Effect of orchard floor management practices on soil physical properties, growth and yield of 'Kinnow' mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco)
The effect of floor management practices on soil physico-chemical properties and soil water retention characteristics as well as on plant growth and yield performance of 'Kinnow' mandarin was monitored in a long-term field experiment. Two management practices, mowing and cultivation were compared for their effect on the parameters recorded in a 15-year-old plantation. The results showed that continuous mowing for 5 years indicated that soil organic matter and soil phosphorus improved significantly under mowing practice while soil bulk density decreased and consequently soil porosity was increased. Mowing practice promoted accumulation of soil organic matter and enhanced soil aggregation. The saturated hydraulic conductivity was greater in mowing than cultivated plots. Similarly, pore size distribution under the two floor management practices was drastically different. The increased water retention in soil profile and enhanced saturated hydraulic conductivity were attributed to conditions conducive to organic matter accumulation in the soil profile. The floor management practices significantly affected shoot growth, canopy diameter, trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) and fruit yield. The results indicated superiority of mowing practice over conventional cultivation towards improvement in soil physical parameters, such as reduced penetration resistance, enhanced aggregate stability and saturated hydraulic conductivity and increased water retention.
Ur-Rahman, H., Tahir, T., Ahmed, M., Nabi, G. and Ali, I. (2016). Effect of orchard floor management practices on soil physical properties, growth and yield of 'Kinnow' mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco). Acta Hortic. 1128, 137-144
citrus floor management, soil aggregation, pore size distribution, water retention, saturated hydraulic conductivity, citrus growth performance