## EXERCISE 10

 EXERCISE 10: OBSERVATIONS ON SOIL MOISTURE CONTENTS UNDER MULCHES Aim: To study the effects of mulches on soil moisture content in the orchard.Method of determination: Gravimetric Equipment and materials: Soil sampling auger, soil sampling aluminium boxes (Plate 10.1), weighing balance (Plate 10.2), drying oven (Plate 10.3), desiccators. Plate 10.1. Aluminium box containing soil Plate 10.2. Weighing of soil sample on electronic balance Plate 10.3. Oven-DryProcedure: Weigh the empty moisture boxes individually and mark them. Take soil samples one meter away from the basins of trees under different systems of management at 0-30 cm depth with the help of soil auger. These samples are taken from all the four directions of each tree basins. The samples taken from the individual tree are mixed thoroughly and are immediately filled in aluminium box and close it with lid to prevent the loss of water. Three such samples are taken from each management system and bring immediately to the laboratory and weigh immediately. Remove the lids and keep boxes in oven for drying at 1050 C temperatures. After 48 hours, remove aluminium boxes, and allow the sample to cool for some time in oven. Then close the boxes and put them in desiccators. Now weigh the box on a top pan electronic balance. Observations and calculations Weight of empty moisture box, g = x Weight of moisture box + moist soil, g = y Weight of moisture box + oven dry soil, g = z Moisture content in soil, g = (y – z) Weight of oven dry soil, g = (z – x) Per cent moisture in soil (w) = (y - z)x 100/(z - x) Inference: Based on the average value of soil moisture content, draw inference of the effectiveness of different management system in conserving soil moisture.