"The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of plant mulches with different depths compared with synthetic mulch, hand-hoeing, cultivation, and glyphosate on weed control efficacy and quantity and quality of mandarin fruits", remarked Dr. H.F. Abouziena, the project's lead researcher. Abouziena added, "In Egypt, rice straw is considered one of the most important plant waste problems, and cattail weed is a problem in all water canals. Waste materials such as rice straw, weeds, aquatic weeds, bark, and composted municipal green waste can provide effective weed control."
The research team also found that the greatest control (94% to 100%) of weeds occurred with the plastic mulch and three mulch layers of rice straw or cattail. Covering soil with two layers of cattail or rice straw mulch resulted in an 85% to 98% control of weeds. Plastic mulches, cattail mulch in two or three layers, and rice straw in two-layer treatments significantly increased the fruit yield without significant differences among these superior treatments. Soil mulching with three layers of rice straw, cultivation, glyphosate, and plastic mulch treatments caused a significant reduction in weed density and weed biomass, but gave lower yield than superior treatments. Total acidity and vitamin C were significantly lower in the unweeded control than most weeded treatments.
"These results demonstrate that two layers of cattail or rice straw mulch could be used effectively for controlling weeds in citrus groves. Their effectiveness in controlling weeds may increase their use in agriculture systems with a concomitant decrease in the need for synthetic herbicides. Further studies are needed to evaluate their side effects on beneficial organisms, diseases, and insects", observed Abouziena. The report included an important
|Contact: Michael W. Neff|
American Society for Horticultural Science