Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae

Date:
November 17, 2011
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Scientists in Italy evaluated the effectiveness of biodegradable mulches for weed control in container-grown giant arborvitae and measured the effects of the mulches on weed control, water consumption, evaporation, and substrate temperature. Results showed that mulches limited weed growth to the same extent as the chemical control. Container water content was unaffected by mulching materials in two experiments. Results demonstrated that transpiration was the main component of water loss from the container-grown plants.

Traditionally addressed through hand-weeding and/or herbicide application, controlling weeds is one of most costly operations in nursery production. Increased labor costs have made hand-weeding prohibitive as the sole method of weed control, and although herbicides may be effective and less expensive, non-target herbicide loss can be as high as 86% and can harm the environment. To address the economic and environmental impact of weed problems, nursery producers are looking for more sustainable and cost-efficient techniques to control weeds in container-grown plants.

Building on previous research that proved that mulching materials can be successfully used as alternatives to chemical weed control, scientists in Italy evaluated the effectiveness of biodegradable mulches for weed control in container-grown 'Martin' giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata) and measured the effects of the mulches on evaporation and substrate temperature. The study premiered in a research report published in HortTechnology.

The experiments were conducted in an experimental nursery near Como, Italy. The nursery consisted of a tunnel covered with a translucent film to protect containers from precipitation. The research was performed on 2-year-old giant arborvitae plants. Four biodegradable mulching materials were tested and compared with a chemical control (oxadiazon) and a non-mulched/non-treated control. Two levels of overhead irrigation were evaluated: daily irrigation to container capacity (classified as "well-watered") and daily irrigation to 30% of container capacity (classified as "water stressed"). Plants were either hand-weeded three times during the growing season or not weeded until the end of the growing season.

According to corresponding author Gabriele Amoroso, the results showed that mulches limited weed growth to the same extent as the chemical control. In the first year of the study, mulched plants resulted in a higher shoot dry weight than non-treated and non-mulched plants, while in the second year, no differences were observed. No mulching materials were found to reduce the pot temperature. "The black color of the 3-L containers was probably the main factor driving substrate temperature increase, indicating mulching materials did not affect substrate temperatures," noted Amoroso.

In both experiments container water content was unaffected by mulching materials. Results seem to demonstrate that transpiration is the main component of water loss from container-grown giant arborvitae plants.

The scientists concluded that their findings can help ornamental plant growers by giving them more information about the effects of mulching on plant growth, substrate temperature, and water content in containerized plant production.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111117141153.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, November 17). Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111117141153.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111117141153.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins