Author(s): O. B. Iren, D. J. Udoh, U. O. Ufot, J. N. Chukwuemeka
A field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons at the University of Calabar Teaching and Research Farms in Cross River State, Nigeria to evaluate the influence of locally sourced liming materials and organomineral fertilizer on the performance of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis). Eight treatments used were: control (no amendment), sole application of wood ash (WA), cocoa pod ash (CPA), periwinkle shells ash (PSA), organomineral fertilizer (OMF) each applied at 8 t/ha and the combinations of each of the lime materials with OMF. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Chemical composition of the amendments used showed that the pH values of the materials varied in the order CPA > WA > OMF > PSA. Calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) contents were highest in CPA (44.80 cmol/kg, 0.17 cmol/kg) while magnesium (Mg) was highest in WA (20.40 cmol/kg). Results showed that lime and OMF applied separately or in combination increased soil pH values significantly (P < 0.05) relative to the control with the highest value of 5.87 obtained from plots treated with OMF +WA. There were also significant increases in soil available phosphorus (P), basic nutrients (Ca, Mg, K) and base saturation. Significant (P<0.05) increases in growth parameters (vine length, number of leaves) and yield of fluted pumpkin were observed. The highest yield (596.82 kg/ha) obtained at 10 WAP from OMF + CPA treated plot was not significantly higher than the yields of 586.67 and 577.67 kg/ha obtained from OMF + PSA and OMF + WA treated plots, respectively. Therefore, for improved soil nutrients, sustainable and better performance of fluted pumpkin in an acid Ultisol of South Eastern Nigeria, the combination of any of the lime materials with OMF is recommended.
Lime materials, organomineral fertilizer, soil properties, coastal plain sand soil, fluted pumpkin
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