Re: [tomato] Red plastic mulch

William McKay (
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 16:26:16 PST

I saw this post after I had responded to the original post.  I am 
fascinated.  What kind of plastic cups did you use.  Did you go down to 
the local store and buy some red plastic drink cups? 

Somewhat on this same topic, the farmer I mentioned who uses red plastic 
for tomatoes uses silver plastic mulch for eggplant (even though they 
are in the same family).  He says it does a better job at keeping off 
aphids, but I wonder if there is something else going on.

Bill M

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>Oddly enough, this year I have started a variety of tomatoes in red
>plastic cups and the difference in those and the ones started in 1"
>packs (the little plastic 1" square x 9 "holes" per pack...common seed
>starter pack..) are great.
>Here is what is planted where...
>Before contacting Chuck and deciding to do Heirlooms this year, I had
>started some hybrid beefsteak tomatoes in the plastic packs.
>I started all the heirlooms in red plastic cups....(I had run out of 
>packs, and wanted to label the red plastic cups to know which heirloom
>plant was which)...
>I started the hybrids a full 3 weeks before the heirlooms. The hybrids
>are just now peeking their heads up good....the heirlooms are already
>putting on 2nd and 3rd leaves.
>It could of course be the difference in hybrids and heirlooms, but with
>identical soil conditions, identical lighting conditions, I thought
>there might really be a difference in the container.
>Would like to know more about the discussion on the 'red reflective
>light' you mentioned...
>Note on how I am doing the red plastic cups...I am filling them 3/4 of
>the way with a loose 'starter' soil.....and cutting slits on the bottom
>on two sides with my scissors for drainage...all of this sits on
>shelving w/grow light source....
>Looking forward to this discussion....
>Jan Taylor
>> 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.
>> Dave Anderson
>> Tough Love Chile Co.
>> e-mail

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