Open Access Original Research Article

Growth Response of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Seedlings to Application of Cocoa Pod Husk-based Compost

Jerome A. Dogbatse, A. Arthur, I. Amoaku-Attah, A. K. Quaye, S. Konlan, F. Owusu-Ansah, E. Djan, F. Amon-Armah

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v31i230203

Aim: To study the effects of cocoa pod husk based compost: Soil mixtures on growth of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) seedlings.

Study Design: The experiment was laid out in a Complete Randomized Design with four replications.

Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was conducted at the main nursery of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana at New Tafo - Akim (06°13’ N and 00°22’ W) in the Eastern Region of Ghana, between November, 2016 and December 2017.

Methodology: Surface soil classified as Ferric Lixisols together with four compost types produced from cocoa pod husk, poultry manure and Panicum maximum was used to fill polythene bags. A Soil alone (T1) and Soil + standard foliar fertilizer (T2) with a four compost:soil mixture treatments namely T3 - 1:1 w/w, T4 - 1:2 w/w, T5 -1:3 w/w and T6 - 2:1 w/w were tested. Each of the four compost types was used for T3 to T6. Surface soil, poultry manure, compost and compost-soil mixtures were carried out using standard laboratory procedures. Mixed hybrid cocoa seedlings were raised and growth evaluated monthly.

Results: Interaction effect was observed between compost types and compost-soil mixtures on dry matter yield of cocoa seedlings. Cocoa seedlings grown in T5 of compost 1 had the highest dry matter yield. Higher shoot: root ratio of cocoa seedlings were observed in compost 1. The order of desirability for the four compost types in terms of compost-soil mixtures was compost:soil (1:3 w/w) > compost:soil (1:2 w/w) > compost:soil (2:1 w/w) > compost:soil (1:1 w/w). CMPT1 will ensure more vigorous cocoa seedlings growth after transplanting and subsequently, higher establishment rate.

Conclusion: The optimum mixture of compost and soil for growing cocoa seedlings under limited availability of fertile surface soil is compost 1 mixed with surface soil at the ratio of 1:3.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Soil Constituents and Water Quality on the Growth Rate of Olive Trees (Olea europaea L.) in Albaha Region, South-Western Saudi Arabia

Saad Howladar

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v31i230204

The study aimed at evaluating the influence of the physicochemical properties of soil and water on the growth rate of olive trees (Olea europaea L.) at twelve locations at Albaha region, south-western Saudi Arabia. The studied locations demonstrated clear variation in soil contents. They showed deficiency in organic matter contents while they were significantly different in their soil salinity. Soil samples had no significant variations in their nitrogen contents and had moderate amount of phosphorous. Soil from Farm No.2a contained significantly high amount of calcium (2470 mg/kg) while Farm No.1b had high iron (690 mg/kg) content. Soil pH values of all the areas were in the neutral range. Water samples were not chemically contaminated and showed negative test for total coliform except water sample from farm No. 1 which had a positive test. The variations in growth rate and health among the studied trees could be attributed to the variations in physicochemical properties of soil and water at the studied locations.

Open Access Original Research Article

Physical Attributes of Soil in Different Forest Cover in South of Tocantins

Josué Luiz Marinho Junior, Marcileia Dias de Oliveira, João Lucas Aires Dias, Renisson Neponuceno de Araújo Filho, José de Oliveira Melo Neto, Saulo Boldrini Gonçalves, Moacyr Cunha Filho, Victor Casimiro Piscoya, Milton Marques Fernandes, Francisco Sandro Rodrigues Holanda, Alceu Pedrotti, Raimundo Rodrigues Gomes Filho, Priscila Bezerra de Souza

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v31i230205

Eucalyptus planting represents 72.7% of the total area of planted trees in Brazil, and is constantly growing in the Cerrado biome. Thus, the present study aimed to evaluate the physical qualities of soil under Eucalyptus sp. and a fragment of cerrado sensu stricto. The study was conducted at the experimental farm of the Federal University of Tocantins, campus Gurupi, TO, on the coordinates 11º 46’ 25’’ latitude S and 49º 02’ 54’’ longitude W, in soil classified as Plinthosol petric. The collections were performed in the layer with a depth of 0–20 cm, with eleven repetitions for each area. The attributes evaluated were: soil texture, density (DS), particle density (PD) and total porosity (TP). The soil granulometric composition in the two studied areas was predominant of the sandy fraction. The values of DS, PD and TP did not show significant differences by Tukey test (5%), which assumes that the change of cover from cerrado sensu stricto to forest planted with Eucalyptus sp. does not favor physical problems for the soil under study.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Zeolite and Mineral Fertilizers on Some Soil Properties and Growth of Jew's Mallow in Clayey and Sandy Soils

T. H. H. Khalifa, M. S. Elsaka, M. A. Shabana, H. M. Abo-Elsoud

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v31i230206

Aims: To evaluate the effect of zeolite and mineral fertilizers on some soil properties, availability of soil nutrients and yield of Jew’s mallow (Corchorus olitorius) in clayey and sandy soils.

Study Design: The experimental designed as split plot design with three replicates, the main plots were devoted to zeolite at the rates of 0, 4.76 and 9.52 Mg ha-1 and the sub plots were occupied by mineral fertilizers at the rates of 50% and 100% from the recommended NPK doses.

Place and Duration of Study: During spring and summer seasons of 2018, the field experiments were conducted in Sakha Agricultural Research Station Farm (clayey soil) and private farm at Baltium district (sandy soil).

Methodology: Jew’s mallow grains (Alexandria variety). Soil samples were collected at (0-30 cm depth) in the initial of experiment and after harvesting with the aid of soil auger at random from different parts of the experimental sites to determine the physicochemical and soil moisture characteristics of the soil. Growth characteristics (plant height and fresh mass weight) were studied.

Results: The results showed that ECe, SAR and bulk density values were decreased, while CEC, total porosity, field capacity, permanent wilting point and available water values increased due to application of 9.52 Mg zeolites ha-1 when compared to untreated soil. The maximum stem height and total fresh yield of Jew’s mallow were recorded with the application of 9.52 Mg zeolite ha-1+100% NPK.

Conclusion: It could be concluded that the use of zeolite in clayey and sandy soils improved the soil properties, improved the availability of soil nutrients and consequently decreased the environmental pollution. Also, the obtained results are promising for enhancing the horizontal and/or vertical expansion of agriculture in such problematic soils.

Open Access Review Article

Understanding Soil Phosphorus

Esther Mwende Muindi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-18
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v31i230208

Phosphorus is the second most important crop nutrient after Nitrogen. It is an essential macronutrient that plays important role in all crop biochemical processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, energy storage, transfer, cell division, cell enlargement and nitrogen fixation. It is also important in seed germination, seedling establishment, root, shoot, flower and seed development. Despite its importance in crop nutrition, availability of the nutrient in soils for plant uptake is limited by several soil factors. The factors include: soil pH levels, clay mineralogy, organic matter, free iron and aluminium, calcium carbonate, soil temperatures and availability of other nutrients among other factors. Availability of phosphorus for plant uptake can be managed by adoption of practices such as liming acidic soils, application of organic amendments in both alkaline and acidic soils, tillage practices and regulation of time and method of P fertilizer application.