The Q&A Archives: Red Plastic Mulch

Question: I've read that mulching your tomato plants with red plastic increases your yield and greatly helps the plant. Also, any info on mulching pepper plants with tin foil?

Answer: Recent research indicates that red mulch can indeed increase tomato harvests by up to 20%. The mulch reflects far-red light wavelengths upward into the tomato plants, stimulating growth and fruit development.

Gardener's Supply (ph# 800-863-1700, sells red plastic mulch.

Mulching peppers with aluminum foil has a similar effect of directing light back up into the plant. It also seems to confuse some insect pests. I would put the foil down right after transplanting, and remove it once the plants begin to form peppers.

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