Suitability of Animal Manure for Melon Production and Soil Performance in an Utisol
Keywords:Suitability, Manure, Crop Productivity, Egusi Melon, Soil Nutrients, Ultisol
Low soil fertility is one major drawback to Egusi melon (Colocynthis citrullus L.) production, a popular and premium crop in southeastern Nigeria. To overcome this challenge, this study evaluated the effects of different animal manure types on egusi melon cultivation and on selected soil properties. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with four treatments and three replications. The study treatments were: T1; Cow dung applied at 10 t ha-1 of dry mass (10 t DM ha-1), T2; 10 t DM ha-1 Poultry manure, T3; 10 t DM ha-1 Pig manure, and T4; Control, unamended treatment. Results showed that treatments application had varied significant effects on soil pH, available phosphorus, total nitrogen, and soil organic carbon. Treatments application positively influenced egusi melon growth and yield. Except for number of plant leaves, data on vine length, and stem girth recorded for treatments T1, T2 and T3 did not differ significantly. Similar to the vegetative growth stage, the shoot fresh weight, root fresh weight, shoot dry weight, and root dry weight biomasses did not varied significantly across treatments T1, T2 and T3, except the fresh fruit weight. The animal manure types had similar strength in their effects on the measured soil and Egusi melon growth and yield properties. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the suitability of cow dung, poultry dung and pig manure application for
melon production in a nutrient depleted coarse-textured ultisol.
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