EFFECT OF NPK FERTILIZER RATES ON GROWTH AND YIELD COMPONENTS OF EGGPLANT (Solanum melongena) CULTIVARS
A field experiment was conducted to determine the effect of NPK fertilizer rates on growth and yield of eggplant
(Solanum melongena) cultivars. The experiment was laid out in a 3x4 factorial in a randomized complete block
design (RCBD). The treatments used were four rates of NPK fertilizer (0, 50, 100, and 150 kg NPK ha-1) and three
cultivars of eggplant (dark green, white-green striped and light green), and replicated were four times. The
parameters studied were plant height, number of leaves, number of branches, days to 50% flowering, number of
fruits, weight of fruits, and total yield. Results showed that plant height, number of leaves, number of branches,
number of fruits, weight of fruits and total yield increased as the NPK fertilizer rate increased from 0 kg NPK ha-1
to 150kg NPK ha-1. Dark green cultivars proved superior over white green striped and light green cultivar on
growth characteristics, while white-green striped cultivars produced the highest weight of fruit and total yield.
The lowest weight of fruit and total yield were recorded by dark green cultivars. The interaction between the
treatments indicates that 150kg NPK ha-1 and dark green cultivar gave the highest vegetative growth while
vegetative parameters such as plant height, number of leaves, number of branches and days to 50% flowering
recorded were lowest at 0kg NPK ha-1 and Light green cultivar. White-green produced the highest fruit weight,
and total yield per hectare at fertilizer rate of 150kg NPK ha-1. Therefore, based on the result, the use of 150kg
NPK ha-1 and white-green cultivar for profitable eggplant production in the study area are recommended.