Next Article in Journal
The Physiological Role of Abscisic Acid in Regulating Root System Architecture of Alfalfa in Its Adaptation to Water Deficit
Next Article in Special Issue
Comprehensive Assessment of Plant and Water Productivity Responses in Negative Pressure Irrigation Technology: A Meta-Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
TMT-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Response of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Seedlings to Ebb-and-Flow Subirrigation
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Mulching as a Sustainable Water and Soil Saving Practice in Agriculture: A Review

Agricultural Biotechnology Department, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza 12613, Egypt
Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Crop Production Sciences, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
Department of Biological and Geological Sciences, Faculty of Education, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11341, Egypt
Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Department of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agricultural and Food Science, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
Horticulture Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Sheikh 33516, Egypt
Central Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
Date Palm Research Center of Excellence, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, Giza 12511, Egypt
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1881;
Submission received: 16 July 2022 / Revised: 3 August 2022 / Accepted: 9 August 2022 / Published: 10 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agronomical Practices for Saving Water Supply)


This research was carried out in order to demonstrate that mulching the ground helps to conserve water, because agricultural sustainability in dryland contexts is threatened by drought, heat stress, and the injudicious use of scarce water during the cropping season by minimizing surface evaporation. Improving soil moisture conservation is an ongoing priority in crop outputs where water resources are restricted and controlled. One of the reasons for the desire to use less water in agriculture is the rising demand brought on by the world’s growing population. In this study, the use of organic or biodegradable mulches was dominated by organic materials, while inorganic mulches are mostly comprised of plastic-based components. Plastic film, crop straw, gravel, volcanic ash, rock pieces, sand, concrete, paper pellets, and livestock manures are among the materials put on the soil surface. Mulching has several essential applications, including reducing soil water loss and soil erosion, enriching soil fauna, and improving soil properties and nutrient cycling in the soil. It also reduces the pH of the soil, which improves nutrient availability. Mulching reduces soil deterioration by limiting runoff and soil loss, and it increases soil water availability by reducing evaporation, managing soil temperature, or reducing crop irrigation requirements. This review paper extensively discusses the benefits of organic or synthetic mulches for crop production, as well as the uses of mulching in soil and water conservation. As a result, it is very important for farmers to choose mulching rather than synthetic applications.

1. Introduction

Agriculture is the world’s largest water user, accounting for 70% of total consumption. According to Chen et al. [1], rainfed agriculture accounts for 80% of global cultivated land and provides 60–70% of the globe’s food. Rainfed agriculture is becoming more popular in the world for helping in food production as a consequence of increasing drought conditions. Water scarcity is caused by climate change or changing rainfall patterns that reduce agricultural production in arid or semi-arid regions [2]. As a result, water management and conservation in the agriculture sector are now a challenge. In addition, rainfed agriculture in dry land farming is under strain, necessitating more efficient use of water-saving devices [3]. The main factors limiting agricultural output in dry and semi-arid areas are restricted water accessibility, availability, and limited precipitation [4,5]. This issue is becoming more serious as global climate change has a significant impact on agricultural systems [6]. In dryland regions, inefficient use of precious water, along with drought or heat stress throughout cropping seasons, poses a danger to agricultural sustainability [7]. Climate change causes severe soil drought and the water in the soil becomes insufficient for crop growth [8,9,10,11]. Figure 1 depicts a schematic representation of how conservation agriculture interferes with climatic changes and crops.
Drought is a serious problem that is limiting crop production and decreasing agricultural development around the world for a variety of reasons, including rare annual precipitation and uneven temporal distribution, high evaporation, and water scarcity [12]; these issues are becoming more serious as a result of the significant impacts of global climate change [13,14,15] as shown in Figure 2. The main reason for using less water in agriculture is the rising demand caused by the world’s growing population. Water availability for agricultural producers is steadily declining because urban populations’ water needs are essentially increasing. Farmers are looking for novel approaches to enhance soil moisture to resolve both of these problems [16,17,18]. Mulching is one traditional practice that can aid in the solution to this issue.
Mulching is a common practice that involves applying materials to the field before, during, or soon after sowing in order to support and spread over the soil surface, such as plastic material, crop residues, livestock manure, sands, rocks, and cement [19]. The main goals of mulching are to limit evaporation or water erosion [20], boost soil temperature, improve the soil water supply capacity [21,22], and suppress weeds [23]. Mulching causes improvement in crop production, fosters plant growth, and reduces water usage [24,25] as shown in Figure 3.
This review compiled information about mulching, different types of mulching materials, water conservation through mulching, and the effects of diverse mulching soil environments on crop growth and development.

2. Types of Mulching Materials

Organic, inorganic, and special materials are the three types of mulching materials. Agricultural wastes, wood industrial wastes, processed leftovers, and animal manures are used to make organic mulching materials (Figure 4). Polyethylene plastic films and synthetic polymers are examples of inorganic mulching materials [26]. Several innovative biodegradable and photodegradable plastic films, as well as surface coating and biodegradable polymer films for ease of implementation and flexibility, were also introduced as ecologically friendly materials [27].

2.1. Organic Mulches

Organic mulches are made from plant or animal matter. To get the most out of organic mulch, it is best used as soon as the crop germinates or when the vegetable seedlings are transplanted at 5 t ha−1. Organic mulches are effective at minimizing nitrate leaching, boosting soil physical qualities, enhancing biological activity, balancing the nitrogen cycle, providing organic matter, controlling temperature and water retention, and reducing erosion. Natural ingredients are difficult to apply to growing crops and necessitate a lot of human effort. Organic mulch’s application in horticultural crop production has been limited due to cost and logistical issues, with only a small amount of large-scale commercial utilization [28].

2.1.1. Straw

After harvesting, straw or crop remains are readily available. Straw mulch is a lightweight material that is simple to apply and use. Paddy straw is now commonly utilized as field mulch, as it improves crop cultivation conditions. When straw is utilized as mulch, it might cause several issues. Straw mulches need to be replaced every year because they are extremely flammable and include grain seeds that could germinate and deplete soil nitrogen levels as they decompose [29].

2.1.2. Bark Mulches

These are effective mulches as they hold more moisture for an extended time and prolong the availability of water to the crop. It is often used for landscaping and vegetation. However, because it is acidic, it should not be used in vegetable fields. On the other hand, this mulch is ideal for covering the walkways between the beds [30].

2.1.3. Wood Chips

Reprocessed wood and a variety of tree species are used to make wood chips. Because wood chip mulches have a high C:N ratio, they may restrict the availability of soil nitrogen available for plant absorption while they decompose [31].

2.1.4. Sawdust

Sawdust is a popular mulch in locations where it is readily available. It is found during wood finishing procedures. It is lower in nutritional value than straw, with only half the nutrients. The breakdown is very slow due to the high C:N ratio. Its decomposition will result in N2 deficiency in the soil, necessitating the use of fertilizer regularly. Because of its acidic nature, it should not be utilized in low pH soil. It does, however, retain moisture for an extended period of time [32].

2.1.5. Compost

Compost is an excellent mulch and soil conditioner that may be easily made at home using a variety of waste items such as leaves, straw, grass, and plant wastes, among others. Compost availability and utilization in agriculture is a long-standing tradition. It boosts the properties of the soil, as well as the carbon content, which improves the soil’s capacity to retain water and improves soil health. Due to its higher N content, compost is not recommended for use in vegetable fields because of the greater chances of weed growth [33].

2.1.6. Newspaper

Newspaper mulching is a cost-effective way to reduce weeds by reducing the chances of germination of weed seeds fallen from the previous season. The newspaper layers biodegrade quickly into the soil. Newspaper is preferable to plastic since it decomposes over time. It is less expensive and less time consuming [34].

2.2. Inorganic Mulches

Plastic mulch is an example of inorganic mulch; it comprises the majority of mulch used in commercial crop cultivation. Polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene films are the plastic materials used as mulch. It may raise the temperature around the plants at night in winter due to its higher permeability to long-wave radiation. As a result, polyethylene film mulch is recommended as a mulching material for horticultural crop cultivation [35]. Throughout the 1960s, a variety of plastic films based on various types of polymers were examined for mulching purposes. The technical distinctions between flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were minimal [36]. Because it is more cost effective to use, LLDPE makes up the overwhelming majority of plastic mulch today. Black plastic mulch film application is growing in popularity and it has produced excellent results, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Black polyethylene mulch achieved a greater crop yield and quality which increased the economic value for farmers. It also decreased soil evaporation, modified the microbial community, and increased soil moisture levels [37].
Fresh vegetables are progressively being produced through a practice known as “plastic culture”, which involves using plastic as mulch in farming [38]. Over one million tons of plastic film mulch is used each year in all parts of the world [25]. For instance, plastic film mulching was used in more than 60,000 ha of greenhouses in Spain in 2012, an increase of 5.7% (Transparency Market Research, 2016). According to estimates, China uses 0.7 million tons of plastic mulch annually, or 40% of the global total [39]. China, Japan, and South Korea are currently the three countries that use plastic film mulch the most globally (80%) [40]. Plastic mulching has increased the production of wheat by about 33.2% and maize by about 33.7% in China [41].

2.3. Photodegradable or Biodegradable Mulches

A kind of mulch that is simple to use and versatile is photodegradable and biodegradable [42]. Sand, gravel, and concrete are specific sorts of mulch that are rarely utilized, leading to the absence of nutrients and being very expensive to integrate. Biodegradable plastic mulch is a more environmentally friendly alternative to polythene mulch. It was created to prevent the accumulation of LDPE and the pollution caused by plastic waste in the environment [43]. Biodegradable plastic mulches are now composed of a variety of polymers or additives that are readily available in the global markets or are similar to LDPE mulches in terms of crop yield productivity [44]. In organic farming, this form of mulch also minimizes the need for agrochemicals [45]. According to Wang et al. [46], every kind of mulch has unique qualities. However, the potency and cost, the local climate, and the feasibility of planting the crop all play a role in the selection of mulch material that is incorporated into the soil. Regular application of mulch may have negative effects on soil efficiency, crop productivity, contamination, and ecosystem services such as food and water processing, disease control, N2 cycling, and O2 formation, as well as cultural and aesthetic values [47]. Complete and incomplete degradation are two different levels of degradation; photodegradation, water degradation, thermal oxidative degradation, and biological degradation are four different types of degradation mechanisms [48].
Starch, cellulose, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), and polylactic acid (PLA) are typical biobased polymers used in BDMs. Poly (butylene succinate) (PBS), poly (butylene succinate-co-adipate) (PBSA), and poly (butylene-adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) are examples of polyesters derived from fossil sources and used in BDMs [49]. Ester bonds or polysaccharides, which are amenable to microbial hydrolysis, are found in the polymers used in BDMs [50]. Theoretically, soil microorganisms should completely catabolize BDMs, converting them to microbial biomass, CO2, and water [51]. In addition to the primary polymers, plastic mulches also contain trace amounts of organic (additives, plasticizers, etc.) and inorganic (Cu, Ni, etc.) elements, the effects of which are largely unknown. Traditional plant toxicity tests have not been modified to detect the effects of substances released by BDMs. First, as compounds degrade, they release various compounds at various times. Second, by concentrating only on germination, commonly used tests miss out on accounting for the shifting needs and responses throughout plant development [51].
Previous research has shown that biodegradable film mulch has similar moisture and heat preservation properties to regular polyethylene mulch and can also improve the water and temperature conditions of the soil’s plough horizon on farmland. For the cultivation of potatoes, cotton, peanuts, and beets, biodegradable mulches can take the place of common polyethylene mulches [52,53,54,55,56]. The soil’s total nitrogen, available phosphorus, and available potassium contents all increased under the biodegradable film mulch treatment. Plastic films are commonly used to control soil temperature and preserve soil moisture [39,40]. Mulching has an impact on soil nutrients as well, because raising soil temperature or moisture levels can improve soil nutrient mineralization [41]. According to studies [28], biodegradable mulches are abundant in organic carbon. They can increase the amount of organic carbon in the soil and have a positive impact on how well the soil stores carbon once they are introduced [42]. According to Zumstein et al. [43], soil microorganisms use the PBAT’s carbon to produce energy and increase the soil’s carbon stock.
The effects of soil mulching treatments on soil microorganisms and enzymatic activity were also observed. According to a few studies, biodegradable mulches do have an effect on microbial activity and the enzymatic activity of the soil; they increase microbial abundance, respiration, and activity [37,51,52,53,54] when compared with using polyethylene film mulch as a mulch. Exogenous organic materials in agricultural soil have been shown to have an impact on the microbial networks’ metabolic processes and complexity [55]. For the biodegradable plastic film, microorganisms are supposed to use the released monomers during degradation to grow, thereby increasing microbial biomass [38]. The microclimate of the soil can also be enhanced by biodegradable film mulch. Favorable water and temperature conditions under the mulch have an impact on the root system of the plant, generally promoting root development and increasing root secretion [55]; these modifications all control microbial and enzymatic activity.

3. Advantages of Mulching

Mulching improves soil properties, soil moisture availability, and soil productivity [26]. These effects are summarized in Figure 5. Mulching in crop fields has numerous benefits, including reduced soil water loss, weed germination, soil erosion, and water droplet kinetic energy [48,49]. Mulch can help improve soil structure and increase earthworm movement [50]. It also lowers the pH of the soil, increasing the availability of nutrients (Table 1). After breaking down, organic mulch gives nutrients to the soil and boosts the availability of nutrients in the soil for a longer period of time [25]. Plastic mulches can significantly improve soil health and pest management [23]. As a result, it helps to prevent fertilizer from leaching and keeps nutrients close to the plants’ roots so they can be used effectively. The mulched landscape has a more appealing uniformity of appearance [1]. Additionally, the appropriateness of soil moisture and temperature can change over the course of a crop’s growth cycle. When organic mulch decomposes in the soil, the soil’s organic content improves quickly, which improves the soil’s ability to hold water [57]. Because mulches decrease evaporation, more moisture is accessible near the plant roots, extending the time for plants to absorb water. As a result, mulched areas require less water [58]. Both organic and biodegradable plastic mulches eventually collapse or boost nutrients to the soil’s surface, enhance moisture retention, or increase the humus layer. Mulches control the temperature variation in the plants’ root zones, causing soil to become colder in summer or warmer in winter [59].
Mulch reduces the germination of seeds by preventing sunlight from reaching the top surface of the soil. After forming a protective surface on the soil, plastic films or landscape fabrics also stop weeds from germinating [60]. Underneath the plant leaves, sand and clay soil reflect heat and light. Due to their multidimensional faces, organic mulches exhibit less light reflection. Therefore, organic mulch slows the rate of evaporation. However, inorganic mulches, particularly rocks, increase reflectivity and are suitable for some plants but harmful to more delicate ones [61]. Mulch prevents runoff or provides soil more time to absorb rainwater by lowering the kinetic energy of rain or by slowing the movement of rainwater. The additional moisture promotes plant root expansion, which further stabilizes the soil by encouraging root growth. Furthermore, mulch protects soil from wind erosion [62,63,64].
Table 1. Beneficial aspects of various mulch types.
Table 1. Beneficial aspects of various mulch types.
Type of MulchBenefitsReferences
Straw mulchWater usage is decreased and water productivity is increased.[65]
In potatoes, a probable decline in the insect pest invasion caused by the Colorado potato beetle.[66]
Rice yield, grain quality, or recovery are all enhanced.[67]
Decreased erosion or runoff, and soil water management or temperature control is improved.[68]
Soil water is boosted.[67,69]
Aluminum/black and silver/black mulchPlant growth as well as soil temperature improved in Cucumis sativus.[70]
Boosted plant length.[71]
Growth and yield of lettuce improved with silver polyethene mulch.[72]
Paddy strawBoosted leaf area.[73]
Plastic and straw integratedReduction in evaporation and boosted soil moisture.[74]
Black-colored plasticMore fruits, roots, tubers, and bulbs were found.[75]
In aerobic rice production, gross income and net returns have improved.[76]
Growth and yield of rice improved.[67]
Soil moisture and temperature increased.[77]
An enhancement in the yield of Triticum aestivum.[78]
Degradable filmEarly in the growing season, the soil was warmer and had more water, and maize productivity and water use efficiency had increased by 30%.[79]
Degradable mulch made of polycaprolactone, starch of maize, adjuvants, or grease (60:30:5:5)Brassica napus L. has a 10% reduction in evapotranspiration and boosts in water usage efficiency and seed productivity by 54% and 38%, respectively.[80]
Jatropha and Sesbania remainsAn enhancement in yield.[65]
Almond shell mulchUpregulation of dehydrogenase, phosphomonoesterase, and protease, as well as a rise in soil enzyme activities and organic carbon.[81]
Bark chips and manure mulchesToxicity of hazardous chemicals (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in the soil is decreased.[82]
Plastic mulchMaize yields have increased as a result of increased moisture supply and maintained temperature.[83]
Higher water productivity and soil moisture content.[67,69]
Boosted soil moisture.[79]
Boosted soil water content in maize.[84]
Gravel mulchEnhanced soil moisture.[85]
Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.)Rice increased the activity of alkaline phosphatase, glucosidase, arylsulfatase, and arylamidase.[86]
Transparent plastic mulchRadish growth improved significantly.[87]

