Wall of Waters 101

I think Wall of Waters are one of the best early season aids for tomatoes and peppers in cooler areas of the country acting like little greenhouses keeping the plants warm at night, protecting them from our ferocious winds in spring and for getting a great head start for growth but they can be hard to put up around the plants especially if you are trying to do it yourself. I have another post addressing what amendments I use when planting  and how to plant tomatoes  but this primer is about wall of waters. You can still use wall of waters right now as the nights are still very cool for tomatoes and peppers.

1wow begin by watering

Here is the planted tomato with a big well around it. If the well isn’t big enough than the wall of water will sit lopsided. (I still had to put the drip line around the plant BEFORE I put the wall of water on it). Notice the green wall of water on the ground and the 5 gallon bucket. Some tomatoes are too tall for the bucket so I cut off the bottom of this 5 gallon bucket, first using a drill bit to drill a hole big enough so my sawzall tool could get inside and cut off the circular bottom. The bucket can go over the plant without smashing it over tall tomatoes.

2wow placing over bucketPut the bucket over the plant and then slide the wall of water (henceforth known as WOW) over the bucket.

3wow waterer

Another great tool for filling the WOWs is this watering wand. I like this one because it has an on-off switch and a lever for control of how fast the water comes out. Here I took off the end so it will fit easily inside each cell. (this is my favorite gardening shoe-can you tell-well worn?!!)

4wow-begin filling

Now put the wand into each ‘cell’ and fill with water. The 5 gallon bucket will keep the WOW from falling on the plant.

5fill cells each side

Fill a couple of cells, then go to the OPPOSITE side and fill a couple of cells and do this on all 4 sides instead of starting on one cell and going around where it will have a tendency to collapse. This will help the WOW to stand up better as you fill up the cells.

6wow finished

After filling all the cells, reach in a pull the 5 gallon bucket out and the WOW will now support itself. A perfect little greenhouse. But sometimes…

7wow REPAIRED

a cell will get a hole and leak after the WOW is a few years old. This is a problem as the WOW needs every cell  full to support itself, so…

8wow replacement cell

So you can buy replacement cells or make your own. Just take that leaky WOW and cut some good cells out of it for use as replacement cells for other leaky WOWs.

9wow installing rep cell

Take your replacement cell and fold it lengthwise in half as shown and slide it into the cell where the water leaked out.

10wow w replacement cell

Then fill up the replacement cell with water and it will hold up that cell. Now one last thing…

11wow finished with stakes

I put 3 bamboo stakes inside the WOW’s right next to the walls and make a tee-pee out of them and tie them together at the top in case the WOW wants to collapse from the wind, the tee-pee will hold the WOW up so it doesn’t crush the plant. These plants have been inside the WOWs for a while and I will take off the WOWs now. Just grab the WOW on opposite sides and pull them off the plant and dump the water back in the wells.

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2 comments on “Wall of Waters 101

  1. Bridget says:

    Thanks so much for the tips. You don’t know how many times my WOW’s have collapsed whilst filling because I just didn’t have enough hands. Also, loved the replacement cell idea! Smart!

  2. This is very helpful information for a newby. I also have learned a few things along the way — the bucket goes upside down. :) Also where I live here it can be very windy often. So I put a tomato cage over the plant first — then wall of water. It won’t close at the top anymore so I use blankets over rows of them if needed. I have been doing this for several years, but do you think I thought of using the cages to prop up the wall of water for the peppers? Not until I saw this post. Taking the bucket off the wall always gets my sleeves soaked. This year I will use a cage to hold them up while filling. I don’t put cages on my peppers, because I need those walls to stay closed. I usually plant a few tomato on the downwind side of the peppers to act as a windbreak and plant them in clusters. I haven’t had many half full walls fall down. Also I don’t take the walls off the tomatoes during the season because it routinely gets down to the 50s at night here and danger of frost starts up again about August 25.

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