Influence of Mucuna pruriens Green Manure, NPK and Chicken Manure Amendments on Soil Physico "“ Chemical Properties and Growth and Yield of Carrot (Daucus carota L.)

Author(s): P. Atta Poku, K. Agyarko, H. K. Dapaah, M. M. Dawuda

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Abstract: Field experiments were conducted during the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons at the University of Education, Winneba, Mampong-Ashanti campus, located in the forest-savanna transitional zone of Ghana. The study evaluated the influence of Mucuna pruriens (MP) green manure, NPK (15:15:15) and chicken manure (CM) or their combinations on soil physical and chemical properties; and growth and yield of carrot. The six treatments, which were arranged in a RCBD included: 250 kg NPK ha-1, 20t CM ha-1, 30t MP ha-1, 125kg NPK ha-1 + 15t MP ha-1, 10t CM ha-1 + 15t MP ha-1 and no amendment (control). The application of MP green manure, CM, MP + CM,  and MP + NPK fertilizer  combinations significantly improved soil total porosity and gravimetric moisture content than the control. Soil bulk density was high in the control plots than the manures and their combinations with NPK. Compared with the control, the application of CM, MP green manure, NPK + MP and CM + MP significantly increased soil organic carbon, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, ECEC and percentage base saturation levels. Organic matter content, NH+4-N, NO-3-N and SO2-4-S were high in the amended plots than the control. Plant height, number of leaves per plant and canopy spread per plant for the 20t CM ha-1 treatment were significantly (P<0.05) higher than the other five treatments in both 2010 and 2011 seasons. All the amended plots produced longer carrot roots with larger diameter than the control in 2010 and 2011 seasons. The 20t CM ha-1 produced the highest root yields with the 10t CM ha-1 + 15t MP ha-1 following as the second highest in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Root yield, and harvest index for all the amended plots were significantly higher than the control. The use of Mucuna pruriens green manure, chicken manure and the MP + NPK as well as the MP + CM combinations are recommended for improving soil fertility and increased yield of carrot.