How can mulching conserve soil in agriculture


Mulch to Conserve Soil Moisture

  • Preparing for a Dry Winter. Mulching plants and applying antitranspirant products to some plants are other practices to use to reduce injury from winter drying.
  • Applying Mulch. Placing an 8 to 12 inch layer of coarse mulch over bulbs and other perennials can delay or prevent early growth.
  • Antitranspirants. …

Mulching is the placement of any organic or inorganic material over the top of a soil surface to protect it. Some of the benefits include: reduced soil erosion, less compaction, moisture conservation, increased control of soil temperature, and a reduction in weed growth.


What is the role of mulching in agriculture?

Mulching in agriculture indirectly acts as a contributor to soil fertility. In agriculture, mulching is either done organically or inorganically, also mulching may be permanent or temporary based mupon farmer’s preference. Compost, dry leaves, hay, straw, sawdust, plastic sheets, wood chips are some of the materials generally used for mulching.

Why should you use organic mulching for gardening?

Use of organic mulching is one of the suitable methods which could help the horticultural growers to increase the production with good quality of produce.

How does mulch affect the rate of evaporation from the soil surface?

The rate of evaporation from the soil surface was restricted due to the avoiding of direct entry of solar radiation. So, it application is beneficial in hot and dry climates. Mulch layer also restricts the weed growth because if soil is covered with mulch layer than light is not reached at soil surface.

How much does mulching help in reducing the weed intensity?

This treatment reduces the weed intensity about 95%, increase the fruit yield about 53 % and save the irrigation water about 44% compared to flood irrigation without mulching. 30


What are 5 advantages of mulching?

Benefits of Mulching Reduces weed growth by keeping light from reaching the soil surface. Reduces water loss from the soil surface, which helps maintain soil moisture. Moderates soil temperatures, keeping it warmer on cold nights and cooler on hot days. Protects bare soil, reducing erosion and soil compaction.

How does mulch affect agriculture?

Agricultural Use of Mulch Use mulch in agriculture for erosion control, disease and weed suppression, water conservation, and to reduce soil compaction and allow access after heavy rainfall.

What is mulching and its advantages?

Mulch is any material used to add a protective layer over your garden soil. The two main types of mulch are organic (natural) and inorganic (synthetic). The main benefits of mulching are increased water retention, temperature control, and weed prevention.

What are 3 benefits of mulch?

How Mulching HelpsAdds curb appeal. Mulch instantly adds rich color and a manicured look to your landscape beds, along the foundation of your home, around trees and shrubs, and between garden beds. … Improves the soil. … Protects against temperature changes. … Conserves moisture. … Helps prevents weeds.

What is soil conservation mulching?

Mulch is a material placed on the soil surface to maintain moisture, reduce weed growth, mitigate soil erosion and improve soil conditions. Mulching (installing mulches) can help to improve crop yield and optimise water use. Mulch can be expensive however and labour intensive to obtain, transport and disperse.

What are the effect of mulching on soil?

This process has many advantages: mulches are known to buffer soil temperature [2], prevent soil water loss by evaporation [3], inhibit weed germination, and suppress weed growth [4]. Further, they can protect soils from wind-, water-, and traffic-induced erosion and compaction [1].

What is the main purpose of mulching?

Mulch is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, prevent frost heaving in winter, and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil’s structure, drainage, and nutrient-holding capacity as they decompose.

What is mulching in agriculture?

Mulching may be defined as the process of covering the soil surface around the plants to create congenial conditions for the crop growth. This may include moisture and soil conservation, temperature moderation, salinity and weed control etc. It exerts a decisive effect on earliness, yield and quality of the crop.

Why do farmers use mulch?

Mulch Improves Diversity and Soil Health: It protects soil organisms, like worms, insects, and soil microbes, which will help protect against pests. These soil critters work double-duty: As the soil organisms break down the mulch, it will enrich the soil.

How does mulching reduce soil erosion?

Mulching is a temporary erosion Best Management Practice that involves the application of mulch materials such as organic residue, compost and gravels to the land surface. The mulch material protects soil from rain drops, maintains soil moisture and temperature, slows runoff velocity, and control erosion and sediment.

What is mulching in agriculture?

Mulching is the process of covering the upper surface of the soil for weed control and retaining soil moisture that is available to plants. Mulching in agriculture indirectly acts as a contributor to soil fertility. In agriculture, mulching is either done organically or inorganically, also mulching may be permanent or temporary based mupon farmer’s …

What is mulch used for?

Mulching plays a major role in suppressing weed growth, retaining soil moisture, improving soil fertility, in controlling pest surveillance and in altering soil

Why is mulch important for plants?

Mulching makes soil looser and further increasing the soil to hold much more water. This increases plant growth by withstanding drought.

Why is it important to dispose of mulch?

Disposal of mulch materials is done properly in order not to contaminate the soil. The organic and some degradable inorganic mulch material get degraded in the soil. Plastic mulch materials are not degraded by the soil, so proper disposal of those materials are very important. TIMESOFGARICULTURE MUlCHING IN AGRICULTURE.

What are the different types of mulching?

Types of Mulching. Surface mulching: Mulch materials are spreader over the surface of the soil to retain soil moisture. Dust mulching: Dusts are created during intercultural operation, which breaks the soil capillaries and thereby reducing the soil moisture evaporation. Vertical mulching: Mainly practiced in sloppy regions.

Why do we mulch with pebbles?

Pebble mulching: The soil surface is covered with pebbles which improve the aesthetic view of the surface of gardens and also prevents the transfer of heat from the atmosphere.

What crops do you mulch?

Mulching is done in the cultivation of vegetable crops such as tomato, brinjal, potato, cauliflower, capsicum, okra and fruit crops like guava, pomegranate, peach which shows high yield records than under normal cultivation practices. There are many queries regarding mulching in agriculture like a mulching sheet, stubble mulching, blades, …

What is biodegradable mulch made of?

Bio-degradable plastic mulch: It is primarily made from polyester fibers, plant sugars, starches or firewood resources which can come from maize and wheat plants. It gets easily decomposed under natural environmental conditions and gets mixed in soil after mulching period (Divya and Sarkar, 2019).

Why is mulch important for soil?

2015; Kader et al. 2017a). Mulch can be helpful in improvising soil structure and steering of nutrients due to movement of earthworm into the soil (Qin et al. 2015). It also let down the soil pH which augments availability of nutrients. Organic mulch adds nutrients in the soil after break down and increases the availability of nutrients for long time within soil (Larentzaki et al. 2008). Plastic mulch entertains as impermeable to the gassy movement which act as a greater wall for the process of solarization and fumigants. It can also show an astonishing role in increasing soil health and control of pests (Chalker-Scott, 2007). Consequently, it supports in keeping the nutrient around the root of plant for effective use of nutrient and also helps in reduction of leaching of fertilizer. The uniformity in look all over the mulched landscape are more appealingly (Li et al., 2013; Chen et al., 2018). Furthermore, in the different stages of growth of crops there is a viable changing in the appropriateness of soil moisture and temperature. After decomposition of organic mulch in the soil, the organic material of soil enhances rapidly and consequently increases the water holding capacity of the soil (Kader et al., 2017c). Some other benefits are described below:

What is IRT mulch?

IRT (Infra-Red transmitting) plastic mulch films are available in different colors from green to brown hues. The light is permitted to pass through the soil bed after getting filtered from the colored films. These films are effective in controlling of weeds and increasing the temperature of soil.

Why is water important for crop growth?

Insufficiency of water is the major concern for the country now a days because the water resources are contaminated with pollutants day by day and usable water is declining.

What is organic mulch?

Organic mulches comprise of materials like animal compost, grass clippings, straw of various crops, dried leaves, tree bark clippings and saw dust. It has easily degradable capacity because nature of appealing slugs, insects and worms that eat them and help them in rapid degradation, which results in addition of some quantity of nutrient and organic material in the soil. Organic mulch has a large number of helpful features. Some of them are: soil moisture conservation by reducing the rate of evaporation, moderates soil temperature, lessens soil erosion, hinders growth of weed, cheers the growth of beneficial soil bio-organisms, and diminishes the blowout of soil-borne pathogens. Organic mulches after decomposition over time improve soil structure and increase nutrient content of the soil (Telkar et al., 2017). The illustration of different organic mulches and their usages are given below:

Why is mulching important?

It is very important primarily for preserving the soil moisture, preventing evaporation of soil and governing the soil temperature, which affects the food production.

How does mulching help soil?

Mulching can increase the moisture holding capacity of soil, lessen the evapotranspiration, reduce the weed growth and moderate the soil temperature. Mulching can increase the water use efficiency of soil, reduce the leaching of nutrients, diminish the soil erosion and increase the infiltration capacity of soil.

What is black mulch film?

Black paper mulch film – Black mulching paper use is quite often for maintaining moisture and black mulch paper is also useful in maintaining temperature However it may increase the soil temperature.

What are some examples of organic mulch?

Some of the organic mulch examples are compost straw, grass clipping, old leaves, shredded leaves, rotted leaves, wood dust, paddy straw, torn old sacks, shattered godown sacks, crop residue mulching like residues of mentha and basil, sugarcane leave s. Although, you can use all these objects in mulching but for better results you should choose them according to your crop.

How does mulching help the soil?

Mulching is a technique which helps to save water by preventing the moisture inside the soil. Mulching increases the productivity of soil and this technique is helpful in reducing the growth of weeds as well. During heavy rainfall, mulching techniques prevent soil erosion. Mulch technique is more beneficial in such areas where water availability is less and water supply is a problem because mulching reduces the frequency of irrigation.

