Landscape mulch allows the soil temperature to remain more stable than bare soil. It keeps the soil warmer during cooler weather and cooler during hot weather. Mulch also helps retain moisture so less watering is required. It also deters weeds from germinating. Red mulch has been shown to increase tomato production. It enhances carbohydrate movement, which increases early production of tomatoes. Like other mulches, red mulch must be applied correctly for best results.
Remove all weeds from around plants you wish to mulch. Plant any new plants before applying your red mulch.
Apply the mulch around your plants after the soil has warmed up and dried out in the spring. In northern climates, this is usually in early to late May. The mulch should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. Rake it smooth with your garden rake.
Apply a second application of red mulch in the early fall before frost is imminent. This will keep the soil temperature up and prevent the soil from heaving, which can cause root damage.