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A homemade Germination Chamber

Written by Phil Napoli & Søren Larsen.


Jim Bruce write:

-- Most seed species prefer a diurnal temperature variation when actual germination proceeds, and Vitis is no different.  We found that a 20/30C (68/86F) diurnal variation was optimum for Vitis germination under our laboratory conditions for speedy germination and high percentage of germination.  Although, Vitis will germinate at 15/25C, it is much slower and often doesn't obtain the highest germination percentage.-- 

Søren Larsen write:

I have made a box-model chamber also, but my box is design only to the "Petri-dish" germination process.( Go to "Grape seed treatment and germination by Peter Cousins")  Phil's box model seems to have a more all-round use. I'm a little disappointed; we do not have this tray system here in Denmark.

Phil Napoli write:

This spring I found myself with quite a few seeds to germinate (a lot really) and after reading everyone's posts and especially Jim Bruce's I set out to make a germination chamber.   My wife wandered in the door from a Pamida shopping trip with what we both recognized was a perfect chamber to hone my novice skills on. 

This thing looks like an under the bed storage box by Rubbermaid and is called a Wrap N Craft Storage Box. 


It holds 10.5 gals and is 36" X 15" X 6" and has two removable trays in the top to hold your ribbons and bows in while storing you wrappings in the bottom and the cost is $12.95.


I placed it on a water bed heater and put 2" of water in the bottom.  I put my seeds on filter paper in the trays along with a electronic thermometer which has an alarm. 

Click on the Picture for better resolution.


I have a Fluorescent shop light set on the top and plugged the mat and light into a timer. 


We also used an old quilt for insulating but when using the light one needs to take care.  It works great 30 C. during the day and 20 C. at night (room temp.) with a very humid atmosphere. My seeds were first soaked in peroxide, half for 48 hrs. and half for 3hrs.  The long soaked seeds popped 10 to 1 over the short soaked.

My experience so far with this chamber and with the long and short soaks in peroxide is that the germination rate is 10 to 1 the first week in the box and after a few weeks this tends to even out to 3 to 1 which is still very good.

What I love about this dumb box is that it is cheap and the system can be used for germination, callusing, propagating cuttings and starting tender plants.  I can't wait to try it on green cuttings.


Phil Napoli