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Original Research Article

Effect of Mulching: A Best Practice of Soil Management in the Litchi Orchard

*Nandini Kumari and Dr. Pushpanjali Khare

Department of Botany, Magadh Mahila College, Patna University, Patna, Bihar

Ind.J.Applied.Microbiol. 2019 .22(2) : 12-21

*Corresponding author


Litchi is one of the main fruit crops of North Bihar (India). It is of high export potential due to its nutritional and pharmaceutical properties. Litchi production is highly dependent on its soil fertility status, which is declining due to the lack of proper agronomic practices and changing climatic conditions. The aim of the study is to observe the effect of mulching on soil nutritional content of litchi plant, its quality and yield. The study was conducted in a litchi orchard situated at Harsidhi block, East Champaran (Bihar), during litchi growing season. The Organic and inorganic mulching treatment was applied on the soil of litchi trees covering its basin. Mulching treatment increased the N, P, K content, soil moisture content, organic carbon and diversity of rhizobacteria in the soil as compared to control. Soil moisture content increased from 11.9% to 20.67% (inorganic mulch). Available Nitrogen (252kgha-1), phosphate (53kgha-1) was found maximum in inorganic mulch as compared to control. Organic carbon (0.95%) and rhizobacterial diversity (2.5 X 10-8) was high in organic mulch. Physical characteristics of fruit were also enhanced in mulched trees. Fruit yield/ tree was maximum in inorganic mulch (97.56 kg), followed by organic mulch (85.64kg) and least in control (74.82 kg). Both organic and inorganic mulching treatment is fruitful for soil health and litchi production. Thus it can be effectively applied as a good agronomic practice in modern agriculture system.

Keywords: Mulching, litchi, rhizobacteria

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