With giant pumpkin season starting next month here in NZ, I am being organised before then. I’ve dug out the box I use for seed germination to make sure I have everything I need.
Why a Box for Seed Germination?
The main reason for myself is that years and years ago I grew in a shed once and had the seeds in the pots, these were eaten by rats and ever since then I’ve started my seeds this way.
When you are growing giant pumpkin seeds for yourself, you will probably only be starting a few of them. If these cost you money you want to make sure you are giving them the best start possible.
Check out my seed starting video to see what is the best way to start your giant pumpkin seed.
I’ve added a few things over the years, most notably the heat pad at the bottom of the box, and more recently the LED grow light that hangs above the pots.
First, Find all the Bits
I’ve currently got this constant reminder down in the garage of a work in progress thing that I really need to pull finger on.
One of the benefits of having a grow box is that no matter how ‘busy’ the garage or work bench gets, at least I know everything I need should be together in the box.
What I use for my Seed Starting
I have a 50l rolling container, no special reason it is that size, it’s just a box I had spare and have used it every since.
The Heat Mat
I got given this old style heat mat, one used in the fermenting of wine, and it works well for what I need. I keep meaning to upgrade it and get one with a controllable thermostat.
But for now that is an unwanted expense so I’ll stick with this.
Bits of Wood
The first time around I never had the bits of wood, they got added to the box to help regulate the temperature of the heat pad. It seemed to be just a tad on the warm side. The wood also lets me put more seedling pots in there if needed.
LED Grow Light
I’ve talked about this last year, but the LED grow light which I picked up from Ali Express allows me to have light the plants need at the height I need it at.
It worked well, and helped keep my seedlings short and stocky. If you rely on just sunlight your seedlings can grow leggy if they don’t have a good light source.
There is a hook in the ceiling and it came with this adjustable pully setup which makes it easy to lower or lift when required.
The Small Fan
In conjunction with the LED light, the fan goes in the box as well, both are on timers. The breeze created by the fan against the seedlings helps them stay stocky. And it helps them cope with breeze later on when transplanted out into the patch.
I need to pick up another fan, they are cheap at the start of summer, but almost impossible to find during summer, so if you don’t have one, make sure to pick one up.
They are ideal for seedlings in the early stages, and if you have any soft spots on your pumpkin later on in the season. They will be your friend at helping keep things dry.
I like my little grow box, it helps me stay organised. It helps the seedlings keep protected from other animals, or random people that like to touch things.
I’ve set this up early, as I will probably be doing some test runs on seed starting very soon, and I have a very busy October and I will need to start 2 sets of seeds, one of which will be a back up.