Effects of Organic Mulching on Soil Water Potential and SPAD Values as Factors on Yield of Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.)
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In the present study, Finka and Katka potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) varieties were used at two localities (Leškovice and Uhříněves) and the effects of the surface mulching on chlorophyll content (SPAD values), soil water potential (SWP) and tuber yield of potato (YWP) were observed. Two mulching treatments (chopped grass and black polypropylene mulch) were used in the study. The results showed that plastic mulch can be an important factor for potato cultivation on localities with dystric cambisol soil type currently facing lack of precipitation. Organic mulching (with chopped grass) significantly influenced YWP. It favorably increased the fresh weight of tubers (over 60 mm) per plant by 81.4% in comparison with control. Additionally, it has been found that the type of mulching or varieties can be expressed by different SPAD-yield relationship. Whereas the values of SWP and SPAD values too were not significantly affected by organic mulch, they were significantly correlated with the YWP (r2= 42.4%, P<0.0001 and r2= 28.8%, P<0.0023). SPAD value can predict the level of tuber yield if the value was calibrated for particular potato variety. However, the highest SPAD reading value did not guarantee the highest tuber yield.