4. Disadvantages of Mulching

Mulching has some drawbacks as well, such as increased labor needs, higher transportation costs, and difficult removal and disposal. The soil is contaminated due to the plastic mulch producing fragments that are in direct contact with it [88]. Weed growth and acid leakage are also major issues with some organic mulching materials such as straw and grass [89]. Mulched soil has better aeration and temperature that tends to support increased microbial activity in the soil, resulting in more thorough nitrification in mulched soil [90]. Farmers use onsite burning or landfilling to dispose of or bury plastic film wreckages in cultivable soil sheets, which severely contaminates the soil and impairs the development and growth of crops [91].
Because mulching causes the soil to retain more moisture, it restricts the oxygen supply close to the roots because the soil has poor drainage. If mulching is done close to the stem, the surrounding moisture in the plant’s stem can serve as a haven for a variety of microorganisms, pests, and diseases. Mulches containing seeds, such as hay, straw, and grass clippings, can promote the growth of weeds [92]. Inorganic mulches do not add any nutrients to the soil because they do not disintegrate, except for biodegradable plastic mulches. In some circumstances, inorganic mulch will be destroyed by the sun and will begin to deteriorate over time. If it is spread out over a vast region, it can raise the temperature of the soil. Rubber is an organic mulch that can damage plants because it is toxic and hazardous to the environment [92].

5. Methods of Application of Mulching Materials

In agricultural fields, a variety of mulching materials are used in a variety of ways and patterns as shown schematically in Figure 6.

5.1. Flat Mulching

A traditional type of mulching is called flat mulching, which involves covering the soil’s top layer with organic, inorganic, or mixed mulching materials [93]. In the case of organic mulching materials, flat mulching can keep the layer thickness based on the intended function. A type of flat mulch, where part of the topsoil is coated, is plastic mulching with holes. Compared with conventional flat mulching, this mulching improves soil aeration and rainfall infiltration [94].

5.2. Ridge Shape Mulching

In this type, the ridge is coated with a plastic film, which directs rainwater into furrows or lowers surface runoff [95], enhancing water use efficiency (WUE) [96]. Crops such as corn are typically grown on the ridge area of the field, which is mulched, but crops are also grown in the furrow, which can be mulched or not [97].

6. Mulching Material Selection

In general, the selection of a proper mulching material depends on the material type, the type of crop, environmental locations, and the availability of mulch, as well as their cost effectiveness [98]. Table 2 illustrates a comparison between organic and plastic mulching.

7. Role of Mulching on Soil Conservation

7.1. Mulching Effects on Soil Moisture

Frequently, mulching is believed to be beneficial to stressed environments (heat, drought, and salinity) as it changes the rate of evaporation and transpiration [99,100]. The effect of mulching depends on the climatic conditions and the amount of rainfall. It influences the moisture content of soil by reducing the evaporation of water from the surface of the soil. Mulches improve soil moisture retention and structure while inhibiting weed growth [101]. However, under various mulching materials, the soil moisture difference depends on the various soil types or climatic circumstances that affect the efficacy of various mulching materials to conserve moisture. When compared with bare soil, mulching treatments generally hold more soil moisture [97]. The changes in soil moisture in top surface layers (0–10 cm) are caused by water vapor fluxes throughout the soil surface and layers. Mulching, on the other hand, reduces the variability of soil moisture or temperature [102].
Other mulches and bare treatments displayed bigger fluctuations, but plastic mulching (without holes) treatments consistently conserved soil moisture during soybean growing phases [94]. The other mulch-covered treatments hindered direct infiltration, but the bare treatment allowed rain to directly penetrate the soil surface. Because paper is porous and hygroscopic by nature and extends and contracts in response to moisture levels, paper mulching treatments showed maximum soil moisture levels [34]. When organic mulch is applied to the topsoil, it hinders weeds from growing, increases rainwater infiltration, and reduces evaporation [103]. Additionally, the addition of organic mulch puts plants in competition for moisture, resulting in a decrease in soil moisture. However, organic mulch or paper mulch on sesame and other crops showed a higher moisture content in comparison with the soil without mulching [104]. Stagnari et al. [105] indicated similar outcomes by incorporating straw mulch at a depth of 5–15 cm. Gravel mulch slows evaporation and retains moisture in the soil [12,106]. Most visible, UV, and infrared sunlight is absorbed by black polyethylene mulch, which then re-radiates the radiation. The color of mulch determines its energy-radiating behavior or impact on a plant’s microclimate [107]. In comparison with black polyethylene mulch, full film mulching systems have markedly increased moisture content up to deeper soil depths [108]; it depends on a particular material’s thermal characteristics, such as its reflectivity, absorptivity, or conductivity, in relation to incoming solar radiation. Black polyethylene mulch absorbs solar radiation, which is then lost to the atmosphere due to radiation or forced convection. By optimizing conditions for transferring heat from the mulch to the soil, the efficiency with which black mulch raises soil temperature can be increased. Because soil has a higher thermal conductivity compared with air, much of the energy absorbed by black plastic can be transferred to the soil via conduction if contact between the plastic mulch and the soil surface is good. When compared with bare soil, soil temperatures under black plastic mulch are generally 5° F higher at a 2-inch depth and 3° F higher at a 4-inch depth during the day [109]. It has been discovered that using dark colored mulch is the safest solution, because the soil does not warm to a harmful degree even in the presence of high air temperatures and solar radiation [110]. Mulch significantly improved total soil water holding capacity, soil moisture retention, soil porosity, and, thus, water-use efficiency [111].
On the other hand, Jenni et al. [112] discovered that plastic film was more effective than paper mulches at conserving soil moisture during lettuce crop cultivation during dry periods. According to McMillen [113], mulching with grass clippings, wheat, or leaf debris at a depth of 5–10 cm enhanced soil moisture by 10% over bare soil. In contrast to organic mulch treatments, which retain more moisture than bare soil, plastic mulch treatments hold the most soil moisture [114]. Surface runoff is reduced, infiltration is improved, and soil loss is reduced with compost mulching [115]. On the other hand, Ashrafuzzaman et al. [116] found non-significant variations in soil moisture content between various mulch treatments, but they reported higher moisture levels with mulches over bare soil. The results revealed that, after 90 days, soil under transparent plastic mulch had a higher moisture content (21.1%), followed by black (20.4%) or blue plastic mulch (19.2%), respectively, whereas minimum soil moisture was observed at the control (14.6%).

7.2. Reduce Infiltration Rate

Water infiltration is an important process in which rainwater, irrigation water, surface water, soil water, and groundwater all interact with one another. Irrigation amounts, precipitation characteristics, canopy interception capacities, and soil hydraulic characteristics all influence water infiltration [117]. In general, because of the low initial soil water content (SWC), a large amount of rainwater infiltrates the soil and is converted into soil water when it rains. If the rainfall amount is large, soil water gradually becomes saturated as infiltration progresses, the infiltration rate gradually becomes lower than the rainfall intensity, rainwater gathers on the soil surface to form surface water and runoff, and is eventually lost. Furthermore, surface runoff degrades soil and reduces sustainable production through soil erosion and nutrient loss [117].
Mulch has a direct impact on rainwater infiltration and evaporation by blocking solar radiation from reaching the soil and thus increasing total water intake due to the creation of a loose soil surface. Crops can use water absorbed into the soil, resulting in higher agricultural yields. In semi-arid agriculture, infiltration or evaporation are two of the most important processes that determine soil water availability to crops. According to Abu-Awwad [118], coating the soil surface lowered the amount of irrigation water used by a pepper crop by 14–29% and an onion crop by 70%.

7.3. Mulch Effects on Soil Temperature

Mulched soil dries out more quickly than bare soil in the late stage. Overall soil moisture is determined by the porosity, texture, and structure of the soil [119,120] and organic mulching can assist them in development. With increasing machining rates, the soil wetting depth also increases. Raised mulch rates enhance the depth of soil wetness. Straw mulching, according to these studies, can store more soil water from tiny amounts of precipitation [121,122,123,124]. Mulching lowers the temperature of the soil in summer, raises it in winter, or avoids high temperatures. Sarolia and Bhardwaj [125] recorded a temperature increase of 2–30 °C after treatment with wheat straw mulched soil. When compared with bare soil, the temperature of the ground beneath clear mulch might be up to 7 °C higher. Park et al. [126] found that at a depth of 15 cm, black film raised the soil temperature by 0.8 °C, while transparent film raised the soil temperature by 2.4 °C. Condensation on the mulch’s underside absorbs long-wave radiation in the evening, delaying the cooling of the soil [127].
The role of mulching in affecting the temperature that will lead to an increase or decrease in crop production depends on the material type of mulching as illustrated in Table 3. The ability of mulches to influence soil temperature also depends on the ability of mulches to transmit or absorb solar radiation [127]. In the summer, mulch cools the soil, while in the winter, it warms it. Mulches change the thermal regime of soil by changing its temperature [128,129]. Although polyethylene film mulches have a higher temperature than biodegradable mulches [130], the former may be detrimental in hot climates, resulting in early decomposition, or favorable in cool weather due to the ability to maintain a warm temperature at night, which allows for faster seed germination. The daily soil temperature fluctuates due to various mulching materials in the surface (5 cm) soil layer. However, in the deeper layers, the soil’s temperature is essentially constant.
When contrasted with black plastic mulching or bare soil, paper mulching minimizes soil temperature [94] and gives the minimum soil temperature [34]. Higher soil temperatures accelerated crop establishment and boosted growth in black polyethylene mulch by absorbing a higher amount of solar radiation [37,131]. By storing incoming solar energy, organic mulches limit heat transfer to the surface soil [36]. These mulches reduce the higher temperatures and vice versa [132], while lowering soil temperatures considerably [133]. At 10 cm of soil depth, a 4 °C decrease in soil temperature during the warmer phase or a 2 °C increase during the cooler time were also detected. Soil temperature variations are also caused by the timing of soil temperature observations or the thickness of mulching [134]. Xiukang et al. [77] observed a rise in soil moisture or temperature under plastic mulch, which enhanced crop growth or yield. On the other hand, the effects of soil temperature on crop growth are dependent on the climate where the crop plants are grown. Chakraborty et al. [135] discovered that an elevated soil temperature under mulch did not boost wheat production in India. Farmers in some areas must reduce soil temperature to increase yield, while farmers in others must increase soil temperature to increase production [34].
The temperature of the soil is significantly influenced by the color of plastic mulch. Photo-selective mulch films raised the soil temperature more than bare soil [136]. Their findings revealed that blue plastic mulch has a higher temperature than red. In addition, Farias-Larios and Orozco-Santos [137] found that transparent plastic mulch had the maximum temperature, while black plastic mulch or bare soil had the same temperature. Similarly, Gordon et al. [138] discovered that colored plastic mulches and row cover cause variations in soil temperature. Black plastic mulch with a row cover recorded the greatest temperature, while bare soil recorded the lowest. The most significant way that mulch use affects crop yield is generally thought to be through the effects of the mulch films on the soil temperature. Mulch films modify the energy flow in the soil by allowing various wavelengths of incident solar radiation to pass through the film and reach the soil (depending on the type of film used), preventing the loss of lower energy infrared radiation. The most frequently reported effect (for black and clear films) is an improvement in the average temperature relative to the bare soil temperature, allowing for earlier germination and longer growing seasons. Some reports on the effects on soil temperature suggest that the use of white and reflective films can lower the maximum temperature experienced by the soil [139,140].
Table 3. Impact of various mulch types on the soil temperature in different crops.
Table 3. Impact of various mulch types on the soil temperature in different crops.
Type of MulchImpact on Soil TemperatureCropReference
Coupled plastic or straw mulchReduce soil temperatureMaize and wheat[74]
Straw mulchReduce soil temperature fluctuationsAlfalfa[85]
Decrease soil temperatureMaize[79]
Decrease soil temperatureWheat–maize[141]
Black plastic mulchBoost soil temperatureCucumber[70]
Boost soil temperatureMaize[77]
Increase soil temperatureMaize[79]
The soil temperature increased more in black polyethylene mulched plots than white-on-black polyethylene or bare ground plotsLettuce[142]
Transparent plastic mulchThe soil temperature boosted in plastic film mulchingMaize[143]
Decrease soil temperatureMaize[143]
Boost soil temperaturePotato[144]
Boost soil temperatureMaize[145]
Degradable film as mulchIncrease soil temperatureMaize[79]
Decrease soil temperatureTomatoes[146]
Increase soil temperatureDifferent crops[147]
Compost mulchIncrease soil temperature-[148]
Silver/black plastic mulchIncrease soil temperatureCucumber[70]

7.4. Mulch Effects on Soil Properties

The composition of soil moisture and temperature has an impact on soil and crop interactions [149]. Mulch application rates can change soil attributes such as organic matter, moisture content, salinity, texture, porosity, or subsurface characteristics, all of which have a significant impact on crop productivity [64,150]. According to Huang et al. [151], the application of organic mulches to soil improved soil health or consequently gave a higher yield. In addition, soil chemical properties such as cation exchange capacity (CEC) and electrical conductivity (EC) were also improved [147]. In hardwoods, mulching practices increased soil organic matter (SOM) over the control [148]. Likewise, in an arid climate, Zhang et al. [152] found significantly greater SOM in straw mulch at the soil surface layer (0–15 cm); however, Tian et al. [153] showed a significant increase in dissolved organic carbon beneath black polyethylene mulch in a humid environment. Compared with polyethylene film mulch (PM), Zhang et al. [154] discovered that biodegradable mulches (BM) increased the soil’s microbial, urease, or catalase activities. Although BM can reduce soil bulk density, it has no lasting negative effects on the nutrient or the microbial activity of the soil. Instead, it may improve the soil’s quality. The use of mulch modifies the bulk density according to the climatic factors, the characteristics of the soil, and the mulch used [155]. Mulching increases the water holding capacity, while no mulching has no effect on the water capacity. The use of various kinds of mulch decreased electrical conductivity when compared with bare soil. [156]. Black polyethylene mulch improves soil fertility by reducing nitrogen or organic carbon exhaustion in soil, as described by Liu et al. [157]. Figure 7 illustrates the effect of mulch on productivity, growth, or nutrients of crops.

