Mulching reduces the deterioration of soil

Mulching reduces the deterioration of soil, minimizes the weed infestation and checks the water evaporation. Thus, it facilitates more retention of soil moisture and helps in control of temperature fluctuations, improves physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. As it adds nutrients to the soil and ultimately enhances the growth and yield of crops. Inorganic mulch includes plastic mulch and accounts for the greatest volume of mulch use in commercial crop production. The plastic materials used as mulch are polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene films. Owing to its greater permeability to long wave radiation it can increase temperature around the plants during night in winter. Hence, polyethylene film mulch is preferred as mulching material for crop production.
The use of plastic mulch increased soil temperature by 3.3 to 6.6 ?C compared to without mulch. The silver-black plastic mulch controlled weeds by 95 to 98 %. The light transmitter plastics advanced earliness and the highest early yield was obtained in clear plastic mulch. This can be attributed to increase soil temperature under plastic, as air temperature was low at early spring. The marketable yield was higher


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