Submitted to: The New Ag Network
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2008
Publication Date: 9/18/2008
Citation: Davis, A.S., Cherniss, J.S. 2008. Mulch your tomatoes to fight weeds, retain soil moisture and save money. The New Ag Network. 3(8):1.
Technical Abstract: An on-farm experiment was conducted to determine whether different types of mulches were a cost-effective means of weed management in organic tomato production. Three mulch treatment, bare soil, straw and grass, were applied to drip-irrigated tomatoes at a depth of 7.5 cm. Weed biomass was reduced seven-fold in the mulch treatments compared to the bare soil treatment. Tomato yield was 27% greater in the mulch treatments compared to the bare soil treatment. The overall economic impact of tomato mulching was highliy positive, resulting in a 10-fold return on the investment in materials and labor.