Preliminary studies on the effects of bulb size at planting and NPK fertilizer application on growth and yield of shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum L.)
Studies were carried out at the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala, Ghana from July to September 2012 to determine the effects of bulb size at planting, and NPK fertilizer application on growth and yield of shallot. Small, medium and big bulbs of diameter 0.8 – 1.2 cm, 1.3 – 1.5 cm and 1.6 – 2 cm, respectively, were planted on the field. Two weeks after planting, NPK (15-15-15) fertilizer was applied at 0, 85, 170 or 255 kg ha-1. Treatment combinations were replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Results of the study showed that planting large bulbs and applying no NPK fertilizer produced the highest leaf number, whilst the use of small bulb followed by an application of 85 or 170 kg ha-1 of NPK produced the least leaf number of leaves. The use of big bulbs at planting together with the application of 85 kg ha-1 of NPK gave the highest number of bulbs, whilst medium bulbs which received 255 kg ha-1 of NPK gave the least number of bulbs at harvest. Similarly, the application of 85 kg ha-1 of NPK to big bulbs gave the highest bulb fresh weight, whilst small bulbs which received no NPK application recorded the least bulb weight at harvest. In terms of bulb yield at harvest, the medium bulb also responded well to the application of 85 kg ha-1 of NPK fertilizer. In shallot production, especially in the study area, farmers should use big bulbs during planting and 85 kg ha-1 of NPK fertilizer should be applied for optimum bulb yield and vegetative growth.
Original scientific paper. Received 03 Apr 14; revised 25 Sep 14.
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