SECTION A: AGRICULTURAL AND HOME SCIENCES
ASSESSMENT OF NURSERY GROWTH MEDIA FOR SEED GERMINATION, SEEDLING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF AIDON SPICE (Tetrapluera tetraptera) TREE IN SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA.
Good seedling quality is the basis for tree planting success which accounts for higher survival and faster growth rate in the field. A study was carried out to evaluate the effects of different growth media on seed germination, seedling growth and development of Aidon spice tree (Tetrapluera tetraptera) seedlings in the nursery unit of Teaching and Research Farm of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri. The media consisted of; topsoil alone sawdust alone, mixture of sawdust and topsoil (50:50), topsoil/sawdust in-depth (50:50) and standard nursery mixture (3:2:1). The experimental design used was a completely randomized design (CRD) with seven replications. The growth media were each bagged in perforated black nursery polythene bags measuring 27 × 25 cm and a thickness of 1 mm. Four viable seeds were sown in each medium and watered with half a litre of water three times a week. Data were collected on Days to 50 % seedling emergence, percentage seedling emergence, plant height, number of leaves and leaf area at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after planting, respectively. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results showed that standard nursery mixture (3:2:1) enhanced seed germination in T. tetraptera. There were no significant differences (P>0.05 recorded in seed germination on to 50 % germination in all the growth media evaluated. Plant height of seedlings grown in standard nursery mixture was significantly (P<0.05) taller at 4, 8 and 12 weeks, respectively. Seedlings grown in sawdust exhibited retarded growth characteristics with age in the nursery. The vigorous seedlings were transplanted and monitored in the Crop Genetic Resource Centre of Crop Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Seedlings of T. tetraptera raised in the standard nursery and transplanted in the field at 12 months after planting is recommended for T. tetraptera field establishments.
Keywords: Aidon spice tree (Tetrapluera tetraptera), nursery, growth media, field establishment.
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