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Newspapers work for me as tomato mulch
(Kinsley, KS, USA)
I have used newspapers for several years now to mulch tomatoes.
After I plant the tomatoes, I dig ditches around the plants that are about foot or more wide (including the plants.) Next, I test the ditches by running water through them. This way I also get the water where I want it.
Then I lay down 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper in the ditches. The water helps newspaper adhere to the soil. I throw some dirt on the paper to hold them in place as we have a lot of wind.
To water, I use flood irrigation. It has been very hot here the last several years. I only watered once a week last summer even if the temperature was near 100 degrees F with hot, dry winds for many days. I ran water until the ditches were full. The ditches help with watering; the newspapers keep down weeds.
I also used this mulching and watering method for my peppers, eggplants, squash, and cucumbers. It works.
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