The influence of synthetic mulches to improve certified organic hardneck garlic production in the British Columbia southern interior
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the most commonly used vegetables in the world and its production is continually increasing. In combination with the organic food trend, the demand for certified organic garlic is of important interest for Canadian growers. Hardneck garlic (A. sativum subsp. ophioscorodon) is well adapted for British Columbia, producing best in the continental climates of the Kootenay and Okanagan regions where distinct warm summers and cold winters commonly occur. Garlic, however, can be a challenge to produce organically as it does not compete well with weed pressure, requires relatively high amounts of soil nutrition and is grown in a biennial cropping system. Synthetic mulches have been adopted in organic production as they can be an economical method to improve vegetable production by reducing weed pressure and modifying the soil temperature and moisture. Within our research, we plan to provide initial results to improve Canadian organic garlic production by evaluating the influence of synthetic mulches, plastic and biodegradable, on soil and plant attributes. In 2017-18, we conducted a randomized complete block design experiment to compare garlic production of black plastic, white plastic and craft paper mulch treatments to a control (no mulch) at a certified organic farm in Krestova, British Columbia. In this study, we evaluated garlic characteristics associated with yield and quality, changes in soil nutrition, and weed control of the mulch treatments in a biennial cropping system. We hypothesize that garlic quality and overall yield will be improved when using synthetic mulches. The results from this experiment will help to focus future research to assist in developing an improved production system for organic garlic growers.
Part OfSoils and Crops Workshop
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