Enhancing Crop Growth with Colored Plastic Mulches peppers, tomatoes, melons, zucchini (2000-2001) - 4 pages
The use of black or IRT soil mulches for weed control and clear mulches for increasing soil
temperatures are common practices in vegetable crop production. The development of new
colours of mulch may allow growers to alter other aspects of crop growth. Red mulch has been
shown to increase the early and total yields of tomatoes. Blue mulch improved both the growth and flavour of turnips. Yellow and silver mulches have been shown to repel certain insect pests.
The trial conducted in 2000 and 2001 evaluated the performance of several high value warm
season vegetable crops are grown on a range of mulch colours.
The trial was conducted at the Department of Plant Sciences Horticulture Field research station
in Saskatoon in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, clear, black, wavelength selective (IRT), blue, yellow
and white mulch were tested. In 2001, silver and red mulches were added to the trial. The
mulches were laid about a week prior to the establishment of the crop. The peppers, tomatoes and melons were transplanted while the zucchini was direct-seeded.