The role of heating cables in soil heating

All kinds of crops do not grow in all types of soil. Some plants required cold soil, whereas some require warm to very hot soil. This is why a soil heating cable is essential for the sprouting of offseason seeds. These cables, when inserted in the soil, help in heating the soil to the requisite temperature, which in turn increases the speed of germination of the seeds.
A soil heating cable is essentially an electrical wire that is concealed with multiple layers of water to be resistant material. It can be made short or long, depending on the area of the soil that has to be heated, and is inserted inside the soil in such a way that it does not cause any electrical shock. It can also be made with or without an inbuilt thermostat.
Why does soil need heating?
The growth of plants is highly dependent on the temperature of the soil. The temperature of the soil will determine how easily the plants can absorb the nutrients and water from the soil. It would also determine the rate of germination of the seeds because seeds take a long time to germinate in cold and wet soil.
Dry and sandy soils do not have any water in them, and thus they do not take much time in heating up. And once heated, it increases the speed of the chemical reactions, and also increases the speed with which the microbes work in the soil. The growth and strength of the roots also depend on the warmth of the soil. Thus, a soil heating cable becomes very important for cold, wet soils, and in adverse climatic conditions.
Advantages of using a soil heating cable
One of the biggest benefits of using a soil heating cable with an in-built thermostat is that it is not required to monitor the temperature of the soil constantly. The cable can be inserted into the soil with a pre-set temperature, and the cable will automatically stop heating once the temperature is reached. Another advantage is that since the cable is inserted inside the soil, it is not subject to a lot of erosion, and thus is much more resilient than other machines that are used above the ground.
A soil heating cable also heats the soil much more evenly as compared to other machines. Thus, even small edges and portions of soil that may be concealed by stones or fodder get heated at the same temperature. Moreover, it is a very low maintenance product because it requires minimal cleaning and takes up minimal storage space since it can be curled up and kept anywhere.
Disadvantages of using a soil heating cable
The major reason for not using a soil heating cable is that it is much more expensive as compared to other heating mechanisms. In addition to the cost of the material, the electricity cost can also be very high for heating cold soils. A soil heating cable also runs the risk of being chewed and nibbled up by rodents. This will not only spoil the cable but can also kill the rodents with an electric shock.
Some people have also experienced that since a soil heating cable is inserted inside the soil and cannot be seen easily, farmers tend to forget taking them out from the soil even after the heating process is over. As a result, sometimes, the cable gets cut at the time of shoveling.
How to use a soil heating cable
A soil heating cable has a plugin point at one end that needs to be plugged into a socket to start the heating process. First, the cable has to be inserted into the soil and coiled up in such a way that no two sections are touching each other. Thereafter it has to be covered with the soil so that it is no longer noticeable. If the cable has a thermostat, then the temperature to be reached has to be set in it. If there is no thermostat, then a separate thermostat has to be placed in the soil as well.
Once the thermostat is set, the plug can be turned on, and the heating process starts. After the entire cycle of heating is over at the end of the season, the cable is taken out of the soil, cleaned, and stored safely for use in the next season.

Leave a Reply