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Will tomato seeds grow through mulch?  RSS feed

 
Matthew McCoul
Posts: 73
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Or rather, how thick of a mulch will they grow through, in your experience?

I want to keep moisture in the soil around them, but I also want them to be able to make it through the layer.

My mulch options are fresh mowed weeds (not to seed yet) and good old straw.

Technically I have newspaper too, but I'd prefer natural.
 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 240
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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This season I started a new bed. (Clay 'gumbo' soil under lawn previously.) Removed grass last fall and covered with leaves and grass clippings. This spring I put down 2 layers of cardboard and about 4 inches of shredded leaves; and saturated the ground. 12/12 plants came up but some were sickly and need fertilizer to make it. When you plant, punch a hole in the cardboard and pull back a marble sized area of the mulch where the seed goes in. The plants will come up fine.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Tomato seeds are small, so they don't have enough stored energy to push them several inches toward the sun, like a bean does. It would be best to let them germinate and get a few inches high, and then carefully mulch after thinning. Leave a little bit of room around the stem..

Cutworms might enjoy the cover that mulch provides. Damping off is also a problem with young tomatoes. Mulch immediately adjacent to the stem can make this problem worse.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1490
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Until last year I had volunteer tomatoes coming up through mulch. Last year I mulched very heavily and had very few volunteers but it was good for the Grapevines.
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