Effects of Different Water Regimes and Poultry Manure on Growth, Development and Yield of Hot Pepper (Capsicum annum L.)
Pot experiment was conducted during the wet period of (June to September 2012) in a screen house at the Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre (FOHCREC), Kade of the University of Ghana. The experiment evaluated the effect of water regime and poultry manure on growth and development, physiological activities and yield of hot pepper (C. annum L.). Five watering/ stress regimes (250mL, 500mL, 1000mL, 1500mL and 2000mL) and four rates of poultry manure (0, 10, 15 and 20 t/ha) applications were adopted in this study. The experiment was designed as a factorial in CRD and laid out in split-plots with three replications. Data collected included plant height, leaf number, shoot fresh and dry weight, shoot/root ratio, leaf area, net assimilation rate, relative growth rate, leaf weight ratio, number of flowers per plant, fruit number and fruit weights per plant. All data collected were analyzed using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and significant means were separated at p= 0.05 (Tukey’s HSD). Results showed that there was significant effect of irrigation levels on biometric parameters such as plant height, fresh weight, stem diameter, branches number, number of leaves, leaf area per plant in combination with poultry manure treatments and interaction effect.
The study also showed significant effect of irrigation levels on secondary response variables such as relative growth rate, net assimilation rate, leaf area ratio, specific leaf area and leaf weight ratio as well as yield and its components in combination with poultry manure treatments. Interaction effect of poultry manure and irrigation levels was significant. The study indicated that organic matter increased with the application of poultry manure which also improved the soil physical and chemical properties including ph, exchangeable cations. Poultry manure at higher rates (15-20t/ha) and in combination with irrigation levels at 1000 – 1500mls increased plant height, number of leaves, shoot fresh and dry weights as well as total plant dry weight and leaf area. At low water levels plant growth was reduced. The study further revealed that poultry manure at 15t/ha and irrigation levels of 1000 -1500mls increased yield and low levels of poultry manure and water applications resulted in low yields. Proline content in pepper plants were found to be higher at low water stress and poultry manure levels.
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