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Some effects of hemlock sawdust mulching and micro elements on strawberry leaf composition and on certain soil factors Edgar, Robert


The investigation compares the effects of hemlock sawdust mulching, clean cultivation and manure mulching on the composition of strawberry leaves in 1950 and on soil composition in 1950 and 1951 together with the effects of adding the micro elements boron, copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium to the soil. It was found that in: 1. The leaf a. Reducing sugars were higher in the leaves from the sawdust mulched plants than in leaves from the manured plants but in both cases the total carbohydrate was the same. b. Ash was lower in leaves from the sawdust mulched plants than in leaves from the manure mulch treatment. c. Nitrogen was not depressed in the leaves of plants from the sawdust mulched plots despite a lower soil nitrogen level under the sawdust mulch than under the other treatments. 2. The soil a. Soil reaction (pH) was not affected by the sawdust mulch. b. The total soil nutrients as reflected by the conductivity measurements were lower under the sawdust mulch 1han under the other treatments. c. Soil organic matter was increased by the sawdust mulching. d. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus were depressed by the sawdust mulch but these lowered values were not reflected in the plants which appeared normal and vigorous. Soil potassium was not affected by the sawdust mulch. e. Soil calcium was highest under the manure mulch in 1950 and 1951. Calcium increased under the sawdust mulch in 1951 but this value was still lower than that from the manure mulch. f. While there was a loss of soil magnesium under all treatments, this loss was minimized by the sawdust mulching. The micro elements had no effect upon either the leaf composition or upon the soil. Considering all factors, hemlock sawdust did not appear to be harmful to either the British Sovereign strawberry plants or to the soil upon which they were grown.

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