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Common Propagator Problems

Seedlings There are a number of questions that we frequently get asked about plant propagators, most of which have relatively simple answers and solutions that you can solve at home!

If you have a query about a propagator, read through this helpful troubleshooting guide which should be able to assist you.

How do I get the temperature down inside my propagator?

Many people have problems getting the internal temperature to drop. This is usually a result of where the unit is being stored. The thermostat, which regulates the temperature, will only turn on the heat when the temperature drops below the set level. It does not have the ability to cool the propagator if the temperature rises due to factors outside of the unit. If your propagator is placed in a naturally warm room, the thermostat will not need to turn on and your propagator can be at risk of being too warm for your seedlings and cuttings to flourish.

To prevent this, try placing the propagator in the coolest room of the house, or near a window which does not get much sunlight. Alternatively, you can place the propagator in a greenhouse which can also help to prevent the issue.

Should I be able to feel the warmth in the soil?

You will not be able to feel the warmth in the soil unless you have the temperature set above 30ºC, in which case, this is far too high for most seedlings or cuttings to grow. The human body temperature averages at around 36ºC so with a standard soil temperature of 18 to 23ºC, it will always feel cold to the touch. Don't worry - it's cosy enough for your veggies!

There's condensation inside my propagator, what should I do?

Condensation inside the propagator is quite normal and often appears after watering. If the condensation is quite heavy, it can be worth wiping it away to stop the inside of the propagator from getting too humid. Do not place anything on top of your propagator or stack them, as this will block the air ventilation and increase the humidity and amount of condensation.

Temperature seems right but my seeds won't grow!

Fine Compost If your temperatures are correct but you're still having problems, check the soil.

When planting, make sure the compost is fine without any lumps. If a lump is on top of a seed it will have trouble sprouting. Get some nice fine compost and gently pat it down on top of the seed. Small gaps in the soil can prevent the seed from sprouting as well if it isn't touching the compost. Over watering can also cause this problem. Vermiculite is a good alternative to soil which can help with getting seeds to sprout, it is naturally fine and it soaks up water to avoid any excesses.

Often, a little trial and error is a useful way to start - if this is your first time using a propagator, try using a few small pots with a slightly different compost/water ratio in each and see what works best for you.

Still have questions? Call 01283 543974 to speak with a Garden4Less expert today.

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