In this article, we are to see the advantages and disadvantages of mulching.
What is Mulch?
Mulch is the common word in most of the agriculture-related farming or cultivation. Mulch is basically a protective layer spread on top of the soil to control the effects of local climatic conditions.
What is Mulching?
Mulching is referred to as a mixture of wet straw, leaves, and loose earth evenly spread on the ground to protect the newly planted trees, shrubs, and their roots.
See also: Crop rotation and its benefits
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mulching
Advantages of Mulching (Benefits of Mulching)
- Reduce soil and water erosion. Soil water conservation and erosion control are the most important agriculture in dry regions. Mulching helps to Improve crop production in dryland areas.
- Improves soil water through runoff control, increases infiltration decreases evaporation, controls weeds, and intercepts the impact of rain on the soil.
- Reduce soil salinity by reducing evaporation
- Mulching improves the soil structure.
- Mulching modifies the microclimate of the soil and the air in which the plant grows. 6. Improves the state of soil nutrients by adding organic matter, cationic nitration, and minerals solubility.
- Temperature moderation through radiation shielding, heat conduction, and trapping.
- Mulch can facilitate fertilizer placement and reduce plant nutrient loss through leaching.
- Reduce the incidence of disease by protecting plant parts on the ground from splashes that carry the soil.
- Reduce winter injuries by minimizing temperature variation.
- Mulches maintain a warm temperature even at night, allowing seeds to germinate quickly and for young plants to quickly establish a strong root growth system. Improves seed germination. Early crop maturity.
- Synthetic mulches play an important role in the soil solarization process.
- Opaque mulches prevent the germination of annual weeds from light.
- Reflective mulches will repel certain insects.
See also: Organic farming – Advantages
Disadvantages of Mulching
- The removal and disposal of polyethylene mulches remain an important agronomic, economic, and environmental constraints.
- Plastic fragments have been shown to release potentially carcinogenic phthalate acid esters in the soil, where they can be absorbed by crops and pose a risk to human health when consumed.
- The plastic fragments left in the fields can also accumulate pesticides and other toxins applied to crops. This is a risk to grazing sheep, goats, and other animals on crop stem due to its potential to ingest plastic material or the chemicals that leak from it.
- When cotton crops are grown in soils contaminated with plastic, there is a risk of lint being contaminated.
- Plastic mulching is not easy to retrieve and reuse.
- They are expensive to use in commercial production compared to organic mulches.
- Probability of “burning” or “scorching” young plants due to a high temperature of black film
- Difficulty in the application of top-dressed fertilizers.
- Reptile movement and rodent activities are experienced in some places.
- Difficulty in movement of machinery.