Will a living mulch work for your farm?
iving mulches have the advantage of providing erosion production, nutrient cycling and weed control throughout the year. Legumes have the added benefit of providing nitrogen during the growing season.
The key to successfully integrating living mulch into a cropping system is proper management. Growers must actively manage the mulch so it does not become a pest problem. Correct plant selection is paramount to ensure objectives are met and any negative effect of using living mulch is addressed and dealt with. Managers need to monitor soil moisture to ensure that adequate water is available for both the crop and the mulch. Tillage or chemical applications need to be utilized if the mulch poses a risk to crop yields. Mowing may also need to be done periodically to ensure active growth and to acquire maximum biomass production.