7.5. Mulch Effects on Soil Thermal Regimes

Mulches appear to be effective at changing water or heat balances on the soil’s surface or improving the growing environment for plants. By delaying evaporation, mulches preserve soil moisture, although their capacity to affect soil temperature varies according to the composition and optical characteristics of the mulch. In general, organic mulches reduce maximum soil temperatures but boost minimum soil temperatures, whereas polyethylene mulches enhance maximum or minimum soil temperatures compared with un-mulched soil [158,159].
Because solar energy directly heats air or soil beneath mulch through penetration, mulch is known to increase soil temperature. The heat is then holed up by the greenhouse effect. Crop growth throughout the growing season is determined by the genetic or environmental factors that regulate the duration or speed of plant development. Temperature is considered the most crucial environmental factor. Soil temperature is a measure of the intensity of heat in the soil. Heat flows in soil, or the generation or usage of heat in soil, both have an impact on the temperature of the soil [160]. The microclimate, which affects seed germination, seedling emergence, and root growth, is greatly affected by the thermal properties of soils [161,162]. Crops are exposed to sub-or supra-optimal temperatures at various points in their growth cycles. Summer crops are subjected to higher temperatures than those cultivated in the winter. Crop production can be improved by altering hydrothermal regimes through the use of mulches or appropriate management practices.
In terms of crop growth, the soil temperature is more important than the aerial temperature in agriculture [20]. One of the most critical elements affecting soil heat storage, soil heat flow, soil water flux, seed germination, nutrient cycling, or plant growth is soil temperature. Plant root functional activity can be influenced by either minimum or maximum soil temperatures. The response of plants changes when the temperature changes, having lower and upper threshold values as well as a conspicuous optimum. The ideal temperature for the optimum utilization of N-fixing bacteria is between 20 and 25 °C. The ideal soil temperature for wheat is 15–27 °C, and 25–30 °C for sorghum, rice, or corn [163].

7.6. Mulch Effects on Microbial Count

Microorganisms in the soil have a significant role in the agriculture system, nutrients, and soil quality. Soil organisms feed on soil organic substrates positively affecting plant growth [164,165,166,167]. Mulching increases the number of microbes in the soil, which leads to better aerobic conditions, adequate soil moisture, or temperature, which in turn causes microbial decomposition to occur quickly, which improves soil fertility due to the abundance of nutrients that affect plant growth and productivity [168,169,170]. The microbial population and activity are affected differently by different types of mulch [171,172,173,174].
Excessive application of synthetic fertilizers overall in the agricultural sector has led to contiguous health issues and ecological damage worldwide [175]. Mulches enhance soil biota by ensuring the availability of nutrients and play a significant part in nutrient cycling activities, allowing the crop to harvest a healthy product for long time [147,176]. Proteobacteria and actinobacteria populations rose when plastic film mulch was applied relative to control [172], but soil invertebrate populations decreased [177]. Mycotoxigenic fungus was increased by the use of plastic mulch [178]. In addition, under mulching circumstances, Chen et al. [147] discovered an increment in the microbial community. Microbial activity varies with the type of temperature present during the mulching process. As a result, microbial activity is increased when the soil temperature is below the microbial optimal range. Conversely, when the soil temperature is above the microbial optimal range, the mulch may raise the temperature, which would decrease the number of microbes present [119]. Using biodegradable mulch has been shown to boost bacterial and fungal populations [179].
When contrasted with black polyethylene mulch, biodegradable mulch boosted microbial populations, enzyme activity, and respiration [179]. According to Yan et al. [180], black polyethylene mulch reduces porosity, which changes air exchange and hence microbial population, resulting in reduced soil fertility. Black polyethylene mulch raised the temperature of the soil, which accelerated the decomposition of organic matter or encouraged the activity of soil microbes [88]. The decomposition process, nutrient mineralization, or soil carbon sequestration are all significantly influenced by the physicochemical characteristics of the soil. The high microbial biomass and activity frequently lead to the highest nutrient availability to crops [88].

7.7. Mulch Effects on Weed

One of the most difficult aspects of farming is weed control [181]. Weeds compete with crops for light, food, water, nutrients, or space in agricultural fields, and they also discharge allelopathic chemicals into the soil, reducing crop productivity and quality [169]. According to agronomic research, light can only reach the soil for a few cm, so mulching at a depth of 5 cm is the most often advised method for reducing weed development [182]. The microclimatic conditions of the soil surface are changed by the use of any form of mulch, which in turn influences the weed spectrum. Mulch prevents the growth of undesired weeds by reducing the amount of solar radiation available [183]. Weeds are suppressed by black polyethylene and straw mulch [184]. Table 4 illustrates the impact of different mulches on weed control.
Table 4. The impact of different mulches on weed control.
Table 4. The impact of different mulches on weed control.
Types of MulchesEffectsReferences
PE (polyethylene) mulchPE mulch increased saffron growth and productivity while successfully reducing weed populations.[185]
Barley straw mulch (BSM) and mulch from spent mushroom compost (SMCM)BSM and SMCM decreased weed populations.[186]
Wheat straw, pine needle, or black plastic mulchMulch decreased the weed biomass and weed density.[187]
Both organic and inorganic mulchesTreatment of tomato lines with black polythene mulch boosted fruit yield and decreased weed density. Transparent polythene could not inhibit the weed population.[188]
Three mulch treatments, i.e., plastic mulch (PLM), sorghum mulch (SM), or paper mulch (PM)The PLM and PM decreased weed flora and increased morphological criteria of maize.[189]
Cereal rye mulch biomassMulch decreased weed community that related with soybean.[190]
Black– black, Black–silver, Black–white, organic mulches such as paddy straw, paddy husk, ground nut shellsBlack–black polythene mulch exhibited maximum weed control efficiency while the minimum was registered with paddy straw mulch.[191]
Peanut straw mulchPeanut straw mulch decreased weed biomass.[192]
Mulches are more effective than pesticides or manual weed control methods [193]. Hjelm et al. [194] reported that weed control could be effective when mulching is used and it could be a cost-effective and sustainable alternative. According to Abouziena et al. [195], broad-leaved weeds are more sensitive to mulching coatings than grassy weeds. The inhibiting effect of weeds under organic mulch was observed by Oliveira et al. [196], and may be related to decreased solar radiation, temperature, or allelopathic effects produced by straw mulch, which may have lowered emergence. Eucalyptus grandis, Pinus patula, and Acacia mearnsii are examples of organic mulches that contain hydroxylated aromatic compounds and produce allelopathic compounds with hydrophobic nature that rapidly decrease the supply of water, influencing weed species such as Trifolium spp., Lactuca sativa, or Echinochloa utilis [172,197].
The influence of black or clear plastic mulches on weed infestation has been reported to be positive. This effect is due to their ability to warm the soil or raise the root zone temperature. However, black plastic mulch has a greater impact on suppressing weed competition than clear plastic mulch because it spreads across the soil or around the crop, lowering the amount of light reaching the soil. It reduces the efficacy of weed germination or suffocates growing weeds [38].

8. Role of Mulching on Water Conservation

Because water-usage efficiency is a modern technique of farming, it focuses on increasing production while using a scarce amount of water. It is vital to save water and increase crop output in arid or semi-arid locations. Crop output is proportional to the amount of accessible water and the efficiency with which it is used throughout the production period [198]. Land that is not mulched loses more water than land that is covered with plastic. This is due to increased exposure to water-losing factors such as solar radiation, wind, or heat [199]. Plastic mulching has a better effect on plant production or water-use efficiency (WUE) than traditional tillage patterns. Black and white plastic mulching improves WUE in potato plants by 31% compared with the un-mulched ground [200]. Table 5 summarizes the role of various mulches on soil water content.
Table 5. Effect of various mulches on soil water content.
Table 5. Effect of various mulches on soil water content.
Mulch TypeEffect on Soil WaterReferences
Plastic mulchBoosted soil water contents[79]
Boosted soil water contents and availability[67,69]
Boosted moisture contents and maize productivity[201]
Degradable film mulchRaised soil water contents[79]
Straw mulchIncreased soil water contents[79]
Enhanced soil water storage[202]
Boosted soil moisture contents[67,70]
Reduced water needs and enhanced water productivity[65]
Gravel mulchBoosted soil water content[202]
Compost made from municipal wasteIncrease (85%) in water percolation[203]
Oat straw and olive twigs as mulchesReduced water loss from rainfall[204]
Transparent plastic mulchBoosted soil water content and canopy air humidity[139]
Black plastic mulch (BM)Boosted soil moisture, temperature, and morphological criteria of maize[205]
Straw strip mulchingStraw strip mulching and plastic film mulching boosted water use efficiency of grain yield (WUEr) or biomass yield (WUEb).[206]
Transparent film (W), black film (B), or straw mulching (S)W, B, and S mulch boosted soil water content[207]
Mulch involves maintaining soil moisture by covering the soil’s surface. This method can be utilized to prolong crop production in regions with insufficient water supplies. To conserve soil and water, ridge-furrow farming has been integrated with plastic mulching in some regions of the world. For instance, compared with a flat-sown crop with no soil protective coating, the technique (covering ridge furrows with plastic mulch) could improve soil water supplies, root density, energy and water conservation, plant dry weight, and maize productivity [208]. In comparison with a control, the water-use efficiency, yield attributes, and yield and quality improved by about 50% when ridge furrows and a plastic covering were used to conserve water in the wheat crop in China (flat planting) [209].
The use of black plastic mulch has been reported to improve water efficiency. Because of its impact on reducing evaporation and transpiration, such efficiency is achieved. This emphasizes the importance of black plastic mulch in preventing moisture loss, improving protected agriculture, or lowering plants’ need for more water [210]. However, a study of black or white plastic mulches revealed that black plastic mulch (202–442.6 mm) has a higher maximum rate of evaporation and transpiration than white plastic mulch [211].
The ability of bare soil to absorb irrigation or rainfall decreases when it is subjected to high temperatures, wind, and compaction. Mulch helps the soil retain more water, evaporate less, and suppress weed growth. The application of straw mulch reduced evaporation by about 35%, according to Goodman [29]. Permeable mulching materials come in a wide range of options. Organic mulches are more effective at conserving water and do not obstruct soil water infiltration and retention. The suitable mulch can decrease the frequency of irrigation and, in some cases, completely remove it. Mulch can also assist in shielding trees and plants from drought and winter damage. In semi-arid regions of the world, mulching is a water-saving technique that maintains soil moisture, manages temperature, and lowers soil evaporation [48]. In a rainfed agricultural system, surface mulching is frequently employed as a water-saving technique [212,213,214,215].
Water is the scarcest natural resource for the farming system out of all the natural resources. However, it is well known that different plant species have different water needs [216]. Water use efficiency (WUE) in a cropping system is the total biomass or yield produced per unit of water used by the plant or the soil surface [169]. As a result, understanding how to improve WUE in both irrigated and rainfed areas to improve crop quality and yield is essential. Zhou et al. [216] found that mulching improves yield and WUE by reducing evaporation and increasing soil transpiration [217]. Plastic mulch increases WUE by 20–60% and decreases the evaporation rate [201], which improves soil water retention and infiltration or creates a favorable environment for root proliferation or seed germination [218].
In rainfed dryland areas, black plastic mulch could improve soil moisture and WUE, consequently boosting apple yield [219]. Under the Chinese drip irrigation technique, black or transparent plastic could enhance WUE and productivity of potatoes [220]. The black plastic mulch outperformed the other two mulches (white and rice straw) in terms of boosting tomato leaf area index, fruit production, or water productivity while lowering evapotranspiration [221]. The latter was more successful than the degradable film and plastic mulches in reducing evapotranspiration and enhancing the yield or WUE of winter oilseed rape [80]. In rice farming, mulch treatment has been shown to improve water retention and grain yield. According to a study of 36 rice farming sites, covering rice fields with mulch enhanced yields by 18%. Black plastic mulch could boost water productivity, rice yield, and quality while also conserving soil moisture [67,69].
The efficiency of mulch depends on soil properties as well as the climatic conditions of the site. The Egyptian clover mulch was successful in retaining soil water content and promoting crop growth during the summer season, however it did not outperform the black plastic mulch [67,69]. On the other hand, rice husk produced better soil water retention, water utilization, and production benefits for wheat, which is considered a winter crop, by plastic mulch [133]. In water-saving rice mechanisms, the Egyptian clover mulch reduced the number of ineffective tillers or excessive water productivity [67,69].
Various types of straw mulches were all similarly successful in decreasing the rate of water loss from the soil surface, with a 5 cm depth of these mulches minimizing evaporation by 40% [113]. An enhancement in mulch depth to 10 cm increased soil moisture by 10%, while a further boost (to 15 cm) provided no additional benefit [113]. Wheat straw (2–16 t/ha) could improve soil moisture [155]. Black plastic and wheat straw mulches could help cucumber plants recover from drought stress by reducing evaporation [222]. The mulches not only enhanced the cucumber leaf area and the biomass yield but also improved its water usage efficiency. Furthermore, mulching has been shown to improve fruit production and plant nutrient availability [222].
Because of their beneficial effects on photosynthesis and crop yield [223], fruit phytochemical quality [224], and indirect pest protection, photo-selective (PS) mulching films have recently been proposed for use in agriculture [224]. In addition to these beneficial effects, PS mulching films may be able to keep the soil cooler than conventional black mulch due to their high level of reflectivity [225]. In light of this, PS mulching films have the ability to lower crop water needs through two complementary mechanisms: decreasing direct soil evaporation and boosting root efficiency by fostering a favorable microclimate in the root zone [224].

9. Role of Mulching on Crop Production

Most research has focused on the impact of mulches on crop production or yield (Table 6). For example, López-Tolentino et al. [226], in cucumber, and Zhang et al. [227], in maize, found that utilizing black plastic mulch can improve early crop yield. According to Berglund et al. [228], strawberry establishment is more rapid and successful when degradable plastic mulches are used. In crops, it appears that layer mulches have received more research than other forms of mulches. Furthermore, pine bark produced higher output than live sedum mulch in a study on the effects of mulch types on vegetable production in a green roof system [229]. Thermal transmission efficiency might have resulted in better heat conservation under black mulch during the night, a reason for greater morning temperatures compared with midday temperatures under black polythene mulch. Black polythene mulch was also discovered to be better compared with other mulches for vegetables such as lettuce [230], okra, and squash [231] by either raising soil temperature or preserving soil moisture.
Table 6. The impact of mulching on yield and crop production.
Table 6. The impact of mulching on yield and crop production.
CropEconomic Yield Tons ha−1% Increase in YieldReferences
Pickling cucumber2.454.5083.7[70]
Brassica napus3.975.9048.4[80]
Sesamum indicum0.210.7316.55[104]
Apple trees27.934.724.4[117]
French beans12.7314.109.71[237]
Mung beans1.021.3625.00[241]
Temperatures in the soil between 16 and 20 °C are necessary for potato tubers to develop properly [243]. The formation of tubers is negatively impacted by dry conditions and temperatures that are higher than ideal. These unfavorable vegetation conditions can lead to malformation of tubers or chain-like growth of new small tubers. A change in tuber quality, particularly a change in the amount of storage substances such as starch, is the next unfavorable consequence of high temperatures [244]. Mulching is one method to address these issues. All over the world, people use organic materials such as compost, straw, and other agricultural waste as mulch. A readily available and useful mulch material is cereal straw. A simple application, a drop in soil temperature, a reduction in daytime temperature fluctuations, and an increase in soil moisture are the primary advantages of straw mulch treatment [245,246,247]. The effects of various mulches on a variety of plants, including eggplant [248] and tomato [249], have been studied. Abdrabbo et al. [24] stated that the plant response to the plastic mulch depends on the plant cultivar, the materials used, and the environmental conditions. Mulch application improved the water status of sweet cherry crops, according to Yin et al. [249]. Mulches also create the ideal environment for root growth, which promotes plant growth and productivity [103].

