OK I'm starting to think about how Im going to start pepper seeds in February. I recently learned that C. Chinense species should be started earlier than C. Annuum so I'm thinking of starting them on GroundHOG Day.
One of my issues last year was that I couldn't get the soil temp high enough even with the heating mat. Someone was extolling the virtues of 2nd-hand warming trays that caterers use for starting pepper seeds, so I was thinking about looking around, but then I thought ...hmmm, my glass top range has an element called "warming zone" that I never use, I wonder how hot that gets and if it would use too much power or could cause a fire or something if I tried leaving that on....?
Assume I would put something like a canning or cooling rack above the element, then an old oven tray, then the seeds either planted in soil and covered with a dome or in little seed baggies (I came across a new idea I want to try -- she germinates hers at around 80-85Â°F).
Current alternative I'm considering is to put the heating mat in the bottom of a smallish/low storage tub by cutting a hole for the plug and cord near the bottom. A small hole on the lid in the opposite corner should provide a bit of airflow.