• IRT-76® POLYETHYLENE MULCH FILM AND GROWTH OF SWEET CORN IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

      Matheke, Grant E.M.; Holloway, Patricia S.; Wagner, Patricia J. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1991-04)
      Cold soils during the short growing season in interior Alaska often limit growth and prevent the maturing of many field-grown warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins and sweet corn. Clear polyethylene mulch has been recommended for many years as a method of warming soil to promote crop maturity and improve marketable yields (Dinkel, 1966). One significant problem with the use of clear polyethylene mulch is enhanced weed growth beneath the mulch. Weeds compete with the crop for nutrients and water in addition to reducing the soil-warming effects of the mulch. Consequently, herbicides must be used in conjunction with the clear mulch to obtain optimum plant growth. An alternative to clear polyethylene is black polyethylene mulch which suppresses weed growth but does not have the soil-warming and yield-improvement capabilities of clear polyethylene (Matheke et al., l989).