Papaya growers in South Florida and throughout the Caribbean are challenged by damage from high winds, a severe risk during establishment. This project is testing sunn hemp intercropping to reduce wind in the planting. The sunn hemp, a legume is then mowed and used as a mulch on the papaya beds. Preliminary results indicate that the intercrop-mulch system:
- Reduces wind
- Reduces weed pressure
- Improves papaya growth
- Hastens start of harvest
Sunn hemp eventually shades the papaya, and mowing the intercrop too late can reduce growth.
ASHS Aug 2015 Tropical Crop Production Oral Presentation
Linking papaya horticulture to its ecophysiology. 2015. Florida International University, Plant Seminar, Biology Department. February, Miami, Florida.
Linking papaya horticulture to its ecophysiology. 2015. University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center. May, Homestead, Florida.