Effect of Different Plastic mulch on Growth and Yield of Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Hamedan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO

2 Islamic Azad University, Sciences & Research Branch, Hesarak, Tehran


Introduction: The advantages of plastic mulches have been known in production of agricultural crops. Their capability have been demonstrated to help nutrition uptake, precocity and yield of fruit trees, and decreasing of aphid population as viruses pest vectors. It is also demonstrated some advantages of plastic mulch on some traits in potato such as increasing growth rate, yield and number of medium tuber size. Also, the effects of combined use of straw, chopped and polyethylene as well as different levels of irrigation (60, 80, 100, 120% water requirement) on yield and water use efficiency in potato have been investigated. In previous studies, it is concentrated on the effect of the special type of plastic on growing aspect of potato and there is no comparative assessment between different types of the mulches. So that in this research we evaluated the responses between types of plastic mulches.
Material and Methods: this research was conducted under field conditions. A factorial experiment was designed based on randomized complete block design with three replications. The experimental treatments consisted of mulch in five levels (clear, white, black, double layer and control (without mulch)) and two cultivars (Agria and Sante). Each plot was designed in 4 m2. For every plot, ridges were divided into complicated double rows with 50 × 150 centimeters wide. Irrigation tapes were placed between every duplicated row. Water requirement was calculated through corrected evapotranspiration (ETo) by Penman-Monteith equation with considering 90% water use efficiency. During the growing season some characteristics such as requirement time to 80% emergence, tuberization time, plant height in flowering time, number of stems and leaf area have been measured. Harvesting time was recorded along with measurement of tuber weights. Total yield was measured by random selection of one m2 in each plot. Harvested tubers were separated based on three sizes; edible tuber (large tuber), average tuber and small tuber size. Tow-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) of data was carried out using SAS software and means were compared byDuncan’s Multiple Range Test at probability level of 5%
Results and Discussions: The results of the experiment showed that application of plastic mulch and cultivar had significant effect (P≤ 0.01) on most of growing traits. Effect of cultivar and plastic mulch had no significant different on tuber dry matter. Mean comparison of 80% emergence date, number of main stem, growth duration, ranking of tubers size and total yield showed significant effect between cultivars and plastic mulches. Sante cultivar with clear mulch reach in shortest time to 80% emergence (11.3 days) and tuberization time (46.46 days). Significant difference between polyethylene mulches in emergence date is due to the effect of mulch characteristics on soil temperature and moisture. Consequently, soil microclimate would be changed and growth habits of potato plant inclined to suitable responses. Clear plastic mulch had highest plant height and number of main stem compared to other mulches and control treatment. Leaf area also affected by mulches; so that four types of plastic mulches had more leaf area comparison to control. Significant effect of mulch treatments on leaf area can be related to conservation of moisture and reduction of water stress. Meanwhile, increasing of uptake and transferring of mineral nutrient can be promoted growth rate. All this reaction can increase leaf area in plastic mulch treatments. Totally, application of plastic mulches could improve growth rate, growth duration and total yield of potato.
Conclusions: The result of this research showed that polyethylene mulch can obviously increase growth rate as well reduce growth duration. Also, plastic mulch can significantly increase total yield and positive reaction effect on tuber size. Different types of plastic mulches showed different responses on growth traits and total yield. It seems clear mulch be more capable in the most traits and total yield compared with other plastic.


