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Anna Alonzo, Iancee Basilio, Angelique Evangelista, Nurfitra Jaafar, Mitzi Punzalan, Nikki Tan, Lloyd Silapan


Mulching is the usage of any material to add a top layer of protection for the soil. Mulch can be used in fields before and after planting, as well as around young crop plants. (Wade and Sanchez, 1975). Mulching can either be permanent or temporary depending on what materials are used. Mulching materials are either organic or inorganic. In this research, two kinds of organic mulches will be used; specifically mulch from newspaper and rice straw. Polyethylene will serve as the inorganic mulch variable for this research. Both organic and inorganic mulches have inimitable merits on soil. (ISU 2003)

According to Williams (1997), the use of mulches should be of standard practice because of several effective records on mulch application. Some of the benefits of mulching are listed below: Mulches help conserve soil moisture. Mulches help maintain uniform soil temperature. Mulches help reduce the severity of crop diseases. Mulches help reduce the risk of soil erosion.

Soil is one of the main components in condition to a plants growth. Its temperature affects the plants growth directly. All crops slow down their growth when they are below or above a specific soil temperature. Germination of seeds is also affected by soil temperature. Soil temperature basically affects soil moisture content, aeration and availability of plant nutrients. (AgriInfo.In, 2011) This determines how important the maintenance of soil temperature is. As stated above, mulching helps maintain uniform soil temperature.

The effectiveness of mulching on soil temperature has been tested by Wade and Sanchez (1975). They have reported that mulch application have a significant effect on decreasing high soil temperatures on dry, sunny days. Surface temperature of plants on sunny days easily reaches 36 to 38 degrees Centigrade. However, a decrease on its mulch variable has been seen. The

mulched plot had a soil temperature that barely increased 33 degrees Centigrade. Through the experiment done by Wade and Sanchez (1975), it can be concluded that mulching decreases soil temperature by 2 degrees Centigrade in a span of a day.

Another research supports the effect of mulches on soil temperature has been done on tea plants in Kenya. Othieno and Ahn (1979) reported that in the first two years of the experiment, temperature differences have been observed. However, it has disappeared when the canopy had covered more than 40% of the soil surface. Stem diameter yield and total dry matter production was positively affected by soil temperature.

The objective of this research is to be able to determine on which kind of mulch; organic or inorganic, is the most effective mulch on soil temperature.


M.K. Wade and P.A. Sanchez. 1975. Mulching and Green Manuring Studies: 166-180

Reiman Gardens. 2003. Iowa State University.

D.J. Williams. Organic Mulch. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Soil Temperature and Its Importance. 2011 Site by ProWebs.

C. O. Othieno and P. M. Ahn. October 17 1979. Effects of Mulches on Soil Temperature and Growth of Tea Plants in Kenya