Effect of plant spacing on weed suppression and yield of fluted pumpkin (Telfeiria occidentalis hook f) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
The field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of plant spacing on weed suppression yield and economic benefit of fluted pumpkin (Telfeiria occidentalis Hook F). The experiment was carried out at the Department of Crop and Soil Science Demonstration Plot, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria between March and June, 2014. The plant spacing used were; 60 x 60cm, 80 x 80cm, 100 x 100cm and 120 x 120cm. The spacing was arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated six times. The economic analysis of the data were carried out by partial farm budgeting. The weed density differ significantly (P<0.05) throughout the sampling periods with plant spacing 120 x 120cm having the highest weed density while the lowest was 60 x 60cm The highest weed fresh weight of 1237.5kg/ha and 927.5kg/ha was recorded at a plant spacing of 120 x 120cm at 4 and 8 weeks after planting respectively. Plant spaced at 120 x 120cm had the highest marketable shoot yield (39, 150kg/ha) whereas the lowest was at 60cm x 60cm (10, 225kg/ha). Plant spaced at 120 x 120cm gave the highest profit of N4723608.48/ha and cost benefit ratio (CBR) of 1:27.76 which implies that it was more profitable to produced fluted pumpkin at a spacing of 120 x 120cm in the area of current study.
Keywords: Fluted pumpkin, plant spacing, weed, cost benefit ratio