This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, March 19, 2010


My new Wall-O-Water tomatoes shelters arrived yesterday. I'm hoping to get them set up very soon. The direction say to set them up, then wait 1 week, then put the tomatoes in. Don't know if I have that much patience. And since I have too many early tomatoes (7 seedlings), I think I'll try planting one a day starting right away.

My regular tomato planting time is next week - 6 weeks before my last frost.



Blogger Kelly said...

I would find it challenging to plant inside the W.O.W. if it the same kind that I use.....especially tomatoes since we tend to plant them a little more deeply (or sideways)....not very much room to work in there!

March 19, 2010 8:34 AM

Anonymous Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Let them warm the ground good. Try to be patient. It is possible to lift them off their spot to plant and then return. Good weight training!

March 19, 2010 11:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever found that planting this early actually benefits you? If the air and soil is too cold, the plants will just sit there kind of dormant until things warm up (assuming they don't get killed by frost in the meantime).

I'm of the opinion that there's not much benefit to planting tomatoes early. They'll start growing when the time is right whether you plant them early or not. However, I'm totally jealous of your frost date. I have much much longer to wait than you.

March 19, 2010 12:19 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I have not yet found a benefit to planting tomatoes early, but I am ever hopeful.

Last year I planted a few seeds early also (10 weeks before last frost) and the plants were bigger when I planted them out in May but still got tomatoes at the same time as the plants I started 6 weeks before the last frost.

This is the first year I have tried WOWs and the advice from Paul is that it works great to give earlier tomatoes. We'll see.

I'll still plant most of my tomatoes at 6 weeks before the last frost.

March 19, 2010 12:39 PM

Blogger Thomas said...

Hey Kathy, just wondering if your community garden plot was still flooded. We still have a lot of standing water here in Methuen.

March 19, 2010 7:49 PM

Blogger Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've used Wall-o-water for years, and I'm impatient too! I never wait a week, I think you'll be fine. It really makes all the difference being able to set tomato seedlings out in March.

March 19, 2010 7:53 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Thomas, We are all drained in the gardens. Not so in the woods - lots of wetlands this year. Hope you drain soon. We certainly are having nice weather now!

Thanks for the note Curbstone. I'm looking forward to planting tomatoes in March. Amazing.

March 19, 2010 9:34 PM

Anonymous Corrina said...

Good for you! Now I am thinking of trying them again. We used them at our old house, but they did not make the move out to suburbia with us. I have a ridiculous number of early tomato seedlings. Oops! I don't think my husband waited a week, but I don't think he ever started as early as March!

Good luck and keep us posted.

March 19, 2010 10:00 PM

Blogger Kelly said...

Setting tomatoes out early can make a difference, or at least starting them earlier indoors can. Following the advice of a gardening book last year I had June tomatoes (out very early under W.O.W etc.), which was perfect being that blight eventually ruined all.

This year I am starting later, I just don't have the room to house large tomatoes indoors under lights.

March 20, 2010 7:44 AM

Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

Kathy ... I feel responsible here. So, here is the deal. If your ground is reasonably warm (as ours is given the temps recently) then you can plant sooner. If you want to be a little more cautious, soak the soil with hot water and wait a few hours until it all comes into balance.

In May, when everyone is setting out new plants, you will be taking off your walls with plants that are pushing out the tops of the W.o W. and will have lots of blossoms on them. If you do an early tomato, you will have them by the 4th.

Good luck.


March 22, 2010 10:20 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I have realized it will take me a little while yet to prepare the soil of my tomato bed. And I will wait until this bed has full sun - its still partly shaded by the neighboring house still. So I will probably wait a at least a week or two yet to plant my early tomatoes.

March 22, 2010 10:51 AM


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