Dry land agricultural crops are characterized by very low and highly variable and uncertain yields. Crop failures are quite common at these areas because of inadequate and uneven distribution of rainfall, prolonged dry spells during the crop period, low moisture retention capacity and low fertility of soils. To overcome the constraints of dry land agriculture, mulching is gaining a considerable attention worldwide as agronomic measures for water and soil conservation. Mulching is the process of forming the protective layer, organic and inorganic material, around the plant. It is beneficial for plant health by creating a microclimate around the plant root zone. Mulching improves the soil quality by preventing the runoff of soil, reduces the weed growth and also limits the evaporation of water. Mulching improve water holding capacity of soil, conserve soil moisture, and improves physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. Thus, enhances the soil fertility by generating nutrients to the soil and increases the growth and yield of crops. The paper has information of all the aspect of mulches with reference to their types, origin and beneficiary effects. The paper also discusses the advantages of these mulches in terms of soil environment, water conservation, weed control, crop growth and yield.
Case Study | Published online : 08-Nov-2020