Growth and yield response of “Egusi” melon (Citrulus lanatus L.) to different nutrient sources in ultisol of south-eastern Nigeria
Field experiments were conducted during 2011 and 2012 cropping seasons at the teaching and research farm of the Agricultural Department, Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe, to evaluate the effect of different nutrient sources on the growth and yield of “Egusi Melon (Citrullus lanatus L) in ultisol of Anambra, South-east agro ecological Zone of Nigeria. The study involved the use of Organic and inorganic fertilizers applied at different rates viz; Poultry manure at 4t ha-1, Cow dung at 4t ha-1, NPK 15-15-15 at 200kg ha-1, poultry manure (2t ha-1) combined with NPK (100kg ha -1) and Cow dung (2t ha-1) combined with NPK (100kg ha-1) and was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). The statistical analysis indicated significant differences in the vine length, leaf area index, days to flowering, fruit number and fruit weight at 5% level of probability. Results showed that among the different nutrient sources applied, “Egusi” Melon responded best to the application of poultry manure (2t ha-1) in combination with N.P.K 15-15-15 fertilizer (100kg ha-1) This study has demonstrated that poultry manure in combination with NPK fertilizer is the most suitable for “Egusi” melon in Anambra, South east Nigeria.
Keywords: “Egusi” melon, Poultry manure, Cow dung, NPK 15 -15-15, Growth, yield, ultisol.