Tag Archives: water

Can Milk Jugs Help Grow Tomatoes?

Well, I’m trying something new in my greenhouse this year – milk jugs. Yup, milk jugs. Here’s the theory… All along my row of tomato plants are old milk jugs full of water. All day long the sun warms up the water in those jugs. According to science, water holds heat better than air. So when it gets cool at night, the air in my greenhouse will cool off much quicker than the water in the milk jugs. Thus, the heat in the milk jugs will slowly release through the night – heating the air around them. That means my tomatoes stay warmer longer. It’s kinda like a heat battery for greenhouses. The more milk jugs of water, the more heat is saved up all day and released all night.

So does it work? Well, I can’t really say yet. When I did my first thermometer test, the temperature on the ground six inches from the a milk jug was 0.6 degrees warmer than the temperature at knee height three feet away. So if warm air rises, the knee height should have been warmer. Tonight I’m going to take a another temperature test – one near and one away from the jugs – this time both at knee height. I’ll try to keep you posted.

I still need to seal up my greenhouse a little better so the warm air has a harder time sneaking out at night, so it’s hard to say if the milk jugs are really doing much good. But I’m pretty sure they aren’t hurting anything – at least my tomatoes aren’t complaining…. Take  a look!

Tomato Clusters

Nice, huh? Here’s another shot…

Heat Batteries

Has anyone else tried something like this? How has it worked?

Update September 28: Last night the temperature dropped to -4.7° C. Inside the greenhouse on the far side away from the jugs the temperature dropped to 0.2° C. But near the milk jugs the temperature got no lower than 2.3° C. So, I’m impressed.

Yellow Leaves On Your Seedlings?

Over the past few days I’ve noticed two things. First, my cucumber seedlings have a tendency to die for some reason. Secondly, many of my plants have a growing yellow tint. Some tiny spots on the leaves have gone brown. Like this…

Yellow Leaves on my pumpkin seedlings

This hadn’t happened in the two previous years of starting seedlings indoors, so I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong.
So I did a little research on the internet and it wasn’t hard to find the answer. It was… lack of fertilizer. As I was reading several articles that explained this to me, I realize that I had neglected to fertilize my seedlings this year! So, today I gave them a healthy dose of fertilizer (though I was tempted to do extra, I refrained…). We’ll see how long it takes for them to recover and if my problem was actually what I think it was.

If you’ve got a more accurate understanding of the problem, let me know!