Effect of organic mulches on development of three ornamental annual plants, moisture and chemical properties of soil
The objective of the research was to investigate the effects of pine bark, fresh grass and peat mulch on the ornamental value of Petunia × atkinsiana, Impatiens walleriana and Tagetes patula cultivars during the short growing period, and soil chemical properties (electrical conductivity, pH, organic matter, total N, P, K, Ca, Mg) and soil moisture in the second year in a temperate climate. Results show that fresh grass and peat mulch increased plant height of Petunia and Impatiens from 40 days after planting until the end of experiment. During the same period plant diameter of Impatiens and Tagetes was enhanced in all studied mulches, but plant diameter of Petunia was enlarged only with peat mulch. Impatiens number of flowers enhanced in all mulches, but in case of Tagetes the number was higher with pine bark. In comparison with unmulched treatment, soil moisture, electrical conductivity and pH increased in fresh grass and pine bark treatments. Soil Mg content was higher up to 15% in plots with fresh grass mulch. Plant diameter of all species was positively correlated with soil electrical conductivity.
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