AbstractThe effects of clean- and strip-cultivation, and of applications of coffee pulp, grass, and balck-plastic mulches under rows of heavily fertilized, young, intensively managed, strip-cultivated coffee growing in an area with a marked dry season were determined. Mulching with coffee pulp or grass increased soil water available to the coffee trees during the dry season and sharply reduced surface soil temperatures. The treatments had no marked effect on foliar composition of the coffee trees. Mulching with coffee pulp increased yields of strip-cultivated coffee over 3 bearing years from an average of 873 to 1,383 pounds of market coffee per acre yearly, but mulching with grass or black plastic did not affect yields. Strip-cultivated coffee produced as high yields as did clean-cultivated coffee. Yields of mulched coffee varied more widely from year to year than did those of clean or strip-cultivated coffee. Applications of coffee pulp as a mulch may be warranted on limited acreages of young, intensively managed coffee growing in full sunlight, particularly in regions with a marked dry season. Other mulch material is not readily available in the Coffee Region.
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