Kimit And Gordon

Kimit and Gordon

Journal of  Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 3 (5), pp.
332-340, May 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 



Manuscript Number: 022713504


Mulch Inoculation and Placement Influenced Barley (Hordeum
) Growth and Soil Nitrate Levels


M. Kimiti and 2Andrew M. Gordon


Eastern Kenya University, P.O Box 170-9200, Kitui,

of Guelph, N1G 2W1, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Author’s Email: jmkimiti @


We investigated
the effect of point of mulch placement and use of leaf
mulches from plants inoculated with rhizobia on growth,
nitrogen concentration and content of barley, and soil
nitrate and pH changes. Mulches placed on soil surface
enhanced barley heights and vegetative biomass in all leaf
types used.  However, nitrogen concentration was relatively
higher in both barley vegetative plants and ears of barley
grown in mixed mulches of both inoculated and uninoculated
leaves. Mixing mulch types with soil caused a quick nitrate
release within the first four weeks, which sharply dropped
before week 6. Placing mulches on the soil surface resulted
to a gradual nitrate release over the study period. Further,
soil pH in all mulch treatments decreased within the first
four weeks. Results from this study indicated that point of
mulch placement was more effective than rhizobia inoculation
of mulch on barley growth, nitrogen concentration and
content, soil nitrate and pH changes. The results for
nitrate levels revealed that it might be necessary for
farmers to understand nitrogen requirements of crop so as to
know where to place mulches. Results on pH revealed that
care should be taken when mulching crops that are sensitive
to small changes in pH.


Barley, leaf mulches, nitrate, nitrogen concentration,
rhizobia inoculation and soil pH.

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