10. Strategies for Optimum Water Usage in Urban Green Spaces and Landscaping

Trees, flowers, turfgrass, and other plants cover urban green spaces, which are open spaces in the city with natural or manufactured arenas covered by turfgrass, flowers, trees, or other plants [250]. The value of green spaces to minimize air pollution, improve human health, reduce violence in society, moderate urban heat islands, minimize urban runoff by minimizing hard surfaces, and regulate soil erosion in urban areas has been widely addressed [251]. The global standard for green spaces per capita is between 5 and 50 m2. In Iran, this threshold is set at 30 m2. However, none of Iran’s major cities have the resources to create green spaces that meet international standards. One of the biggest limiting issues in building green areas in Iran is a lack of water resources [252]. Turfgrasses are an important part of creating urban green zones. Turfgrass has covered more than 20 million hectares of public spaces around the world (sports fields and parks, for example) [253]. Water makes up roughly 80% of turfgrass weight; obviously, this varies depending on the type or species of lawn, the density or placement of lawn plantings, and the climate. Most of the water is found in turfgrass species’ stems, leaves, and roots, in that order. Reduced watering causes wilting and eventually death of turfgrass plants in various areas. When describing the function of water in turfgrass physiology, Ansari and Azimi [253] added that energy, carbon dioxide, and water are required for photosynthetic processes in lawns. Living cells use water as a solvent or a catalyst in their metabolic processes. Temperature variations in the protoplasm can be managed with the help of the specific heat capacity of the water in plant cells. This characteristic in turn helps to protect the grass from unexpected temperature changes. Water is crucial for cell inflammation and keeping the stomata open, which allows for gas exchange. The resistance of grasses to footing can also be increased by cellular inflammation.
The conservation of greenbelts is the most everlastingly fruitful and basic need today to preserve the ecological landscape, open green space, green gardens, and to save green land on the urban fringes [254]. In urban landscaping, they are now planning to shift toward low-management landscapes such as low-water-using landscapes [255], either by altering the method or the system of landscaping [256,257] or xeriscaping [258], which includes mulching as one of its principles [241]. Despite their high upkeep requirements, decorative flower beds add beauty and color to urban landscapes, making it difficult to persuade people to remove them in favor of low-maintenance landscaping [259,260]. A strategy to combine mulch with bedding flowers to achieve lower inputs, including maintenance and water resources, should be discussed in light of the significance of bedding plants in urban landscapes, as shown in Figure 8. There has not been a lot of research done in this field, despite the fact that the work of Pakdel [261] can be explored. Pakdel [261] examined the growth of Tagetes patula, Platanus orientalis, and Rosa masquerade using four different types of mulch: gravel, sawdust, wood chips, and municipal compost.
Many bedding plants have different growing conditions. Those with a tolerance to cool weather can include Lobularia maritima, Antirrhinum sp., and Calendula sp., while others, such as Catharanthus roseus and Celosia sp., tolerate and flourish in warmer weather conditions [259]. It has been demonstrated that mulches have the ability to mitigate adverse weather conditions, which in turn could extend the survival and performance of a large variety of bedding plants. Likewise, mulches improve water retention capacity in the soil and weed control, which reduces the maintenance requirements of bedding plants in ornamental landscapes. However, despite these assumptions, evidence on the performance of bedding plants in the presence of mulch continues to be limited, and this research was conducted to fill in this important research gap. Zinnia elegans is recognized as a commonly utilized drought-tolerant bedding plant in ornamental landscaping in many places around the world. However, the performance of this plant species in conjunction with mulches as a soil cover has been less investigated. Therefore, in this study, the effect and evaluation of four mulch types on the growth or morpho-physiological traits of Zinnia elegans were evaluated.
Mulches can help with root establishment and plant performance because their higher water retention stimulates roots to expand or establish beyond the trunk compared with bare soil roots. As a result, plants with stronger root systems establish themselves more quickly. Organic mulches promote root development more than bare soil [262,263,264,265].

11. Conclusions

The hydrothermal regime of the soil is affected by various mulching materials that change soil moisture and temperature. These changes in the soil environment have an impact on soil microbiology, which is critical for creating a suitable environment for plant growth. Mulching materials have a substantial impact on water conservation in agriculture by altering the microclimate and lowering the soil evaporation. However, each form of mulch has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it appropriate for some conditions but not for others. The availability, durability, or pricing of materials are all key factors to consider when choosing mulching materials. However, minimizing the detrimental effects of mulching should be the main priority. The soil surface is physically covered with mulches such as crop straw, plastic film, sand, and gravel that insulate the soil surface from the atmosphere. Recently, there has been an increase in the use of these methods. One of the many benefits of mulching the soil surface is that it reduces soil evaporation or erosion brought on by wind or water. Straw mulch moderates soil temperatures in the hot summer by preventing topsoil temperatures from reaching levels that inhibit plant growth. In the early spring, when soil temperatures are low, plastic mulch encourages plant growth by increasing the topsoil temperature. As a result, farmers will employ this unique technology in the future to help them preserve moisture, eliminate weeds, and greatly increase soil health while producing more. This will also contribute significantly to the world’s long-term food security.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, H.S.E.-B., A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; software, E.A.R.K., T.A.S., K.M.A.R., A.A.A., S.U. and H.S.G.; validation, H.S.E.-B., A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; investigation, H.S.E.-B., A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; resources, E.A.R.K., T.A.S., K.M.A.R., A.A.A., S.U. and H.S.G.; data curation, E.A.R.K., T.A.S., K.M.A.R., A.A.A. and H.S.G.; writing—original draft preparation, A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; writing—review and editing, H.S.E.-B., A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; visualization, H.S.E.-B., A.B., H.I.M. and I.A.; supervision, H.S.E.-B., A.B. and H.I.M.; project administration, H.S.E.-B., A.B. and H.I.M.; funding acquisition, H.S.E.-B., T.A.S., K.M.A.R., A.A.A., S.U. and H.S.G. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research, Vice Presidency for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia (Grant No. 76).

