Plastic mulching in vegetables – The agricultural industry has a very high level of complexity and potential risks that must be handled appropriately. Farmers must be able to map the constraints they will face before starting the planting process. This method will give us an idea of what must be done to prevent failure during the planting. During the planting process, farmers will experience several obstacles that can threaten their production. Plant seeds can fail to grow properly if farmers can’t analyze the cause. Therefore, the agricultural industry must be carried out carefully and planned. That is the only way that agricultural production can produce vegetables of the highest quality.
Advantages of Plastic Mulching in Vegetables
The agricultural industry has progressed, especially after humans began to use plastic in every aspect of their lives. In the 1960s, farmers began to use plastic mulching in vegetables because they were considered to provide many benefits while ensuring agricultural production. Some of the advantages of plastic mulch in the agricultural industry are including:
– Keep Soil Moisture
The water-resistant character of polypropylene makes plastic mulch an excellent tool for maintaining soil moisture. When placed on the soil surface, sunlight can’t penetrate and the process of evaporation of nutrients in the soil will not occur. Plastic mulch will protect the soil surface so that the moisture remains stable. Without plastic mulch, the soil will dry quickly because sunlight can remove water content in the soil. Farmers also use plastic mulch to ensure that soil moisture remains stable and they do not need to do regular irrigation.
– Speed up the Plant Growth
Based on research, plastic mulching in vegetables will accelerate the process of plant growth. At least, that’s the case in Utah, where crops grown on plastic mulch mature 2 to 3 weeks faster than crops grown on bare soil. The water vapor trapped in the plastic mulch will accelerate the plant growth process because the temperature increases. Usually, farmers use white or black plastic mulch to ensure plants grow faster.
– Weed and Pest Management
The advantage of using plastic mulch in agriculture is that it makes easier for farmers to manage weeds and pests. These two things are enemies of farmers because they can interfere with the planting process and result in poor production. Weeds can absorb nutrients in the soil so that the need for vegetable substances can be disrupted. While pests often interfere with the planting process, even when they are still seeds, pests can attack at any time. Using plastic mulch will ensure that weeds and pests will not interfere with the planting process so that production yields can be increased.
– Soil Protector
Last but not least, the plastic mulching in vegetables will be the soil protectors. We all know that the soild should be compact to withstand the weight of the plants and its roots. The soil could loose its compactness due to rainfall or footsteps. Using plastic mulch will keep the texture and structure of the soil for the whole season.