Evaluation of Floor Management Practices in Young Lime Orchard

Date
1988
Authors
Mclean, Robert Michael
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Seven orchard floor management techniques were evaluated for weed control and tree growth in a newly planted 'Tahitian' lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle) orchard. A weeded control, mechanically mowed, polyester geotextile fabric, mulch of shredded eucalyptus (Eucalyptus robusta Sm.), mulch of shredded lychee (Litchi chinensis) leaves, hand weeding, and oxyfluorfen (2-chloro-l-(3-ethoxy-4- nitrophenoxy)-4-(trifluoromethyl) benzene) herbicide were selected to determine their suitability in a newly planted lime orchard. Thirteen months of data (weed dry weight) indicated that there were no significant differences in mean weed weight among the weed control treatments; hand weeding was the worst. At the conclusion of the experiment, tree growth was greatest with the oxyfluorfen treatment. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus robusta Sm) organic mulch was tested at 4 different rates to assess its overall performance in a non-irrigated newly planted 'Tahitian' lime orchard. The four rates of eucalyptus mulch were 0, 100, 150, and 200 tonnes/ha. Increasing mulch rates decreased mean weed dry weight. Increasing mulch rates increased trunk and limb diameters (combined), limb length, and total leaf number. Mulch rate of 150 tonnes/ha was considered optimum for satisfactory weed suppression and enhancing tree growth. After 139 days, soil samples were collected from beneath the mulches. Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and Leaf mustard cabbage (Brassica juncea L.) seeds were planted in petri dishes filled with soil. There were no significant differences in germination between the 4 rates of mulch for both species.
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