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Effects of Three Mulch Types on the Growth and Yield of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and Weed Suppression in Ibadan, Rainforest-savanna Transition Zone of Nigeria

Authors:

RO Awodoyin ,

Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NG
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FI Ogbeide,

Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NG
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Olufemi Oluwole

Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NG
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Abstract

Field experiments were conducted in the 1998 and 2004 cropping seasons to assess the impacts of different mulching materials on weed control, soil temperature, soil moisture depletion and performance of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) in Ibadan, a rainforest-savanna transition ecological zone of Nigeria. The crop growth and fruit yield were studied under plastic (grey-on-black), woodchip (Teak) and grass (Pennisetum) mulches, with handweeded and un-weeded as controls in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Also assessed were weed dry matter and species spectrum, soil temperatures at 5-cm and 15-cm depths, and soil moisture depletion. Compared to unweeded control that had the least total fruit yield (2.7 t/ha in 1998 and 4.2 t/ha in 2004), mulch types and handweeded treatments increased the fruit yield by 152-237% in 1998 and 188-202% in 2004. Compared to mean pooled fruit yield from all mulched plots, unweeded treatment reduced tomato fruit yield by about 65% and 66% in 1998 and 2004, respectively. The weed control efficiencies of the mulches ranged between 91% and 100%. Dicotyledon weed species dominated the plots in the two years accounting for 81.8% in 1998 and 90% in 2004. The number of low-growing weed species enumerated on the plots was 11 in 1998 and 18 in 2004. After four weeks of no rainfall in 1998, moisture loss was least (1.68±0.10%) under plastic mulch and highest (13.96±0.08%) on the unweeded plot. The differences between morning and afternoon soil temperatures at 5 cm depth were low under grass mulch, woodchip mulch and unweeded control (5.0-5.9°C) but high under plastic mulch and handweeded control (8.7-8.9°C). Mulches are effective in weed control and conservation of soil moisture, and the plant-based mulches are most effective in reducing soil temperature. These improvements of crop growing environment resulted in increased tomato growth and fruit yield.

Keywords: mulches; Lycopersicon; weed control; moisture; temperature

DOI: 10.4038/tare.v10i0.1871

Tropical Agricultural Research & Extension Vol.10 2007 53-60

How to Cite: Awodoyin, R., Ogbeide, F. & Oluwole, O., (2010). Effects of Three Mulch Types on the Growth and Yield of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and Weed Suppression in Ibadan, Rainforest-savanna Transition Zone of Nigeria. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension. 10, pp.53–60. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v10i0.1871
Published on 26 Apr 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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