Introduction: Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a perennial crop and can be cultivated any time of the year, so long as soil moisture is available. The production of pineapple in south – south of Nigeria is constrained by low soil fertility due to continued cultivation without replenishment of the soil with any soil amendment materials. This has also led to reduction of crop yields in the region. Soil amendments are substances used for correcting the acidity or alkalinity of the soil which was as a result of high rainfall associated in the region.
Aim: The experiment on pineapple (Ananas comosus) was conducted in 2013 at the Teaching and Research Farm of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria using soil enrichment materials. The experiment was aimed at comparing the best soil enrichment material that can enhance the production of pineapple in southern part of Nigeria.
Study Design: The experimental design used was a randomized complete block design in three (3) replications.
Methodology: The soil enrichment materials used for the study were spent mushroom substrate (SMS), and inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) and no treatment as control. The growth and yield attributes measured in the field included plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, length of leaves, number of fruits and fruits weight.
Results: These attributes increased significantly due to application of the soil enrichment materials which led to continuous supply of nutrients as against the control (no treatment) which gave lower values in all the growth and yield parameters measured. The results of the trial on growth parameter showed that spent mushroom substrate gave a significant difference (P<0.05) against the inorganic fertilizer used. On fruit production, it was observed that spent mushroom substrate and inorganic fertilizer did not show any significant difference (P>0.05), though a higher fruit yield of 6.7 (12.42 kg/plot) was obtained in SMS than in inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) which had 6.0 (9.87 kg/plot).
Conclusion: Therefore, farmers in South-South of Nigeria are advised to plant pineapple using spent mushroom substrate more than inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) as soil enrichment material for better growth and increase in yield.
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