Effect of cropping systems and organic inputs on soil nutrient balances and tomato (Lycopersiconesculentum L.) performance in Kabete, Kenya
Tomato (Lycopersiconesculentum L) yields in Kabete, Kenya, are on the decline due to soil fertility depletion. This is caused by non-application of inorganic fertilizers due to their escalating prices hence unaffordable.
Alternative approaches to improvement of soil fertility and tomato performance are imperative. The proposed study will investigate the effect of cropping systems and organic inputs on nutrient balances, economic performance and yield of tomato using NUTMON.
A randomized complete block design with a split plot layout, replicated 4 times, will be used. The main plots will be cropping systems; crop rotation (chickpea-tomato), intercropping (chickpea/tomato) and monocropping (sole tomato).
The split plots will be organic inputs: farm yard manure and Mijingu rock phosphate. A control (without organic inputs) will also be included as a split plot. The soil (prior to crop planting and at harvest) and plants (at harvest) will be sampled for determination of the macro-nutrients N, P and K levels.
It is envisioned that positive nutrient balances and enhanced performance of tomato will be realized following the application of organic inputs and integration of chickpea in a tomato based cropping system.
Key words:Cicerarietinum L, Cropping System, Lycopersiconesculentum L, NUTMON, Organic Inputs.