Heated Propagator

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Propagator

Germinating seeds into seedlings is the first step in the process of growing tomatoes, but do I really need a propagator to get the best results?


  • Propagators retain humidity inside the lid which helps seedlings discard their seed shells.
  • A heated propagator will germinate seeds in the shortest possible time and
    will probably produce a better germination rate because temperatures remain more consistent.
  • Particularly useful if germinating a lot of seeds.
  • Electric propagators can also be used as a warm plate – with the lid removed – for small plants, should temperatures be very low.
  • Propagators come in all shapes and sizes and should fit most positions such as a windowsill.


  • Another expense, and item to clutter the home!
  • A small pot covered with cling film can be put in the airing cupboard, where it’s warm. This is OK if you only need to germinate a few seeds.
  • Different varieties germinate at different times, so each variety will need it’s own compartment.
unheated propagator

Would I recommend one? the answer is yes. But remember to take seedlings out of a heated propagator as soon as they germinate (or turn off the power) because seedlings need a cooler temperature to avoid becoming leggy.

Lots of light is also important but difficult to provide in the early Spring, so don’t sow too early (before March in UK) unless you can provide some artificial light with a grow light etc.

For a range of propagators please visit here.

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