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Kitchen Gardening

W.O.W…. What A Difference!

I had purchased some Wall O' Water plant protectors but never tried them out. With cold temperatures this past week, I had the makings of a "cool" experiment.

Well, it’s finally starting to get cold down here in North Texas (if you consider temperatures in the 30’s cold). Some areas of the state got their first snowfall of the year this week (including Houston of all places!).

I had rescued a couple of maverick tomato plants that had sprouted on their own from fallen tomatoes in late summer. I moved them into pots so I could bring them inside during the winter in the hopes of keeping them alive. I had purchased some Wall O’ Water plant protectors but never tried them out. It was at this point I had the makings of a “cool” experiment. I’ve been wanting to utilize these in my garden for years but never got around to it. My two tomato plants stepped up to the plate and volunteered.

I knew we were gonna get some cool weather this past week (snow forecasted for Friday), so I had a golden opportunity to see how good these things really were.

I set them up and filled them with water. Unless you have multiple arms, this was a chore. I discovered a trick, however. Tapping in three wooden stakes to hold it up allowed me to fill the chambers with water without it falling over.

The experiment was underway. For a week, I have recorded the temperatures inside and outside of the Wall O’ Water with a small plastic thermometer, once in the morning and again in the evening. The chart below illustrates the results. In a word, WOW!

The temperature inside was consistently 4-6 degrees Fahrenheit higher than outside. Plus, it shielded the plants from the biting wind.

Friday night was the ultimate test. It was expected to be in the upper 20’s by Saturday morning, and by now much of the other annual flowers and herbs I have in my beds have gotten severely damaged.

All bundled up, I walked out to the Wall O’ Waters early Saturday morning to find the water in most of the chambers frozen. Yes, FROZEN. To my amazement, both plants were undamaged.

So, I am convinced. These things are for real! I’m gonna continue watching what happens and making note of numbers. Now all I have to do is adjust my seed-starting schedule to allow for this newly-gained growing time. This is VERY exciting. It seems that the amount of time we have down here before it gets oppressively hot has decreased noticeably in the last few years. Being able to add a few weeks to the growing season, as the product advertises, will be huge.

Date & Time Outside W.O.W.* Inside W.O.W.*
11/29/2009 – 6:20 AM 40 44
11/29/2009 – 6:05 PM 46 50
 
11/30/2009 – 6:00 AM 39 42
11/30/2009 – 6:30 PM 41 46
 
12/01/2009 – 6:35 AM 32 35
12/01/2009 – 6:35 PM 38 43
 
12/02/2009 – 6:10 AM 40 45
12/02/2009 – 5:30 PM 49 54
 
12/03/2009 – 5:30 AM 32 36
12/03/2009 – 6:30 PM 36 40
 
12/04/2009 – 6:25 AM 29 33
12/04/2009 – 5:00 PM 40 43
 
12/05/2009 – 7:15 AM 28 32
12/05/2009 – 5:15 PM 39 43
 
12/06/2009 – 7:20 AM 37 42
12/06/2009 – 6:45 PM 45 48

*Numbers are degrees Fahrenheit

As I get more experienced using the Wall O’ Waters, I’ll post my findings.

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