Revalidating seed sowing time after compost application and immediate effects on growth, yield and viscous quality of Corchorus olitorius (L).
Essentiality of two week delay period to seed sowing after compost application in the face of current climate change was the focus of this work. This effect on growth, yield and viscous quality of Corchorus olitorius compared to chemical fertilizer (CF) fertility management practice by farmers in the study area was evaluated in a field trial. Three equilibration periods of compost applied at 500 gm-2 in soil prior to sowing: no equilibration (C0), a week (C1) and two weeks (C2) equilibrations were compared with CF (a mix of NPK 20:10:10 at 30 gm-2 and urea at 6.7g gm-2) and unamended soils in a randomized complete block experimental design in three replications during the 2017/2018 cropping season. Corchorus olitorius sown on the same day in all the plots was nurtured for six weeks and data were taken on number of leaves, plant height, fresh shoot (FSW) and root weights (FRW), leaf viscous quality, soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and treatment means separated by DMRT at 5% probability level using GENSTAT statistical package (8th Edition).
The compost treatments were superior in enhancing number of leaves, leaf viscous quality, SOC and total nitrogen above CF and unamended soils. The C1 and C2 significantly reduced FSW and FRW by 5.6 and 6% and 35 and 32.4% respectively while C2 produced leaves 42 and 60% more mucilaginous than C0 and CF respectively. The C1 enhanced SOC and total nitrogen than other treatments. Highest rotation intensity (600 rpm) of C. olitorius leaf paste improved viscous strength by 61.7, 46.5 and 31.3% over 100, 200 and 300 rpm respectively. Conclusively delaying seed sowing by two weeks produced C. olitorius with least fresh biomass weight and highest leaf viscous strength.