IJSRP, Volume 3, Issue 4, April 2013 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
P. Osei-Bonsu, J.Y. Asibuo
Field experiments were conducted on-farm in the forest zone of Ghana to determine the effects of stubble mulch (in-situ residues from Mucuna pruriens var utilis or natural grass fallow) and method of land preparation on the yield of dry season tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Land preparation methods studied were slash burn and ridge; ridge and mulching with the existing residue; and zero tillage without burning. The design was randomized complete block with four replications. Tomato seedlings were transplanted at a spacing of 50 cm within plants and 90 cm between rows; 2 seedlings per hill. Results showed that stubble mulch resulted in significant reduction in soil temperature and an increase in soil moisture content. Ridging resulted in a higher content of soil nutrients. Mulching especially with Mucuna residue, was however associated with insect pest problems. Despite this problem, stubble mulching with mucuna resulted in up to 100% increase in tomato yield and resulted in the highest yields among the management options. Result of the studies showed that soil moisture and temperature might be more important than soil fertility in the short term in determining yield in dry season tomato in the study area.