Using compost mulch to establish roadside vegetation

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Title: Using compost mulch to establish roadside vegetation
Author: Pearson, Philip Ray
Abstract: Practical highway right of way design includes consideration of cross -sectional slope , longitudinal slope , and the type of grass or other vegetation . Cross -section slope must not allow overland flow to erode the face of the ditch , longitudinal slopes must prevent open channel flow from exceeding the permissible velocity of the channel , and the vegetation selected must provide protection for the channel while allowing storm water flow to pass with a minimum of disturbance . Maintenance and upkeep of the unpaved buffer or right of way ditch is a key element in an overall strategy designed to protect the integrity of the roadway and related structures . The establishment of broadcast seeded grasses on highway rights of way was examined as a function of four standard treatment methods currently specified by the Texas Department of Transportation and various depths of compost applied as mulch . The basic experimental design consisted of a randomized split -plot . Ten replicated treatments were randomly assigned to either an irrigated or a non -irrigated main plot in each of three blocks . A review of scientific literature and field trials in three diverse geographical regions of the State of Texas defined the research component of the experiment . Physical evidence , visual observations , and laboratory analysis were combined with descriptive and inferential statistical methods to form the investigative component . Soil temperature and soil moisture content are crucial to the germination and emergence of broadcast grass seed . Soil temperature was significantly (P < 0 .05 ) influenced by straw mulch held in place by jute netting and by application of compost mulch at depths greater than two inches . In addition , soil moisture was effectively conserved by application of straw mulch held in place by jute netting or by application of a four -inch layer of compost mulch . Compost mulch applied at depths greater than two inches retarded or prevented emergence of desired perennial grasses . Establishment of annual and invading plant species was observed to be prevented when biosolids or dairy manure compost was applied at a four -inch depth .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /18322
Date: 2003-12


Using compost mulch to establish roadside vegetation. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /18322 .

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