EVALUATION OF VERMICULITE APPLICATION RATES ON GROWTH AND YIELD OF BRASSICA NAPUS (RAPE)
Journal: Science Heritage Journal | Galeri Warisan Sains (GWS)
Author: Pisa C, Parwada C, Chiripanyanga S, Dunjana N
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Production of leaf vegetables requires intensive soil nutrients management. A 3-year field experiment was carried out to assess effects of vermiculite application rates on the growth and yield of Brassica napus. The experiment was conducted during the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 summer seasons at the Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (MUAST) farm, Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe. Vermiculite was applied at five levels of 0 (control), 1, 2, 5 and 10 t ha-1 in a completely randomised block design (RCBD) with 3 replicates. Basal and top-dressing fertilizers were applied using the recommended rates in the study area. The B. napus leaf width, leaf length, fresh and dry matter yield, leaf nutrient concentration and N and P uptake were measured. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) at p = 0.05 was done to compare the effects of vermiculite application rates on growth and yield of B. napus. Growth parameters and yield of B. napus significantly (P <0.05) differed among the five levels of vermiculite. Application rates of 5 t ha-1 and 10 t ha-1 improved leaf width and length, fresh and dry matter yield of B. napus. Farmers may therefore apply 5 -10 t ha-1 of vermiculite in order to increase rape leaf yields. However, there is need for further researches to determine the optimum application rates of vermiculite are essential.