The influence of poultry manure application and plant density on the growth and yield of egusi melon (Colocynthis citrullus) on the Nsukka plains of south eastern Nigeria
A two year study, 1995 and 1996, was undertaken to assess the effects of poultry manure, plant density and their interaction on the yield and yield components of "egusi" melon (Colocynthis citrullus) under Nsukka ecological condtions of south - eastern Nigeria. It was observed that fruit production ha-1, average fruit weight, 1000 - seed weight and seed yield ha-1 increased with increase poultry manure application giving seed yield increase of 51% and 41% for 5 and 10t ha-1 rates respectively over the 0 t ha-1 rate. It was also observed that higher plant density gave higher fruit and seed yields compared with low plant density . Seed yield was increased by 31% and 39% in the 10,000 and 40,000 plants ha-1 densities compared with the 4444 plants ha-1 in 1995 and similarly by 41% and 60% in 1996. High plant density and increasd poultry manure application also enhanced plant development as was measured by days to 50% flowering, lenght of stem and number of branches/plant at 30 days after planting. Poultry manure x plant density (MxD) interaction was significant in fruit and seed production and this showed a trend of increased fruit and seed yield as poultry manure use was increased with increased plant density rates.