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The growth and nutrient content of polybag oil-palm seedlings as affected by mulch materials and time of their application

  • G. O. Iremiren (a1)

Summary

Mulching polybag oil-palm seedlings with bunch refuse, shredded polythene, sawdust, grass, wood shavings and kernel shells ‘all-year’ or throughout the nursery period (May–May), in the ‘wet-season only’ (May-November), and in the ‘dry-season only’ (November–May) resulted in soil temperature differences which did not exceed 1 °C at 5 cm polybag depth. This was attributed to the high rainfall which reduced considerably the soil temperature differences between mulched and unmulched soil in the wet season and to the enhanced leaf canopy in ‘all-year’ and ‘wet season only’ mulchings which shaded soil in polybags in the dry season.

The mulch materials and times of their application significantly influenced growth variables like number of leaves, plant height and stem girth, and number of blast-affected seedlings at 6 months after sowing (wet season). By 12 months after sowing, all growth characters measured were similar in the various treatments, indicating compensatory growth at the latter half of the growing period (dry season).

N, P, K, Mg and Ca contents of seedlings were not significantly affected by either mulch materials or times of their application. The results emphasize that mulching for at least 6 months during the early or late nursery period and the use of various mulches may be beneficial to oil-palm seedling growth.

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References

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Gunn, J. S., Sly, J. M. A. & Chapas, L. C. (1961). The development of improved nursery practices for the oil-palm in West Africa. Journal of the West African Institute for Oil Palm Research 3, 198232.
Hartley, C. W. S. (1977). The Oil Palm (E'aeis guineensis Jacq.). London: Longmans.
Ikemiren, G. O. (1984). A study of the suitability of various materials as mulch of polybag oil-palm seedlings. Journal of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (In the Press).
Rajagopalan, K. (1974). Influence of irrigation and shading on the occurrence of blast disease of oil palm. Journal of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research 5, 2331.
Rees, A. R. (1963). An analysis of growth of oil palms under nursery conditions. II. The effect of spacing and season on growth. Annals of Botany, N.S. 27, 615626.
Turner, R. D. & Gillbank, R. A. (1974). Oil Palm Cultivation and Management. Kuala Lumpur: Incorporated Society of Planters.

The growth and nutrient content of polybag oil-palm seedlings as affected by mulch materials and time of their application

  • G. O. Iremiren (a1)

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