Int. J. Biosci.2(12), 146-152, December 2012
The study was carried out to assess the effects of planting depth on the germination and initial growth and development of Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.) seedlings, at the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources mango plantation, University for Development Studies-Nyankpala campus. The specific objectives were to determine the germination percentage and to assess the effects of planting depth on the initial growth and development of Shea seedlings, using a Completely Randomized Design. Seeds of Shea were sown in polythene bags at 2 cm, 4 cm, 6 cm, 8 cm and 10 cm after they have been pre-treated mechanically. Data on germination, shoot height, leaf area index and number of leaves were collected six (6) weeks after sowing (WAS), 12 WAS, 18 WAS and 24 WAS. Results showed that the different planting depth influenced growth and development of Shea seedlings. The highest germination percentage was recorded at 2cm planting depths and highest seedlings height recorded at 6cm planting depth. Analysis of variance showed significant differences (p >0.05) among the various treatments with respect to their effect on shoot height and leaf area index except number of leaves within the first and third weeks after sowing. It is inferred that Shea performs variably in different planting depths with regard to growth and development. It is therefore recommended that for higher germination of Shea seeds and maximum growth and development in Northern Ghana, planting should be done at 2- 6 cm depth.
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