Tomatoes and Red Plastic Mulch

A while back I received a gift of red plastic mulch.  It’s supposed to increase yields by helping plants develop and ripen their fruit faster – something to do with reflecting a certain spectrum of light, which in turn triggers photosynthesis to stimulate rapid growth and development.  Whatever…Lee Valley Tools says it worked for them (of course, they’re the ones selling it!) and I’m willing to try almost anything that promises better yields for little work!

Red plastic mulch and white Remay - my patriotic garden

It’s not really a proper experiment, as I ought to have a control group of plants at the same level of development growing in the same conditions without the red plastic mulch – but I don’t.

Big Beef tomatoes are looking pretty good already with red plastic mulch

The best I can do is comparing plants of the same variety (Big Beef) that are the same age and size when I applied the mulch.  The control group has the advantage of growing inside my greenhouse – so given the cool, wet summer we are having I would expect the greenhouse plants to do better than the outside plants.

The Big Beef tomatoes in the greenhouse look great too!

If the mulched tomato plants grow and produce better than the greenhouse tomato plants, then I will call the red plastic mulch a success.  Check back, I’ll let you know!


About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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13 Responses to Tomatoes and Red Plastic Mulch

  1. This is an interesting re red mulch. If I want to turn green tomatoes red I add one red tomato to the bowl. .

  2. barb19 says:

    Or you could add a banana – it gives off gases which will ripen anything next to it!
    The red plastic mulch is interesting – let us know if it works.

  3. I had a customer today actually that swears by this!!!

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  5. I tried the Lee Valley Tomato Craters this year (also red) and just wrote about them: on my own blog

    Your vegetable beds are beautiful and inspiring!

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