Growth and yield response of Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) leaf extract and NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer application
In a nursery experiment, the growth and yield response of sweet pepper to Moringa leaf extracts and NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer application were investigated. Sweet pepper seeds were drilled on 1 m x 5 m nursery beds, allowed to germinate and develop into seedlings for four weeks before transplanting into twenty pots, each containing 8 kg of soil. Fresh Moringa leaves were collected, air dried at room temperature, and the active ingredients extracted using ethanol and water, following standard procedures. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design and pepper seedlings were treated with 20 ml foliar application of Moringa leaf extracts (ethanol and water extractions); NPK 15:15:15 (at 280 kg/ha) using the side dressing method, while control seedlings were untreated. The treatments were replicated five times and foliar application was done at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after transplanting. The growth and yield parameters were measured weekly, from the second to tenth week after transplanting. Data were analysed using ANOVA at p?0.05 level of significance. There were significant differences in the growth and yield parameters. The NPK 15:15:15 treatment had the highest plant height (28.20 cm), collar diameter (4.07 mm), number of leaves (113.60), leaf area (38.20 cm2) and yield (8.43 t/ha). Ethanol extracts of Moringa leaves had a better growth performance (plant height: 23.00 cm, number of leaves: 87.60, collar diameter: 3.46 mm and yield: 5.24 t/ha), while the control treatment had the least. The NPK 15:15:15 and Moringa leaf extracts enhanced growth and yield of sweet pepper. Therefore, they can be used to boost sweet pepper production in the study area.
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