Organic and inorganic mulching helps to control weeds. Mulching helps cultivated plants to grow by inhibiting the growth of weeds, retaining soil moisture, and regulating the temperature of soil. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different organic mulches on weed presence, soil characteristics, and growth of Zinnia elegans. The mulches used in studying Zinnia elegans were wheat straw, non-shredded Miscanthus (M. × giganteus), and shredded Miscanthus (M. × giganteus) mulch. A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was used in the study, with different quantitative methods were used to collect data. ANOVA tests were utilized to statistically analyze data. The research found that shredded Miscanthus × giganteus was the most appropriate because it inhibited weed growth by depriving the weeds of sunlight required in seed germination and growth. The results of the study also showed a statistically significant difference between mulch treatments and the control, on Zinnia elegans growth. Non-shredded Miscanthus (M. × giganteus) together with wheat straw produced the highest macronutrient and micronutrient levels in the soil. Also, non-shredded Miscanthus (M. × giganteus) mulch stimulated Zinnia elegans growth by providing micro- and micronutrients and led to an increase in the stem diameter, length, flower sets, and the formation of flower buds. The conclusion of the study also indicated non-shredded Miscanthus (M. × giganteus) is a preferred alternative to wheat straw for gardeners. The limitations of this study included the possibility of different climatic conditions influencing various outcomes, the controlled setting as not representative of a real-life setting, and a generalization of results despite the study dealing with one type of plant.
Year manuscript completed
Year degree awarded
Miscanthus x giganteus, organic mulch, weed control, soil properties, Zinnia elegans
Dr. Steven Still
Dr. Alyx Shultz
Dr. Steven Still
Muttaleb, Anmar, "The Effect of Three Different Mulches on Weed Presence, Soil Characteristics, and Zinnia Growth" (2018). Murray State Theses and Dissertations. 77.