Using Plastic Mulches and Drip Irrigation for Vegetables

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Muskmelons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, watermelons, and okra are vegetable crops that have shown significant increases in earliness, yield, and fruit quality when grown on plastic mulch. Some less valuable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, southern peas, and pumpkins have shown similar responses. 


1. Advantages

2. Disadvantages

3. Preparation of the Soil

4. Fertilization

5. Bedding the Soil

6. Fall vs. Spring

7.Commercial Fumigation and Laying the Plastic Mulch and Drip Tube

8. Pest Management

9. Transplanting

10. Irrigation

11. Drip Irrigation

12. Double Cropping the Plastic Mulch

13. Suggested Spring-Fall Planting Sequences

14. Wind Breaks

15. Reflective Plastic Mulches

16. Infrared Transmitting (IRT) Mulch

17. Some Yield Increases

18. Examples of Yield Increases

Douglas Sanders
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service