Organic farmers must plan carefully to manage weeds and soil health. Mulching not only aids weed management, but also can improve soil quality. Organic-matter mulches compete with weeds for sunlight, moisture, nutrients, and growing space. They also improve soil health by reducing soil erosion and increasing soil organic matter. Organic matter contributes greatly to soil structure and microbial activity, both of which are essential to plant health.
The goal of this trial was to compare the effectiveness of two mulch treatments to suppress weeds, improve soil organic matter, and increase yields of organic muskmelon and acorn squash.
Nelson, Hayley and Gleason, Mark
"Comparing Between-Row Mulchesin Organic Muskmelon and Squash—Year 1,"
Farm Progress Reports: Vol. 2016
, Article 25.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/farmprogressreports/vol2016/iss1/25