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Data are contained within the article.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Chen, B.; Liu, E.; Mei, X.; Yan, C.; Garré, S. Modelling soil water dynamic in rain-fed spring maize field with plastic mulching. Agric. Water Manag. 2018, 198, 19–27. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Li, C.; Wang, C.; Wen, X.; Qin, X.; Liu, Y.; Han, J.; Li, Y.; Liao, Y.; Wu, W. Ridge-furrow with plastic film mulching practice improves maize productivity and resource use efficiency under the wheat-maize double-cropping system in dry semi-humid areas. Field Crops Res. 2017, 203, 201–211. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Qin, W.; Chi, B.; Oenema, O. Long-term monitoring of rainfed wheat yield and soil water at the loess plateau reveals low water use efficiency. PLoS ONE 2013, 8, e78828. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. Naeem, M.; Basit, A.; Ahmad, I.; Mohamed, H.I.; Wasila, H. Effect of salicylic acid and salinity stress on the performance of tomato. Gesunde Pflanz. 2020, 72, 393–402. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  5. Ghonaim, M.M.; Mohamed, H.I.; Omran, A.A.A. Evaluation of wheat salt stress tolerance using physiological parameters and retrotransposon-based markers. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 2021, 68, 227–242. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Turner, N.C.; Meyer, R. Synthesis of regional impacts and global agricultural adjustments. In Crop Adaptation to Climate Change; Yadav, S.S., Redden, R.J., Hatfield, J.L., Lotze-Campen, H., Hall, A.E., Eds.; Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, UK, 2011; pp. 156–165. [Google Scholar]
  7. Siddique, K.H.M.; Johansen, C.; Turner, N.C.; Marie-Hélène, J.M.H.; Hashem, A.; Sakar, D.; Gan, Y.; Alghamdi, S.S. Innovations in agronomy for food legumes—A review. Agron. Sustain. Develop. 2012, 32, 45–64. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  8. Mohamed, H.I.; Akladious, S.A. Influence of garlic extract on enzymatic and non enzymatic antioxidants in soybean plants (Glycine max) grown under drought stress. Life Sci. J. 2014, 11, 46–58. [Google Scholar]
  9. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Hashem, F.A.; Maze, M.; Shalaby, T.A.; Shehata, W.F.; Taha, N.M. Control of gas emissions (N2O and CO2) associated with applied different rates of nitrogen and their influences on growth, productivity, and physio-biochemical attributes of green bean plants grown under different irrigation methods. Agronomy 2022, 12, 249. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ahmad, I.; Basit, A.; Shehata, W.F.; Hassan, U.; Shah, S.T.; Haleema, B.; Jalal, A.; Amin, R.; Khalid, M.A.; et al. Ascorbic acid enhances growth and yield of sweet peppers (Capsicum annum) by mitigating salinity stress. Gesunde Pflanz. 2022, 74, 423–433. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  11. Shalaby, T.A.; Taha, N.A.; Taher, D.I.; Metwaly, M.M.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Rezk, A.A.; El-Ganainy, S.M.; Shehata, W.F.; El-Ramady, H.R.; Bayoumi, Y.A. Paclobutrazol improves the quality of tomato seedlings to be resistant to Alternaria solani Blight disease, Biochemical and histological perspectives. Plants 2022, 11, 425. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Peng, H.; Lei, T.; Jiang, Z.; Horton, R. A method for estimating maximum static rainfall retention in pebble mulches used for soil moisture conservation. J. Hydrol. 2016, 537, 346–355. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  13. Mohamed, H.I.; Akladious, S.A.; Ashry, N.A. Evaluation of water stress tolerance of soybean using physiological parameters and retrotransposon-based markers. Gesunde Pflanz. 2018, 70, 205–215. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  14. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Mohamed, H.I.; Sofy, M.R. Role of ascorbic acid, glutathione and proline applied as singly or in sequence combination in improving chickpea plant through physiological change and antioxidant defense under different levels of irrigation intervals. Molecules 2020, 25, 1702. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  15. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ahmad, I.; Basit, A.; Abd El-Lateef, H.M.; Yasir, M.; Shah, S.T.; Ullah, I.; Mohamed, M.E.M.; Ali, I.; Ali, F.; et al. Effect of azospirillum and azotobacter species on the performance of cherry tomato under different salinity levels. Gesunde Pflanz. 2022, 74, 487–499. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  16. Ahmad, G.; Khan, A.A.; Mohamed, H.I. Impact of the low and high concentrations of fly ash amended soil on growth, physiological response and yield of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duch. Ex Poiret L.). Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2021, 28, 17068–17083. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  17. Mohamed, H.I.; El-Sayed, A.A.; Rady, M.M.; Caruso, G.; Sekara, A.; Abdelhamid, M.T. Coupling effects of Phosphorus Fertilization Source and rate on Growth and Ion Accumulation of common bean Grown under Salinity stress. PeerJ 2021, 9, 411–463. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  18. Shalaby, T.A.; El-Bialy, S.M.; El-Mahrouk, M.E.; Omara, A.E.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; El-Ramady, H. Acclimatization of in vitro banana seedlings using root-applied bio-nanofertilizer of copper and selenium. Agronomy 2022, 12, 539. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Gan, Y.T.; Huang, G.B.; Li, L.L.; Liu, J.H.; Hu, Y.G. Unique conservation tillage practices in northwest China. In No-Till Farming Systems, World Association of Soil and Water Conservation; Goddard, T., Zoebisch, M.A., Gan, Y., Ellis, W., Watson, A., Sombatpanit, S., Eds.; Funny Publishing: Bangkok, Thailand, 2008; pp. 429–445. [Google Scholar]
  20. Gan, Y.; Siddique, K.H.M.; Turner, N.C.; Li, X.G.; Niu, J.Y.; Yang, C.; Liu, L.; Chai, Q. Ridge-Furrow mulching systems-an innovative technique for boosting crop productivity in semiarid rain-fed environments. Adv. Agron. 2013, 118, 429–476. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Zhou, J.B.; Wang, C.Y.; Zhang, H.; Dong, F.; Zheng, X.F.; Gale, W.; Li, S.X. Effect of water saving management practices and nitrogen fertilizer rate on crop yield and water use efficiency in a winter wheat-summer maize cropping system. Field Crops Res. 2011, 122, 157–163. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  22. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ullah, I.; Sajid, M.; Basit, A.; Shehata, W.F.; Shah, S.T.; Alturki, S.M.; Ullah, A.; Aziz, I.; Ali, F. Influence of maturity stages on postharvest physico-chemical properties of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi var. ‘Shamber Tarnab’) under different storage durations. Not. Bot. Horti Agrobot. Cluj-Napoca 2022, 50, 12620. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  23. Chalker-Scott, L. Impact of mulches on landscape plants and the environment—A review. J. Environ. Hortic. 2007, 25, 239–249. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  24. Abdrabbo, M.A.A.; Saleh, S.M.; Hashem, F.A. Eggplant production under deficit irrigation and polyethylene mulch. Egypt J. Appl. Sci. 2017, 32, 148–161. [Google Scholar]
  25. Yu, Y.Y.; Turner, N.C.; Gong, Y.H.; Li, F.M.; Fang, C.; Ge, L.J.; Ye, J.S. Benefits and limitations to straw- and plastic-film mulch on maize yield and water use efficiency, a meta-analysis across hydrothermal gradients. Eur. J. Agron. 2018, 99, 138–147. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  26. Kader, M.A.; Senge, M.; Mojid, M.A.; Ito, K. Recent advances in mulching materials and methods for modifying soil environment. Soil Tillage Res. 2017, 168, 155–166. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  27. Adhikari, R.; Bristow, K.L.; Casey, P.S.; Freischmidt, G.; Hornbuckle, J.W.; Adhikari, B. Preformed and sprayable polymeric mulch film to improve agricultural water use efficiency. Agric. Water Manag. 2016, 169, 1–13. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  28. Wang, S.J.; Tian, X.H.; Liu, T.; Lu, X.C.; You, D.H.; Li, S. Irrigation, Straw, and Nitrogen Management Benefits Wheat Yield and Soil Properties in a Dryland Agro-Ecosystem. Agron. J. 2014, 106, 2193–2201. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  29. Goodman, B.A. Utilization of waste straw and husks from rice production, A review. J. Bioresour. Bioprod. 2020, 5, 143–162. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  30. Kosterna, E. Organic mulches in the vegetable cultivation (a review). Ecol. Chem. Eng. 2014, 21, 481–492. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  31. Bantle, A.; Borken, W.; Ellerbrock, R.H.; Schulze, E.D.; Weisser, W.W.; Matzner, E. Quantity and quality of dissolved organic carbon released from coarse woody debris of different tree species in the early phase of decomposition. For. Ecol. Manag. 2014, 329, 287–294. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  32. Tan, Z.; Yi, Y.; Wang, H.; Zhou, W.; Yang, Y.; Wang, C. Physical and degradable properties of mulching films prepared from natural fibers and biodegradable polymers. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 147. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  33. Sofy, M.; Mohamed, H.I.; Dawood, M.; Abu-Elsaoud, A.; Soliman, M. Integrated usage of Trichoderma harzianum and biochar to ameliorate salt stress on spinach plants. Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 2021. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  34. Haapala, T.; Palonen, P.; Korpela, A.; Ahokas, J. Feasibility of paper mulches in crop production, a review. Agric. Food Sci. 2014, 23, 60–79. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  35. Gosar, B.; Baricevic, D. Ridge–furrow–ridge rainwater harvesting system with mulches and supplemental Irrigation. HortScience 2011, 46, 108–112. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  36. Gao, H.; Yan, C.; Liu, Q.; Ding, W.; Chen, B.; Li, Z. Effects of plastic mulching and plastic residue on agricultural production, a meta-analysis. Sci. Total Environ. 2019, 651, 484–492. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  37. Li, C.; Moore-Kucera, J.; Lee, J.; Corbin, A.; Brodhagen, M.; Miles, C.; Inglis, D. Effects of biodegradable mulch on soil quality. Appl. Soil Ecol. 2014, 79, 59–69. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  38. Serrano-Ruiz, H.; Martin-Closas, L.; Pelacho, A.M. Biodegradable plastic mulches: Impact on the agricultural biotic environment. Sci. Total Environ. 2021, 750, 141228. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  39. Daryanto, S.; Wang, L.; Jacinthe, P.-A. Can ridge-furrow plastic mulching replace irrigation in dryland wheat and maize croping systems? Agric. Water Manag. 2017, 190, 1–5. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  40. Zhao, Z.; Shi, F.; Guan, F. Effects of plastic mulching on soil CO2 efflux in a cotton field in northwestern China. Sci. Rep. 2022, 12, 4969. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  41. Tian, Y.; Liu, J.; Zhang, X.; Gao, L. Effects of summer catch crop, residue management, soil temperature and water on the succeeding cucumber rhizosphere nitrogen mineralization in intensive production systems. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 2010, 88, 429–446. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  42. Hayes, D.G.; Anunciado, M.B.; Debruyn, J.M.; Bandopadhyay, S.; Sintim, H.Y. Biodegradable plastic mulch films for sustainable specialty crop production. In Polymers for Agri-Food Applications, 1st ed.; Gutiérrez, T., Ed.; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2019; pp. 183–213. [Google Scholar]
  43. Zumstein, M.T.; Schintlmeister, A.; Nelson, T.F.; Baumgartner, R.; Woebken, D.; Wagner, M.; Kohler, H.-P.E.; McNeill, K.; Sander, M. Biodegradation of synthetic polymers in soils: Tracking carbon into CO2 and microbial biomass. Sci. Adv. 2018, 4, eaas9024. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  44. Martín-Closas, L.; Costa, J.; Pelacho, A.M. Agronomic effects of biodegradable films on crop and field environment. In Soil Degradable Bioplastics for a Sustainable Modern Agriculture; Springer: Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany, 2017; pp. 67–104. [Google Scholar]
  45. Briassoulis, D.; Giannoulis, A. Evaluation of the functionality of bio-based plastic mulching films. Polym. Test. 2018, 67, 99–109. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  46. Wang, Z.; Zhao, X.; Wu, P.; Chen, X. Effects of water limitation on yield advantage and water use in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) maize (Zea mays L.) strip intercropping. Eur. J. Agron. 2015, 71, 149–159. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  47. Steinmetz, Z.; Wollmann, C.; Schaefer, M.; Buchmann, C.; David, J.; Tröger, J.; Muñoz, K.; Frör, O.; Schaumann, G.E. Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short- term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation? Sci. Total Environ. 2016, 550, 690–705. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  48. Liu, L.; Xu, M.; Ye, Y.; Zhang, B. On the degradation of (micro) plastics: Degradation methods, influencing factors, environmental impacts. Sci. Total Environ. 2022, 806, 151312. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  49. Kasirajan, S.; Ngouajio, M. Polyethylene and biodegradable mulches for agricultural applications: A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 2012, 32, 501–529. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  50. Brodhagen, M.; Peyron, M.; Miles, C.; Inglis, D.A. Biodegradable plastic agricultural mulches and key features of microbial degradation. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2015, 99, 1039–1056. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  51. Bandopadhyay, S.; Martin-Closas, L.; Pelacho, A.M.; DeBruyn, J.M. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions. Front. Microbiol. 2018, 9, 819. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  52. Wang, B.; Wan, Y.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Huai, G.; Cui, L.; Sun, C. Effects of fully biodegradable mulch film on the yield of sugarbeet and soil physiochemical properties in Southern Xinjiang, China. J. Environ. Eng. Technol. 2020, 10, 105–111. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  53. Wang, B.; Wan, Y.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Huai, G.; Cui, L.; Zhang, Y.; Wei, Y.; Liu, G. Effects of PBAT biodegradable mulch film on potato yield, soil temperature, moisture and nutrient in Southern Xinjiang, China. Acta Agric. Boreali-Occident. Sin. 2020, 29, 35–43. [Google Scholar]
  54. Wang, B.; Wan, Y.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Huai, G.; Cui, L.; Zhang, Y.; Wei, Y.; Liu, G. Effects of PBAT biodegradable mulch film on the physical and chemical properties of soil and tomato yield in southern Xinjiang, China. J. Agric. Resour. Environ. 2019, 36, 640–648. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  55. Wang, B.; Wan, Y.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Huai, G.; Lv, C.; Cui, L. Effect of biodegradable mulch film on peanut yield and soil physical and chemical properties in Southern Xinjiang, China. J. Peanut Sci. 2019, 48, 38–43. [Google Scholar]
  56. Wang, B.; Wan, Y.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Wang, X.; Huai, G.; Kong, L. Effects of PBAT biodegradable plastic mulch film on soil physical and chemical properties and yields of cotton and maize in Southern Xinjiang, China. J. Agro-Environ. Sci. 2019, 38, 148–156. [Google Scholar]
  57. Yang, N.; Sun, Z.; Feng, L.; Zheng, M.; Chi, D. Plastic film mulching for water- efficient agricultural applications and degradable films materials development research. Mater. Manuf. Process. 2015, 30, 143–154. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  58. Kader, M.A.; Senge, M.; Mojid, M.A.; Onishi, T.; Ito, K. Effects of plastic-hole mulching on effective rainfall and readily available soil moisture under soybean (Glycine max) cultivation. Paddy Water Environ. 2017, 15, 659–668. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  59. Wang, Y.P.; Li, X.G.; Fu, T.T.; Wang, L.; Turner, N.C.; Siddique, K.H.M.; Li, F.M. Multi-site assessment of the effects of plastic-film mulch on the soil organic carbon balance in semiarid areas of China. Agric. For. Meteorol. 2016, 228, 42–51. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  60. Cuello, J.P.; Hwang, H.Y.; Gutierrez, J.; Kim, S.Y.; Kim, P.J. Impact of plastic film mulching on increasing greenhouse gas emissions in temperate upland soil during maize cultivation. Appl. Soil. Ecol. 2015, 91, 48–57. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  61. Barragan, D.H.; Pelacho, A.M.; Martin-Closas, L. Degradation of agricultural biodegradable plastics in the soil under laboratory conditions. Soil Res. 2016, 54, 216–224. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  62. Hajighasemi, M.; Nocek, B.P.; Tchigvintsev, A.; Brown, G.; Flick, R.; Xu, X.; Cui, H.; Hai, T.; Joachimiak, A.; Golyshin, P.N.; et al. Biochemical and structural insights into enzymatic depolymerization of polylactic acid and other polyesters by microbial Carboxylesterases. Biomacromolecules 2016, 17, 2027–2039. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  63. Ma, Z.F.; Ma, Y.B.; Qin, L.Z.; Liu, J.X.; Su, H.J. Preparation and characteristics of biodegradable mulching films based on fermentation industry wastes. Int. Biodeter. Biodegrad. 2016, 111, 54–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  64. Wu, C.; Ma, Y.; Wang, D.; Shan, Y.; Song, X.; Hu, H.; Ren, X.; Ma, X.; Cui, J.; Ma, Y. Integrated microbiology and metabolomics analysis reveal plastic mulch film residue affects soil microorganisms and their metabolic functions. J. Hazard. Mater. 2022, 423, 127258. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  65. Jat, H.S.; Singh, G.; Singh, R.; Choudhary, M.; Jat, M.L.; Gathala, M.K.; Sharma, D.K. Management influence on maize–wheat system performance, water productivity and soil biology. Soil Use Manag. 2015, 31, 534–543. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  66. Finckh, M.R.; Bruns, C.; Bacanovic, J.; Junge, S.; Schmidt, J.H. Organic potatoes, reduced tillage and mulch in temperate climates. Org. Grow. 2015, 33, 20–22. [Google Scholar]
