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Wall O Water season extender

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Wall O Water season extender

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/15/2011, 11:11 pm

I'm trying three Wall O Water season extenders on the first tomato plants set out this spring, all of which are short-season tomatoes to begin with. (see wall o water forms here: http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/extras/53birdbath1.php ) Have any of you used these? If so, was it a benefit? I'm concerned about the open tops of the water-filled tubes, will mosquitos use them to lay eggs in? If that's a possibility, anyone have ideas on keeping mosquito larvae out of the tubes? Fine wedding veil material doubled over the tops? Some larva-killing compound introduced into the water? Any idea will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  westie42 on 5/16/2011, 12:25 am

I have three that are several years old and they work to some extent. May gain a week or two on tomatoes. Never noticed a mosquito problem in mine but you probably could put a little cooking oil in the tubes to smother mosquitos larva.

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  shannon1 on 5/16/2011, 3:01 am

I used the home made version (lg. clear soda bottles filled with water) to suround plants no chance of bug growth that way, since there was no acess to the water. Wink
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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/16/2011, 10:24 am

Brilliant! Thanks to both Westie and Shannon. You've solved my problem and given me a great new idea. Hmmmm, suppose one could use empty wine bottles like the water bottles?

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  MCard on 5/16/2011, 3:38 pm

I haven't done an official experiment (meaning: one plant inside the wall o water and one left defenseless as the 'control') but would share that I have been able to put plants out earlier and have them survive less-than-ideal weather. I take the 'waterwings' off when the plant starts peeking out the top, or when the weather reaches comfortable temps predictably. As I live in the Pacific NW, most often it's when the plant peeks out the top... Wink

I had the same initial reservations regarding mosquitos, but have not had any trouble.

Love the waterwings!

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/16/2011, 3:49 pm

Thanks, MCard, I appreciate your input. So far, I have three plants in Wall O Waters, and the fourth out in the elements. Think I'll leave it that way to see if there is a difference. Will use the remaining 4 WOWs when I set out the next batch of tomato plants next week. Will be interesting to see if they make a difference. Oh, BTW, the plants I have outside now are all short-season varieties: Slava, Glacier and Gregorie's Altai.

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  MCard on 5/16/2011, 11:14 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Oh, BTW, the plants I have outside now are all short-season varieties: Slava, Glacier and Gregorie's Altai.

I can understand your reasoning! I also made my tomato selections based on how many days they take to bear fruit. Given our spring thus far, and last year's not-so-stellar summer, I think we'll be lucky to get 60-70 days of tomato-friendly weather!

Crossing fingers!

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Wall O Water

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/16/2011, 11:29 pm

We were gone for four days over the weekend, and totally surprised at the leap the vegetables had taking in such a short time. Just a few mostly sunny days worked wonders.....and gave me hope. The four 'maters outside were not sulking and the flower buds they had set when inside were holding fast. Best of luck to you in your Seattle weather. Looks like you, too, may have some sunbreaks later this week. Forgot to ask, MCard, what varieties DID you choose?

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  MCard on 5/17/2011, 10:45 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:what varieties DID you choose?

We have Sweet Million every year, but try new plants as well. The new ones for us this year are Sweet Tangerine, Sungold and Patio Princess. Each year I have a debate with myself over whether I want to deal with indeterminates (I'm short!). This year it looks like I'm balanced -- two determinates, two indeterminates.

We buy our tomato plants at the Master Gardener Foundation plant sale at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. In the case of tomatoes, the plants are actually started by some of the MGs -- which feels good. They offer a great selection of early season (although I found most of them were 70-80 days) and cherry tomatoes, but also some novelty plants that can be quite enjoyable to grow.

Hoping for some nice warm weather!

MCard

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/17/2011, 12:20 pm

Bet you really fall in love with the Sungolds! They have done well here in St. Helens, and are generous with really delicious fruit. They've never grown too tall for us, though I've never put them on a trellis like that in the SFG book. Sweet Tangerine sounds intriguing. Have you tasted it before?

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Re: Wall O Water season extender

Post  MCard on 5/17/2011, 3:32 pm

Very good to hear that Sungold won't be "the tomato plant that ate Cleveland". We had one last year that grew like crazy (not much fruit, but the green branches grew successfully). It was a little overwhelming. In fact, I just hopped back on the forums now over lunch to find the thread about tomato pruning. I think a video link had been included, which was interesting.

Sweet Tangerine is new to me as well. It was my pick from the Master Gardeners' "Novelty" list.

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