Cool Member
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: North Carolina

Mulching tomatoes

I just put some plants in the ground today and was wondering if putting mulch around them helps?

I have seen in pictures where people use hay, is this a good way to do it? Or would it cause weeds?

i also read somewhere that pinestraw is good for strawberries but not tomatoes? I guess becaus of the acid in pine needles?

Any input?


User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Yes mulch is very helpful to tomatoes. Helps keep the soil moisture more consistent, which they benefit from, and it makes a barrier between the soil and the plant, helps prevent soil borne diseases.

Hay should work.. even if it does sprout some weeds, they will be loose and easy to pull, but so would straw, grass clippings, leaves, shredded paper, or whatever organic stuff you have available.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: Facebook page I manage for them: Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I second third and foruth what Rainbow said. Mulch on Tom's is very important. Main reason being to reduce the chance of soil born disease.

I use grass, hay mainly. If you have weeds my solution is to pull the weeds and add more mulch to choke out the wanna-be's.

User avatar
Posts: 27736
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

This probably won't be an issue for the OP's location, but when I'm planting out tomatoes as early as I can in spring, I leave them unmulched until the weather gets good and warm -- until the last of the cukes, beans and squashes go in. This way, the mulch won't shade and keep the soil around rhe tomatoes from warming up.

Cool Member
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: North Carolina

thanks for the feedback...i have plenty of grass clippings...might get some straw too.

Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:19 pm
Location: Fairfield Glade, Tennessee

I suggest you use only straw for mulch. You never know what seed you will introduce to your garden when using hay. Grass clipping can give you a lot of grief also.
Keep moving, it makes it harder for the undertaker to catch you.

Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:27 pm
Location: Northwest Florida

Isn't there a possibility of grass clipping locking up nitrogen as it starts to decompose?

Green Thumb
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Brunswick, Maine

Grass will bring more nitrogen... wood chips tend to hold it up.

Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:02 pm
Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7B

Could I use cedar mulch and newspaper for my tomatoes?

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”