  67. Jabran, K.; Ullah, E.; Hussain, M.; Farooq, M.; Zaman, U.; Yaseen, M.; Chauhan, B.S. Mulching improves water productivity, yield and quality of fine rice under water-saving rice production systems. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 2015, 201, 389–400. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  68. Montenegro, A.D.A.; Abrantes, J.R.C.B.; De Lima, J.L.M.P.; Singh, V.; Santos, T.E.M. Impact of mulching on soil and water dynamics under intermittent simulated rainfall. Catena 2013, 109, 139–149. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  69. Jabran, K.; Ullah, E.; Akbar, N. Mulching Improves Crop Growth, Grain Length, Head Rice and Milling Recovery of Basmati Rice Grown in Water-saving Production Systems. Int. J. Agric. Biol. 2015, 17, 920–928. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  70. Torres-Olivar, V.; Ibarra-Jiménez, L.; Cárdenas-Flores, A.; Lira-Saldivar, R.H.; Valenzuela-Soto, J.H.; Castillo-Campohermoso, M.A. Changes induced by plastic film mulches on soil temperature and their relevance in growth and fruit yield of pickling cucumber. Acta Agric. Scand. Sect. B-Soil Plant Sci. 2018, 68, 97–103. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  71. Bajad, A.A.; Sharma, B.P.; Gupta, Y.C.; Dilta, B.S.; Gupta, R.K. Effect of different planting times and mulching materials on flower quality and yield of China aster cultivars. J. Pharmacogn. Phytochem. 2017, 6, 1321–1326. [Google Scholar]
  72. Caruso, G.; Stoleru, V.; De Pascale, S.; Cozzolino, E.; Pannico, A.; Giordano, M.; Teliban, G.; Cuciniello, A.; Rouphael, Y. Production, leaf quality and antioxidants of perennial wall rocket as affected by crop cycle and mulching type. Agronomy 2019, 9, 194. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  73. Sarkar, M.D.; Solaiman, A.H.M.; Jahan, M.S.; Rojoni, R.N.; Kabir, K.; Hasanuzzaman, M. Soil parameters, onion growth, physiology, biochemical and mineral nutrient composition in response to colored polythene flm mulches. Ann. Agric. Sci. 2019, 64, 63–70. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  74. Yin, W.; Chai, Q.; Guo, Y.; Feng, F.; Zhao, C.; Yu, A.; Hu, F. Analysis of leaf area index dynamic and grain yield components of intercropped wheat and maize under straw mulch combined with reduced tillage in arid environments. J. Agric. Sci. 2016, 8, 26–42. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  75. Amare, G.; Desta, B. Coloured plastic mulches, impact on soil properties and crop productivity. Chem. Biol. Technol. Agric. 2021, 8, 4. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  76. Jabran, K.; Hussain, M.; Fahad, S.; Farooq, M.; Bajwa, A.A.; Alharrby, H.; Nasim, W. Economic assessment of different mulches in conventional and water-saving rice production systems. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2016, 23, 9156–9163. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  77. Xiukang, W.; Zhanbin, L.; Yingying, X. Effects of mulching and nitrogen on soil temperature water content, nitrate-N content and maize yield in the Loess Plateau of China. Agric. Water Manag. 2015, 161, 53–64. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  78. Li, S.X.; Wang, Z.H.; Li, S.Q.; Gao, Y.J.; Tian, X.H. Effect of plastic sheet mulch, wheat straw mulch, and maize growth on water loss by evaporation in dryland areas of China. Agric. Water Manag. 2013, 116, 39–49. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  79. Li, R.; Hou, X.; Jia, Z.; Han, Q.; Yang, B. Effects of rainfall harvesting and mulching technologies on soil water, temperature, and maize yield in Loess Plateau region of China. Soil Res. 2012, 50, 105–113. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  80. Gu, X.B.; Li, Y.N.; Du, Y.D. Biodegradable film mulching improves soil temperature, moisture and seed yield of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Soil Tillage Res. 2017, 171, 42–50. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  81. López, R.; Burgos, P.; Hermoso, J.M.; Hormaza, J.I.; González-Fernández, J.J. Long term changes in soil properties and enzyme activities after almond shell mulching in avocado organic production. Soil Tillage Res. 2014, 143, 155–163. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  82. Krzebietke, S.J.; Wierzbowska, J.; Żarczyński, P.J.; Sienkiewicz, S.; Bosiacki, M.; Markuszewski, B.; Nogalska, A.; Mackiewicz-Walec, E. Content of PAHs in soil of a hazel orchard depending on the method of weed control. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2018, 190, 422. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  83. Lee, J.G.; Cho, S.R.; Jeong, S.T.; Hwang, H.Y.; Kim, P.J. Different response of plastic film mulching on greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) between chemical and organic fertilization in maize upland soil. Sci. Total Environ. 2019, 696, 33827. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  84. Yin, W.; Chai, Q.; Guo, Y.; Fan, H.; Fan, Z.; Hu, F.; Zhao, C.; Yu, A.; Coulter, J.A. No tillage with plastic re-mulching maintains high maize productivity via regulating hydrothermal effects in an arid region. Front. Plant Sci. 2021, 12, 649–684. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  85. Jun, F.; Yu, G.; Quanjiu, W.; Malhi, S.S.; Yangyang, L. Mulching effects on water storage in soil and its depletion by alfalfa in the Loess Plateau of northwestern China. Agric. Water Manag. 2014, 138, 10–16. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  86. Hai-Ming, T.; Xiao-Ping, X.; Wen-Guang, T.; Ye-Chun, L.; Ke, W.; Guang-Li, Y. Effects of winter cover crops residue returning on soil enzyme activities and soil microbial community in double-cropping rice fields. PLoS ONE 2014, 9, e100443. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  87. Lee, O.N.; Park, H.Y. Effects of different colored film mulches on the growth and bolting time of radish (Raphanus sativus L). Sci. Hortic. 2020, 266, 109–271. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  88. Wang, J.; Lv, S.; Zhang, M.; Chen, G.; Zhu, T.; Zhang, S.; Luo, Y. Effects of plastic film residues on occurrence of phthalates and microbial activity in soils. Chemosphere 2016, 151, 171–177. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  89. Patil, S.S.; Kelkar, T.S.; Bhalerao, S. Mulching, A Soil and Water Conservation Practice. Res. J. Agric. For. Sci. 2013, 1, 26–29. [Google Scholar]
  90. Huang, Z.; Xu, Z.; Chen, C. Effect of mulching on labile soil organic matter pools, microbial community functional diversity and nitrogen transformations in two hardwood plantations of subtropical Australia. Appl. Soil Ecol. 2008, 40, 229–239. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  91. Gonzalez-Dugo, V.; Zarco-Tejada, P.J.; Fereres, E. Applicability and limitations of using the crop water stress index as an indicator of water deficits in citrus orchards. Agric. For. Meteorol. 2014, 198–199, 94–104. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  92. Prem, M.; Ranjan, P.; Seth, N.; Patle, G.T. Mulching Techniques to Conserve the Soil Water and Advance the Crop Production—A Review. Curr. World Environ. 2020, 15, 10–30. [Google Scholar]
  93. Sun, H.; Shao, L.; Liu, X.; Miao, W.; Chen, S.; Zhang, X. Determination of water consumption and the water-saving potential of three mulching methods in a jujube orchard. Eur. J. Agron. 2012, 43, 87–95. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  94. Kader, M.A. Mulching Material Effects on Soil Moisture and Temperature of Soybean (Glycine max) Under Effective Rainfall. Master’s Thesis, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan, 2016. [Google Scholar]
  95. Gan, Y.; Liang, C.; Campbell, C.A.; Zentner, R.P.; Lemke, R.L.; Wang, H.; Yang, C. Carbon footprint of spring wheat in response to fallow frequency and soil carbon changes over 25 years on the semiarid Canadian prairie. Eur. J. Agron. 2012, 43, 175–184. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  96. Zegada-Lizarazu, W.; Berliner, P.R. The effects of the degree of soil cover with an impervious sheet on the establishment of tree seedlings in an arid environment. New For. 2011, 42, 2–17. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  97. Zhao, H.; Wang, R.Y.; Ma, B.L.; Xiong, Y.C.; Qiang, S.C.; Wang, C.L. Ridge-furrow with full plastic film mulching improves water use efficiency and tuber yields of potato in a semiarid rain-fed ecosystem. Field Crops Res. 2014, 161, 137–148. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  98. Wang, Q.; Song, X.; Li, F.; Hu, G.; Liu, Q.; Zhang, E.; Davies, R. Optimum ridge–furrow ratio and suitable ridge-mulching material for Alfalfa production in rainwater harvesting in semi-arid regions of China. Field Crops Res. 2015, 180, 186–196. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  99. Jimenez, M.N.; Pinto, J.R.; Ripoll, M.A.; Sanchez-Miranda, A.; Navarro, F.B. Impact of straw and rock-fragment mulches on soil moisture and early growth of holm oaks in a semiarid area. Catena 2017, 152, 198–206. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  100. Shalaby, T.A.; Taha, N.A.; Rakha, M.T.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Shehata, W.F.; Ramadan, K.M.A.; El-Ramady, H.; Bayoumi, Y.A. Can grafting manage fusarium wilt disease of cucumber and increase productivity under heat stress? Plants 2022, 11, 1147. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  101. Mutetwa, M.; Mtaita, T. Effects of mulching and fertilizer sources on growth and yield of onion. J. Glob. Innov. Agric. Soc. Sci. 2014, 2, 102–106. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  102. Abouziena, H.F.; Radwan, S.M. Allelopathic effects of sawdust, rice straw, bur- clover weed and cogon grass on weed control and development of onion. Int. J. Chem. Tech. Res. 2015, 7, 337–345. [Google Scholar]
  103. Kader, M.A.; Singha, A.; Begum, M.A.; Jewel, A.; Khan, F.H.; Khan, N.I. Mulching as water-saving technique in dryland agriculture: Review article. Bull. Natl. Res. Cent. 2019, 43, 147. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  104. Teame, G.; Tsegay, A.; Abrha, B. Effect of organic mulching on soil moisture, yield, and yield contributing components of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Int. J. Agron. 2017, 2017, 4767509. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  105. Stagnari, F.; Galieni, A.; Speca, S.; Cafiero, G.; Pisante, M. Effects of straw mulch on growth and yield of durum wheat during transition to conservation agriculture in Mediterranean environment. Field Crops Res. 2014, 167, 51–63. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  106. Rizvi, A.; Ahmed, B.; Khan, M.S.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Umar, S.; Lee, J. Bioprospecting plant growth promoting rhizobacteria for enhancing the biological properties and phytochemical composition of medicinally important crops. Molecules 2022, 27, 1407. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  107. Liu, X.E.; Li, X.G.; Hai, L.; Wang, Y.P.; Li, F.M. How efficient is film fully-mulched ridge-furrow cropping to conserve rainfall in soil at a rainfed site? Field Crops Res. 2014, 169, 107–115. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  108. Gao, Y.; Xie, Y.; Jiang, H.; Wu, B.; Niu, J. Soil water status and root distribution across the rooting zone in maize with plastic film mulching. Field Crops Res. 2014, 156, 40–47. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  109. Kumari, A.P.; Ojha, R.K.; Jop, M. Effect of plastic mulches on soil temperature and tomato yield inside and outside the polyhouse. Agric. Sci. Digest. 2016, 36, 333–336. [Google Scholar]
  110. Locher, J.; Ombódi, A.; Kassai, T.; Dimény, J. Influence of coloured mulches on soil temperature and yield of sweet pepper. Eur. J. Hortic. Sci. 2005, 70, 135–141. [Google Scholar]
  111. Thakur, M.; Kumar, R. Mulching, Boosting crop productivity and improving soil environment in herbal plants. J. Appl. Res. Med. Aromat. Plants 2021, 20, 100–287. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  112. Jenni, S.; Brault, D.; Stewart, K.A. Degradable mulch as an alternative for weed control in lettuce produced on organic soils. Acta Hortic. 2004, 638, 111–118. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  113. McMillen, M. The Effect of Mulch Type and Thickness on the Soil Surface Evaporation Rate; California Polytechnic State University: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA, 2013. [Google Scholar]
  114. Ogundare, S.K.; Babatunde, I.J.; Etukud, O.O. Response of tomato variety (Roma F) yield to different mulching materials and staking in Kabba Kogi State. Niger J. Agric. Stud. 2015, 3, 61–70. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  115. Bakr, N.; Elbana, T.A.; Arceneaux, A.E.; Zhu, Y.; Weindorf, D.C.; Selim, H.M. Runoff and water quality from highway hillsides, influence compost/mulch. Soil Tillage Res. 2015, 150, 158–170. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  116. Ashrafuzzaman, M.; Abdulhamid, M.; Ismail, M.R.; Sahidullah, S.M. Effect of plastic mulch on growth and yield of chilli (Capsicum annuum L.). Braz. Arch. Biol. Technol. 2011, 54, 321–330. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  117. Liao, Y.; Cao, H.X.; Liu, X.; Li, H.T.; Hu, Q.Y.; Xue, W.K. By increasing infiltration and reducing evaporation, mulching can improve the soil water environment and apple yield of orchards in semiarid areas. Agric. Water Manag. 2021, 253, 106936. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  118. Abu-Awwad, A.M. Irrigation water management for efficiency water use in mulched onion. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 1999, 183, 1–7. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  119. Prem, M.; Swarnkar, R.; Ranjan, P.; Baria, A.V. In situ moisture conservation through tillage practices. Multilogic. Sci. 2017, 7, 131–135. [Google Scholar]
  120. Mohamed, H.I.; Abdel-Hamid, A.M.E. Molecular and biochemical studies for heat tolerance on four cotton genotypes (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Rom. Biotechnol. Lett. 2013, 18, 7223–7231. [Google Scholar]
  121. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ahmed, S.H.; Namich, A.A.M.; Abdel-Sattar, R.R. Effect of salicylic acid and potassium citrate on cotton plant under salt stress. Fresen. Environ. Bull. 2017, 26, 1091–1100. [Google Scholar]
  122. Ji, S.; Unger, P.W. Soil water accumulation under straw mulch. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2001, 65, 442–448. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  123. Mohamed, H.I.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Abd-Elsalam, K.A. Plant Growth-Promoting Microbes for Sustainable Biotic and Abiotic Stress Management; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2021. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  124. Mohamed, H.I.; Ashry, N.A.; Ghonaim, M.M. Physiological analysis for heat shock induced biochemical (responsive) compounds and molecular characterizations of ESTs expressed for heat tolerance in some Egyptian maize hybrids. Gesunde Pflanz. 2019, 71, 213–222. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  125. Sarolia, D.K.; Bhardwaj, R.L. Effect of mulching on crop production under rainfed condition, A Review. Int. J. Res. Chem. Environ. 2012, 2, 8–20. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  126. Park, K.Y.; Kim, S.D.; Lee, S.H.; Kim, H.S.; Hong, E.H. Differences in dry matter accumulation and leaf area in summer soybeans as affected by polythene film mulching. RDA J. Agric. Sci. 1996, 38, 173–179. [Google Scholar]
  127. Lamont, W.J., Jr. Plastics, Modifying the microclimate for the production of vegetable crops. HortTechnology 2005, 15, 477–481. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  128. Hasanuddin; Hafsah, S.; Nurahmi, E.; Hayati, E.; Migawati, S.W.; Bobihoe, J.; Aryani, D.S. The application of different mulches and its effect on soybean yield. IOP Conf. Ser. Earth Environ. Sci. 2021, 644, 012069. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  129. Pramanik, P.; Bandyopadhyay, K.K.; Bhaduri, D.; Bhattacharyya, R.; Aggarwal, P. Effect of mulch on soil thermal regimes-a review. Int. J. Agric. Environ. Biotechnol. 2015, 8, 645. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  130. Moreno, M.M.; Moreno, A. Effect of different biodegradable and polyethylene mulches on soil properties and production in a tomato crop. Sci. Hortic. 2008, 116, 256–263. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  131. Li, W.; Wen, X.; Han, J.; Liu, Y.; Wu, W.; Liao, Y. Optimum ridge-to-furrow ratio in ridge-furrow mulching systems for improving water conservation in maize (Zea mays L.) production. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2017, 24, 23168–23179. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  132. Begum, S.A.; Ito, K.; Senge, M.; Hashimoto, I. Assessment of selected mulches for reducing evaporation from soil columns and dynamics of soil moisture and temperature. Sand Dune Res. 2001, 48, 1–8. [Google Scholar]
  133. Sinkeviciene, A.; Jodaugiene, D.; Pupaliene, R.; Urboniene, M. The influence of organic mulches on soil properties and crop yield. Agron. Res. 2009, 7, 485–491. [Google Scholar]
  134. Zhang, S.; Lövdahl, L.; Grip, H.; Tong, Y.; Yang, X.; Wang, Q. Effects of mulching and catch cropping on soil temperature soil moisture and wheat yield on the Loess Plateau of China. Soil Tillage Res. 2009, 102, 78–86. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  135. Chakraborty, D.; Nagarajan, S.; Aggarwal, P.; Gupta, V.K.; Tomar, R.K.; Garg, R.N.; Sahoo, R.N.; Sarkar, A.; Chopra, U.K.; Sarma, K.S.S.; et al. Effect of mulching on soil and plant water status, and the growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in a semi-arid environment. Agric. Water Manag. 2008, 95, 1323–1334. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  136. Franquera, E.N. Influence of different colored plastic mulch on the growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa). J. Ornam. Hortic. Plants 2011, 1, 97–104. [Google Scholar]
