A quick tip for veggie gardeners who are using Wall o’ Waters (or similar products) to get an early start on warm season vegetables. When it is windy (which, as you may have noticed, it is today), these handy protectors can occasionally topple over in a really strong gust. There is nothing more pitiful than the sight of your tomato being squished under a flattened Wall o’ Water. Go ahead and refill it by setting it off to the side around a bucket and adding water to the tubes again. Then pick it up and place it back over your plant (an assistant can be helpful). If needed prop up or even stake your poor dazed plant. Then, sink one or two bamboo stakes inside each of your Wall o’ Waters to help stabilize them. And if they do get blown or disturbed and lose water, at least they won’t flatten your precious plant! This is a step I seem to forget every year until I discover a flattened Wall o’ Water in my garden one morning (often this is due to a curious squirrel rather than the wind).
And finally, on these warmer days, don’t give in to the temptation to remove your Wall o’ Waters or other protectors just yet. We’re still getting down into the 40’s and sometimes 30’s at night. Instead, fill the tubes all the way up so that the protector has a wider opening at the top. This will provide more ventilation and still provide needed warmth at night.
Contributed by Carey Harrington, Colorado Master Gardener