Effect of mulching on growth of ginger in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
The paper investigates effect of mulching on growth of ginger in ishiagu, ebonyi state, Nigeria. The experiment was carried out at the experimental farm of Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ivo LGA of Ebonyi State, Nigeria, during the 2009 and 2010 cropping seasons, using ginger as test crop. In 2009, there was less than 40% sprouting of ginger at 4 WAP but all the mulched plots were significantly higher than the control. In 2010, there was also significant difference (P < 0.05) in sprouting at 4 WAP but not at 6 and 8 WAP. At 6 WAP there was 50 to 62% sprouting across the treatments. However, at 8 WAP, there was 80% or more sprouting across the treatments. Number of leaves per plant showed that at 6 WAP on average, the organic mulch materials produced higher number of leaves when compared with either the control plot or the black polythene mulched plot. No significant differences occurred between the treatments at 8 WAP. In both years, the dry grass mulch resulted in significantly higher leaf area than the saw dust mulch. The mean leaf area for 2009 and 2010 was in the magnitude of dry grass >rice husk> saw dust > black polythene > control. There was increase in plant height from 4-12 WAP in 2009 and 2010. The organic mulches available were suitable for ginger production in the study area and the test crop UG1 is well adaptable to Ishiagu Environment. It is therefore concluded that mulching is imperative for ginger production and variety UG1 could be used to maximize production at Ishiagu environment. Dry grass and rice husk mulches should be used in Ishiagu environment.
Keywords: mulch, growth, ginger, rice husks