cynlee01
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:18 pm
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Red Plastic?

I have raised beds. Is red plastic really better to use around my tomato plants? Usually use pine straw.
CLM

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rainbowgardener
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I tried it one year because I read about it. I couldn't tell that it made any difference, but I didn' t have a "control group" and there are lots of variables. I suspect that if you were growing acres of tomatoes you might notice a % increase in your crop but for us growing a few plants in a raised bed, not enough to make it worth the bother...

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gixxerific
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Some people believe it helps something about the light reflection. Can't remember right now. But I have never used it and have never had problems. the way I see it:

pine straw = future organic material
red plastic = future landfill addition

my 2 cents

just thought of something you could dye your pine straw with non toxic red dye there's an idea. :idea:

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applestar
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I use pine straw mulch for my blueberries. I had heard that they lower pH, which blueberries like. Tomatoes, however, you don't want to lower pH, so I tend to think pine straw may not be the best organic mulch.

Pinestraw mulch, however, are perfect for potatoes because lower pH prevents scab.

I've never tried the red plastic. It seemed awfully gimmicky to me -- have you SEEN all the red gizmos associated with tomato growing? They appeared in catalogs practically overnight after whatever science article this theory is based on was puplished. Also, I've read -- maybe it was TZ that said this -- that you need to grow the tomatoes pretty far apart for the red mulch to be effective.

cynlee01
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Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:18 pm
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Thanks to all. Will definitely forget the red plastic!
CLM

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