Influence of Farming Practices on the Chemical Properties of Soil in Small Scale Tea Farms in Kirinyaga and Tharaka-Nithi Counties of Kenya
International Journal of Plant & Soil Science,
Soil chemical properties are important for growth of plants as they determine the nutrient availability for their uptake. Farming practices are treatments applied to farms in efforts to maximize crop productivity. Experiments were set up in Kangaita, Kirinyaga County, and Weru, Tharaka-Nithi County using randomized complete bock design to establish the influence of farming practices on the chemical properties of soil in tea production areas. This was aimed at understanding the role of the farming practices on the availability of soil nutrients and their effect on tea productivity. Each study site was divided into three zones depending on elevation and three farming practices identified within each zone namely neglected farms, manure applied farms and chemical fertilizer (NPK) applied farm. Soil samples were collected randomly from farms in each zone and analyzed for chemical properties. Soil acidity increased from neglected farms through manure applied farms to NPK fertilizer applied (standard) farms. The soils had generally low levels of K, Mg and Zn due to rapid removal through harvesting of the young shoots and leaves. Manure application is recommended as it is less degrading to the soils.
- farming practices
- soil chemical properties.
How to Cite
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