Two horticulturalists combine forces to give you advice about the right way to prune, fertilize, water and stake tomatoes. You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.
There’s no question … tomato mulch definitely improves the number, size, and healthy of your tomato crop. Yet the good news is there is no one best type of mulch to use. Select one that works best for your situation. Follow these simple do’s and don’ts to mulch like a master!
Do compare different options here: grass clippings, shredded hardwood mulch, newspaper, black plastic, red plastic, garden fabric … even no mulch. If you want to improve your soil, choose an organic mulch. If you want to reuse your ground covering, choose one of the plastics. If you have almost no money, try several layers of newspaper. Choose the option
that’s best for your situation.
Do leave about 1-2” breathing room around the tomato stem, forming a small well around the base of the plant. This prevents compaction around the stem, which could lead to stem rot. Also, the well creates a natural dish to capture water for your plant.
Do apply extra mulch in the rows between your tomatoes to keep weeds down.
Don’t do this:
Don’t mulch immediately after planting tomatoes. Wait until the soil has warmed – about 3-5 weeks after setting plants in the garden. Tomatoes like heat. If you mulch too soon, you’ll trap in the cold.
Don’t panic if you haven’t mulched your tomatoes. Sure, mulching helps keep in heat and moisture, keeps down weeds, and helps produce healthier fruit. But many a gardener has grown luscious tomatoes successfully without it.
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