1- Abdul-Baki A., Spence C., and Hoover R. 1992. Black polyethylene mulch doubled yield of fresh market field tomatoes. Horticultural Science, 27: 787-789.
2- Amador V., Bou J., Martines G.J., Monte E., Rodriguez –Falcon M., Russo E. and Part S. 2001. Regulation of potato tuberization by day length and gibberellins. International of Journal Development Biology, 45: 37-38.
3- Amidon R. 1994. Use and disposal of plastics in agriculcture. Prepared by Amidon Recycling for the American Plastics Council. 95 p.
4- Awari H.W., and Hiwase S.S. 1994. Effect of irrigation systems on growth and yield of potato. Annual of Plant and Physiology, 8 (2): 185-187.
5- Ban D., Zanic K., Dumicic G., Gotlin Culjak T. and Goreta S. 2009. The type of polyethylene mulch impacts vegetative growth, yield, and aphid populations in watermelon production. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment. 7 (3&4): 543-550.
6- Bhatt L., Rana R., Uniyal S., and Singh V. 2011. Effect of mulch materials on vegetative characters, yield and economics of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) under rainfed mid-hill condition of uttarakhand. Department of Vegetable Science. 38 (2): 165-168.
7- Diaz-Perez J. 2009. Root zone temperature plant growth and yield of broccoli as affected by plastic film mulches. Department of Scientia Horticulture, 123: 159-163
8- Espi E., Salmeron A., Fontecha A., Garcia Y., and Real A.I. 2006. Plastic films for agricultural applications. Journal of Plastic Film and Sheeting, 22: 85-102.
9- Ewing E.E. 1997. The Potato Crop. Wien, H.C(ed). “The physiology of vegetable crops”. CABI publishing. P. 295-340.
10- Farhadi B., and Kashi A. 2002. Evaluation the effects of plastic mulchs, cropping patern and interval irrigation on growth and yield of potato. Iranian Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology, 4: 115-120. (in Persian with English abstract)
11- Farhadi Ai. 2002. Effect of polyethylene mulchs and cultivation methods on cucumber. Final Report of Project, Agricultural and Natural Research Center of Esfahan. Iran 33 p.
12- Fonseca I.C.B., Goto R. and Neves C.S.V. 2003. Colored polyethylene soil covers and grafting effects of cucumber flowering and yield. Scientia Agricola, 60 (4): 643-649.
13- Halley P., Rutgers R., Coombs S., Kettels J., Gralton J., Christie G., Jenkins M., Beh H., Griffin K., Jayasekara R., and Lonergan G. 2001. Developing biodegradable mulch films from starch-based polymers. Starch, 53: 362-367.
14- Hou X.Y., Wang F.X., Han J.J., Kang S.Z., and Feng S.Y. 2010. Duration of plastic mulch for potato growth under drip irrigation in an arid region of Northwest China. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 150: 115–121.
15- Ibarra-Jimenez L., Lira-Saldivar R.H., Valdez-Aguilar L.A., and Lozano-Del Rio J. 2011. Colored plastic mulches affect soil temperature and tuber production of potato. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B – Soil and Plant Science, 61: 365-371.
16- Jolaini M. 2011. Investigation the effect of different water and plastic mulch levels on yield and water use efficiency of tomato in surface and subsurface drip irrigation method. Journal of Water and Soil, 25 (5): 1025-1031. (in Persian with English abstract)
17- Kumar p., Pandey S. K., Singh S. V., and Kumar D. 2006. Irrigation requirement of chipping potato cultivars under west Indian Plains. Potato Journal, 34: 3-14.
18- Masud Mahmood M., Farooq K., Hussain A., and Sher R. 2002. Effect of mulching on growth and yield of potato crop. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 2: 132-133.
19- Obrien P.J., Allen, E.J., and Friman D.M. 1998. A review of some studies into tuber initiation in potato crops. Journal of Agricultural Science, 130: 251- 270.
20- Parvizi k. 2007. Evaluation and comparison of quantitative yield traits of new potato clones. Annual Report of Research Design, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of Hamedan. 35 p. (in Persian with English abstract)
21- Qina S., Zhanga J., Dai H., Wang D., and Li D. 2014. Effect of ridge–furrow and plastic-mulching planting patterns on yield formation and water movement of potato in a semi-arid area. Agricultural Water Management, 131: 87– 94.
22- Rodriguez- falcon M., Bue J., and Part S. 2006. Seasonal control of tuberization in potato: conversed elements with the flowering response. Annual. Review of Plant. Biol, 57: 80- 151.
23- Schales F.D and Sheldrake R. 1995. Mulch effects on soil condition and muskmelon response. American Society for Horticultural Science, 88: 425-448.
24- Singh S.P., 1992. Studies on mulching of vegetable crops-a review. Advances in Horticulture and Forestry, 2: 115-143.
25- Soltani H. 2014. Amendment of potato techniques cultivation. National Symposium of Potato, Bu Ali sina University, Hamedan, Iran. (in Persian with English abstract)
26- Soltani tamjid A., Fathi P., and Hossein panahi F. 2015. Effect of irrigation and polyethylene mulch and wheat straw on yield and water use efficiency in potato under under tape irrigation in Dehgoulan plain. Iranian Journal of Water Research in Agriculture, 29 (3): 341-351. (in Persian with English abstract)
27- Soufian M., and Emadi M. 1992. Botanical of Potato, systematic and morphology. Agricultural Research Organization Press, Agricultural Research Center of Hamedan. 35 p.
28- Wadas W., Jablonska-Ceglarek R., and Kosterna E. 2004. Effect of plastic covering and nitrogen fertilization on yield and quality of early potatoes. Folia Horticulturae, 16 (2): 41-48.
29- Wang F.X., Feng S.Y., Hou X.Y., Kang S.Z., and Han J.J. 2009. Potato growth with and without plastic mulch in two typical regions of Northern China. Field Crops Research, 110: 123–129.
30- Wang F.X., Wu X.X., Shock C., Chu L.Y., Gu X.X., and Xue X. 2011. Effects of drip irrigation regimes on potato tuber yield and quality under plastic mulch in arid Northwestern China. Field Crops Research, 122: 78–84.
31- Waterer D. 2010. Evaluation of biodegradable mulches for production of warm season vegetable crops. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 90: 737-743.
32- Wien H.C., Minotti P.L., and Grubinger V.P. 1993. Polyethylene mulch stimulates early root growth and nutrient uptake of transplanted tomatoes. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science, 118 (2): 207-211.
33- Zhao H., Xiong Y.C., Li F.M., Wang R.Y., Qiang S.C., Yao T.F., and Mo F. 2012. Plastic film mulch for half growing-season maximized WUE and yield of potato via moisture-temperature improvement in a semi-arid agro ecosystem. Agricultural Water Management, 104: 68-78.