagator
Primarily a heated propagator will allow you to improve and speed along seed germination. If you’re accustomed to using a warm windowsill, where temperatures vary according to the time of day, you’ll know seeds can be slow to get going. A heated propagator on the other hand allows you to set a temperature. and this can be maintained by setting a thermostat. A consistent temperature will improve germination. So by setting the temperature higher than the temperature outside of the propagator you can start sowing seeds earlier in the year and essentially extend the growing season.
Heating a greenhouse can prove expensive so a money saving alternative is to choose only to use a propagator. In this respect you’ll still take full advantage of the light levels in the greenhouse without the cost of heating a large single glazed space. So if you’re looking at one of our greenhouses and want to get into growing plants from seed then a propagator is a worthwhile investment.