ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 93 Number 1
Growth and yield response of garden egg (Solanum melongena L) to neem seed cake application. (20)
Soils of Southern Guinea Savanna are inherently infertile due to low organic matter content occasioned by constant bush fires and soil erosion. Consequently, farmers in this ecological zone rely on external inputs in the form of organic and inorganic fertilizer for sustainable crop production. Therefore pot experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Nigeria during the 2012 and 2013 cropping seasons to evaluate the effects of neem seed cake (a form of organic manure) on the performance of garden egg. The experiment was laid out as a completely randomized design replicated three times. The neem seed cake was mixed thoroughly with soil at the rate of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 t ha-1 before being dispensed into pots, one week before transplanting of seedlings. Data collected were on growth parameters (plant height, number of leaves, and number of branches) and yield parameters (fruit length, fruit diameter, number of fruits per plant, fruit weight per plant and fruit weight per hectare).The results on the vegetative parameters indicated that using the 3 and 4 tons ha-1 of neem seed cake in 2012 and 2013 produced the tallest plants (50.32cm), highest number of branches (15.45) and highest number of leaves which were significantly different (P<0.05) from the other treatments and the control. The 3 and 4 tons ha-1also produced the highest number of fruits, highest fruit diameter and fruit weight per plant (68.04 g) and fresh weight of fruits per hectare (18.70 t ha-1) which was not significantly different from each other but significantly different from the other treatments (P<0.05). From the results of the experiment, the use of neem seed cake can be utilized for improved crop growth and development.
Keywords: Neem seed cake, growth and yield of garden egg Crops