How to Make a Simple Incubator for Germination





Introduction: How to Make a Simple Incubator for Germination

For many people getting seeds to germinate is one of the hardest things to do in the world of gardening.
This simple incubator not only makes germination easy, it provides a springboard into hydroponics as the plant will not have any soil-borne diseases.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Black plastic (I used Panda Film but this regular is fine)
Foam fruit box
Tape (I used masking tape but duct tape is better)
Small fish tank heater (this can picked up for around $20 AUD)
Seedling tray (any kind so long as it fits in the box)


Step 2: Line the Box

Line the inside of the box fill it about 3/4 of the way up. with water.
Then tape down the edges.

Step 3: Set Temperature & Insert Heater

The temperature for germination varies form plant to plant but you can find a good guide to seed germination temperatures here.
For tomatoes we set it to 26 degrees C (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Then place the heater on the bottom of the box with the suction cups facing down.

Step 4: Second Skin

Place a second piece of plastic into the box so it is just touching the top of the water. Then tape the edges down.

Step 5: Put in the Tray

Place the seedling tray into the box then fill each compartment with the Perlite.
WARNING: Perlite is made of silica, DO NOT breath in the dust!

Step 6: Plant the Seeds

Plant one (1) seed into each of the tray's compartments and then turn on the heater. To keep the heat in place a small sheet of black plastic over the top. Once the seeds have sprouted this is not necessary. All that is left to do is wait until the plants are big enough to transfer into either a hydroponics setup or a regular soil garden patch.

That's all for now,



  • First Time Author Contest 2018

    First Time Author Contest 2018
  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
  • Gluten Free Challenge

    Gluten Free Challenge

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




What are the brown rocks on top of the perlite surrounding the seeds in the images of the last step?

Vermiculite, a mineral substrate that holds more moisture than perlite.

Vermiculite, a mineral substar

Does it really work with the the heater below the tray?

We don't have panda film where I come from. Is there any alternative to the panda film? Is panda films heat resistant?


It is interesting, I would like to make one.

any idea how to get the instruction to make it?


I like the way that this solves moisture, humidity, heat, and most difficult- temperature control, with the use of something as cheap as an aquarium heater. this is definitely the way I am going to go. I've seen something similar using a large, insulated enclosure with seed trays in it, and a pan of water at the bottom with a thermostatic heater in.

very good guide i like it...
Thank you

very good guide i like it...
Thank you