The effect of different weed management methods on the growth Performance of Rough Lemon Citrus Rootstock (Citrus jambhiri (L) Lush) In Okigwe, Southeast, Nigeria.
Authors: Onyegbule, UN., Okpara, SC., Nwanguma, EI., Ngbede, SO., Ibekwe, HN., and Uwalaka, AO
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Field experiments were conducted during the growing seasons of 2012 and 2013 at the citrus nursery of National Horticultural Research Institute, Mbato sub-station Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria, to evaluate the effect of different weed management methods on the growth performance of citrus rootstock, rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri (L) Lush). The treatments were live mulch using cowpea (vigna unguiculata), dry mulch with grass residue, herbicide (Touchdown) and control (un-weeded). The experiment was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated four times. The soil of the study area is acidic, sandy loam derived from shale /sandstone and are generally classified as ultisol. Data were collected on plant height (cm), stem girth (cm), number of leaves, number of branches and canopy spread (cm) as well as weed density and biomass at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after treatment application. The result of the trial revealed that live mulch followed by dry mulch with grasses gave significant (p>0.05) growth performance relative to the control in all the parameters measured in both years. Highest plant height of 89.1 cm, number of leaves (47.8), number of branches (2.4) and stem girth of 1.32 cm were respectively recorded for live mulch in 2012 while the least plant height of 71.9 cm was recorded for the control at 12 weeks after treatment application in the same year. Mulching with cover crop and dry weed residue resulted in enhanced growth of rough lemon citrus rootstock in Mbato Okigwe zone.