Jagroop Kaur Harsimrat K. Bons


Mulching plays an important role in production of agricultural and horticultural crops in the current scenario of declining water table, soil degradation and climate change. The main objectives of mulching are to prevent loss of water by evaporation, prevention of soil erosion, weed control, to reduce fertilizer leaching, to promote soil productivity, to enhance yield and quality of field and fruit crops. So, mulching is useful to save our underground water resource, soil and environment for sustainable crop production. In this review paper, the literature clearly shows pronounced effects of mulching on soil health by improving the soil structure, soil fertility, biological activities, avoid soil degradation in addition to moisture conservation, regulating temperature, encouraging change in favourable micro-climate, check weed growth and ultimately increasing the productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of crops and cropping systems irrespective of the system/situation.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Leaching, Moisture conservation, Mulch, Productivity, Soil properties

Abouziena, H. F., Hafez, O. M., El-Metwally, I. M., Sharma, S. D. and Singh, M. (2008). Comparison of weed suppression and mandarin fruit yield and quality obtained with organic mulches, synthetic mulches, cultivation and Glyphosate. Horticuture Science,43(3):795-799
Agrawal, N. and Agrawal, S. (2000). Effect of drip irrigation and mulches on growth and yield of banana cv. Dwarf Cavendish. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 62(3): 238-240
Agrawal, N., Sharma, H. G., Agrawal, S., Dixit, A. and Dubey, P. (2005). Comparative study of drip irrigation and surface method with and without plastic mulching in mango cv Dashehari, Haryana Journal of Horticultural Science, 34(1-2): 9-11
Ahmed, Z. I., Ansar, M., Iqbal, M. and Minhas, N. M. (2007). Effect of planting geometry and mulching on moisture conservation, weed control and wheat growth under rainfed conditions. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 39: 1189-1195
Ali, A. and Gaur, G. S. (2007). Effect of mulching on growth, fruit yield and quality of strawberry. The Asian Journal of Horticulture, 2(1): 149-151
Arai, M., Minamiya, Y., Tsuzura, H., Watanabe, Y., Yagioka, A. and Kaneko, N. (2014). Changes in water stable aggregate and soil carbon accumulation in a no-tillage with weed mulch management site after conversion from conventional management practices. Geoderma, 221-222: 50-60
Araya, A. and Stroosnijder, L. (2010). Effects of tied ridges and mulch on barley (Hordeum vulgare) rainwater use efficiency and production in northern Ethiopia. Agricultural Water Management, 97: 841-847
Aulakh, P. S. and Sur, H. S. (1999). Effect of mulching on soil temperature, soil moisture, weed population, growth and yield in pomegranate. Progressive Horticulture, 31(3-4): 131-133
Badaruddin, M., Reynolds, M. P. and Ageeb, O. A. A. (1999). Wheat management in warm environments: Effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers, irrigation frequency and mulching. Agronomy Journal,91: 975-983
Begum, M. and Saika, M. (2014). Effect of irrigation and mulching on growth and yield attributes of potato. Agricultural Science Digest, 34(1): 76-78
Benjamin, O. D. and Isaiah, I. C. W. (2009). Effect of placement of straw mulch on soil conservation, nutrient accumulation, and wheat yield in a humid Kenyan highland. Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 47: 30-36
Bhatt, R. and Khera, K. L. (2006). Effect of tillage and mode of straw mulch application on soil erosion in the submontaneous tract of Punjab, India. Soil & Tillage Research, 88: 107-115
Borthakur, P. K. and Bhattacharya, R. K. (1999). Response of mulching on yield and mineral composition of guava (Psidium guajava L). Haryana Journal of Horticultural Science, 28(1&2): 35-37.=
Brahma, R., Janawade, A. D. and Palled, Y. B. (2007b). Effect of irrigation schedules, mulch and antitranspirant on growth, yield and economics of wheat (cv. DWD-I006). Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Science,20(1):6-9
Brahma, R., Janawade, A. D. and Palled, Y. B. (2007a). Water use studies in durum wheat as influenced by irrigation schedules, mulch and antitranspirant application in black soils of northern transitional zone of Karnataka. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Science,20(1):120-122
Chaudhary, S. and Iqbal, J. (2013). Weed control and nutrient promotion in zero-tillage wheat through rice straw mulch. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Res.,19: 465-74
Chawla, A. K., Singh, K. G. and Singh, A. (2009). Effect of mulch and drip irrigation on soil hydrothermal regime and potato yield (Solanum tuberosum L.). Journal of Research PAU, 46(1&2): 68-71
Faber, B. A., Downer, A. J. and Menge, J. A. (2003). Effects of mulch on Avocado and Citrus. In Proceedings V World Avocado Congress,Pp. 719-724.
Gangawar, S. K., Sinha, P. S., Singh, B. D., Ramnagina, J. J. and Griya Ghey, U. P. (2000). Maximization of leaf yield of mulberry (morus alba L.) and economic return per unit area of land from sericulture through mulching. Sericologia, 40: 491-497
Gao, Y., Xie, Y., Jiang, H., Wu, B. and Niu, J. (2014). Soil water status and root distribution across the rooting zone in maize with plastic film mulching. Field Crops Research, 156: 40-47
Ghosh, P. K., Dayal, D., Bandyopadhyay and Mohanty, M. (2006). Evaluation of straw and polythene mulch for enhancing productivity of irrigated summer groundnut. Field Crops Research, 99: 76-86
Gosh, S. N. and Bauri, F. K. (2003). Effect of mulching on y ield and physico chemical properties of mango fruits cv. Himsagar grown in laterite soils. Orissa Journal of Horticulture, 31(1): 78-81
Gupta, D. K., Sachan, S. S. and Kumar, R. (1990). Importance of mulch in crop production. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation,18: 20-26
Habte, D. F., Makonnen, V., Tsehafi and Imru, S. (2014). Effects of farmyard manure and straw mulch on runoff, erosion, in-situ water conservation (Reservoir) and yield and yield components of wheat at the high ground of Bale, south eastern Ethiopia. African Journal of Agronomy, 2: 137-143
Han, J., Jia, Z., Han, Q. and Zhang, J. (2013). Application of mulching materials of rainfall harvesting system for improving soil water and corn growth in northwest of China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture,12(10): 1712-1721
Hassan, G, I,, Godara, A. K., Kumar, J. and Huchche, A. D. (2000). Effect of different mulches on yield and quality of ‘Oso Grande’ strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa). Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 70(3): 184-185
Hefeez-ur-Rahman, Nabi, G., Ali, I., Tahir, T. and Ahmed, M. (2012). Growth and yield of Kinnow (Citrus reticulata Blanco) and soil physical properties as affected by orchard floor management practices in Punjab, Pakistan. Soil & Environment, 31(2):163-170
Hieke, S., George, A. P., Rasmussent, T. and Ludders, P. (1997). Effect of plastic soil mulch and cloche on fruit growth and development of low-chill peach cv. Flordaprince (Prunuspersica L.) in subtropical Australian Journal of Horticulture Science, 72(2): 187-193
Hiloidhari, M., Das, D. and Baruah, D. C. (2014) Bioenergy potential from crop residue biomass in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 32: 504–512
Iriany, A., Soemarno, S. and Suprayogo, D. (2014). Effectivity of mulches and organic matter as an effort of potatoes to adapt with climatic changes. Journal of Biology, Agriculture & Healthcare, 4(4): 54-63
Jabran, K., Ullah, E. and Akbar, N. (2015). Mulching improves crop rowth, grain length, head rice and milling recovery of basmati rice grown in water-saving production systems. International Journal of Agriculture & Biology, 17: 920-928
Jain, N., Bhatia, A. and Pathak, H. (2014). Emission of air pollutants from crop residue burning in India. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 14: 422–430
Javeed, H. M. R., Zamir, M. S. I., Tanveer, A. and Yaseen, M. Y. (2013). Soil physical properties and grain yield of spring maize (Zea mays L.) as influenced by tillage practices and mulch treatments. Cercetari Agronomice in Moldova, 46(1): 69-75
Johnson, M. S. and Fennimore, S. A. (2005).Weed and crop response to colored plastic mulches in Strawberry production. Horticultural Science, 40(5): 1371-1375
Ju, Z., Duan, Y. and Ju, Z. (1999). Effect of covering the orchard floor with reflecting films on pigment accumulation and fruit coloration in apples. Horticultural Science, 82: 47-52
Khan, A. R. (2002). Mulching effects on soil physical properties and peanut production. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 6(2): 113-118
Kimiti, J. M. and Gordon, A. M. (2013). Mulch inoculation and placement influenced barley (Hordeum vulgare) growth and soil nitrate levels. Greener Journal of Agricultural Science, 3: 332-340
Kosinki, S. M., King, J. R., Harker, K. N. , Turkington, T. K. and Spaner, D. (2011). Barley and triticale underseeded with a kura clover living mulch: Effects on weed pressure, disease incidence, silage yield, and forage quality. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 91: 677-687
Kumar, D., Pandey, V. and Nath, V. (2008). Effect of organic mulches on moisture conservation for rainfed turmeric production in mango orchard. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 36(3): 188-191
Kumar, J., Rehalia, A. S., Rana, S. S. and Verma, H. S. (1999). Long term effect of orchard soil management practice on growth, yield and fruit quality of apple (Malus domestica). Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 69(5): 355-358
Kumar, V., Singh, S., Chhokar, R. S., Malik, R. K., Brainard, D. C. and Ladha, J. K. (2013). Weed management strategies to reduce herbicide use in zero-till rice-wheat cropping systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Weed Technology, 27: 241-254
Kumar, V., Singh, V. B., Sohan, Priyanka and Khajuria, S. (2014). Effect of various mulches on soil moisture content, soil properties, growth and yield of kinnow under rainfed ConditionInternational Journal of Agricultural Science,10(1): 225-259
Kumar, V. (2014). Effect of different organic mulching materials on soil properties of ‘NA 7’Aonla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn) under rainfed condition of Shiwalik foothills of Himalayas India. The Bioscan., 9(1): 561-564
Layne, D. R., Jiang, Z. and Rushing, J. W. (2001). Tree fruit reflecting film improves red skin colouration and advances maturity in peach. Horticulture Technology,11: 234-242
Li, S. X., Wang, Z. H., Li, S. Q., Gao, Y. J. and Tian, X. H. (2013). Effect of plastic sheet mulch, wheat straw mulch and maize growth on water loss by evaporation in dryland atreas of China. Agricultural Water Management, 116: 39-49
Li, Q., Chen, Y., Liu, M., Zhou, X., Yu, S. and Dong, B. (2008). Effects of irrigation and straw mulching on microclimate characteristics and water use efficiency of winter wheat in north China. Plant Production Science, 11(2): 161-170
Liu, Y., Wang, J., Liu, D., Li, Z., Zhang, G., Tao, Y., Xie, J., Pan, J. and Chen, F. (2014). Straw Mulching Reduces the Harmful Effects of Extreme Hydrological and Temperature Conditions in Citrus Orchards. Plos one,9(1): e87094
Mahajan, G., Sharda, R., Kumar, A. and Singh, K. G. (2007). Effect of plastic mulch on economizing irrigation water and weed control in baby corn sown by different methods. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 2: 19-26
Ma?ecka, I. and Blecharczyk, A. (2008). Effect of tillage systems, mulches and nitrogen fertilization on spring barley (Hordeum vulgare). Agronomy Research, 6: 517-529
Manhas, S. S. and Gill, B. S. (2010). Effect of planting materials, mulch levels and farmyard manure on growth, yield and quality of turmeric (Curcuma longa). Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 80(6): 501-506
Mishra, L. N., Pathak, R. A., Pandey, A. K. and Partap, B. (1998). Effect of various mulches on the conservation of soil moisture in aonla + guava cropping system. South Indian Horticulture,49: 367-369
Mitra, B. and Mandal, B. (2012). Effect of nutrient management and straw mulching on crop yield, uptake and soil fertility in rapeseed (Brassica campestris)-greengram (Vigna radiata)-rice (Oryza sativa) cropping system under Gangetic plains of India. Archives in Agronomy & Soil Science, 58: 213-222
MNRE (2009). Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources, Govt. of India, New Delhi. www.mnre.gov.in/biomassrsources.
Montenegro AAA, Abrantes JRCB, Lima JLMP, Singh VP and Santos TEM (2013). Impact of mulching on soil and water dynamics under intermittent simulated rainfall. Catena, 109: 139-149
Mukhrejee, S., Paliwal, R. and Pareek, S. (2004). Effect of water regime, mulch and kaolin on growth and yield of ber (Zizyphus mauritianaLamk) Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 79(6): 991-999
Nalayini,P., Anandham, R., Sankaranarayanan and Rajendran, T. P. (2009). Polyethylene mulching for enhancing crop productivity and water use efficiency in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and maize (Zea mays) cropping system. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 54(4): 409-414
Narayan, D. and Lal, B. (2009). Rainwater conservation and yield of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) as influenced by tillage and cover management practices in red soils. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 54(4): 438-443
Okeyo, A. I., Mucheru-Muna, M., Mugwe, J., Ngetich, K. F., Mugendi, D. N., Diels, J. and Shisanya, C. A. (2014). Effect of selected soil and water conservation technologies on nutrient losses and maize yields in the central highlands of Kenya. Agricultural Water Managemen,t 137: 52-58
Pande, K. K., Dimiri, D. C., Kamboj, P. (2005). Effect of various mulches on growth, yield and quality attributes of apple. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 62(2): 145-147
Pandey, S., Singh, J. and Maurya, I. B. (2015). Effect of black polythene mulch on growth and yield of winter dawn strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) by improving root zone temperature. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science,85(9):1219-1222
Panigrahi, P., Srivastava, A. K. and Huchche, A. D. (2010). Optimizing growth, yield and water use efficiency (WUE) in Nagpur mandarin (Citrus Reticulata) under drip irrigation and plastic mulch. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation,38(1): 42-45
Pervaiz, M. A., Iqbal, M., Shahzad, K. and Hassan, A. U. (2009). Effect of mulch on soil physical properties and N, P, K concentration in maize (Zea mays L.) shoots under two tillage systems. International Journal of Agriculture & Biology, 11: 119-124
Qin, S., Zhang, J., Dai, H., Wang, D. and Li, D. (2014). Effect of ridge-furrow and plastic-mulching planting patterns on yield formation and water movement of potato in a semi-arid area. Agricultural Water Management, 131: 87-94
Ram, H., Dadhwal, V., Vashist, K. K. and Kaur, H. (2013b). Grain yield and water use efficiency of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in relation to irrigation levels and rice straw mulching in northwest India. Agricultural Water Management, 128: 92-101
Ram, H., Yadvinder-Singh, Saini, K. S., Kler, D. S. and Timsina, J. (2013a). Tillage and planting methods effects on yield, water use efficiency and profitability of soybean-wheat system on a loamy sand soil. Experimental Agriculture, 49: 524-542
Ramakrishna, A., Tam, H. M., Wani, S. P. and Long, T. D. (2006). Effect of mulch on soil temperature, moisture, weed infestation and yield of groundnut in northern Vietnam. Field Crops Research, 95: 115-125
Rao, V. R. and Pathak, R. K. (1998). Effect of mulches on aonla (Emblica officinalis) orchard in sodic.soil. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 55(1): 27-32
Rathore, A. C., Jayaprakash, J., Dubey, R. K. and Kumar, S. (2012). Improving fruit productivity of Kinnow mandarin (Citrus reticulate Blanco) through rainwater conservation practice for sloppy degraded lands of Doon valley. Progressive Horticulture,44(1):170-173
Razaq, A., Khan, M. J., Sarwar, T. and Khan, M. J. (2015). Effect of sowing methods and mulching on weed density in wheat crop under deficit irrigation. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research, 21: 239-246
Reddy, Y. T. N and Khan, M. M. (1998). Effect of mulching treatment on growth, water relation and fruit yield of sapota (Achras sapota). Indian Journal of Agricultural Science,68(10): 657-660
Sadeghi, H. (2012). New strategies for increasing barley yield and prevent burning crop residue by creating residue mulch. International Journal of Agriculture Research Review, 2: 161-166
Sarkar, S. and Singh, S. R. (2007). Interactive effect of tillage depth and mulch on soil temperature, productivity and water use pattern of rainfed barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Soil & Tillage Research, 92: 79-86
Shah, S. S. H, Anwar-Ul-Hassan, Ghafoor, A. and Bakhsh, A. (2013). Soil physical characteristics and yield of wheat and maize as affected by mulching materials and sowing methods. Soil & Environment, 32: 14-21
Sharma, A. R., Singh, R., Dhyani, S. K. and Dube, R. K. (2010b). Effect of live mulching with annual legumes on performance of maize (Zea mays) and residual effect on following wheat (Triticum aestivum). Indian Journal of Agronomy, 55(3): 177-184
Sharma, A. R., Singh, R., Dhyani, S. K. and Dube, R. K. (2010a). Tillage and legume mulching effects on moisture conservation and productivity of rainfed maize (Zea mays)-wheat (Triticum aestivum) cropping system. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 55: 245-252
Sharma, A. R., Singh, R., Dhyani, S. K. and Dube, R. K. (2011a). Agronomic and economic evaluation of mulching in rainfed maize-wheat cropping system in the western Himalyan region of India. Journal of Crop Improvement, 25(4): 392-408
Sharma, N. K., Ghosh, B. N., Khola, O. P. S. and Dubey, R. K. (2013). Residue and tillage management for soil moisture conservation in post maize harvesting period under rainfed conditions of north-west Himalayas. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 41(3): 287-292
Sharma, P., Abrol, V. and Sharma, R. K. (2011b). Impact of tillage and mulch management on economics, energy requirement and crop performance in maize-wheat rotation in rainfed subhumid inceptisols, India. European Journal of Agronomy, 34: 46-51
Shashidhar, K. R., Bhaskar, R. N., Priyadharshini, P. and Chandrakumar, H. L. (2009). Effect of different organic mulches on pH, organic carbon content and microbial status of soil and its influence on leaf yield of M-5 mulberry (Morus indica L.) under rainfed condition. Current Biotica, 2: 405-412
Shirgure, P. S., Sonkar, A. K., Singh, S. and Panigrahi, P. (2003). Effect of different mulches on soil moisture conservation, weed reduction, growth and yield of drip irrigated Nagpur mandarin (Citrus reticulata) Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 73(3): 148-152
Shirgure, P.S. (2012). Sustainable acid lime fruit production and soil moisture conservation with different mulches. Agricultural Engineering Today,36(3):21-26
Singh, A. K., Singh, R. K., Singh, A. K., Singh, V. K., Rawat, S. S., Mehta, K. S., Kumar, A. (2014). Bio-mulching for ginger crop management: Traditional ecological knowledge led adaptation under rainfed agroecosystems. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 13(1): 111-122
Singh, B., Eberbach, P. L., Humphreys, E., Kukal, S. S. (2011). The effect of rice straw mulch on evapotranspiration, transpiration and soil evaporation of irrigated wheat in Punjab, India. Agricultural Water Management,98: 1847-1855
Singh, R., Bhandari, A. R. and Thakur, B. C. (2002). Effect of drip irrigation regime and plastic mulches on fruit growth and yield of apricot (Prunus armeniaca) Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 72(6): 355-357
Singh, S., Ladha, J. K., Gupta, R. K., Bhushan, L., Rao, A. N., Sivaprasad, B. and Singh, P. P. (2007). Evaluation of mulching, intercropping with Sesbania and herbicide use for weed management in dry-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.). Crop Protection, 26: 518-524
Singh, S. (2007). Effect of mulching on tree growth, yield and fruit quality of Umran Ber. M. Sc Thesis, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.
Singh, Y. and Sidhu, H. S. (2014). Management of cereal crop residues for sustainable rice-wheat production system in the Indo-Gangetic plains of India. Proceedings of The Indian National Science Academy, 80: 95-114
Sinkeviciene, A., Jodaugiene, D., Pupaliene, R. and Urboniene (2009). The influence of organic mulches on soil properties and crop yield. Agronomy Research, 7(1): 485-491
Subrahmaniyan, K., Zhou, W. and Veeramani, P. (2011). Weed control through degradable, herbicidal plastics and organic mulches and their effect on crop growth and yield of winter rapeseed (Brassica napus). Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 81(4): 348-352
Thakur, G. C., Chadha, T. R., Verma, H. S. and Kumar, J. (1997). Effect of clean cultivation, mulching and sod culture on mineral nutrition and root growth of apple cv. Red Delicious. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 54(1): 53-57
Uwah, D. F. and Iwo, G. A. (2011). Effectiveness of organic mulch on the productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) and weed growth. Journal of Animal & Plant Science, 21(3): 525-530
Vashisht, B. B., Sidhu, B. S., Singh, S. and Biwalkar, N. (2013). Effect of different mulches on soil erosion and carry-over of residual soil moisture for sowing of rabi crop in maize-wheat cropping sequence in rainfed Shivaliks of Punjab. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 41: 136-140
Verdu, A. M. and Mas, M. T. (2007). Mulching as an alternative technique for weed management in mandarin orchard tree rows. Agronomy Sustainable Development, 27: 367-375
Verma, A. and Sarnaik, D. A. (2006). Effect of different types of mulches on growth and yield of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.). International Journal of Agricultural Science, 2(2): 425-426
Verma, M. L., Bhardwaj, S. P., Thakur, B. C. and Bhandari, A. R. (2005). Nutritional and mulching studies in apple.Indian Journal of Horticulture, 62(4): 332-335
Verma, S. K., Singh, S. B., Rai, O. P. and Singh, G. (2008). Effect of mulching and irrigation on weeds and yield of summer greengram (Vigna radiata) in saline soil. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 78(12): 1082-1085
Yadav, A., Balyan, R. S., Malik, R. K., Bhatia, S. K. and Banga, R. S. (2004). Management of weeds in ber (Zizyphus rotundifolia) nursery. Haryana Journal of Horticultural Science, 33(3&4): 202-203
Yang, G., Zhou, X., Li, C., Nie, Y. and Zhang, X. (2013). Cotton stubble mulching helps in the yield improvement of subsequent winter anola (Brassica napus L.) crop. Industrial Crops Product,50: 190-196
Yang, Y., Liu, X., Li, W. and Li, C. (2006). Effect of different mulch materials on winter wheat production in desalinized soil in Heilonggang region of north China. Journal of Zhejiang University Science, B 7(11): 858-867
Zhang, Z., Zhang, S., Yang, J. and Zhang, J. (2008). Yield, grain quality and water use efficiency of rice under non-flooded mulching cultivation. Field Crops Research, 108: 71-81
Citation Format
How to Cite
Kaur, J., & Bons, H. K. (2017). Mulching: A viable option to increase productivity of field and fruit crops. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 9(2), 974–982. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v9i2.1306
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles