Effects Of Organic Fertilizer And Spacing On Growth And Yield Of Lagos Spinach (Celosia argentea L.)
Experiments were carried out at National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan to investigate the effects of maize-stover compost fertilizer and plant spacing on the growth and shoot yield of Celosia argentea L. var. TLV8. Plants were spaced 15x 15cm; 20 x 20cm and 25 x 25cm and the compost fertilizer was applied at 2, 4, and 6 t ha-1. Each experiment was arranged in a split-plot design with three replications, and a control where compost was not applied was set up for each spacing treatment. All data were reported as means, and analyzed combined across the two experiments. Spacing had no significant effect on plant height, stem, girth, number of leaves and cumulative shoot yield but leaf area, number of off shoots and dry matter yield were significantly affected. 25 x 25cm spacing produced the highest number of offshoots whereas the largest leaf area and highest dry matter yield were obtained at 20 x 20cm spacing. Compost rates significantly increased growth and yield of the crop. Plant height and stem girth increased with compost rate up to 6 t ha-1. But plant performance at 6 t ha-1 was not statistically difference from that obtained with 4 t ha-1; dry matter was accumulated most, at 4 t ha-1. Hence, 4 t ha-1 was most outstanding in supporting the production of the crop. Interactive effects of spacing and compost were significant for both growth and yield. The highest plant height was obtained with 15 x 15cm x 6 t ha-1. 20 x 20cm x 6 t ha-1 produced highest leaf area and 20 x 20cm x 4 t ha-1 produced the highest dry matter and cumulative fresh shoot yield. Considering the cost, ease and time of organic fertilizer transportation and application as well as the usable product of the crop obtainable with 20 x 20cm x 4 t ha-1 compost, it appeared to be the most suitable for optimum growth and shoot yield of Celosia.
Keywords: Celosia, Compost, Spacing, Organic fertilizer, Organic farming
Journal of Agriculture and Social Research Vol. 8 (1) 2008: pp. 70-77