Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Straw mulch is best weed control for peaches (#journal)

Mulching and herbicides in peach: Weed biomass, fruit yield, size, and quality

An experiment  studied the effect of mulches and herbicides on weed population, fruit yield, and quality in peach trees. Covering soil with black polythene resulted in 100% control of weeds at six weeks after treatment (WAT) during both the years of study. Weed control efficiencies with treatments having diuron herbicide did not differ significantly from black polythene at 6 WAT. Atrazine and pendimethalin were the next most efficient and did not differ significantly from each other. Application of straw mulch (8 cm, 15.5 t ha− 1) resulted in high weed control efficiencies at 6 WAT, decreasing somewhat at 12 WAT.  In both years highest fruit yield (69.3 and 67.9 kg tree− 1, respectively) was recorded with straw mulch (8 cm). Conclusively, plastic and straw mulches can be used as an effective chemical-free alternative to manual or chemical weed control in peach.

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