Re: [tomato] Red plastic mulch

William McKay (
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 16:08:20 PST

I have not grown on red plastic yet, although I plan to this year.  Last 
summer I had a long conversation with a local farmer who grows all his 
tomatoes on red plastic.  Says he gets a 15-20% increase in yield over 
black plastic or irt plastic.  Somewhere I read a study on the use of 
red plastic and their findings were similar to this farmers'.  This 
farmer has the prettiest field I have ever seen.  He grows two acres of 
tomatoes.  All on red plastic with white clover growing inbetween the 
rows (he cuts it with a riding mower).  

You gave me a great idea for an experiment, however.  This year I will 
try a few of my tomato seedlings in red plastic cups rather than the 
usual six packs or 3 1/2 in pots.  Will be interesting to see if it 
makes any difference.

Bill McKay in E. Mass
>We have a nursery specializing in perennials, mostly daylilies and 
>belong to a daylily mailing list. Yesterday a hybridizer mentioned 
>that his daylily seedlings were three times larger when started in 
>red plastic cups versus white insulated cups. This led to a 
>discussion on reflected red light.
>Gardens Alive sells a red plastic mulch called "Turbo-Tomato" which 
>they say was developed by the USDA and Clemson University and 
>supposedly increases tomato yields by 12-20%. I wonder if any of you 
>have tried it and what the results were.
>I'm not a pure organic gardner, but I recommend the Gardens Alive 
>catalog. It has some of the best pictures of pests and diseases that 
>I have seen.
>Their phone # is 812-537-5108
>Dave Anderson
>Tough Love Chile Co.

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