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Research Paper | August 1, 2015

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Effect of phosphorus on the agronomic performance of two Crotalaria species in Kenya

Naomi Nduhiu, Abukutsa-Onyango, Anselimo Makokha, Njue Mugai

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Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.7(2), 199-204, August 2015

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Abstract

Crotalaria brevidens Benth. and Crotalaria ochroleuca G. Don. are two promising indigenous vegetables grown and consumed in Kenya. Yields of 2 to 3 ton ha -1 have been reported without application of fertilizers compared with a potential of 10 -12 tons ha-1. Phosphorus is one of the most limiting nutrients in many tropical soils causing low production of food crops including African indigenous vegetables. A greenhouse experiment was set to evaluate the effect of different phosphorus levels on growth of two Crotalaria species. Seeds of two Crotalaria species were sown in 2kg plastic pots filled with a mixture red soil and sand in the ratio of 5:1. Eight equivalent levels of phosphorous; 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90,105 kg P205 ha-1 were applied at planting in form of Triple super phosphate. The experiment was laid out in completely randomized design replicated four times. Data on plant height, number of leaves, branches and pods, 1000 seed weight were recorded and analyzed using SAS 9.1.3 Software. Analysis of variance and significant means were separated using Student Newman Keuls test at p≤0.05.There was significant interaction (p≤0.0001) between phosphorous levels and species in mean plant height, number of branches and number of leaves. Number of leaves increased as phosphorus levels increased for both varieties. There was clear species difference in their response to different phosphorus levels .This research work is relevant to farmers growing slender leaf without addition of fertilizers to realize that additional of higher levels of phosphorus will enhance various parameters of its production.

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