Mulching in agricultural provides a safe yet equally profitable method of enriching and fertilizing the soil planted with crops. Most often-used mulches are of organic composition, such as dry leaves and barks. Unlike synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, these organic mulches pose no or little damage to the soil and crops.
In this study, the effectiveness of dried papaya leaves as organic mulch for tomato was tested. Papaya mulches in different thickness were applied on plots planted with tomato in three replications. After the determined period of mulch application, the researchers application, the researchers measured the height increases of tomato plants ands the weed density in the plots. It was concluded that papaya mulch significantly promoted height increase of tomato plants and inhibited the growth of weeds. The best mulch was 3 inches in thickness.
Usually defined as the use of organic and biodegradable materials to give plants the nutrients they need, organic farming proved to be the safest and most effective method of increasing and sustaining yield. Various methods fall under organic farming, such as composting, green manuring, legume inoculating, and utilizing animal manure as fertilizers.
Mulching is a simple process that increases soil fertility and regulating several factors affecting overall plant growth. In this method, a layer of material-the mulch-is placed on soil surface around the plant. The mulch is used to retard the growth of weeds, protect roots and stems from sudden or extreme temperature changes, reduce soil erosion by wind and water, retard runoff of rainfall, prevent soil puddling by breaking the impact of raindrops, and keep flowers and fruits from being spattered with mud during rainstorms.
Materials & Equipment
Further clarification of the procedures and results should be directed to the researchers and adviser.
Ma. Theresa C. Acayen
Leizel G. Magdaraog
Levin G. Matriano
Leslie Mae D. Rivero
Ms. Marie Christine W. Merca
Philippine Science High School
Bicol Region Campus