Effect of organic and inorganic fertilizers on the early growth of Tamarindus indica L. in Makurdi, Nigeria
Tamarindus indica, commonly known as Tamarind is one of the important multipurpose tropical fruit tree species in the tropical region. To effectively harness the potentials of this species, emphasis must be made for improving their demand as plantation trees, and also their early growth, and speed up their full development rate. The study was conducted to determine the effect of organic and inorganic fertilizers on the early growth of Tamarindus indica in the Forestry Nursery of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi. Seeds were procured, pre-treated with 50 % sulphuric acid for 60 minutes to break seed dormancy and sown in the poly pots filled with top soil. Two weeks after germination, 10 potted seedlings each were divided into 4 groups of 3 different levels of inorganic and organic fertilizer applications in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) experiment. Fertilizers were applied using ring method. Data collected for early growth parameters were seedling height, collar diameter and number of leaves produced. The growth parameters were measured at two weeks interval for six weeks. The results showed that application of organic manure at various doses yielded better growth and seedlings quality of Tamarindus indica as compared to NPK (15:15:15) and Urea fertilizer. Urea treatment was toxic to the seedlings at all levels of applications which led to the death of the seedlings. NPK applied at 6 grams and 9 grams were also toxic to the seedlings which also led to high mortality rate after application. From the results obtained in this experiment it was that organic manure (cow dung) should be utilized to make nutrient available for optimal growth of Tamarindus indica seedlings and the application of fertilizers (NPK and Urea) above 3 grams on Tamarindus indica seedlings should be discouraged.
Keywords: Tamarindus indica, Cowdung, NPK, Urea, early growth