The plastic mulch is polythene made material used for covering the surface of soil for the prevention of the growth of weeds. It is widely known that weeds can significantly decrease the yield of crops and increase the incidences of pests and diseases.
The use of plastic mulch has a lot of benefits. These benefits would be highlighted and discussed in this post.
Benefits of Plastic Mulch
- Weed Control
- Increase in Yield
- Control of Nutrients' Leaching and Erosion
- Early Planting
- Water Retention in Soil
- Improvement in Plant Health and Fruit Quality
- Pests and Disease Control
- Reduction in Labour Cost
The following are the benefits of using a plastic mulch for weed control:
The use of plastic mulch can stop the growth of weeds. It can also prevent the growth of weeds. Weeds go a long way in reducing the yield of crops.
The use of plastic mulch can reduce the risk of yield loss and disease outbreak due to weeds. To use plastic mulch for weed control, you need to lay the plastic mulch firmly on the soil. The plastic mulch should be held down to the soil with the use of stakes or pegs. For some types of plastic mulch, special types of pegs have to be used to affix them to the ground.
Increase in Crop Yield
The use of plastic mulch has been proven to improve crop yield. When the growth of weeds is checked, plants can effectively and efficiently use the available water and nutrients in the soil as there is no competition.
When the plants solely use up the available resources in the soil, the yield of the crop is likely to increase. It is known that weeds can reduce the yield of crops by as much as 98%. The use of plastic mulch can remove the risk of loss in crop yield due to weeds.
Control of Nutrients’ Leaching and Erosion
The use of plastic mulch can control nutrients’ leaching and erosion. Plastic mulch can retain the structure of the soil. This can significantly reduce the risk of erosion and nutrients’ leaching and enable the crop to have good access to the soil nutrients.
In temperate climates, plastic mulch can be used to enable farmers to plant early. Some types of plastic mulch can increase the soil temperature and enable farmers to start planting when other farmers cannot plant due to the cold weather.
The use of plastic mulch can also be used to elongate the planting season especially in colder areas where the planting season is short.
Water Retention in Soil
Plastic mulch helps in retaining moisture in the soil. The retention of water in soil can make the plants have access to water for a longer time. This can improve the health of the plant and the overall crop yield. It can also reduce the need for irrigation. Plastic mulch alternatives can add organic matter to the soil.
The more the thickness of the plastic mulch, the better the water retention capability.
Improvement in Plant Health and Fruit Quality
The use of plastic mulch prevents plants and their fruits from having contact with the soil. This can prevent soil borne diseases and pests.
For example, if plastic mulch is used in cucumber farming, the leaves and fruits of the cucumber plants will not touch the soil, this can prevent the cucumber plants and fruits from contracting soil borne diseases.
Pests and Disease Control
Some types of plastic mulch may prevent the activities of insects and aphids. The silver on black plastic mulch can repel aphids.
The heat created by some types of plastic mulch can also kill some soil borne insects and microbes.
Reduction in Labour Cost
The use of plastic mulch may eradicate the need for hiring of labourers to weed the farm. The cost of weeding is a significant cost in farming operations.
With the use of plastic mulch, there may not be any need for manual or machine weeding of the farm.
Please note that you should buy your plastic mulch for trustworthy vendors.
Do you use plastic mulch in Nigeria? If yes, kindly share the benefits with us in the comments’ section.
You can buy our plastic mulch here.