The Q&A Archives: Tomato

Question: Actually my question is regarding a Burpee product. I want to get either the Automator or the Wall O' Water for my tomatoes. I would like to know how the Automator works with staking up the plant. From the picture in the catalogue, page 90, it doesn't look staked and I know from the past if mine are not staked they are on the ground. So I was wondering if the Wall O' Water is better as it looks like it supports the plant up better.

Answer: The reason why you don't see a stake or cage with the Wall o Water is because it is usually needed when the plant is still very young, early in the season, to protect it from cold temperatures and frost damage. At that point in the season, the plantis still small and most gardeners haven't staked or caged their tomatoes yet. The wall of water is generally removed after all danger of frost and cold temperatures have completely passed, the tomato is then staked or caged as usual. The Wall o Water provides the small amount of support the young plant needs until permanent support is given in addition to temperature protection. The Automator is more of a protection against cutworms. It remains in place throughout the season and would be at the base of your staked or caged plant. It has the added benefit of acting as a mulch to keep weeds at bay and helps control feeding and watering. The Automator would not enable you to set plants out sooner as the Wall o Water would.

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