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Timothy Coolong

and water has been questioned ( Zhang et al., 2008 ). Paper-based mulches have been used in agriculture since 1914, when paper was used to reduce weed pressure in sugar cane ( Saccharum officinarum ) fields ( Smith, 1931 ). Asphalt-impregnated paper

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S. Christopher Marble, Shawn T. Steed, Debalina Saha, and Yuvraj Khamare

( Smith et al., 1998 ), chopped paper waste ( Pellett and Heleba, 1995 ), and many other materials have been evaluated with varying levels of success ( Case et al., 2005 ; Mathers, 2003 ). Previous reviews of the literature show that mulch depth and

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K.A. Stewart, S. Jenni, and K.A. Martin

In 1994, field trials were undertaken to evaluate the agronomic performance of a range of paper mulches in vegetable production. During the course of the experiments, the majority of the paper mulches tested degraded part way through the growing season. Before the next growing season, a range of Kraft papers differing in densities and compositions were subjected to an accelerated degradation test to determine which mulches would be suitable for use under Quebec field conditions. A mixture of equal parts black soil, sand, and manure (two parts sheep manure and one part liquid cow manure) was placed into trays of 26 x 52 cm. Experimental papers were cut into strips measuring 2.5 x l.5 cm and put into the trays such that half of the strips were covered with the mixture. The trays were placed in a growth cabinet (30C with a relative humidity of 50%). Three replicates of each treatment were sampled 3, 5, 7, 11, and 14 days after placement to determined the amount of degradation that had taken place. It was found that the length of time taken for degradation in the accelerated system was 3.7 times less than that of the field.

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A. M. Liptay and H. Tiessen

Abstract

The effectiveness of polyethylene-coated paper mulches in altering soil environment was investigated. The increase in maximum daily soil temperatures under mulch compared to bare soil was approximately the same for a clear polyethylene laminated on black paper as the clear polyethylene alone. Minimum daily soil temperatures were higher under laminated paper mulch than under black polyethylene. Polyethylene coated paper was as effective as polyethylene in reducing soil moisture evaporation. Studies of bulk density indicated that soils under all mulches were less compacted than the bare soil. Nitrate N levels under mulches were also higher than in the bare soil. The disposal problem encountered with polyethylene mulches at the end of the growing season is eliminated by the use of polyethylene coated paper mulches because the very thin coating of polyethylene disintegrates during the growing season, and the residual paper decomposes in the soil after tilling.

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J.H. Edwards, D.R. Smith, C.H. Gilliam, and D.C. Erbach

Excessive moisture is a problem in evaluating recycled paper products as mulch to replace other common mulch materials and in landscape and container uses. To isolate the water associated with soil and/or media, two recycled paper products, pellets or crumble, were used as mulches in trade gallon containers in a greenhouse. Pine bark, pellets, and crumble needed to obtain standard mulch depth were enclosed in plastic mesh. These mulches were placed in containers that contained 1 kg of a 7 pine bark : 1 sand media. All containers were saturated with tap water for 24 hours. Mulches were placed on each container and allowed to drain for 1 hour. Weights of media, mulch, and media and mulch were obtained every 24 hours for a total of 312 hours. Water content of the media was not influenced by any of the mulch treatments. Water content of the paper products was increased by a factor of two. Pine bark mulch water content was zero 96 hours after an initial dry down cycle began, while the water content of pellet and crumble were 100 and 90 cm of water. Total water content of the media plus the mulch was increased by 30% to 35% when compared to pine bark mulch alone. However, the increase was associated with the water content of the waste paper mulch.

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D. Brault, K.A. Stewart, and S. Jenni

1 Graduate Student. 2 Associate Professor. 3 Research Plant Physiologist. Agr. and Agri-Food Can., Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Qué), Contribution no. 335/2001.03.03R. This paper is a portion of a MS thesis submitted by D. Brault. We thank the

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Randal L. Shogren and Robert C. Hochmuth

1 To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail shogrerl@ncaur.usda.gov . I thank Elizabeth Krietemeyer for help in preparing the mulches. Product names are necessary to report factually on available data

Open access

J. Vandenberg and H. Tiessen

Abstract

Growth of direct seeded ‘Fireball’ tomato plants was accelerated by both wax and polyethylene coating on paper mulches. Mulching increased no. of clusters, flowers, fruit per plant, and earliness. Polyethylene coating hastened growth and development more than wax coating.

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E. E. Albregts and C. M. Howard

Abstract

Bio-degradeable paper mulches with a polyethylene (PE) coating on both sides or with a single PE coating applied against the soil surface satisfactorily endured Florida's 7 month growing season and gave similar fruit yields and fertilizer leaching results as compared to black PE mulch. Paper mulch was harder to transplant through since it is less flexible than PE mulch, but it does not have to be removed from the Geld at season's end.

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D. Brault, K.A. Stewart, and S. Jenni

1 Graduate Student. 2 Associate Professor. 3 Research Plant Physiologist. Agr. and Agri-Food Can., Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec), Contribution no. 335/2001.04.02R. This paper is a portion of a MS thesis submitted by D. Brault. We thank