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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 723: I International Symposium on the Labiatae: Advances in Production, Biotechnology and Utilisation

EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT VEGETAL MULCHING ON ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS L.: FIRST RESULTS.

Authors:   E. De Falco, V. De Feo, M. Zaccardelli, F. De Nicola, M. Tarangelo
Keywords:   aromatic plant, vegetal residues, yield, PAR, weed, enzymatic activity, essential oil
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2006.723.64
Abstract:
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) cultivation is increasing because of the request of the fresh product both in the niche and in the large scale trade. Consequently, it is necessary to evaluate sustainable cultivation techniques and mulching plays an important role in weed control, soil temperature and water content and it can influence the yield and quality of the officinal plant. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of different vegetal mulching (pressed cellulose square with 0.3 m side, poplar wood cut, conifers wood cut, rosemary residues cut) in comparison with traditional black polyethylene plastic on a rosemary crop cultivated on a deep sandy clay soil in an irrigated plain area of southern Italy (Eboli, Province of Salerno). The plants were transplanted on the third decade of March 2005. The experiment was carried out on 4 replications and 24 plants for each plot with a distance of 0.70 x 0.30 m. During the crop cycle the soil temperatures were monitored. The number of weeds on the row was determined twice. At the harvest, the fresh and dry weight, the vegetation height, the breadth of the row, the intercepted PAR and the essential oil were measured on the biomass while the enzymatic activities were measured in the soil. The first results showed a reduced ability of the mulching against the weed except for the black polyethylene mulch and pressed cellulose. Moreover the mulching adopted influences in the trial in a different way: the soil parameters, the plant growth and the essential oil content and composition.

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