Growth, yield and proximate content of two varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in response to compost
A field experiment was conducted between August and November, 2013 at the Organic Agriculture Skills Demonstration Plot, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria to determine the growth and yield response of two cucumber (Cucumis sativus) varieties („Poinsett‟ and „Marketmore‟) to compost applied at 0, 5, 10 and 20 t/ha. The experiment was a factorial arrangement fitted into a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using GENSTAT 12th edition (commercial version) and the separation of treatment means was done by the use of Least Significance Difference (LSD) at 5% level (Wahua, 1999). The parameters assessed were number of leaves, leaf area, number of flowers, fruit yield and proximate content. Both varieties did not differ significantly in vegetative growth and fruit yield. Nonetheless, Marketmore fruits had higher crude protein and calcium but lower vitamin C than those of „Pointset‟. Cucumber treated with compost rate at 10 or 20 t/ha produced more leaves and broader leaves than 0 and 5 t/ha. Cucumber that received compost at 10 t/ha produced highest number of flowers than other rates. There was no significant difference in the fruit yield of cucumber that received 5, 10 or 15 t/ha. However, application of compost at 5, 10 or 20 t/ha compost had higher fruit yield than control. Vitamin A content was highest in cucumber fruit treated with 20 t/ha of compost than other rates. Vitamin C content was higher in cucumber applied with 10 or 20 t/ha when compared with 0 or 5 t/ha compost. Vitamin C content was highest in „Marketmore‟ applied with 10 or 20 t/ha, and „Pointset‟ with 20 t/ha compost. Consequently, for cucumber fruit production, either variety could be used and 5 t/ha of compost is optimum. However, Marketmore‟ applied with 10 t/ha compost is optimum to enhance vitamin C content of cucumber.