INFLUENCE OF SPACING, TRELLIS/ STAKING AND PRUNING ON GROWTH AND YIELD OF VINE SPINACH (Basella alba L) IN WESTERN KENYA
Basella alba L is a highly nutritious indigenous leafy vegetable besides medicinal benefits as compared to other leafy vegetables. Locally known as ‘Enderema’ in Luhya (Western Kenya) has the potential to alleviate malnutrition among communities in Western Kenya and beyond. However, production is limited by a number of factors, including competition for land area with other crops, lack of skills in preparation for consumption and storage, unavailability of seed and lack of appropriate husbandry practices. The potential yield for indigenous vegetable is 42 metric tons however the only 35 metric tons were attained in 2015. The specific objectives were to evaluate the effect of trellis, pruning and spacing on biomass production. To promote production, an experiment was conducted to evaluate trellis, spacing and pruning effect on biomass production. Three types of trellis and spacing and two types of pruning were evaluated. A one season experiment was laid in a Randomized Completely Block Design (RCBD) with three replicates in two sites in Busia and Bungoma counties. All plots were applied with Farm yard manure and Mavuno planting fertilizer (N P K Cao Mg S) after soil analysis. Data was collected and subjected to analysis of variance at (P <0.05) using SAS Mixed linear model version 2012. The parameters measured included Plant height, Number of leaves, Number of branches at 88 Days After Transplanting (DAT). Analysis of variance indicate that trellising (P≤0.05) gave the highest plant height (54 cm), Number of leaves (34), Number of branches (25) and dry matter (28 tons/ha). AdoptIing trellis, pruning and spacing of 20 cm by 30 cm for higher Basella alba yields is recommended.
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