Living Mulch on Guam

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $13,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Guam
Principal Investigator:


  • Fruits: general tree fruits
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, cucurbits


  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: market study
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    Weed control in windbreaks and orchard trees in northern Guam’s limestone clay soil can be difficult. Many producers in the area rely on bush cutting or pesticide use to suppress weeds.

    Producer Laila Pierson often loses trees from girdling, or cuts from mowing weeds, a process that is very labor intensive. The Farmer/Rancher Grant will test the economic and weed-suppressing qualities of sweet potato, squash and crawling cowpea as both living mulches and secondary cash crops under her trees. This project will provide additional economic revenue by selling the produce from the living mulch, while also suppressing weeds and improving the soil’s water-holding capacity. Weed control costs will be documented before and after the implementation of the living mulch to examine their effectiveness.

    Other producers will receive the information at a field day, presentations, workshops, and in extension fact sheets and publications.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.