Performance of Indigenous Celosia argentea Variety and Soil Physico-chemical Properties as Affected by Dual Application of Compost and Single N-mineral Fertilizer in Southern Guinea Savanna Vegetation Zone of Nigeria

Peter Akintoye Babajide, Noah Olugbemiga Olla


Both the organic and chemical fertilizer materials had been adjudged defective and imperfect, especially while considering some of their embedded attributes, such as ‘rapid nutrients-releasing-and-varnishing’, residual effects, hoarding and high cost of purchasing the inorganic fertilizers. Also, the organic residues are known to be slow in nutrients dissolving and releasing, apart from their competitive usages, as well the time and drudgery involved in their preparations.

Two consecutive field studies were carried out in the year 2008, at the Teaching and Research Farms, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, to assess the effects of combining four levels (0.0, 1.5, 3.0 and 6.0 t ha-1) of composted Tithonia-biomass and three rates (0.0, 20.0, 40.0 kg N ha-1) of urea on growth, yield and nutrient uptakes of Celosia argentea and soil physico-chemical properties. Trial was laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Data collected on growth and yield parameters were analyzed using ANOVA at p < 0.05.  Growth and yield parameters increased significantly with increasing level of the mineral-N fertilizer and compost applications, compared to the control during the experiments. Combined application of 3.0 t ha-1 of compost and 20.0 kg N ha-1 had significantly highest values of all the growth and yield parameters measured. Data from plants which received combined application of 6.0 tons ha-1 compost and 40.0 kg N ha-1 were not significantly different from those obtained from combined application of 3.0 t ha-1 of compost and 20.0 kg N ha-1 but significantly higher than other treatment combinations. Moreso, soil physico-chemical properties significantly improved with increasing application of tithonia-compost. Thus, organic soil amendments such as Tithonia diversifolia biomass could favour crop performance and soil quality and that, combined application of 3.0 t ha-1 of compost and 20.0 kg N ha-1 is recommended for supplying adequate nutrients required for optimum growth and yields of celosia and improved soil quality in the study area.

Key words: Indigenous celosia variety, compost, Tithonia diversifolia, soil physico-chemical properties, guinea savanna.

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