Season Starter™

Season Starter™ surrounds your tender young plant with almost 3 gal. of water which protects the plant in 3 ways:

1. Allows heat from the sun (even on cloudy days) to be stored and released at night when the temperature falls.

2. Shelters young plants from chilling winds that can quickly destroy it.

3. The enormous mass of water stored in Season Starter buffers and protects it from sub-freezing temperatures by slowly freezing before the plant even feels the cold. When water freezes, it releases 80 calories of heat per gram of water, which keeps the plant warm when it is freezing outside.

Preparing your site: Choose a site for planting that:

- Has a maximum exposure to the sun - all day if possible.

- Has fertile, loose, and well-drained soil (amend the soil if needed).

- Is covered with dark (black, if possible) mulch. Or use black plastic or the Gardeneer® Tomato Tray™ instead. This will allow the sun to heat up the soil to give you extra protection.

Setting up your Season Starter™: (See Fig 1-Open Position).

- After preparing the site and planting your plants, unfold Season Starter and form it into a circle with the open side up.

- Using the Easy-Fill Top Trough, support the cells as you go, and use a hose or watering can to fill the cells, moving from one to the next, filling each no more than 1/3 full until each of the cells is filled to approximately the same depth. Tip: Adjust the hose to a low water flow for better control.

- Using both hands, carefully lift the Season Starter and place it over the plant to be protected. Arrange the cells into a circle around the plant.

- Carefully increase the water level 2 or 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 a "cone" is formed with only a small opening in the center.

(See Fig. 2-Closed Position)

Removing your Season Starter: After all danger of frost is past, Season Starter may be removed.

- 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 Season Starter off of the plant.

- Remove all the water, fold it flat along the seams for storage (out of sun) for years of continued use.

NOTES:
Helps protect tender plants to 16 degrees F. Season Starter is constructed of 18 individual cells. If one leaks down, it still maintains over 90% of its effectiveness.
For Best Results:
- 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 afterwards. If an extreme condition is predicted, such as a cold front moving in that may keep the temperature very cold for long hours, adding any kind of insulation would help immensely - however this is usually not necessary.

- On warm days, move cells to a wide-open position for maximum air circulation. This also will allow the sun to hit the plant directly, which is desirable. Don't forget to close it if the night is to be in the 30's or lower.

- The normal position is the cone position with the top open at the center, or with the film covering the hole on colder nights.

- When danger of coldest weather is past, cells may be filled completely to the top, and the center can be left more open.

- The plant will eventually grow up above the top of the Season Starter. The top part of the plant, then, may not be protected by an extra-late frost. However, the frost will only damage the part of the plant that is outside, but will not harm the part of the plant that is inside which will continue to grow normally.

- After a snow, remove the snow from over and around Season Starter as soon as you can. Exception: If snow is accompanied by extraordinarily cold temperatures, snow is an effective temporary insulator.