Cover crops and mulches are a suitable choice for sustainable agriculture because they improve weed control and crop performance. The aim of this research was to investigate weed control and nitrogen supply by using different winter cover crop species which were converted into mulches in spring. We carried out a 2-year field experiment where a tomato crop was transplanted into four different types of mulches coming from winter cover crops [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), subclover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), and a mixture of hairy vetch/oat)] and in conventional treatment (tilled soil without mulch). The mixture of hairy vetch/oat cover crop produced the highest aboveground biomass (7.9 t ha1 of DM), while the hairy vetch accumulated the highest N in the aboveground biomass (258 kg N ha1). The oat cover crop was the most effective cover crop for suppressing weeds (on average 93% of weed aboveground biomass compared to other cover crops). After mowing the cover crop aboveground biomass was placed in strips as dead mulch into which the tomato was transplanted in paired rows. Weed density and total weed aboveground biomass were assessed at 15 and 30 days after tomato transplanting to evaluate the effect of mulches on weed control. All mulches suppressed weeds in density and aboveground biomass compared to the conventional system (on average 80% and 35%, respectively). The oat was the best mulch for weed control but also had a negative effect on the marketable tomato yield (15% compared to the conventional treatment). Amaranthus retroflexus L. and Chenopodium album L. were typical weeds associated with the conventional treatment while a more heterogeneous weed composition was found in mulched tomato. Legume mulches, in particular hairy vetch, gave the best marketable tomato yield 28% higher than the conventional system both with and without nitrogen fertilization. This research shows that winter cover crops converted into dead mulch in spring could be used successfully in integrated weed management programs to reduce weed infestation in tomato crops.

Effect of cover crops and mulches on weed control and nitrogen fertilization in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)

RADICETTI E
Penultimo
;
2010

Abstract

Cover crops and mulches are a suitable choice for sustainable agriculture because they improve weed control and crop performance. The aim of this research was to investigate weed control and nitrogen supply by using different winter cover crop species which were converted into mulches in spring. We carried out a 2-year field experiment where a tomato crop was transplanted into four different types of mulches coming from winter cover crops [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), subclover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), and a mixture of hairy vetch/oat)] and in conventional treatment (tilled soil without mulch). The mixture of hairy vetch/oat cover crop produced the highest aboveground biomass (7.9 t ha1 of DM), while the hairy vetch accumulated the highest N in the aboveground biomass (258 kg N ha1). The oat cover crop was the most effective cover crop for suppressing weeds (on average 93% of weed aboveground biomass compared to other cover crops). After mowing the cover crop aboveground biomass was placed in strips as dead mulch into which the tomato was transplanted in paired rows. Weed density and total weed aboveground biomass were assessed at 15 and 30 days after tomato transplanting to evaluate the effect of mulches on weed control. All mulches suppressed weeds in density and aboveground biomass compared to the conventional system (on average 80% and 35%, respectively). The oat was the best mulch for weed control but also had a negative effect on the marketable tomato yield (15% compared to the conventional treatment). Amaranthus retroflexus L. and Chenopodium album L. were typical weeds associated with the conventional treatment while a more heterogeneous weed composition was found in mulched tomato. Legume mulches, in particular hairy vetch, gave the best marketable tomato yield 28% higher than the conventional system both with and without nitrogen fertilization. This research shows that winter cover crops converted into dead mulch in spring could be used successfully in integrated weed management programs to reduce weed infestation in tomato crops.
2010
E., Campiglia; R., Mancinelli; Radicetti, E; F., Caporali
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2459125
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