Prepping to use Wall O Water/ Hot Caps?

rwaldheimApril 24, 2007

I've bought some Wall O Water's to get my tomato plants in the ground earlier and wanted to know if anyone had a successful strategy for ensuring that plants don't die first night out. I've read all about hardening off - but with our changing temps, I've having a hard time getting plants outside on a daily basis to 'harden off'.

Some other gardeners at my urban garden have plants in the ground already and swear by the hot cap - but I'm wondering - do I need to warm the ground before I set up the Wall O Water.. or do I just continue trying to harden off my plants for another week and go for it?

I've grown my plants from seed and they're finally looking sturdy and tall enough to be outside.

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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Walls O Water are great, but that tomato still needs warm soil to develop its roots. I wouldn't plant until that soil temp is warm enough and then put the WOWs on to protect and nurture the plants. You can cheat the usual start time by a week or two, but I personally wouldn't get to antsy and try three or four weeks with WOWs. Maybe others have had better success with WOWs warming the soil and earlier starts, but I'd rather wait. Just my two pennies worth.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 1:10PM
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emagineer(z5 CO)

Have used them for years. But when I stopped into the nursery last week and asked about timing, the guy said now is fine. What he also told me, and I didn't know, is you should set them up a good 1 week ahead of time (depending upon our temps) to let the water warm which also warms the ground around them. Then plant.

Loving the good rain we are having today and only 2 1/2 weeks til MD. How great is that? All of us patient little souls. Ooops, I lied a bit.....looked out and it is snowing like crazy. Oh well.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 1:51PM
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gardengal_co(z5 CO)

The moisture is wonderful.. and now that the moisture is snow it reminds me why I am putting off getting anything into the ground.. cause every day I look out on my yard and see all these bare spots that are just begging for some plants and I tell myself, "no not yet, not yet, wait a little longer!!".

Last season I put things in too early, didn't kill everything, but stunted their growth.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 2:25PM
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spyfferoni(z/5 UT)

You can lay down clear plastic to warm the soil, and then after you plant with the WOW, you can mulch with a dark mulch that will absorb the heat. I know some people that go out every night and cover their tomato plants with a 5 gallon bucket with rock on top. I don't think I have that kind of patience or time.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 8:36PM
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I've used WOWs for years. I always set them up and let them sit over the hole for several days. I'll also admit that I've never hardened off my plants if they're going right inside the WOWs. I guess I've just always followed the directions on the package since I didn't know any better! haha The sun does wonders on the water and on the soil.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 9:20PM
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