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Publication #HS715


S.M. Olson2

The Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida was updated in January 2011. The most current version of this chapter (September 2007) may be found at .

Keywords: mulch, polyethylene mulch, transplants, direct-seeding, drip irrigation, row covers

Photo gallery:

Figure 1. 

Black polythylene-mulched beds in Palm Beach County with holes punched for pepper transplants in twin-row fashion.

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Figure 2. 

Application of black polythylene mulch to raised beds near Live Oak, FL.

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Figure 3. 

White-on-black polythylene mulch for tomato in Collier County.

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Figure 4. 

Polythylene mulch helps minimize nutrient leaching in heavy rainstorms.

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Figure 5. 

Baled, used polythylene mulch.

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Figure 6. 

Transplant cauliflower using containerized transplants.

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Figure 7. 

Drip irrigation tube positioned in a groove in center of raised mulched bed.

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This document is HS715, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date first printed: June 1995. Date revised: September 2007. Reviewed February 2011. Please visit the EDIS website at


S.M. Olson, professor, NFREC-Quincy, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida is edited by S.M. Olson, professor, NFREC-Quincy, and E.H. Simonne, associate professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of the products named, and does not signify that they are approved to the exclusion of others of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.