THE EFFECT OF MULCHING ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOME NUTRIENT COMPOUNDS IN THE SOIL

A. Libik, T. Wojtaszek
The practise of mulching, well known to the gardner, is perhaps as old as agriculture itself. Mulches are not only highly effective in checking evaporation and in preventing weed growth, but also have influence on several processes in the soil. The benefits are variously attributed to the suppression of weed growth, to the conservation of moisture by reducing evaporation and run off, to protection from erosion, to increased infiltration of water, to the increase or decrease of soil-temperature fluctuations, to the enhancement of mineral nutrient availability, to the enhancement of nitrification, to additional nutrients and organic matter derived from a decomposing mulch, or to the preservation or improvement of soil structure.

Mulching may, for instance, produce an increase in the nutrient content of the soil by leaching of nutrients from the mulch, but at the same time the entire condition of nutrient availability may be modified for better or worse by changes induced by the mulch in the moisture and temperature regimes of the soil [8].

The study of factors determining the changes of nitrogen forms in the soil was followed by a number of agricultural measures, which influence those processes favourably. On the other hand ammonization and nitrification of nitrogen are connected with losses of that element. The amount of losses is determined by microbiological activity, by physical properties of the soil, by fertilizers used, by the level of nutrient compounds, by the temperature and moisture of the soil [2, 6, 9, 12, 15].

Libik, A. and Wojtaszek, T. (1973). THE EFFECT OF MULCHING ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOME NUTRIENT COMPOUNDS IN THE SOIL. Acta Hortic. 29, 395-404
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.29.32
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.29.32

Acta Horticulturae