We planted a roma and cherry tomato in our raised bed garden on May 2, 2015. These tomatoes had been grown from seed inside prior to that. We then placed the white evaporation cover which comes with the Waterboxx around the base of these and carefully placed the Waterboxx over the tomatoes, with the tomatoes poking out of the "Figure 8" central opening.
|Here you see a roma (left) and cherry (right) tomato planted in a raised bed on 5/2/15. The Groasis Waterboxx was placed over these and filled with 15 liters (~4 gallons) of water.|
Seventeen days passed between initial planting and the photograph above with a great deal of growth. We are already well ahead of where we have been in previous years and hope to have tomatoes within the next 3-4 weeks. As you can see, we have previously hung a string trellis behind the tomato plant and the raised bed. You will want to make sure any string trellis you hang is to the north of your garden beds to prevent blocking sunlight from reaching your plants (assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere).
On the evening of May 24, we checked the water level in our Waterboxx. It was going dry after 3 weeks without any significant rainfall. We received a very small amount of rain (less than 1/8 inch) the next morning, but this was enough to add over once inch of water to the Waterboxx reservoir. We do not plan to refill the Waterboxxes manually with water but will note here if we do. If the Waterboxx only has one wick, it generally will not need refilled during an entire growing season, but these Waterboxxes have 2 wicks.
Over the next few days, we received about 1 inch of rain. This has kept the Waterboxx from drying out. We did not add any water to the Waterboxx reservoir.
|The Roma (left) and Super Sweet 100 (right) tomato plants, completely covering the Waterboxx at their base on June 18, 2015. No water has been given these plants since early May when the Waterboxx was placed.|
|Roma tomatoes on June 30, with no Water added after planting with the Groasis Waterboxx PlantCocoon®|
|The Sweet 100 Tomatoes on June 30 - no water added after planting with the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®|
In early July we had a series of severe storms here in Indiana which did damage our tomato plants somewhat even though they were in a protected location. This storm did destroy our roma tomato plant, but less than 5% of our cherry tomato (Sweet 100) plant.
We have harvested 1544 cherry tomatoes in total this year Although this variety of cherry tomatoes is renowned for splitting if not picked in time, we had less than 1% of our cherry tomatoes split because the Waterboxx provides such consistent moisture.
|Our final harvest of cherry tomatoes grown with the Waterboxx. We harvested 1544 cherry tomatoes this year from one plant, which was never watered after Waterboxx set up (and initial filling with 4 gallons of water).|
If you would like to learn how to grow plants without watering with the Waterboxx, the best resource is the book The Waterboxx Gardener: How to Mimic Nature, Stop Watering, and Start Enjoying Your Garden available here on Amazon.com.