Evaluation of nursery media for seedling emergence and early seedling growth of two tropical tree species
AbstractFive nursery media formulated from top soil, poultry manure and river sand respectively in the following ratios 0:3:3, 1:2:3, 1:3:2, 2:3:1 and 3:2:1 were evaluated for their effects on seedling emergence and early growth of Cashew (Anarcadium occidentalis Linn.) and African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) seedlings. The results showed significant (P < 0.05) media effect on days to first and 50% seedling emergence and percentage total emergence in Cashew but non-significant in African breadfruit. Number of days to last seedling emergence was significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by media in African breadfruit. Bi-weekly leaf count and plant height monitored for ten weeks were responsive to differences in media in both crops. Media influenced total dry weight only in Cashew while dry matter distribution pattern varied significantly in African breadfruit. In both crops percentage total seedling emergence and seedling vigour were better in medium 1:2:3. Similarly, percentage survival of African breadfruit after mild moisture stress was highest in medium 1:2:3. The differential influence of media on seedling growth as evident in the study suggested need for broader evaluation of media for different tropical tree species to identify the most appropriate medium for each species that will ensure the production of vigorous seedlings for plantation/orchard establishment.
Key Words: Nursery media; physicochemical properties; seedling emergence and growth
Moor J. Agric. Res. Vol.4(1) 2003: 60-65