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How to Use a Heating Pad When Germinating Seeds

By Traci Joy ; Updated September 21, 2017

To start your own seeds, whether for a vegetable garden or a flower garden, the seeds need a soil temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F to germinate. Many home gardeners place their seed trays on top of a refrigerator or a hot water heater to achieve warm soil temperatures. However, if you don't have room on top of either of these appliances, you can use a standard heating pad, on low temperature, to warm the soil in your seed trays.

Put a layer of plastic wrap over the heating pad. Use the type that is microwaveable, as you know it will withstand heat.

Place the heating pad on a flat surface where you will be germinating your seeds.

Plug the heating pad directly into a wall outlet, and turn the setting to "low."

Lay a thin dish towel over the heating pad.

Set the seed trays on top of the heating pad and leave until the seeds have germinated.


Things You Will Need

  • Heating pad
  • Plastic
  • Towel


  • Be sure to check the moisture content of the soil by feeling it with your fingertips. With the seed tray on the heating pad, the soil can dry out more quickly.


  • Plug the heating pad directly into a wall outlet and not an extension cord. An extension cord can be a fire hazard.
  • Turn the heating pad off during the day if your plants are in a warm area of the house.
  • Insert your hand between the seed tray and the towel occasionally to make sure the towel is not getting too warm.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."