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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 828259, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/828259
Research Article

Fertilization and Colors of Plastic Mulch Affect Biomass and Essential Oil of Sweet-Scented Geranium

1Department of Agronomic Engineering, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenida Marechal Rondon s/n, 49100-000 Sao Cristovao, SE, Brazil
2Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Sergipe, Avenida Marechal Rondon s/n, 49100-000 Sao Cristovao, SE, Brazil

Received 4 December 2013; Accepted 3 February 2014; Published 16 March 2014

Academic Editors: P. B. Andrade and R. M. Mian

Copyright © 2014 Anderson de Carvalho Silva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sweet-scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens L’Hér), a plant belonging to the Geraniaceae family, has medicinal and aromatic properties and is widely used in the cosmetic, soap, perfume, aromatherapy, and food industries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of fertilization and the use of different colors of plastic mulch on sweet-scented geranium biomass and essential oil. Three colors of plastic mulch (black, white, and silver-colored) and a control without plastic mulch were assessed along with three fertilizers (20,000 L·ha−1 of cattle manure; 1,000 kg·ha−1 of NPK 3-12-6; and 20,000 L·ha−1 of cattle manure + 1,000 kg·ha−1 of NPK 3-12-6 fertilizer) and a control without fertilizer. The absence of a soil cover negatively influenced the agronomical variables, while coverage with plastic mulch was associated with increased biomass. The use of fertilizer had no effect on the evaluated agronomic variables. When cattle manure and NPK 3-12-6 were used together, combined with white or black plastic mulch, the highest yields of essential oil were obtained. For the silver-colored plastic mulch, higher amounts of essential oil (6,9-guaiadien) were obtained with mineral fertilizer.