EFFECTS OF BAHIA GRASS AS A COVER CROP ON THE GROWTH OF MANGO TREES, AND SOIL FERTILITY
More than 80 percent of mango trees (Mangifera indica L.) in Taiwan were grown on slope-land. Growers in general allowed local weeds or no weed in the orchards which resulted in a serious problem of erosion in the monsoon seasons. Experiments were conducted at Hsin-Hae branch station of the Tainan DAIS to evaluate the effect of bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) as a cover crop on the growth of mango trees and soil fertility in the slope-land orchard. Treatments included bahia grass with no trimming, trimmed once a year (in April), trimmed twice a year (in April and October), and continuous trimming throughout the year leaving the grass height of about 15 cm, and local weeds with no-weeding plots serving as control. Results indicated that the treatment trimmed twice a year was superior to any of the others. Comparison of this treatment with the noweeding control indicated that organic matter increased by 48 percent in soil, pH value gradually increased, potassium increased 359 kg ha-1, endomycorrhizal fungi population increased by 52 percent and trunk diameter of the mango trees increased by 25 percent. Bahia grass not only protected the soil from erosion as reported before but also improved the growth of mango trees via the increase in organic matter, pH value, K and endomycorrhizal fungi in the soil. The spread of anthracnose between mango trees and bahia grass is discussed.
Chang, M.T. (1992). EFFECTS OF BAHIA GRASS AS A COVER CROP ON THE GROWTH OF MANGO TREES, AND SOIL FERTILITY. Acta Hortic. 292, 113-122