Browsing by Subject "Mulch"

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  • Islam, Md. Safiqul (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Mulching, as a cultivation technique, has been adopted since the early twentieth century in agriculture for improving various aspects of crop production. However, the use of mulching was boosted by the introduction of plastic mulch, which has been reported as a harmful substance to the farm environment. Therefore, the need for an environmentally benign mulch material is obvious. The present study investigated the effects of paper and biodegradable plastic mulches on the cucumber yield, soil temperature and moisture content (at 10 cm depth), and the control of weed growth in an agricultural field located at the University of Helsinki in Southern Finland. The degradability of mulches was also investigated. The null hypothesis was that all the mulches would have a similar effect on the abovementioned aspects. Four paper mulches, i.e., BP, KB, CK, and OB, accompanied by biodegradable mulch (BIO) and a bare soil (BG) treatment were under investigation. Each of these treatments had 4 replicates, and a randomized complete block design (RCBD) was adopted. Sensors were installed at 10 cm depth in each study plot to measure the soil temperature and moisture content. In addition, the experimental plots were watered by drip irrigation. All the attained data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. The results of the study revealed noteworthy positive effects (P<0.05) of mulch application on cucumber yields together with soil temperature, early fruiting, and weed growth regulation compared to the un-mulched bare ground, exclusive of soil moisture content. The daytime soil temperature (DST) was higher than at night (NST), indicating a positive association of the mulch effect with plant growth and crop earliness. However, no suggestive improvement in soil moisture was found through mulch application during the study period. Edge degradation was only found for paper mulches during the study period, suggesting their environment friendliness. The CK and KB papers were the most effective and most environmentally positive mulch materials, and could be a suitable choice for Finnish vegetable growers. The findings of this study could assist paper manufacturers in improving the qualities of mulch papers regarding vegetable production. Future research aims at assessing the effects of mulches on the physiology of plants studied under mulched techniques together with the development of cheaper and more environmentally benign mulch materials.
  • Kuittinen, Matti; Hautamaki, Ranja; Tuhkanen, Eeva-Maria; Riikonen, Anu; Ariluoma, Mari (2021)
    Purpose Currently, no clear guidance exists for ISO and EN standards of calculating, verifying, and reporting the climate impacts of plants, mulches, and soils used in landscape design and construction. In order to optimise the potential of ecosystem services in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, we unequivocally propose their inclusion when assessing sustainability. Methods We analysed the life cycle phases of plants, soils, and mulches from the viewpoint of compiling standard-based Environmental Product Declarations. In comparison to other construction products, the differences of both mass and carbon flows were identified in these products. Results Living and organic products of green infrastructure require an LCA approach of their own. Most importantly, if conventional life cycle guidance for Environmental Product Declarations were to be followed, over time, the asymmetric mass and carbon flows would lead to skewed conclusions. Moreover, the ability of plants to reproduce raises additional questions for allocating environmental impacts. Conclusions We present a set of recommendations that are required for compiling Environmental Product Declarations for the studied products of green infrastructure. In order to enable the quantification of the climate change mitigation potential of these products, it is essential that work for further development of LCA guidance be mandated.