Original Articles

Potato irrigation scheduling and straw mulching

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 1, issue 4, 1984 , pages: 111–116
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.1984.10634123
Author(s): M.S. BurgersDepartment of Plant Production,, P.C. NelDepartment of Plant Production,


The effect of mulching and irrigation frequency on tuber yield was investigated during three seasons at the Glen Agricultural Research Institute The soil on the experimental site consisted of a loamy sand topsoil and sandy clay subsoil with 94 mm total available water in the top 775 mm of the soil profile. A wheal straw mulch of 14 t ha−1 reduced soil temperature and increased tuber yield consistently (averaged over all irrigation treatments in all three seasons, mulched plots produced 30% more tubers than bare plots). Tuber yield also responded well to increased irrigation frequencies it was concluded that the cooling effect ot frequent irrigation could be obtained much cheaper by mulching It is recommended that from commencement of stolonization, potatoes should be irrigated with 50 mm of water as soon as 50 mm of water has evaporated from a Class A pan for an unmulched crop and 65 mm for a mulched crop.

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