Utilization of water hyacinth as mulch in turmeric

V. P. Indulekha, C. George Thomas


Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms), considered as the world’s worst aquatic weed, was evaluated for its mulch value as a part of its control strategies. A field experiment comprising of three mulch materials viz., jack fruit leaves, green water hyacinth, and coconut leaves, were compared with no mulching in turmeric. The study was carried out at the Department of Agronomy, College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara during 2014-15 and 2015-16. All the mulch materials including water hyacinth had positive effects on most morphological and physiological parameters like plant height, number of leaves, leaf area index, leaf area ratio, and dry matter production of turmeric. In 2014-15, rhizome yield was higher in plots mulched with jack leaves (22.45t/ha), but it was on par with mulching by water hyacinth (20.52 t/ha) and mulching by coconut leaves (20.12 t/ha) compared to non-mulch control (15.91 t/ha). In 2015-16 too, the same trend in rhizome yield was observed. Nutrient uptake by the crop was also higher with mulching compared to non-mulched control. All the mulch materials substantially reduced weed density, weed dry weight, and turmeric-weed competition for different growth factors.


aquatic weeds, water hyacinth, utilization, mulching, turmeric

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