What is mulching in plants?

Mulching method is created by the mixture of leaves, straw, crop residue such as sugarcane trash, mint oil residue, basil oil residue. Straw and stalks from Saral crops and fodder crops can be treated as the material of mulch. Generally mulching creates a suitable environment for the plant where it can grow comfortably and produce higher yield. The environment created through the mulching process consists of moisture content, needed humidity, suitable temperature, carbon dioxide and proper microbial activity in the soil.

What can be used as mulch?

leaves such as shattered leaves, rotted leaves, tree foliages can be used as mulch materials. The drop of foliage from trees is easy to use as mulch.

What is white mulching paper?

White mulching film – White mulching paper is basically used in nurseries to collect all the soil ingredients.

How much does mulching improve productivity?

Mulching technique is capable of improving productivity by around 15 to 20 percent.

How can mulching help us produce food?

Mulching is one such process that can help us in producing quality food in quantities. In the days to come, farmers will make use of this innovative technique that helps them conserve moisture, avoid weeds and improve soil health tremendously while producing more. This will also go a long way in the world achieving food security sustainably

What is organic mulch?

Organic mulch material includes grass, straw, dry leaves, bark, saw dust and compost. These has capacity to easy degradable due to attract of insects, slugs and cutworms that eat them and it will help to degraded rapidly and it add some amount of organic matter and nutrient in soil. The example of organic mulches and their uses are given below:

Why is mulch used in vegetable fields?

It is commonly used for vegetation and landscaping, it should be avoided to use in vegetable fields because it is acidic. However, these mulches (fig.1) are excellent for cover the paths between beds.

What is the difference between organic mulch and inorganic mulch?

Organic mulches that are found in nature and can be broken down by soil organisms due to decomposition whereas, inorganic mulches are man-made material or anything like a rock that cannot be broken down by soil organisms. Organic mulches more beneficial than inorganic mulches. Choice of organic or inorganic mulch mainly depend on the user but the using an organic mulch means utilizing a material available in the field and it might be degraded and breaks down into organic matter. Organic mulch adds the nutrient in the soil and increases soil fertility. Inorganic mulches, like plastic sheets, are easy for handling and look a good choice due to its durability, but are non-recyclable and are not environment-friendly.

Why is mulching important for horticultural production?

In the present situation of globalization and health awareness demand of the virtuous horticultural crops has increased worldwide. The increasing demand for the fruits and vegetables and market competition has forced the farmers to produce more and high-quality fruits and vegetables for sustaining in the international market. Use of organic mulching is one of the suitable methods which could help the horticultural growers to increase the production with good quality of produce. Looking to the water scarcity and the challenges that arise due to climate change, adoption of organic mulching at large scale by the Indian farmers would help the farmers to overcome several problems considering the advantages of organic mulching. From the findings of the several studies shown that mulching with organic materials increases the soil nutrients, maintains the optimum soil temperature, restricts the rate of evaporation from the soil surface, restricts the weed growth and prevents the soil erosion. It also helps to improve the soil health. Organic mulches are cheap materials; therefore, the cost of mulching is also economical. In this paper, an attempt has been made to overview on the various types of mulching, mulching techniques, benefits and limitations of mulching.

What are the objectives of mulching?

The important objectives of mulching in agriculture are namely moisture conservation, temperature control, prevention of surface compaction, reduction of runoff and erosion, improvement in soil structure and weed control.

How does mulching reduce weeds?

A mulched layer restricts the weed growth by obstructing light penetration to the soil surface. 14 Lower weed prevalence significantly improves water use efficiency. However, among organic materials, there is a wide range of choices each with different characteristics and suitability for different growing conditions.

What is grass clipping?

Grass Clipping (fig.2) Grass clipping is one of the most easily and abundantly available mulching material in Indian agriculture. If fresh grass clippings are used in the field, it decomposes easily and increases the percentage of nitrogen in the soil.

How does evaporation affect crop water use?

It also restricts the evaporation of moisture from the field. It prevents soil moisture from the direct solar radiation and air flow across the soil surface, which results in lower losses of soil moisture. Evaporation of moisture from the surface of the soil is greatly distressed crop water use efficiency.

Responsible Farming

Given that our farmers are responsible for delivering our food and ensuring that it stays plentiful, it’s vital that they approach their farming practices in a way that is in line with long-term sustainability.

Soil Pollution

Much like our air and water, our soil can also be exposed to pollution – and often one form of pollution tends to trickle down to another.

Water Resource Management

In addition to the importance of conserving our soil’s nutrients for growing food, the next important resource to protect is our freshwater.

Agricultural Land Protection

Throughout the United States, we have millions of acres of land that have been designated specifically for conservation, which range to every from outdoor recreation to farming. These conservation lands are essential in ensuring that we have an abundance of areas for agriculture.


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