  137. Farias-Larios, J.; Orozco-Santos, M. Effect of polyethylene mulch colour on aphid populations, soil temperature, fruit quality, and yield of watermelon under tropical conditions. N. Z. J. Crop Hortic. Sci. 1997, 25, 369–374. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  138. Gordon, G.G.; Foshee, W.G.; Reed, S.T.; Brown, J.E.; Vinson, E.L. The effects of colored plastic mulches and row covers on the growth and yield of okra. HortTechnology 2010, 20, 224–233. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  139. Snyder, K.; Grant, A.; Murray, C.; Wolff, B. The effects of plastic mulch systems on soil temperature and moisture in central Ontario. HortTechnology 2015, 25, 162–170. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  140. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ali, M.R.; Ramadan, K.M.A.; Anwar, R.; Shalaby, T.A.; Rezk, A.A.; El-Ganainy, S.M.; Mahmoud, S.F.; Alkafafy, M.; El-Mogy, M.M. Exogenous postharvest application of calcium chloride and salicylic acid to maintain the quality of broccoli florets. Plants 2022, 11, 1513. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  141. Li, Z.; Zhang, Q.; Qiao, Y.; Du, K.; Li, Z.; Tian, C.; Zhu, N.; Leng, P.; Yue, Z.; Cheng, H.; et al. Influence of straw mulch and no-tillage on soil respiration, its components and economic benefit in a Chinese wheat–maize cropping system. Glob. Ecol. Conserv. 2022, 34, e02013. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  142. Gheshm, R.; Brown, R.N. The effects of black and white plastic mulch on soil temperature and yield of crisphead lettuce in Southern New England. HortTechnology 2020, 30, 781–788. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  143. Li, C.; Luo, X.; Wang, N.; Wu, W.; Lia, Y.; Quan, H.; Zhang, T.; Ding, D.; Dong, Q.; Feng, H. Transparent plastic film combined with deficit irrigation improves hydrothermal status of the soil-crop system and spring maize growth in arid areas. Agric. Water Manag. 2022, 265, 107536. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  144. Zhao, H.; Xiong, Y.C.; Li, F.M.; Wang, R.Y.; Qiang, S.C.; Yao, T.F.; Mo, F. Plastic film mulch for half growing-season maximized WUE and yield of potato via moisture-temperature improvement in a semi-arid agroecosystem. Agric. Water Manag. 2012, 104, 68–78. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  145. Zhang, S.; Zhang, G.; Xia, Z.; Wu, M.; Bai, J.; Lu, H. Optimizing plastic mulching improves the growth and increases grain yield and water use efficiency of spring maize in dryland of the Loess Plateau in China. Agric. Water Manag. 2022, 271, 107769. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  146. Jia, H.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, J.; Li, W.; Ren, Z.; Jia, Z.; Wang, Q. Effects of biodegradable mulch on soil water and heat conditions, yield and quality of processing tomatoes by drip irrigation. J. Arid Land 2020, 12, 819–836. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  147. Chen, N.; Li, X.; Šimůnek, J.; Shi, H.; Hu, Q.; Zhang, Y. Evaluating the effects of biodegradable and plastic film mulching on soil temperature in a drip-irrigated field. Soil Tillage Res. 2021, 213, 105116. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  148. Guo, C.; Liu, X. Effect of soil mulching on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in China, A meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 2022, 17, e0262120. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  149. Powlson, D.S.; Glendining, M.J.; Coleman, K.; Whitmore, A.P. Implications for soil properties of removing cereal straw, results from long-term studies. Agron. J. 2011, 103, 279–287. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  150. Chen, H.; Liu, J.; Zhang, A.; Chen, J.; Cheng, G.; Sun, B.; Pi, X.; Dyck, M.; Si, B.; Zhao, Y.; et al. Effects of straw and plastic film mulching on greenhouse gas emissions in Loess Plateau, China, a field study of 2 consecutive wheat-maize rotation cycles. Sci. Total Environ. 2017, 579, 814–824. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  151. Huang, G.; Zhang, R.; LiG, D.; Li, L.; Chan, K.; Heenan, D.P.; Chen, W.; Unkovich, M.J.; Robertson, M.J.; Cullis, B.R. Productivity and sustainability ofa spring wheat-field pea rotation in a semi-arid environment under conventional and conservation tillage systems. Field Crops Res. 2008, 107, 43–55. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  152. Zhang, Z.; Qiang, H.; McHugh, A.D.; He, J.; Li, H.; Wang, Q.; Lu, Z. Effect of conservation farming practices on soil organic matter and stratification in a mono-cropping system of Northern China. Soil Tillage Res. 2016, 156, 173–181. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  153. Tian, J.; Lu, S.; Fan, M.; Li, X.; Kuzyakov, Y. Labile soil organic matter fractions as influenced by non-flooded mulching cultivation and cropping season in rice–wheat rotation. Europe J. Soil Biol. 2013, 56, 19–25. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  154. Zhang, M.; Xue, Y.; Jin, T.; Zhang, K.; Li, Z.; Sun, C.; Mi, Q.; Li, Q. Effect of Long-Term Biodegradable Film Mulch on Soil Physicochemical and Microbial Properties. Toxics 2022, 10, 129. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  155. Mulumba, L.N.; Lal, R. Mulching effects on selected soil particles. Soil Tillage Res. 2008, 98, 106–111. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  156. Haque, M.A.; Jahiruddin, M.; Clarke, D. Effect of plastic mulch on crop yield and land degradation in south coastal saline soils of Bangladesh. Int. Soil Water Conservat. Res. 2018, 6, 317–324. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  157. Liu, X.E.; Li, X.G.; Guo, R.Y.; Kuzyakov, Y.; Li, F.M. The effect of plastic mulch on the fate of urea-N in rain-fed maize production in a semiarid environment as assessed by 15N-labeling. Eur. J. Agron. 2015, 70, 71–77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  158. Ham, J.M.; Kluitenberg, G.J.; Lamont, W.J. Optical properties of plastic mulches affect the field temperature regime. J. Am. Soc. Hortic. 1993, 118, 188–193. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  159. Teasdale, J.R.; Mohler, C.L. Light transmittance, soil temperature, and soil moisture under residue of hairy vetch and rye. Agron. J. 1993, 85, 673–680. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  160. Ramakrishna, A.; Hoang, M.T.; Suhas, P.W.; Tranh, D.L. Effect of mulch on soil temperature, moisture, weed infestation and yield of groundnut in northern Vietnam. Field Crops Res. 2006, 95, 115–125. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  161. Fan, J.; Du, Y.; Turner, N.C.; Li, F.; He, J. Germination characteristics and seedling emergence of switchgrass with different agricultural practices under arid conditions in China. Crop Sci. 2012, 52, 2341–2350. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  162. Mohamed, A.A.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Rashed, M.M. Cadmium stress induced change in some hydrolytic enzymes, free radical formation and ultrastructural disorders in radish plant. Electron. J. Environ. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 8, 969–983. [Google Scholar]
  163. Oswal, M.C. A Text Book of Soil Physics; Oxford and IBH Publishing, Co. Pvt. Ltd.: New Delhi, India, 1993. [Google Scholar]
  164. Abd El- Rahman, S.S.; Mohamed, H.I. Application of benzothiadiazole and Trichoderma harzianum to control faba bean chocolate spot disease and their effect on some physiological and biochemical traits. Acta Physiol. Plant 2014, 36, 343–354. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  165. Mohamed, H.I.; Abd-El Hameed, A.G. Molecular and biochemical markers of some Vicia faba L. genotype in response to storage insect pests infestation. J. Plant Int. 2014, 9, 618–626. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  166. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Mohamed, H.I.; Aldaej, M.I.; Al-Khayri, J.M.; Rezk, A.A.; Al-Mssallem, M.Q.; Sattar, M.N.; Ramadan, K.M.A. Production and antioxidant activity of secondary metabolites in Hassawi rice (Oryza sativa L.) cell suspension under salicylic acid, yeast extract, and pectin elicitation. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. Plant 2022, 1–15. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  167. Mohamed, H.I. Molecular and Biochemical Studies on the Effect of Gamma Rays on Lead Toxicity in Cowpea (Vigna sinensis) Plants. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 2011, 144, 1205–1218. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  168. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Mohamed, H.I.; Abou El-Enain, M.M. Role of secondary metabolites from seaweeds in the context of plant development and crop production. In Seaweeds as Plant Fertilizer, Agricultural Biostimulants and Animal Fodder; Pereira, L., Bahcevandziev, K., Joshi, N.H., Eds.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2019; pp. 64–79. [Google Scholar]
  169. Wang, X.; Fan, J.; Xing, Y.; Xu, G.; Wang, H.; Deng, J.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, F.; Li, P.; Li, Z. The effects of mulch and nitrogen fertilizer on the soil environment of crop plants. Adv. Agron. 2018, 153, 122–173. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  170. Ashry, N.A.; Ghonaim, M.M.; Mohamed, H.I.; Mogazy, A.M. Physiological and molecular genetic studies on two elicitors for improving the tolerance of six Egyptian soybean cultivars to cotton leaf worm. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 2018, 130, 224–234. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  171. An, T.; Schaeffer, S.; Li, S.; Fu, S.; Pei, J.; Li, H.; Zhuang, J.; Radosevich, M.; Wang, J. Carbon fluxes from plants to soil and dynamics of microbial immobilization under plastic film mulching and fertilizer application using 13C pulse-labeling. Soil Biol. Biochem. 2015, 80, 53–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  172. Farmer, J.; Zhang, B.; Jin, X.; Zhang, P.; Wang, J. Long-term effect of plastic film mulching and fertilization on bacterial communities in a brown soil revealed by high through-put sequencing. Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 2017, 63, 230–241. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  173. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Sofy, M.R.; Aldaej, M.I.; Mohamed, H.I. Silicon alleviates copper toxicity in flax plants by up-regulating antioxidant defense and secondary metabolites and decreasing oxidative damage. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4732. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  174. Ramadan, K.M.A.; El-Beltagi, H.S. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms and applications in plant stress control. In Plant Growth Promoting Microbes for Sustainable Biotic and Abiotic Stress Management; Mohamed, H.I., El-Beltagi, H.S., Abd-Elsalam, K.A., Eds.; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2021; pp. 319–354. [Google Scholar]
  175. Basit, A.; Shah, S.T.; Ullah, I.; Muntha, S.T.; Mohamed, H.I. Microbe-assisted phytoremediation of environmental pollutants and energy recycling in sustainable agriculture. Arch. Microbiol. 2021, 203, 5859–5885. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  176. Rezk, A.A.; Al-Khayri, J.M.; Al-Bahrany, A.M.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Mohamed, H.I. X-ray irradiation changes germination and biochemical analysis of two genotypes of okra (Hibiscus esculentus L.). J. Radiat. Res. Appl. Sci. 2019, 12, 393–402. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  177. Kobeasy, M.I.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; El-Shazly, M.A.; Khattab, E.A.H. Induction of resistance in Arachis hypogaea L. Against Peanutmottle virus by nitric oxide and salicylic acid. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 2011, 76, 112–118. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  178. Munoz, K.; Schmidt-Heydt, M.; Stoll, D.; Diehl, D.; Ziegler, J.; Geisen, R.; Schaumann, G.E. Effect of plastic mulching on mycotoxin occurrence and mycobiome abundance in soil samples from asparagus crops. Mycotoxin Res. 2015, 31, 191–201. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  179. Shan, X.; Zhang, W.; Dai, Z.; Li, J.; Mao, W.; Yu, F.; Ma, J.; Wang, S.; Zeng, X. Comparative Analysis of the effects of plastic mulch films on soil nutrient, yields and soil microbiome in three vegetable fields. Agronomy 2022, 12, 506. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  180. Yan, C.R.; He, W.Q.; Mei, X.R. Agricultural Application of Plastic Film and Its Residue Pollution Prevention in China; Sci Wiley: Beijing, China, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  181. Farooq, M.; Flower, K.C.; Jabran, K.; Wahid, A.; Siddique, K.H. Crop yield and weed management in rainfed conservation agriculture. Soil Tillage Res. 2011, 117, 172–183. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  182. Marble, S.C.; Koeser, A.K.; Hasing, G. A review of weed control practices in landscape planting beds, part II-chemical weed control methods. HortScience 2015, 50, 857–862. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  183. Ghimire, R.; Lamichhane, S.; Acharya, B.S.; Bista, P.; Sainju, U.M. Tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management effects on soil organic carbon in rice-based cropping systems, a review. J. Integr. Agric. 2017, 16, 1–15. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  184. Wayman, S.; Cogger, C.; Benedict, C.; Collins, D.; Burke, I.; Bary, A. Cover crop effects on light, nitrogen, and weeds in organic reduced tillage. Agroecol. Sustain. Food Syst. 2015, 39, 647–665. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  185. Mzabri, I.; Rimani, M.; Charif, K.; Kouddane, N.; Berrichi, A. Study of the Effect of Mulching Materials on Weed Control in Saffron Cultivation in Eastern Morocco. Sci. World J. 2021, 2021, 9727004. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  186. Yordanova, M.; Gerasimova, N. Effect of mulching on weed infestation and yield of beetroot (Beta vulgaris ssp. rapaceae atrorubra Krass). Org. Agric. 2016, 6, 133–138. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  187. Nwosisi, S.; Nandwani, D.; Hui, D. Mulch treatment effect on weed biomass and yields of organic sweetpotato cultivars. Agronomy 2019, 9, 190. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  188. Agarwal, A.; Prakash, O.; Sahay, D.; Bala, M. Effect of organic and inorganic mulching on weed density and productivity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). J. Agric. Food Res. 2022, 7, 100274. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  189. Hussain, M.; Abbas Shah, S.N.; Naeem, M.; Farooq, S.; Jabran, K.; Alfarraj, S. Impact of different mulching treatments on weed flora and productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). PLoS ONE 2022, 17, e0266756. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  190. Menalled, U.D.; Adeux, G.; Cordeau, S.; Smith, R.G.; Mirsky, S.B.; Ryan, M.R. Cereal rye mulch biomass and crop density affect weed suppression and community assembly in no-till planted soybean. Ecosphere 2022, 13, e4147. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  191. Bobby, A.; Prashanth, P.; Seenivasan, N.; Mishra, P. Effect of different mulch materials on weed control in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Hybrid “Multistar” under shade net conditions. Int. J. Pure Appl. Biosci. 2017, 5, 1246–1251. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  192. El–Metwally, I.; Geries, L.; Saudy, H. Interactive effect of soil mulching and irrigation regime on yield, irrigation water use efficiency and weeds of trickle–irrigated onion. Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 2021, 68, 1103–1116. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  193. Bohlenius, H.; Overgaard, R. Growth response of hybrid poplars to different types and levels of vegetation control. Scand. J. For. Res. 2015, 30, 516–525. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  194. Hjelm, K.; McCarthy, R.; Rytter, L. Establishment strategies for poplars, including mulch and plant types, on agricultural land in Sweden. New For. 2018, 49, 737–755. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  195. Abouziena, H.F.; Radwan, S.M.; El-Dabaa, M.A.T. Comparison of potato yield, quality, and weed control obtained with different plastic mulch colors. Middle East J. Appl. Sci. 2015, 5, 374–382. [Google Scholar]
  196. Oliveira, R.S., Jr.; Rios, F.A.; Constantin, J.; Ishii-Iwamoto, E.L.; Gemelli, A.; Martini, P.E. Grass straw mulching to suppress emergence and early growth of weeds. Planta Daninha 2014, 32, 11–17. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  197. Abdallah, I.S.; Atia, M.A.M.; Nasrallah, A.K.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Kabil, F.F.; El-Mogy, M.M.; Abdeldaym, E.A. Effect of new pre-emergence herbicides on quality and yield of potato and its associated weeds. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9796. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  198. Zhong, Y.; Shangguan, Z. Water consumption characteristics and water use efciency of winter wheat under long-term nitrogen fertilization regimes in northwest China. PLoS ONE 2014, 9, e98850. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  199. El-Ganainy, S.M.; El-Bakery, A.M.; Hafez, H.M.; Ismail, A.M.; El-Abdeen, A.Z.; Ata, A.A.E.; Elraheem, O.A.Y.A.; El Kady, Y.M.Y.; Hamouda, A.F.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; et al. Humic acid-coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles confer resistance to Acremonium wilt disease and improve physiological and morphological attributes of grain Sorghum. Polymers 2022, 14, 3099. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  200. Li, Q.; Li, H.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, S.; Chen, Y. Mulching improves yield and water-use efficiency of potato cropping in China, A meta-analysis. Field Crops Res. 2018, 221, 50–60. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  201. Lee, J.G.; Hwang, H.Y.; Park, M.H.; Lee, C.H.; Kim, P.J. Depletion of soil organic carbon stocks are larger under plastic film mulching for maize. Eur. J. Soil Sci. 2019, 70, 807–818. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  202. Song, X.; Sun, R.; Chen, W.; Wang, M. Effects of surface straw mulching and buried straw layer on soil water content and salinity dynamics in saline soils. Can. J. Soil Sci. 2019, 100, 58–68. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  203. Agassi, M.; Hadas, A.; Benyamini, Y.; Levy, G.J.; Kautsky, L.; Avrahamov, L.; Zhevelev, H. Mulching effects of composted MSW on water percolation and compost degradation rate. Compost Sci. Util. 1998, 6, 34–41. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  204. García-Orenes, F.; Cerdà, A.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Guerrero, C.; Bodí, M.B.; Arcenegui, V.; Zornoza, R.; Sempere, J.G. Effects of agricultural management on surface soil properties and soil–water losses in eastern Spain. Soil Tillage Res. 2009, 106, 117–123. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  205. Javaid, M.M.; AlGwaiz, H.I.M.; Waheed, H.; Ashraf, M.; Mahmood, A.; Li, F.-M.; Attia, K.A.; Nadeem, M.A.; AlKahtani, M.D.F.; Fiaz, S.; et al. Ridge-Furrow Mulching Enhances Capture and Utilization of Rainfall for Improved Maize Production under Rain-Fed Conditions. Agronomy 2022, 12, 1187. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  206. Huang, C.; Wu, Y.; Ye, Y.; Li, Y.; Ma, J.; Ma, J.; Yan, J.; Chang, L.; Wang, Z.; Wang, Y.; et al. Straw Strip Mulching Increases Winter Wheat Yield by Optimizing Water Consumption Characteristics in a Semi-Arid Environment. Water 2022, 14, 1894. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  207. Qin, S.; Zhang, Y.; Wang, J.; Wang, C.; Mo, Y.; Gong, S. Transparent and Black Film Mulching Improve Photosynthesis and Yield of Summer Maize in North China Plain. Agriculture 2022, 12, 719. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  208. Mol, F.; Wang, J.-Y.; Li, F.-M.; Nguluu, S.N.; Ren, H.-X.; Zhou, H.; Zhang, J.; Kariuki, C.W.; Gicheru, P.; Kavagi, L. Yield-phenology relations and water use efficiency of maize (Zea mays L.) in ridge-furrow mulching system in semiarid east African Plateau. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 3260. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  209. Li, C.; Wen, X.; Wan, X.; Liu, Y.; Han, J.; Liao, Y.; Wu, W. Towards the highly effective use of precipitation by ridge-furrow with plastic film mulching instead of relying on irrigation resources in a dry semi-humid area. Field Crops Res. 2016, 188, 62–73. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  210. Alenazi, M.; Abdel-Razzak, H.; Ibrahim, A.; Wahb-Allah, M.; Alsadon, A. Response of muskmelon cultivars to plastic mulch and irrigation regimes under greenhouse conditions. J. Anim. Plant Sci. 2015, 25, 1398–1410. [Google Scholar]
