Selection of Mulch Material
The Mulch Material that is chosen for the farm ought to have certain properties for conveying greatest advantages. Organic mulch can’t be adjusted in its qualities, however inorganic or counterfeit mulch is expected to have certain characteristics. Different environmental variables may require distinctive mulch material to work legitimately. The important parts of mulch material are:
Thickness: Generally thickness of the material has practically no impact of mulching aside from solarisation system. The thickness of the artificial mulch should be 15 – 30 Microns for vegetable crops, 100 – 150 Microns for orchids and 25 Microns for small duration crops.
Width: The film ought to be chosen such that it matches the inter row spacing. The normal width of the film is around 1 or 1.5 m under general growing conditions.
Perforation: unperforated mulch film ought to be chosen for productive water and manure dissemination. To counteract water stagnation around the plants, perforated film is required, yet this may encourage weed development.
Color: the shade of the mulch can influence soil temperature, air temperature around the plants, the salinity of the soil, weed development and incidence of insects.
Testing the mulch film before utilizing it on the farm is very essential because if the film transmits light, then it is not good for the plants. The material ought to be sturdy, air proof and thermal proof. It should always be remembered that what mulch material should be purchased from a reliable source.
Type of mulch according to the need:
Rainy season – perforated
Orchards – thick mulch
Solarisation – thin, transparent
Weed control with solarisation – transparent
A cropped weed control, sandy soil, saline water use etc., – black film
Summer crop – white film
Bug control – silver film
Seed germination – thinner film
Techniques of Mulching:
The region of the mulch ought to be equivalent to the shade of the plant
The mulch sheet of required size ought to be cut from the primary roll
Prior to the use of the mulch, the territory ought to be cleaned appropriately and weeds should be removed.
The land ought to be worked and watered before utilization of Mulch.
To stay the mulch material appropriately in the territory, making trenches around the zone is useful.
The material is spread around the tree or plant and the ends should be buried into the ground at least 7-10 cm deep or into furrows at an angle 45 degree
Openings at the edges of the sheet can encourage water development
The opening of the mulch should be parallel to the wind direction
The sides of the mulch should be covered with 4-6 inches soil to make the mulch immovable
Mulch has to be laid during non-windy conditions
It should be laid evenly on the soil bed without creases, but should not be very tight so as to facilitate expansion and shrink during various weather and environmental conditions.
Suitable crops for Mulching
It is observed that after mulching good production is obtained in vegetable crops like cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, tomato, brinjal, chillies, okra, potatoes etc., and some orchid crops like pomegranate, lemons, banana, papaya, guava, apricot and grape etc., Care should be taken to apply mulch that it suits the crop needs.