Document Type: Research paper

Authors

Department of Seed, Crop and Horticultural Sciences, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Eldoret , Kenya

Abstract

Production of high quality seeds in African leafy vegetables has not been practiced due to varying reasons including incorrect harvesting stages and fertilizer rates. Jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.) pods do not ripen simultaneously and fruits left to dry on mother plant long before harvesting, which face seed quality deterioration. Timely seed harvesting ensures maximum seed quality attributes of purity, germination and vigour. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of harvesting stages and nitrogen fertilizer on seed quality and yield of Jute mallow. Seed samples from four Jute mallow morphotypes (GEMS, GLMT, BEMS, and BLMT) were planted. Completely randomized block design was used for analysing the effects of nitrogen fertilizer levels (0, 60 and 120 kg/ha) with three replicates. Five plants were randomly tagged per plot and seed harvested at three maturity stages of green, tan and black. Seed quality test of purity, germination and vigour were done as per ISTA (2004) and means separation done by DMRT at p≤0.05. Results showed that harvesting stage significantly influenced seed quality attributes, in a way that the maximum purity, germination and seed vigour was detected at tan pod stage and their lowest levels were observed at black pod stage. It can be concluded that best agronomic practices of Jute mallow seed can be attained when they harvested at tan stage together with use of N fertilizer for high seed quality and yield.

Keywords

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