Effects of different mulches on the growth, development and yield of lady's finger (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), weed growth and soil microclimate

Wong, Coral (2008) Effects of different mulches on the growth, development and yield of lady's finger (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), weed growth and soil microclimate. Universiti Malaysia Sabah. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A field experiment was conducted at the School of School of Sustainable Agriculture Field Laboratory in Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to investigate the growth and yield of Lady's Finger (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) MKBe1 variety in response to mulching for mulching materials (black plastic sheet, oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber (EFB), coco peat and wood shavings). Weed infestation, soil temperature and soil moisture were also observed for the different mulching materials. The results showed that different type of mulching materials had positive effects on fruit yield, vegetative growth and soil micro-environments. Plants mulched with EFB fiber produced the highest fresh fruit yield of 1.73 kg per plot (equivalent to 9.30 tons per hectare) which was significantly higher than all the other mulching treatments used and also producing the heaviest and longest fruits. Yield attributes such as number of fruits per plant and per plot were highest for plants mulched with black plastic and EFB fiber compared to plants mulched with coco peat, wood shavings and unmulched control. Different types of mulching materials had no significant effects on fruit size and earliness to flowering compared to unmulched plots (control). However, black plastic was significantly the most effective mulching material to increase vegetative growth and in suppressing weed infestation and thereby improving plant growth. Notably, soil moisture was increased while soil temperature decreased significantly with the use of different type of mulching materials. Yet, soil temperature showed a tendency to decline as the plants advanced in age, due to the increasing canopy size and over-shading the soil or mulch surface. Soil moisture content remains the same throughout different stages of plant growth. This may be due to regular manual irrigation and rain fall which kept the soil surface moist under mulched or unmulched plots. However, no significant interaction was found between types of mulching materials used and different stages of plant growth for soil temperature and soil moisture content. The results of this study further confirmed the potential of EFB fiber as a suitable mulching material that can be exploited for weed suppression, improved plant growth and fresh fruit yield. In addition, it encourages the recycling of plant residues effectively and is not harmful to the environment.

Item Type: Academic Exercise
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lady's Finger, mulching, Weed infestation, soil temperature, soil moisture
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: SCHOOL > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email storage.bpmlib@ums.edu.my
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 02:16
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2017 03:33
URI: http://eprints.ums.edu.my/id/eprint/13314

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