• Mulching Techniques for Arid Lands Vegetable Production

      Peebles, R. W.; Oebker, Norman F.; University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Mulches have been used for evaporation suppression in facilitating vegetable production under arid lands conditions. A study was undertaken in order to evaluate the effectiveness of plastic aprons, supplied by the FAO, as compared to gravel mulches. The vinyl aprons were 6 mils thick and about 1 meter square. Squash plants (Cucurbita pepo) were planted with gravel or plastic aprons or in bare areas and under different watering schedules. The yields under plastic aprons were considerably greater than under gravel and required slightly less water. Bare soil yields lagged far behind. Soil temperatures under the plastic aprons were consistently higher over 24 hours than bare soil, which within limits, would facilitate faster crop growth. Additionally, the apron collects and diverts rainfall to the plant. The vinyl used lasts only 2 seasons, and gravel would probably be a more suitable mulch for developing countries where capital is scarce.