Navigation Links
Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae

COMO, ITALY -- Traditionally addressed through hand-weeding and/or herbicide application, controlling weeds is one of most costly operations in nursery production. Increased labor costs have made hand-weeding prohibitive as the sole method of weed control, and although herbicides may be effective and less expensive, non-target herbicide loss can be as high as 86% and can harm the environment. To address the economic and environmental impact of weed problems, nursery producers are looking for more sustainable and cost-efficient techniques to control weeds in container-grown plants.

Building on previous research that proved that mulching materials can be successfully used as alternatives to chemical weed control, scientists in Italy evaluated the effectiveness of biodegradable mulches for weed control in container-grown 'Martin' giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata) and measured the effects of the mulches on evaporation and substrate temperature. The study premiered in a research report published in HortTechnology.

The experiments were conducted in an experimental nursery near Como, Italy. The nursery consisted of a tunnel covered with a translucent film to protect containers from precipitation. The research was performed on 2-year-old giant arborvitae plants. Four biodegradable mulching materials were tested and compared with a chemical control (oxadiazon) and a non-mulched/non-treated control. Two levels of overhead irrigation were evaluated: daily irrigation to container capacity (classified as "well-watered") and daily irrigation to 30% of container capacity (classified as "water stressed"). Plants were either hand-weeded three times during the growing season or not weeded until the end of the growing season.

According to corresponding author Gabriele Amoroso, the results showed that mulches limited weed growth to the same extent as the chemical control. In the first year of the study, mulched plants resulted in a higher shoot dry weight than non-treated and non-mulched plants, while in the second year, no differences were observed. No mulching materials were found to reduce the pot temperature. "The black color of the 3-L containers was probably the main factor driving substrate temperature increase, indicating mulching materials did not affect substrate temperatures", noted Amoroso.

In both experiments container water content was unaffected by mulching materials. Results seem to demonstrate that transpiration is the main component of water loss from container-grown giant arborvitae plants.

The scientists concluded that their findings can help ornamental plant growers by giving them more information about the effects of mulching on plant growth, substrate temperature, and water content in containerized plant production.

Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. Plastic fantastic - the future of biodegradables
2. Study: Biodegradable products may be bad for the environment
3. Microreactors: Small scale chemistry could lead to big improvements for biodegradable polymers
4. The sweetness of biodegradable plastics
5. Biodegradable foam plastic substitute made from milk protein and clay
6. New biodegradable compound facilitates bone regeneration in cases of substantial loss
7. Biodegradable particles can bypass mucus, release drugs over time
8. Stanford researchers develop biodegradable substitutes for wood, plastic bottles and other materials
9. Biodegradable mulch films on the horizon
10. Paper mulches evaluated for commercial vegetable production
11. Cover crop mulches tested for no-till organic onions
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists ... "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric ... new version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are ... FIDO UAF certified server component as an option ... features. These customers include some of the largest and ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, ... driving the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and ... new book, The Internet of Healthy Things ... sensors or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, ... of health care delivery, moving care from the hospital ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the ... (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost ... but higher volume share for the region in ... however, margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") (TSX-V: ICO) ... quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, unless specified ... under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... Andrew Rae , President & CEO of iCo ... value enriching for this clinical program, but also ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical ... today announced that the company has set a new quarterly earnings ... on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of ... Mexico , with the establishment of an ... --> United Kingdom and Mexico ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Massachusetts , November 24, 2015 SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ... , Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 ... , NY on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: