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Pregledni rad – Review Paper

MULCHING AS A PHYSICAL WEED CONTROL METHOD APPLICABLE IN MEDICINAL PLANTS CULTIVATIONS

By
Ana Matković ,
Ana Matković

Institute for Medicinal Plant Research "Dr J. Pančić", Belgrade, Serbia

Dragana Božić ,
Dragana Božić

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Vladimir Filipović ,
Vladimir Filipović

Institute for Medicinal Plant Research "Dr J. Pančić", Belgrade, Serbia

Dragoja Radanović ,
Dragoja Radanović

Institute for Medicinal Plant Research "Dr J. Pančić", Belgrade, Serbia

Sava Vrbničanin ,
Sava Vrbničanin

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Tatjana Marković
Tatjana Marković

Institute for Medicinal Plant Research "Dr J. Pančić", Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract

Physical methods for weeds suppression in cultivation encompass many methods but our article focuses on application of various mulches. They belong to integrated non-chemical weed management strategies and are very useful in organic farming. Mulching might be performed either by the use of biodegradable mulching materials or by various mulch films. The main benefits of organic mulches are that they can be collected from the nature, thus providing cheaper crop production. In addition, they use to be biodegradable and with no harmful effects on environment. Physical methods of weed control can cause both, positive and negative effects; they certainly influence weed suppression leading to a higher yield of cultivated herbs and vegetables but if applied as living mulches in a main crop production, they compete for essential resources. In addition, apart from the weeds, living cover crop at the same time also suppress the main crop. Therefore, a great attention should be paid when selecting the most appropriate living mulch for the purpose of weed suppression in any specific cultivation. In this article, experiences with various biodegradable mulches (straw, chopped newspapers, biodegradable and photodegradable films, gravel and compost) are well described, with a special attention devoted to their use in cultivation of medicinal plants. Presented data support application of physical methods of weeds control in cultivated crops and suggest them as efficient for use in cultivation of medicinal plants.


 

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