Effect of alley cropping with Gliricidia sepium and NPK fertilizer application on soil chemical properties and yield of Amaranthus cruntus l
This work evaluated the effects of alley cropping with Gliricidia septum and NPK fertilizer application on soil productivity using Amaranthus cruntus L. as indicator crop in Abakaliki, Southeastern Nigeria. The treatments were, no application of NPK fertilizer, alley crop and NPK fertilizer and alley crop (control), application of alley prunings and NPK fertilizer (Alley crop + NPK fertilizer), NPK fertilizer alone (NPK fertilizer) and alley prunings (alley crop). The result of the study showed significant increase in percent total nitrogen, percent organic matter, available phosphorus and exchangeable
cations at (p<0.05). Soil total N% showed 70-100% increase in alley crop and fertilizer application; and alley crop alone relative to the control. Similarly, plant height in amended plots was 20-60% higher than the control. Fresh weight yield in tons per hectare (t ha"1) increase relative to control was 206%, 144% and 22% respectively for alley crop and NPK fertilizer, alley crop and fertilizer amended plots. Generally, amended plots showed better soil chemical properties compared to control. The use of
alley crop as low input technology for low income farmers is recommended.
Keywords: Alley crop, NPK fertilizer, soil productivity, Amaranthus cruntus