Mulching for mangoes

Hi All,

We have just completed planting mango saplings.
1.  When is it the right time to mulch and use plastic sheets.
2. For UHD plantation is one lateral of drip irrigation enough or do we need to have 2 laterals for each row of trees
Your guidance is much appreciated
Thank you

Mulching can be done as soon as you plant. Try to mulch with agri waste. Plastic has a question of eco friendlyness. In plastic mulching aeration is poor.

Try with coco peat or coconut tree droplings for mulching.

Hi? can you come up with photos of planted saplings? What is the source of irrigation? If enough water is available then go with live mulching with legumes to compensate expenditures. However it will be best to advise after seeing photos of plantation.

Hello Sri,

Thank you, noted it is good to mulch even now. Can we use straw left over from paddy harvester?

Hello Swamy,

Am off site, will capture pics this week and post. The planting has been done at 12’ x6’.
Yes there is water from 2 borewells.
Would live muclhing involve lots of labor? We are close to Chennai so getting labor is tough.
Thank you

[quote="xisfan"]
Hello Sri,

Thank you, noted it is good to mulch even now. Can we use straw left over from paddy harvester?

Hello Swamy,

Am off site, will capture pics this week and post. The planting has been done at 12’ x6’.
Yes there is water from 2 borewells.
Would live muclhing involve lots of labor? We are close to Chennai so getting labor is tough.
Thank you

[/quote] Hi? Which is the best way to achieve your purpose of mulching? Adding other materials also needs labour efforts along with growing live crops which may compensate for your efforts and serve both the purposes of mulch and milch of your economics. In order to address the labour problems you can have mechanization of farming activity. Mulching is not only for mangos, but also to grow other produce along with mango plants and to avoid growing weeds.

Will you be?
See the photo to know art of agriculture to more benefits in it for you.


Hello Swamy,

Thank you for your inputs.
Correct me if I am wrong, as I understand mulching with organic material is one time process. It may need to be replaced once the metter has decomposed or can it be layered with fresh organic matter?
Growing legumes while an elegant solution requires more manpower. Are you suggesting that legumes be grown over the entire acreage under mango or just in the basins surrounding the plants? Please do let me know.

Hi you need to invest your money and energy either for one time mulching with other materials purchased outside from the farm or to grow other crops to mulch and get additional income. Please note you need your investment and labor efforts for both. Which is your selection?

+1 Agree with Swamy. Mulching will become a nightmare(Labour, transport, buying straw) if you try to procure the straw from outside the farm. Refer Subhash palekar’s books thoroughly on how/what symbiotic intercrops to cultivate in Mango.

+2 agree with Swamy sir.

If you dont invest on labor to create live mulch or bio mass mulch, you will bespending money on de-weeding.

Legumes act as nitrogen fixing agents. so worth investing. because you are saving money in menures.

By the way you dont have to sow in a systematic way. you can broadcast the treated seeds.

option 2: Just wet soil have hand full of seeds, make a leg thumb impresseion on soil drop the seed and cover with soil. You dont have to bend. You can do this without any labour. Your investment will be only on seeds and your time.

How much water would be needed to sustain the live mulch?
Is there a need to keep crimping the growth into the soil periodically?

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
To help me make a decision on live mulching, I need to understand how it works - 101 for dummies.
1.  should I flood irrigate the field first time round ?
2. broadcast the seeds and let them grow.
3. do I need to irrigate periodically or just let the rains take care of it? ( I may not be able to flood irrigate once all of the farm is under drip )
4. would they carpet the whole area and prevent weeds or any maintenance required. (Mr. Swami - what is the live mulch in your photo, assume it is from your farm too)
Appreciate to have your suggestions

Hello xisfan,

  1. Wait till the monsoon.
  2. Plough after the first rain
  3. Broadcast seeds ( Sun Hemp , Cow Pea , Green gram are few in the list , better consult near by KVK for more details like which is better in your area).
  4. You don’t have to irrigate during monsoon , unless rains are very bad.
  5. These crops range from 2-5 months depending on the variety.
  6. Wait till the cover crop flower
  7. Plough it back to soil after 10 days i.e. at early pod stage.

Advantages of live mulch.

