TIME.CO, Jakarta – If you have ever visited a plant garden, you may be familiar with the layer of plastic that covers the soil surface of plants. That is plastic mulch which is used to maintain soil moisture intensity, increase fertility and reduce weeds in plants.
Plastic mulch has two types based on the material it is made of, i.e. the material biological such as grass clippings, wood chips, dry leaves and straw. The inorganic one, on the other hand, is made up of rocks, gravel and non-degradable plastic.
Summarized from various sources, here are the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic mulch.
Benefits of Plastic Mulch
1. Soil insulation
Plants in plantations are very sensitive to temperature in an ever-changing environment. This is the function of plastic mulch, i.e. it can warm the soil up to an additional 3 degrees Celsius compared to the initial temperature.
2. Improve soil structure
By covering the plant area with soil, you will prevent soil compaction and will also prevent the activities of other living things from walking on it, risking damage to the plants.
3. Weed control
Installing mulch will prevent the weeds from receiving sunlight and they will die.
4. Higher product quality
Plastic protects fruit and vegetables from soil contamination, minimizing the spread of disease and rot.
Disadvantages of plastic mulch
1. Difficult to recycle
This type of inorganic mulch cannot be decomposed and must be removed annually from public landfills.
2. Excessive heat
Changes in soil temperature for plants also cannot be controlled, so for plants sensitive to soil temperature, covering them with mulch will actually inhibit their growth.
3. Difficult to reduce mulch use
There is no denying that mulch is still very necessary in agriculture. However, non-degradable mulch also exacerbates environmental problems.
4. High humidity
Humidity Overwatering makes it easier for plants to overwater and drown, so they should always be monitored.
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