Living mulch gives many benefits to agro-ecosystems such as erosion control, nitrogen fixation and nutrient recycling, increasing of organic matter, weed and pest control, and increasing of soil organism. The experiment, carried out in Puglia, Southern Italy on transplanted broccoli raab (cv. Grossa fasanese), evaluated four soil management systems (SMSs): Trifolium subterraneum and T. repens used as living mulch, undisturbed weedy, and conventional tillage. For each SMS, four rates of nitrogen and phosphorous (NP0, NP1, NP2, and NP3) were supplied, using an organic fertilizer. The following data were collected: weed infestation, leaf chlorophyll in the plants (as SPAD units), weight, diameter, and colour of the inflorescences, anion and Mg, Fe, Na, K, Ca content. Fertilization showed prominent effects on most of parameters evaluated. The Sufficient Index of broccoli raab plants was higher in fertilized plots. With the increasing of fertilization rates, weight of primary inflorescences and the marketable yield linearly increased, confirming the great influence of nitrogen fertilization on the yield of Brassicaceae vegetables and highlighting the importance of combining living mulch and fertilization. By increasing fertilization rates, some elements, such as Mg and Fe, increased, whereas a decrease of Na, K, and Ca was observed. The nitrate content in the inflorescences was different only between the fertilized and unfertilized plots, although it was very low. In NP2 and NP3 a greener colour was found. Living mulch did not clearly affect quality and yield of broccoli raab but was effective in weed control. Results show the positive effects of living mulch and organic fertilization in the sustainable production of broccoli raab.
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|Titolo:||Living mulch and organic fertilization to improve weed management, yield and quality of broccoli raab in organic farming|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|