Mulch

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mulch,

any material, usually organic, that is spread on the ground to protect the soil and the roots of plants from the effects of soil crusting, erosion, or freezing; it is also used to retard the growth of weeds. A mulch may be made of materials such as straw, sawdust, grass clippings, peat moss, leaves, or paper. For large areas under cultivation a tilled layer of soil serves the purpose of a mulch.

Mulch

A layer of material such as wood chips, straw, and/or leaves, placed around plants to hold moisture, prevent weed growth, and enrich or sterilize the soil.

Mulch

 

a cover made of straw, reeds, and other longstemmed plants. A mulch is used to protect plants in greenhouses from cold temperatures at night; in very cold weather it is also used during the day. Mulches are made with a hand-operated tool or by a matting machine.


Mulch

 

a complete or interrow covering (as of mulch paper, crumbled peat, pulverized manure, humus, compost, or fallen leaves) on the soil. Mulching materials are used in agriculture in the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, berries, ornamentals, and other crops. Mulch reduces labor expenditures on interrow tilling and improves plant-growing conditions and soil fertility by conserving soil moisture, reducing the amplitude of soil temperature fluctuation, protecting the soil surface against scouring, preventing the formation of a soil crust, and preventing weed growth. As a rule, mulch increases the harvest of agricultural crops, particularly in arid regions. It is less effective on heavy and overly moist soils, on which it may even reduce the harvest.

The stubble of cereal grasses left on the fields for the winter plays the same role as mulch by protecting the soil against erosion. This procedure is of particular importance in the steppe regions of the USSR, where strong winds often prevail (Altai and Krasnoiarsk krais, Novosibirsk and Omsk oblasts, the northern part of the Kazakh SSR).

REFERENCES

Plodovodstvo, 2nd ed. [Edited by V. A. Kolesnikov.] Moscow, 1966. Pages 261–63.
Rubtsov, M. I., and V. P. Matveev. Ovoshchevodstvo. Moscow, 1970. Pages 181–82.

mulch

[məlch]
(materials)
A mixture of organic material, such as straw, peat moss, or leaves, that is spread over soil to prevent evaporation, maintain an even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds, and enrich soil.

mulch

Material such as leaves, hay, straw, or the like, spread over the surface of the ground to protect the roots of newly planted shrubs or trees, of tender plants, etc., from the sun or from the cold.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mulches are expensive, with organic mulches supporting weed growth and requiring replacement due to decomposition.
To overcome these shortcomings, the use of materials that meet the agronomic functions required from mulches, and which can be assimilated by the agricultural system at the end of their life cycle, is proposed.
Mulches always increased yield traits when compared to non-mulch application (Ekinci and Dursun, 2009; Gordon et al.
Still, that rumor that plants will suffer from high carbon mulches keeps going around, despite the field experience of agricultural researchers and many gardeners.
Inorganic mulches such as black plastic, red plastic, crushed rock, gravel, vermiculite and perlite also come with a hefty price tag.
Two synthetic mulches (black plastic and weed barrier) and one organic mulch (pine bark nuggets) were evaluated for purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.
These results indicate that plastic mulches positively influenced the root growth of wheat early in the growing season when the soil is cold.
The average nutrient concentrations in runoff from the mulch treatments were highest during the initial rainfall simulation in 2002, when the mulches were fresh, and decreased after a year.
Utilitarian mulches such as polythene and old carpet are fine for the vegetable garden.
Companies marketing shredded rubber mulches say that their product takes much longer than organic mulches to break down, fights weed growth in gardens, will not blow or float away, and is environmentally safe.
Plastic mulches have been part of the agricultural scene for some 40 years.