Effects of different floor management methods applied for five years in an organic olive orchard
Orchard floor management is an important cultural practice for successful and sustainable cultivation of fruit crops including olives. Orchard floor management methods have an effect on organic matter, mineral and moisture contents in the soil which then affect plant growth, yield and fruit quality. A field experiment was designed in organic olive orchard at Atatürk Horticultural Central Research Institute (Yalova, Turkey) in which four different floor management methods were implemented. The methods tested were 1) traditional tillage, 2) no-till management, 3) organic mulch (straw) and 4) cover crops (vetch + oats). The trial aimed to find a sustainable olive orchard floor management system that could be recommended to the producers. Tested floor management methods did not show any statistically significant effects on yield and olive fruit quality. Even though some positive effects of cover crops on the soil properties have started to appear as confirmed by the significant differences obtained from some of the samplings, the effects of tested floor management methods on soil properties did not differentiate clearly for most parameters. Based on these results, it is possible to propose using cover crops - under conditions where there is no strong competition - instead of traditional tillage which has additional costs and possible negative effects on the environment. It is expected that maintaining the same research plan for longer terms will further differentiate the effects of floor management methods over the years and positively impact the yield.
Bilen, E., Das Kilic, B.O., Biyikli, M. and Misir, G. (2020). Effects of different floor management methods applied for five years in an organic olive orchard. Acta Hortic. 1286, 193-198
cover crops, mulch, no-till, straw mulch, tillage