Effect of Mulch on leaf growth and yield of Rape under overhead irrigation condititions of South East Lowveld of Zimbabwe

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Daniel Chipanga, Ellitah Macheke and Rosemary Chireyerwe Dube

Chiredzi Research Station, P. O. Box 97, Chiredzi

Use of mulch is one of the most important practice which increases water use efficiency and ultimately productivity. A trial evaluating the effect of different organic mulches on growth and yield of rape and soil temperature was conducted in the South East Lowveld under irrigation during hot season. Two types of organic mulch materials with two different thickness per mulch were used. Treatments were maize stover at 15cm, maize stover at 10cm, dry grass at 15cm, dry grass at 10cm thickness and bare ground was used as a control for comparison. Soil temperature were measured at 0600, 1300 and 1800 hours at a depth of 5 cm. Results showed that maize stover at 10 and dry grass at 10cm  significantly (p<0.05) increased  plant height  while leaf size, number of leaves and leaf yield were not increased by mulch type, mulch thickness and soil temperature leading to the observed results which were not significantly different (p>0.05).

Keywords: Mulch, leaf, growth, yield and rape.

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