BIODEGRADABLE MULCH FILM IN A BROCCOLI PRODUCTION SYSTEM
Removal and disposal of polyethylene mulch in vegetable production represents a high economic and environmental cost to society. A field experiment was performed with broccoli crop under Mediterranean conditions (Murcia, Spain) to evaluate the feasibility of substituting the currently used mulch materials. Black and transparent polyethylene (PE) mulch were compared with bare soil (control) and three biodegradable plastic mulch materials (MB green, MB black, MB transparent). Data loggers were installed 7 cm deep into the soil under various mulches to record soil temperature. The experiment used a randomized complete block design with four replications. Mulch degradation, soil temperature and broccoli growth and biomass were assessed. Plant growth, estimated as the total dry weight produced, was similar for MB and PE treatments. Results indicate that soil temperatures under the biodegradable mulches were similar to the PE mulch. All mulch treatments were successful for weed control. Mechanical analyses indicated that the MB had initially a lower resistance and elongation percentage at break point than PE.
López-Marin , J., Gonzalez , A., Fernández, J.A., Pablos, J.L. and Abrusci, C. (2012). BIODEGRADABLE MULCH FILM IN A BROCCOLI PRODUCTION SYSTEM. Acta Hortic. 933, 439-444
biodegradation, soil temperature, vegetable production, plastic