Influence of different mulching materials on growth and yield of tomato subjected to drip irrigation

N.R. Gonzaga, A.B. Gonzaga, G. Rogers, S. McDougall, S.L.A. Pepito, A.M.T. Batuigas
Locally sourced plant material has potential to be used as a mulching option instead of being discarded and treated as a waste product. Furthermore, the introduction of drip irrigation, which promotes better water usage efficiency, could be used in conjunction with mulching to enhance tomato production in the field. This study aimed to determine the best mulching system that would optimize growth, yield, and resistance to diseases when used with drip irrigation. The study was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with different mulch materials as treatments (replicated three times). The different treatments were no mulch without drip (control), no mulch with drip and rice straw or corn stalk or black plastic mulch or silver plastic mulch with drip. Plots mulched with corn stalk had increased plant height. Black plastic mulch produced a consistent increase in number and weight of marketable fruits which, consequently, resulted in the highest yields of 39.55 and 37.50 t ha‑1 for the first and second crops, respectively. Corn stalk mulch produced the lowest incidence of disease from 30 until 75 days after transplanting (DAT) during the first cropping, followed by silver plastic mulch. Results indicate that black-colored plastic or corn stalk mulch along with drip irrigation are the best mulching materials to use in order to significantly enhance height and yield and to reduce disease incidence in tomato crops under production conditions in the Philippines.
Gonzaga, N.R., Gonzaga, A.B., Rogers, G., McDougall, S., Pepito, S.L.A. and Batuigas, A.M.T. (2021). Influence of different mulching materials on growth and yield of tomato subjected to drip irrigation. Acta Hortic. 1312, 359-366
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1312.52
black plastic mulch, corn stalk mulch, drip irrigation, enhanced yield, plant waste mulching material

Acta Horticulturae