Walls O Water and Broccoli
So I tried a new thing this year, Walls of Water. Basically, this is a product that allows you to plant your tender and very tender vegetables earlier, offering them some protection. It is like a circle of tubes that you fill with water. The water collects energy and heat from the sun and warms the soil and air around the plant.
I bought two kinds, the original Walls O Water, and another kind.
In the original one, all the little tubes to fill with water are the same size. In the other kind, there were a couple of super skinny tubes on each side, which made them harder to fill. The trade off–the other kind were not connected all the way to the top, creating a trough that made it easier to fill. Both worked equally well, as far as I can tell.
This is what they look like. I put my tomato cages around them to protect them from little boys. 🙂 When it’s really cold, you push out a little water and make them like a tee-pee. This really keeps the warm air inside. But when the sun shines and temps rise, be sure to open them up or they fry the plants.
Here’s a look inside. You can see the tubes with water (turning green from the sun) and the tomato plant growing happily.
I just started taking my walls away, since the weather has improved and the tomatoes started growing out the top!
This cherry tomato plant is the only one on the east side, which gets full afternoon sun. I think the walls of water made it too hot, and fried it. This plant would have been better off without the walls.
But then check out this tomato plant. The squares on the cage are 6″ apart, so it’s easy to see that this plant is 18-24″ tall. Considering I’m in week 3 and would normally just be planting my tomatoes outside, the walls gave me a significant head start. You can see my radishes growing nearby–I harvested two and more will be ready soon!
Here is my “spring” garden bed–filled with peas, cilantro, lettuce, and broccoli. The broccoli looks great, doesn’t it? Well, look again:
I’ve got HUGE plants (taking up 4 squares) and not a stick of broccoli. For comparison, this is where I was last year with broccoli:
The plants were much smaller, but already had small heads of broccoli on them. I’m pretty sure I know what the problem is. Most plants have a window of time to transplant them, and I missed it. Instead of starting these from seed according to my schedule, I had a chance to buy some transplants early in the season. That was great, but I had to keep them inside for several weeks (almost a month) and by the time I got them planted they had missed the window. I will probably pull these up and plant something else in the space instead.
And here’s a quick snapshot of my peppers and potatoes. The peppers look a little yellow and sad–I’m going to add egg shell water today, as well as fertilizer. The potatoes are great–I already covered them up with more dirt.