It’s only the middle of March, but we have had a week with no freezing nights, and the temperatures have been in the 70’s the last couple of days. To me, that always signals that it is time to start planting.
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I purchased tomato seedlings from our local garden store. I put them in the raised bed in the middle back of the yard, where they will get plenty of sun and are in a good topsoil/potting soil mix.
Since there is still a possibility that the temperatures will dip down close to freezing or at freezing, I am putting a tomato teepee around many of them. I have not used this product before, so I will let you know how they work for me.
Insulating Tomato Teepees Protect Tomatoes from Frost
A tomato teepee is a red plastic cylinder composed of multiple plastic tubes (think sheeting, not hard plastic – it comes shipped flat and folded up). You position the teepee around the tomato, and begin filling each vertical tube with water. Form the tube into a “teepee” shape with the top mostly closed to keep in the heat. The water supports the teepee.
How It Works
The sun heats the water in each cylinder, which is then reradiated back to the plant during the night. This keeps the temperature inside the tomato teepee warmer than the outside air. The makers of this product even promise that if the water inside the tubes freezes, your plants are still protected. The red coloring of the translucent plastic allows light to penetrate the tomato teepee, so that photosynthesis is possible.
After reading the package details on this product, I could have started my tomato plants a lot earlier outside. The makers even recommend using your tomato teepee to thaw frozen soil before planting! Perhaps next year I will start some seeds indoors and get them into the ground much earlier. This year, I’m just looking to protect plants from a last chance of frost.
My tomato teepees are made by Bonadea Gardens and appear to be sturdy and do not leak. They were easy to set up. Our first freeze after I planted the tomatoes is supposed to be tonight.
- I definitely recommend placing a bucket or something inside the tube when filling it to help provide some support until the tubes are all filled up and can support themselves.
- It’s easier to make a teepee structure if you don’t fill the tubes all the way up to the top.
Where to buy: You can get them here: Buy Red Tomato Teepees