18 Feb Plastic mulch paper in Kenya
It is a polythene paper used to cover the base of crops for moisture conservation. A Grekkon Limited plastic mulch paper is fashioned as silver embossed on black, and black on black.
Silver on the outside reflects UV giving 2 benefits
i. It prevents build up of excess heat beneath.
ii. Reflected UV rays from below confuse and repel insects such as; thrips, arphids and white flies which thrive in the shade
Black on the inside to conserve soil warmth.
These mulch papers come in 3 gauges as; 30 micron for Kes 30/M sq, 60 micron at Kes 35/M sq and 80 micron at Kes 40/M sq. The thicker the plastic mulch paper, the longer its use.
Benefits of using a plastic mulch paper
- Reduction of water losses by 75%,
- Faster plant establishment, quicker maturity, early market entry a result of growing on a warmer soil
- Reduction in root diseases. Less fluctuation between day and night soil temperatures reduces root fungal infections.
- Reduction in root damage as the soil is not disturbed
- Reduction of weeding cost by 90%. Plastic mulch inhibits weeds germination
- Nutrient conservation by eliminating nutrient leaching and vaporization
- Quality yield as harvestable fruit or foliage is in no contact with the soil
Mulch papers are easy to lay, and establish crops upon. Depending on the thickness, it will serve for a minimum of 2 seasons and can last upto 3 years in use. Plastic mulch paper is supplied with a standard width of either 1.6M (for 30 and 60 micron) or 1.2M (for 60 and 80 micron). The choice of thickness depends too on if its for greenhouse or open field use. In a greenhouse, a lower gauge will last longer than it would in the open field- where it is directly exposed to radiation.
Read more in the links below