I am planning to mulch my tomatoes with barley straw, I have a whole bale, (we use it in the pond to keep string algae at bay), I am wondering if it will have any effect on the tomatoes? I have never used mulch on the tomatoes, and I figures that it would make gardening easier. Am I right?????????
Mulch is used to suppress weeds, hold moisture in the soil, and keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Weeds would be the most useful one to me.
I always mulch my tomatoes with straw. It prevents heavy rain form splashing soil onto the lower leaves and helps to prevent fungal diseases as well as deter weeds and conserve moisture.
I plant my tomatoes in the straw bales and they flourish! Straw is great for many things in the garden. It has really helped to recondition my soil!
Paul, mulching with straw does help prevent splashback infection from any spores and bacteria that were shed the previous year by infected plants.
But all NEW foliage infections are spread via wind and rain so mulching can do nothing to prevent those. One can prevent the fungal ones fairly easily with the best anti-fungal but what we have available to us to prevent the NEW bacterial ones are not all that effective.