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DIY Wall o' Water to Protect Your Tomato Seedlings

DIY Wall o' Water

If you’ve been following us, you know that our Colorado homestead is in USDA planting Zone 5B, which has a short growing season. This makes growing tomatoes to maturity a challenge without a greenhouse. However, our unique DIY Wall O’ Waters have been a game-changer. They allow us to place our seedlings out nearly a full 30 days before the last frost date of June 1st. Intrigued? Read on to discover the secret behind our success!

Wall o' Water

What is a Wall o’ Water?

Ever heard of a Wall O' Water? It's not just a fancy name. It's a cylindrical row of plastic designed to be filled with water. This powerful gardening tool creates a warm microclimate around seedlings, shielding them from frost damage. The magic happens when it absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night. It can protect your plants from temperatures as low as 16°F, allowing you to start planting six to eight weeks earlier. 

So, now you may be asking, well, why not just buy one? There are a few reasons. First, the factory that originally produced them was burnt down a few years ago and never rebuilt, making them difficult to find. Second, even the off-brand versions tend to be fairly expensive. That’s why we came up with a simple DIY version that has worked perfectly for us for years. 

DIY Wall o' Water

How to Make a DIY Wall o’ Water

This is less of a tutorial and more of an idea generator. Our first year on the homestead was plagued by well issues, and we ended up in a pinch, having to buy bottled water. But rather than let those bottles go to waste, we saved them up and used them to create DIY Wall o’ Waters! 

The process is relatively simple. All that needs to be done is to fill your bottles with water (we used water from our rain barrels) and place them in a ring around your seedlings. To keep the bottles from shifting or tipping, we used baling wire to secure them around our plants. 

The bottles stay in place until about a week after our expected last frost date and then get stored for use the following year. Most of our bottles have been in use for several years. If a bottle degrades or gets punctured, we simply replace it with a new one. 

Wishing you a Successful Gardening Season

The joy and nourishment our garden brings me each season is like no other. Sure, not every year is a success, and it’s possible I’ve killed more plants along the way than I’d like to admit. But each year brings new lessons and renewed joy. If you use Wall o’ Waters or other season extenders in your garden, tell us all about them in the comments below.  We wish you a successful gardening season, and as always, until next time,

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DIY Wall o' Water

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