PHOTO OF THE WEEK, Mulch Magic

Marilyn was reading some off-the-wall hype about how red plastic mulch under tomatoes will make them grow better and faster. I, of course, dismissed it as nonsense.
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: http://schmidling.com/pow.htm
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I am also using the red mulch for the first time this year and I have to say I am impressed. The plants are stockier, somehow, greener, and there is absolutely no sign of blight, which is a huge problem for me. I'm on the way to being a true believer, let's see how July and August progress with it.
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Jack Schmidling wrote:

The row along the fence looks to have nothing under it but vegetation. In fact, the whole patch looks lush with grass and weeds with significant encroachment on the un-red mulched row. And that's not examining the grass on the outside of the fence. Under the circumstances, I don't see that the positive benefits of red mulch argument has any validity in this case, as you are essentially comparing apples and oranges.
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Your comparison is skewed, you are making your unmulched plants compete with weeds. I would suggest had you kept your unmulched plants cultivated of weeds they would have equaled or surpassed the plants surrounded by red plastic sheeting. Actually any medium that prevents air and moisture from penetrating does not qualify as mulch, that's simply a plastic barrier. I would also suggest that since your red plastic is not in direct contact with the ground it also does not qualify as mulch. You should be embarrassed to present your weed patch as a vegetable garden.
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Sheldon wrote:

Agreed but still not a useless experiment.

That's just a guess with nothing to back it up.

I agree but check your seed catalogs... they all call it mulch so I went along with it.
> You should be embarrassed to present your weed

Those are your words. It is an experimental plot to see the effect of mulch. We have about 20 tomatoes planted in a proper garden.
If nothing else, it proves that "mulch" eliminates the hassle of weeding.
It was also pointed out by Ann that it might have an effect on blight which is the biggest loss we have in tomatoes. We used to stop picking at frost time. Now we stop when the plants die, which is weeks before frost.
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mean we feed plants?
mulch would be anything that facilitates the mycorrhizae.
The best thing you could use to keep so-called weeds down is composted leaves. Leaves have many benefits as mulch. here is some info on using leaf. Jim has passed away though. Sad. http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/bradley/index.html
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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symplastless wrote:

Sure. You should see my Snapdragons gobble up iron bars. When they are very young I pulverize it, mix with water and use a doll sized baby bottle. But only after putting a drop on my wrist to make sure it isn't too hot.
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: http://schmidling.com/pow.htm
Astronomy, Beer, Cheese, Fiber,Gems, Sausage,Silver http://schmidling.com
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