Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.13(2), 85-92, August 2018
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is amongthe world’s most important and versatile food crops with high yielding potential of dry matter (DM) (vine and tuber) and tuber yield, but the crop’s production remains low due to lack of fertilizers. The current study investigates the impact of applying unleached wood ash as a side dressing fertilizing material on growth and tuber yield of sweet potato. The Msasa (Brachystegia specifomiis Benth.) wood ash treatments (30, 50and 70g/plant) were applied on German 11 sweet potato cultivar. No ash and potassium sulphate were the negative and positive control treatments used, respectively. Measurements taken were number of tubers, fresh tuber weight, tuber DM, vine DM and tuber yield. Unleached wood ash gave highly significant (P<0.001) effect on all variables measured, except of number of tubers/plant where no significant (F4,12 = 0.51; P=0.728) effect was observed. Potassium sulphate significantly (P < 0.05) increased growth and tuber yield of sweet potato on all variables (except tuber number) more than the highest wood ash treatment (70 g). Highest DM% (tuber and vine) was produced at an optimum wood ash application of 50g/plant, while highest fresh tuber weight and tuber yield were obtained at 70g/plant. Based on the results, it is concluded that wood ash has potential to increase growth and tuber yield of sweet potato grown in poor soils; maximum vine and tuber DM% are attained at50 g/plant Msasa wood ash, while fresh tuber weight and tuber yield are attained at 70g/plant.
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