  211. Li, Q.; Li, H.; Zhang, S. Yield and water use efficiency of dry land potato in response to plastic film mulching on the Loess Plateau. Acta Agric. Scand. Sect. B Soil Plant Sci. 2018, 68, 175–188. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  212. Zribi, W.; Aragüés, R.; Medina, E.; Faci, J.M. Efficiency of inorganic and organic mulching materials for soil evaporation control. Soil Tillage Res. 2015, 148, 40–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  213. Li, R.; Hou, X.; Jia, Z.; Han, Q.; Ren, X.; Yang, B. Effects on soil temperature, moisture, and maize yield of cultivation with ridge and furrow mulching in the rainfed area of the Loess Plateau, China. Agric. Water Manag. 2013, 116, 101–109. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  214. Qin, S.; Li, S.; Kang, S.; Du, T.; Tong, L.; Ding, R. Can the drip irrigation under film mulch reduce crop evapotranspiration and save water under the sufficient irrigation condition ? Agric. Water Manag. 2016, 177, 128–137. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  215. Zegada-Lizarazu, W.; Berliner, P.R. Inter-row mulch increase the water use efficiency of furrow-irrigated maize in an arid environment. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 2011, 197, 237–248. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  216. Zhou, L.M.; Li, F.M.; Jin, S.L.; Song, Y. How two ridges and the furrow mulched with plastic film affect soil water, soil temperature and yield of maize on the semiarid Loess Plateau of China. Field Crops Res. 2009, 113, 41–47. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  217. Jia, Y.; Li, F.M.; Wang, X.L.; Yang, S.M. Soil water and alfalfa yields as affected by alternating ridges and furrows in rainfall harvest in a semiarid environment. Field Crops Res. 2006, 97, 167–175. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  218. Liu, J.G.; Li, Y.B.; Zhang, W.; Sun, Y.Y. The distributing of the residue film and influence on cotton growth under continuous cropping in oasis of Xinjiang. J. Agro-Environ. Sci. 2010, 29, 246–250. [Google Scholar]
  219. Zheng, W.; Wen, M.; Zhao, Z.; Liu, J.; Wang, Z.; Zhai, B.; Li, Z. Black plastic mulch combined with summer cover crop increases the yield and water use efficiency of apple tree on the rainfed Loess Plateau. PLoS ONE 2017, 12, e0185705. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  220. Zhang, Y.-L.; Wang, F.-X.; Shock, C.C.; Yang, K.-J.; Kang, S.-Z.; Qin, J.-T.; Li, S.-E. Influence of different plastic film mulches and wetted soil percentages on potato grown under drip irrigation. Agric. Water Manag. 2017, 180, 160–171. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  221. Mukherjee, A.; Kundu, M.; Sarkar, S. Role of irrigation and mulch on yield, evapotranspiration rate and water use pattern of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L). Agric. Water Manag. 2010, 98, 182–189. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  222. Kirnak, H.; Demirtas, M.N. Effects of different irrigation regimes and mulches on yield and macronutrition levels of drip-irrigated cucumber under open field conditions. J. Plant Nut. 2006, 29, 1675–1690. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  223. Shiukhy, S.; Raeini-Sarjaz, M.; Chalavi, V. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. Int. J. Biometeorol. 2015, 59, 1061–1066. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  224. Bonanomi, G.; Chirico, G.B.; Palladino, M.; Gaglione, S.A.; Crispo, D.G.; Lazzaro, U.; Sica, B.; Cesarano, G.; Ippolito, F.; Sarker, T.C.; et al. Combined application of photo-selective mulching films and beneficial microbes affects crop yield and irrigation water productivity in intensive farming systems. Agric. Water Manag. 2017, 184, 104–113. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  225. Mormile, P.; Capasso, R.; Rippa, M.; Petti, L. Light filtering by innovative plastic films for mulching and soil solarization. Acta Hortic. 2014, 1015, 113–121. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  226. López-Tolentino, G.; Ibarra-Jiménez, L.; Méndez-Prieto, A.; Lozano-del Río, A.J.; Lira-Saldivar, R.H.; Valenzuela-Soto, J.H.; LozanoCavazos, C.J.; Torres-Olivar, V. Photosynthesis, growth, and fruit yield of cucumber in response to oxo-degradable plastic mulches. Acta Agric. Scand. Sect. B-Soil Plant Sci. 2016, 67, 77–84. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  227. Zhang, F.; Li, M.; Qi, J.; Li, F.; Sun, G. Plastic film mulching increases soil respiration in ridge-furrow maize management. Arid Land Res. Manag. 2015, 29, 432–453. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  228. Berglund, R.; Svensson, B.; Gertsson, U. Impact of plastic mulch and poultry manure on plant establishment in organic strawberry production. J. Plant Nutr. 2006, 29, 103–112. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  229. Whittinghill, L.J.; Rowe, D.B.; Ngouajio, M.; Cregg, B.M. Evaluation of nutrient management and mulching strategies for vegetable production on an extensive green roof. Agroecol. Sustain. Food Syst. 2016, 40, 297–318. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  230. Sultana, S.; Ahemd, N.; Ali, M.A.; Zubaer, H.M.; Asaduzzaman, M. Influence of mulch materials and organic manures on Lettuce. Int. J. Agric. Environ. Biotechnol. 2011, 4, 15–19. [Google Scholar]
  231. Mahadeen, A.Y. Effect of polyethylene black plastic mulch on growth and yield of two summer vegetable crops under rain-fed conditions under semi-arid region conditions. Am. J. Agric. Biol. Sci. 2014, 9, 202. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  232. Moursy, F.S.; Fatma, A.; Mostafa, N.; Solieman, Y. Polyethylene and rice straw as soil mulching, reflection of soil mulch type on soil temperature, soil borne diseases, plant growth and yield of tomato. Glob. J. Adv. Res 2015, 2, 1496–1519. [Google Scholar]
  233. Fetri, M.; Ghobadi, M.E.; Ghobadi, M.; Mohammadi, G. Effects of mulch and sowing depth on yield and yield components of rain-fed chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Jordan J. Agric. Sci 2015, 11, 4. [Google Scholar]
  234. Ahmad, S.; Raza, M.A.S.; Saleem, M.F.; Zahra, S.S.; Khan, I.H.; Ali, M.; Shahid, A.M.; Iqbal, R.; Zaheer, M.S. Mulching strategies for weeds control and water conservation in cotton. J. Agric. Biol. Sci. 2015, 8, 299–306. [Google Scholar]
  235. Saikia, U.S.; Kumar, A.; Das, S.; Pradhan, R.; Goswami, B.; Wungleng, V.C.; Ngachan, S.V. Effect of mulching on microclimate, growth and yield of mustard (Brassica juncea) under mid-hill condition of Meghalaya. J. Agrometeorol. 2014, 16, 144. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  236. Devasinghe, D.A.; Premaratne, U.D.; Sangakkara, U.R. Impact of rice straw mulch on growth, yield components and yield of direct seeded lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.). Trop. Agric. Res. 2015, 24, 4–13. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  237. Kamal, I.; Gelicus, A.; Allaf, K. Impact of instant controlled pressure drop (DIC) treatment on drying kinetics and caffeine extraction from green coffee beans. J. Food. Res. 2012, 1, 24. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  238. Alami-Milani, M.; Amini, R.; Mohammadinasab, A.D.; Shafaghkalvanegh, J.; Asgharzade, A.; Emaratpardaz, J. Yield and yield components of lentil (Lens culinaris Medick.) affected by drought stress and mulch. Int. J. Agric. Crop. Sci. 2013, 5, 12–28. [Google Scholar]
  239. Luo, L.; Hui, X.; He, G.; Wang, S.; Wang, Z.; Siddique, K.H.M. Benefits and Limitations to Plastic Mulching and Nitrogen Fertilization on Grain Yield and Sulfur Nutrition, Multi-Site Field Trials in the Semiarid Area of China. Front. Plant Sci. 2022, 13, 799093. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  240. Hashim, S.; Marwat, K.B.; Saeed, M.; Haroon, M.; Waqas, M.; Shah, F. Developing a sustainable and eco-friendly weed management system using organic and inorganic mulching techniques. Pak. J. Bot. 2013, 45, 483–486. [Google Scholar]
  241. Jiang, S.; Gao, X.; Liang, J.; Wang, P.; Gao, J.; Qu, Y.; Feng, B. Effect of different furrow and mulched ridge on water moisture conversation and water saving of spring mung bean planted farmland. J. Agric. Sci. 2012, 4, 132. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  242. Arora, V.K.; Singh, C.B.; Sidhu, A.S.; Thind, S.S. Irrigation, tillage and mulching effects on soybean yield and water productivity in relation to soil texture. Agric. Water Manag. 2011, 98, 563–568. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  243. Adamchuk, V.; Prysyazhnyi, V.; Ivanovs, S.; Bulgakov, V. Investigations in technological method of growing potatoes under mulch of straw and its effect on the yield. In Proceedings of the 15th International Scientific Conference Engineering for Rural Development, Jelgava, Latvia, 25–27 May 2016; pp. 1098–1103. [Google Scholar]
  244. Minhas, J.S. Potato, Production strategies under abiotic stress. In Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress; Tuteja, N., Gill, S.S., Tiburcio, A.F., Tuteja, R., Eds.; Wiley-VCH Verlag: Weinheim, Germany, 2016; pp. 1155–1167. [Google Scholar]
  245. Elbl, J.; Plošek, L.; Kintl, A.; Hynšt, J.; Záhora, J.; Javoreková, S.; Charou-sová, I.; Kalhotka, L.; Urbánková, O. Effects of drought on microbial activity in rhizosphere, soil hydrophobicity and leaching of mineral nitrogen from arable soil depending on method of fertilization. Int. J. Agric. Biosyst. Eng. 2014, 8, 844–850. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  246. Dudás, P.; Menyhárt, L.; Gedeon, C.; Ambrus, G.; Tóth, F. The effect of hay mulching on soil temperature and the abundance and diversity of soil-dwelling arthropods in potato fields. Eur. J. Entomol. 2016, 113, 456–461. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  247. Sabatino, L.; Iapichino, G.; Vetrano, F.; Moncada, A.; Miceli, A.; DePasquale, C.; D’Anna, F.; Giurgiulescu, L. Effects of polyethylene and biodegradable starch based mulching films on eggplant production in a Mediterranean area. Carpathian J. Food Sci. Technol. 2018, 10, 81–89. [Google Scholar]
  248. Todd-Searle, J.; Friedrich, L.M.; Oni, R.A.; Shenge, K.; LeJeune, J.T.; Micallef, S.A.; Danyluk, M.D.; Schaffner, D.W. Quantification of Salmonella enterica transfer between tomatoes, soil, and plastic mulch. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 2020, 316, 108–480. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  249. Yin, X.H.; Long, L.E.; Huang, X.L.; Jaja, N.; Bai, J.H.; Seavert, C.F.; le Roux, J. Transitional effects of double-lateral drip irrigation and straw mulch on irrigation water consumption, mineral nutrition, yield, and storability of sweet cherry. HortTechnology 2012, 22, 484–492. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  250. Paseban, I.A.; Taghi, P.G.; Vesali, H. The vision on green space of Tabriz metropolitan. In Proceedings of the 1st National Conference on Strategies on Green Space Development of Tabriz Metropolitan, Parks and Green Space Organization of Tabriz Municipality, Tabriz, Iran; 2013; pp. 7–15. (In Persian). [Google Scholar]
  251. Ruhani, G.H. Designing Gardens and Establishing Green Space, 2nd ed.; Farhang Jame Publications: Tehran, Iran, 1993. [Google Scholar]
  252. Ruhollahi, A.; Kafi, M.; Amin, P.S.; Taghizadeh, M. Studying the effect of salinity on the process of sprouting nad early growth in three species Lolyom Perne, Sinodon Ductilon and Pua Pratnesis. In Proceedings of the 3th Conference on Green Space and Urban Landscape of Kish, Organization of Iran municipalities, Kish, Iran; 2008; pp. 187–197. (In Persian). [Google Scholar]
  253. Ansari, H.; Azimi, N. Studying the Effect of Deficit Irrigation and Different Nitrogen Levels on Some Qualitative and Quantitative Characteristics of Turf Grasses; Research Centre of Mashhad Islamic Council: Mashhad, Iran, 2012; p. 11. [Google Scholar]
  254. Basit, A.; Amin, N.U.; Shah, S.T.; Ahmad, I. Greenbelt conservation as a component of ecosystem, ecological benefits and management services, evidence from Peshawar City, Pakistan. Environ. Dev. Sustain. 2021, 24, 11424–11488. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  255. Rabbani, K.S.M.; Kazemi, F. Investigating strategies for optimum water usage in green spaces covered with lawn. Desert 2015, 20, 217–230. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  256. Kazemi, F.; Hill, K. Effect of permeable pavement base course aggregates on storm water quality for irrigation reuse. Ecol. Eng. 2015, 77, 189–195. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  257. Kazemi, F.; Mohorko, R. Review on the roles and effects of growing media on plant performance in green roofs in world climates. Urban For. Urban Green. 2017, 23, 13–26. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  258. Kazemi, F.; Beecham, S. Strategies for Sustainable Arid Landscape Design, a Perspective from Australia. Third National Congress on Urban Landscape and Greenspace. Ph.D. Thesis, Ministry of Interior, Kish Island, Iran, 2008. (In Persian). [Google Scholar]
  259. Bromley, B.J. Basics of flower gardening, Rutgers new jersey agricultural experiment station, Mercer County Horticulturist. Coll. Agric. Environ. Sci. 2015. [Google Scholar]
  260. Mohamed, H.I.; Akladious, S.A.; El-Beltagi, H.S. Mitigation the harmful effect of salt stress on physiological, biochemical and anatomical traits by foliar spray with trehalose on wheat cultivars. Fresenius Environ. Bull. 2018, 27, 7054–7065. [Google Scholar]
  261. Pakdel, P. Studying the Effects of Mulch Type and Its Thickness on Soil Temperature, Moisture and Growth Characteristics of Several Plants Used in Urban Green Spaces. Master’s Thesis, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  262. Shalaby, T.A.; El-Newiry, N.A.; El-Tarawy, M.; El-Mahrouk, M.E.; Shala, A.Y.; El-Beltagi, H.S.; Rezk, A.A.; Ramadan, K.M.A.; Shehata, W.F.; El-Ramady, H. Biochemical and physiological response of Marigold (Tagetes Erecta L.) to foliar application of salicylic acid and potassium humate in different soil growth media. Gesunde Pflanz. 2022. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  263. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Ismail, S.A.; Ibrahim, N.M.; Shehata, W.F.; Alkhateeb, A.A.; Ghazzawy, H.S.; El-Mogy, M.M.; Sayed, E.G. Unravelling the effect of triacontanol in combating drought stress by improving growth, productivity, and physiological performance in Strawberry plants. Plants 2022, 11, 1913. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  264. El-Beltagi, H.S.; Shah, S.; Ullah, S.; Sulaiman; Mansour, A.T.; Shalaby, T.A. Impacts of ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol on Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) grown in water deficit regimes for sustainable production. Sustainability 2022, 14, 8861. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  265. Koski, R.; Jacobi, W.R. Tree Pathogen Survival in Chipped Wood Mulch. J. Arboric. 2004, 30, 165–171. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
Figure 1. Schematic representation of how conservation agriculture interferes with climatic changes and crops.
Figure 1. Schematic representation of how conservation agriculture interferes with climatic changes and crops.
Agronomy 12 01881 g001
Figure 2. General diagram of different types of drought.
Figure 2. General diagram of different types of drought.
Agronomy 12 01881 g002
Figure 3. Comparative approach to the mulched and un-mulched soil/crops.
Figure 3. Comparative approach to the mulched and un-mulched soil/crops.
Agronomy 12 01881 g003
Figure 4. Different types of mulching techniques.
Figure 4. Different types of mulching techniques.
Agronomy 12 01881 g004
Figure 5. The effects between mulching and non-mulching.
Figure 5. The effects between mulching and non-mulching.
Agronomy 12 01881 g005
Figure 6. An illustration of the various mulching techniques.
Figure 6. An illustration of the various mulching techniques.
Agronomy 12 01881 g006
Figure 7. Effect of mulch types on growth, productivity, or nutrients of crops.
Figure 7. Effect of mulch types on growth, productivity, or nutrients of crops.
Agronomy 12 01881 g007
Figure 8. Schematic diagram of strategic water consumption methods.
Figure 8. Schematic diagram of strategic water consumption methods.
Agronomy 12 01881 g008
Table 2. Explained comparison of different organic and inorganic mulches.
Table 2. Explained comparison of different organic and inorganic mulches.
SubjectOrganic MulchingPlastic Mulching
Material typeBio-based cellulose, chips, leaf, paperAcetate, polyethylene, polymeric material
DurabilityTemporary or decays over timeLong lasting, two–three crop seasons
Thickness3–5 cm, controlled by application rates15–20 μm; 15 μm is most effective
ColorsNaturalBlack, silver, white, red, blue, yellow, etc.
Weed controlEffective, but grass material grows weedsHigh weed competition except transparent color
Pest managementReduces thrips or fungal diseaseReduces thrips, spider mites, or whiteflies
FragmentsDegradable to soilProblematic or contaminated after one–two seasons
Priority mulchStraw (rice and wheat)Black plastic
Priority mulchStraw (rice and wheat)Black plastic
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

El-Beltagi, H.S.; Basit, A.; Mohamed, H.I.; Ali, I.; Ullah, S.; Kamel, E.A.R.; Shalaby, T.A.; Ramadan, K.M.A.; Alkhateeb, A.A.; Ghazzawy, H.S. Mulching as a Sustainable Water and Soil Saving Practice in Agriculture: A Review. Agronomy 2022, 12, 1881.

AMA Style

El-Beltagi HS, Basit A, Mohamed HI, Ali I, Ullah S, Kamel EAR, Shalaby TA, Ramadan KMA, Alkhateeb AA, Ghazzawy HS. Mulching as a Sustainable Water and Soil Saving Practice in Agriculture: A Review. Agronomy. 2022; 12(8):1881.

Chicago/Turabian Style

El-Beltagi, Hossam S., Abdul Basit, Heba I. Mohamed, Iftikhar Ali, Sana Ullah, Ehab A. R. Kamel, Tarek A. Shalaby, Khaled M. A. Ramadan, Abdulmalik A. Alkhateeb, and Hesham S. Ghazzawy. 2022. "Mulching as a Sustainable Water and Soil Saving Practice in Agriculture: A Review" Agronomy 12, no. 8: 1881.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop