|Title||The performance of the leaf mulches of Leucaena leucocephala, Flemingia macrophylla and Gliricidia sepium in weed control.|
|Source||Agroforestry Systems 6 (1988)1-3. - ISSN 0167-4366 - p. 137 - 145.|
|Department(s)||Tropical Crop Science|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Abstract||The performance of the leaf mulches ofLeucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium andFlemingia macrophylla in weed control has been tested in two trials. The length of the period during which a mulch layer yields significantly less weedbiomass compared to the control plots is called the ‘effective life-span’ of the mulch.
Of the three mulch materials only that ofF. macrophylla shows promise in retarding weed development.
In the second trialF. macrophylla leaf mulch was applied at rates of 3, 6 and 9 tons dry matter per ha. The effective lifespan of a mulch layer of 3 tons is between 12 and 13 weeks. The treatments 6 and 9 tons have effective life-spans of over 14 weeks.
For moderate quantities (up to 5 tons of dry leaf mulch per ha) the effective life-span is estimated at about a 100 days.
The value of mulching in weed control is limited to the control of weed species that multiply by seed. Regrowth originating from roots or stumps from former vegetation is unlikely to be checked by a mulch layer.