Water application rate and frequency affect seedling survival and growth of Vangueria infausta and Persea americana
Adequate amount of water is critical to successful tree nursery operation among resource-constrained smallholder farmers in Africa. Two experiments were undertaken with the objectives of evaluating effects of water application rate and frequency on seedling growth and survival of Persea americana and Vangueria infausta. In experiment 1, water was applied to seedlings at 500 ml per 1 L polyethylene bag daily and at two, four and six day intervals. In experiment 2, water was applied to seedlings every two days at the rate of 25, 50, 100 and 150 ml per polyethylene bag. The results indicated that V. infausta was more responsive to the rate than frequency of water application. Water application of 100 ml every two days was effective in promoting seedlings growth and survival for both species. Application of 500 ml of water every two days promoted growth of P. americana, while watering frequency had no significant effect on V. infausta. It is concluded that V. infausta seedlings require less frequent watering. Both species could be successfully raised with 100 ml of water applied every two days.
Key words: Nursery irrigation, nutrient reserves, root collar diameter, seedling mortality.