Exhibition of low-cost agricultural technologies at CACCC 2019: Mulching

Mulching of crops is a set of technologies to preserve moisture, improve soil fertility and health, reduce weed growth and increase the visual appeal of the area. Mulch is mostly organic in nature, using leaves, straw or hay from the field. Mulching can be combined with compost.

The purpose of the technology:

All different types of mulching improve soil fertility and protect the soil from water and wind erosion. In the context of climate change is intensifying the adverse impact on soil, so the technology is of great importance for agricultural productivity, especially in drought conditions.

A training video shot in the framework of the CAMP4ASB project shows one of the ways of mulching young seedlings of fruit trees with straw. At the same time, mulch retains moisture in the soil, maintains a favorable temperature regime, improves the composition of the soil. Among other mulching materials, the following can be used:

Peat protects the soil from the sun's rays, retains its humidity. In agronomic practice, it is used for different granulometric composition of soils in order to protect the soil and increase crop yields..

Wood chips and bark are often used as a decorative coating on the beds to avoid the appearance of bare earth. It is desirable that the pieces of bark had the size 1 to 5 see best of all, this mulch material suitable for fruit trees and shrubs. Especially a positive effect on the raspberries.

Pine or spruce needles are very good mulch for strawberries. Spread out between the rows, it prevents the spread of gray rot. Thanks to her berries remain clean after the rain.

Rotted manure for mulching is best mixed with the top layer of soil, otherwise possible loss of nutrients, especially nitrogen.

Garden compost is inferior to manure. It contains nutrients, improves soil structure, and protects it from overheating and hypothermia.

Mown grass as mulch is most often used in gardens with lawn system of row spacing. It is also suitable for mulching vegetable beds, but it should be pre-dried in the sun, otherwise it will quickly rot.

Sawdust is good for garden, perennial vegetable and berry crops. Under annual vegetable crops, they are undesirable to use, since in autumn processing they are mixed with the soil, and this leads to its acidification and depletion with nitrogen.

Fresh sawdust is better to make together with ash and an additional dose of nitrogen fertilizers.

Straw cutting is also a good mulching material. In rural areas it is available to many and is cheap. However, it usually contains weed seeds. Together with it it is necessary to use nitrogen fertilizers.

This publication is available in Russian