Tool or Gardening Product
Soil Heating Cable
Seed starting mats are great for warming the growing media to the ideal temperature for germination. An alternative is to use a heating cable. Cables come in several sizes so you can purchase one to allow for the number of flats or trays you want to use. Bury the cable in a zig zag path in a shallow box of moist sand and then set your trays on the sand. This works great and allows for the most heated space for your money as compared to most heating mats.
Clever Gardening Technique
Homemade Seed Starting Chamber
Seeded transplant trays can dry out quickly when provided the extra warmth to speed germination. I like to place a newly seeded and moistened transplant tray in a large turkey roasting bag or dry cleaners bag to create a seed starting chamber. Use plant labels or a bend cloths hanger wire to hold the plastic above the surface of the growing media. Fold the end over to hold in the moisture and check the trays daily for signs of germination. Open the end of the tray to allow some air to circulate once seedlings begin to emerge. Remove the bag after the seeds have germinated.