Olubanjo, O. O* and Alade, A.E
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
*Correspondence to: E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel.: +2348038252739
Article Number: se-j-arjee-2018.0101002; Volume 1(1), pp 14-25, December, 2018.
The soilless farming techniques of growing crops most especially vegetables has increased tremendously in developed countries while it is still new in developing countries such as Nigeria. The research determined the effect of substrates on optimum growth, yield and nutrient composition of cayenne pepper plant so as to form an effective basis for selection of substrates to be used as plant support in soilless farming methods. This research was carried out at the Agricultural and Environmental Engineering experimental farm, Federal University of Technology, Akure. The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized design with three treatments (sawdust, rice husks and soil) and replicated three times. The vegetative growth, yield, biomass weight, water and nutrient, proximate and mineral composition were measured. The results showed that rice husk gave the highest plant height of 29.91 cm, number of leaves of 39.60 and stem girth of 0.3414 cm respectively while sawdust gave the lowest plant height of 17.83 cm and soil gave the lowest number of leaves of 29.36 and stem girth of 0.3059 cm. Higher yields were also recorded from rice husk for cayenne pepper plant while the soil has the least yield. The physiological appearance of the crop and the yields were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the various treatments due to the effects of the substrates and the planting methods. The proximate and mineral compositions of the pepper were higher in the pepper from rice husk and least in the pepper from the soil. These were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the treatments effects as a result of its physicochemical features. With the outcome of this research, it is advisable that soilless farming should be embraced by farmers in areas where there is limitations of land for agricultural activities. Also, federal and state ministry of agriculture should give necessary support for soilless farming in Nigeria.
Keywords: Hydroponic, Substrate, Growth, Yield, Quality, Cayenne pepper
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