  1. Year after year will add to you soils organic matter.
  2. Increases you soils water retention capacity
  3. Provides nitrogen
  4. Reduces weeds
  5. Eco friendly
  6. Cost effective than plastic sheet mulch.
  7. If you have animals on the you can feed them as well
    and many more

agritech.tnau.ac.in/agriculture/ … intro.html

-Hari

Dear All,

I have studied your replies and would suggest you to avoid using plastic films which have an low life and gets torn/flutters away due to winds and promote cattle deaths as these torn bits get mixed with the waste plants , shrubs, grass etc.
Further I would suggest you to use PP woven fabric black uv stabilised mats  for mango trees- 3 mtr x 3mtr only.

Some specific advantages are :
1.Being woven due to microholes it shall maintain air flow to roots of the trees and helps in having microclimatic control at root level.

2.Being black in color, it prevents weed growth around trees thus saving fertiliser from being leached by weeds/grass.

3.Water conservation is also achieved as it does not allow evaporation and water moistness is being maintained at root levels.

4.Due to soil moistness we need not operate drip irrigation system continuously throughout the day but only twice a day-early morning and late evenings only as seen by some farmers in Mexico etc where we are on visit now.

5.If handled carefully, the mats can be used for minimum 2 yrs or more .Laying of mats also is best done without anyhole punching in the centre of mats but only an slit .Farmers here explain that weed growth is like cancer - a small footing near tree roots and irt spreads rapidly-hence no openings near trees are covered by slit methods here locally.

6.Enclosing an photo taken of use of black woven fabric for kinnows fruits done in Haryana also- it is similar to oranges here.

This is for your information.

Regards,

A.R.VENKAT

[quote="xisfan"]
Thanks for all of your suggestions.
To help me make a decision on live mulching, I need to understand how it works - 101 for dummies.
1.  should I flood irrigate the field first time round ?
2. broadcast the seeds and let them grow.
3. do I need to irrigate periodically or just let the rains take care of it? ( I may not be able to flood irrigate once all of the farm is under drip )
4. would they carpet the whole area and prevent weeds or any maintenance required. (Mr. Swami - what is the live mulch in your photo, assume it is from your farm too)
Appreciate to have your suggestions

[/quote] Hi? Seems you starting newly. Good to see your initiation and it may better for you to spend some time with knowledgeable Farmer to know better practices in Agriculture and to achieve success in your land along with Mango crop.

Hello Hari,
Thank you for a detailed flow chart, clear now. Will discuss with local KVK and make a call

Hello Mr. Swami,
Yes, I am a novice at this. Thanks for your suggestions will seek guidance from few local farmers

Thanks Venkat for the info on woven mats

Thanks to all for your patience and suggestions

Good idea , though time consuming one.
One may use a 1 " PVC pipe of 3 or 3.5 ft high to avoid bending and uncontrolled scattering of seeds.
Better the seeds are immersed in water for a few hours before sowing.

I would not recommend putting Daincha very close to the plant. If labor is a problem, deweeding will become a problem when Daincha grows.
How many plants do you have ?

You can consider broadcasting it on the walkway and then rotavate it when the legumnious plants flower. That is much easier than putting it inside the mango basin. Daincha tends to become pretty strong after 2-3 months.

All said and done haris’ recommendation is the best for the biginer. later on as the plants grow you may think of other types of mulching keeping in mind its efficacy and economics

Dear Johri,

Velvet bean spreads like a creeper and doesnot allow weeds to grow(see picture). Rotovating before flowering is one option(no debate).
Leaving the flowers to pollinate and bear pods, later rotovating is another option.
The grown creepers will have more fibers and degrades at slower rate.
The seeds of velvet bean is sold at 40/Kg.
The seeds contain L-dopa or Levodpa which is medicine for Parkinson’s Disease

So no deweeding problem with velvet beans. Farmers often complain about itching of pods. There are few subspecies which pods dont itch.
You can try velvet beans next time and post your findings here.

Hi All,

When we talk about multching and using of these plastic films, etc I was always wondering if we can use the old flux banners as multch? I wanted to try this out in the next season as these would be relatively cheap and even free if we have contacts. I hope they will last a season. My only worry is will these contaminate the field.

Thank you.
Srinivas