This ingenious 18" tall device allows you to plant and harvest weeks earlier than you could otherwise. When placed around a plant and filled with water, you will have almost three gallons forming a protective wall around the plant. This water barrier works in three ways:
- It collects heat from the sun (even on cloudy days), stores it, and then releases it at night when it gets cold.
- The wall of water buffers and protects the plant from sub-freezing temperatures by freezing before the plant does.
- It offers shelter from cold winds that can easily damage delicate plant tissue.
Insulated Plant Protector has been designed to serve as a mini greenhouse. Its transparency allows the sun's rays in, but it's still strong enough stand up to the elements with multiple chambers for maximum stability.
- Easy-to-fill design requires no special assembly or tools – just a hose or watering can.
- Perfect for tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers and many other types of plants – especially the heat-loving kind.
- Allows you to plant tomatoes up to 6 weeks earlier than usual, meaning you can harvest that much earlier as well.
- Protects when overnight lows drop below freezing (32°F) and down to 16°F.
PREPARING YOUR SITE
Choose a site for planting that:
- Has maximum exposure to the sun – all day, if possible.
- Has fertile, loose and well-drained soil – amend the soil if necessary.
- Is covered with dark (black, if possible) mulch or plastic. This will allow the sun to heat up the soil for added protection.
SETTING UP YOUR INSULATED PLANT PROTECTOR
You can plant your tender plants as much as 6-8 weeks earlier than normal.
- After preparing the site and planting the plants, unfold your Insulated Plant Protector and form it into a circle with the open side up. TIP: If you place it around a 5-gal bucket, it may make filling easier.
- Using the Easy-Fill Top Trough, and supporting the cells as you go, use a hose or watering can to fill the cells with water. Move from one to the next, filling each cell no more than ⅓ full until each of the 18 cells is filled to approximately the same depth. Caution: If using a hose, adjust it to a low water flow for better control.
- Using both hands, carefully lift the Insulated Plant Protector and place it over the plant to be protected. Arrange the cells into a circle around the plant.
- Carefully increase the water level 2-3 inches at a time all the way around. Be careful not to unbalance the cells by raising the level too much in any one area, as this might cause it to tip over. Continue filling until the water level all the way around is about 1 inch below the top of the cells. Note: Sides are extended above the cells to facilitate filling. The extended sides also help to close the center opening on cold nights.
- Gently push the cells inward at the top so that "cone" is formed with only a small opening in the center.
- On very cold nights, especially if it is to stay cold for many hours, the top may be sealed closed temporarily using a rubber band. Be sure to remove the rubber band afterwards.
- On warm days, move cells to a wide open position for maximum air circulation. This will also allow the sun to hit the plant directly.
- The normal position is the cone position with the top open at the center, or with the film covering the hole on colder nights.
- Frequent collapse may be due to interference from wildlife or domestic pets. For added stability, create an internal support with plant stakes (tee-pee design allows you to open and close protector).
- When danger of coldest weather is past, cells may be filled completely to the top and the center can be left more open.
- After a snow, remove the snow from over and around the Insulated Plant Protector as soon as you can.
- Insulated Plant Protector is constructed of 18 individual cells. If one leaks down, it still maintains over 90% of its effectiveness.
REMOVING YOUR INSULATED PLANT PROTECTOR
- Remove from plant when all danger of frost has passed.
- Fold the top film down so that water can flow out of the top of the cells.
- Place your hands inside and outside cells and squeeze two-thirds of the water out of each cell all the way around.
- With both hands, lift the insulated Plant Protector off the plant.
- Remove all the water, fold it flat along the seams for storage (out of the sun) for years of continued use.
Storage: Fold flat along seams and store out of the sun when not in use.