Natural and Synthetic Mulching Materials for Weed Control in Immature Rubber Plantations
American Journal of Plant Biology
Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages: 114-117
Received: Nov. 14, 2019;
Accepted: Dec. 4, 2019;
Published: Dec. 11, 2019
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Ruwani Kalpana Jayawardana, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Rasika Hettiarachchi, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Thushara Gunathilaka, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Anoma Thewarapperuma, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Surani Rathnasooriya, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Rangika Baddevidana, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Helaru Gayan, Soils and Plant Nutrition Department, Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka
Weed control is important during immature stage of rubber plantations particularly, before fertilizer application. Most of the chemicals are being restricted due to health and environmental concerns thus investigations on chemical free weed control methods are important. The effect of different natural and synthetic mulching materials on weed control was studied compared to manual weeding. Oil palm Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) was used as natural mulch and shade net and polythene were used as synthetic mulch. Labor requirement in each treatment was evaluated. Effect of mulching on soil nitrogen content, pH, organic carbon content and cation exchange capacity was also measured at three months and one year after treatment application. All the mulching treatments showed significant weed control compared to the control. Since, weed regeneration was observed in oil palm EFB treatment from ten weeks of its application, it was applied again in three months intervals. There were no weeds observed in both in shade net and polythene mulch treatments from four weeks of their application up to one year period. All the mulching treatments reduced labor requirement compared to the control. Organic carbon content was significantly improved by mulching while other soil parameters were not affected compared to the control. Shade net and polythene could be effectively used for weed management and they will be beneficial under labor shortage. Oil palm EFB is effective for weed control with labor saving and it has to be applied in three months intervals. However, there will be no environmental pollution with Oil palm EFB mulch as it is a natural waste material.
Ruwani Kalpana Jayawardana,
Natural and Synthetic Mulching Materials for Weed Control in Immature Rubber Plantations, American Journal of Plant Biology.
Vol. 4, No. 4,
2019, pp. 114-117.
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