Effect of Planting Patterns in Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) and Maize (Zea mays L.) Intercropping on Growth, Yield and Yield Traits of the Crops in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Hailu Gebru


Wolaita Zone, where large number of population density per unit area found in Ethiopia, is one of the highly populated areas of the country. The need for reasonable cropping system under intensive cropping has become major areas of agronomic research in such an area. The study was, therefore, conducted to compare the effects of different planting pattern in tomato/maize intercropping and compatible time of intercropping on the growth, yield and yield traits of the component crops. Factorial combinations of three component populations of tomato (T) and maize (M) (100T:50M, 67T:33M and 50T:50M) and five dates of maize intercropping (30 days before tomato transplanting, 15 days before tomato transplanting, at tomato transplanting, 15 days after tomato transplanting and 30 days after tomato transplanting) together with their respective sole crops were laid out as Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. As a result, tomato in the component population of 100T:50M flowered and matured earlier while maize in 50T:50M and 100T:50M combinations were fast to reach its phenological stages. Only number of branch per plant was significantly affected by component population out of tomato growth parameters. Longitudinal fruit size was the single yield component which significantly affected by dates of maize intercropping. All growth parameters of intercropped maize were significantly affected due to the main effects. Tomato yields were highly significantly affected by component populations in that yields were higher in the 100T:50M combinations; whereas in the case of maize, both main effects significantly influenced its yield components. Yield components of sole maize were significantly higher than intercropped ones. Hence, sole tomato production would be beneficial in the study area. But where farmers fear risk of sole crop due to disease or market conditions, the 100% tomato population with 50% maize by intercropping maize 15 days after transplanting of tomato is a promising treatment in order to minimize risks.

Keywords: Component crops, intercropping, maize, planting patterns, tomato

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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