This study was conducted to assess the effect of Shea nut cake biochar on tomato growth, evaluate the soil-biochar ratio necessary for enhanced tomato growth and assess the response of local and Petomech variety to soil-biochar treatment. Both varieties were raised in two set-ups (set-up A for local variety and set-up B for Petomech variety) comprising experimental pots of six treatments where soil level varied but amount of biochar was maintained constant; T1 (1S:1B), T2 (2S:1B), T3 (3S:1B), T4 (4S:1B), T5 (5S:1B), T6 (6S:1B) and control (only soil). Plants at T1, T2 and T3 all wilted and died five days after transplanting, leaving T4, T5, T6 and control on which data on growth parameters were taken and analysed. Results from the study revealed that Shea nut cake biochar in T6 of both set-ups significantly increased the performance of tomato. Plant height, stem girth, leaf area index and number of leaves increased as soil levels increased with biochar levels constant indicating that decreased soil levels at constant biochar levels decreased the performance of the tomato plants. Treatments T4 and T5 recorded lower tomato performance. Soil pH (6.55) increased as shea nut cake biochar treatments were applied. However, pH concentration decreased as soil levels were increased in treatments as T4 recorded the highest pH (8.39) and T6 recorded the least (8.13). Petomech variety performed better in all treatments as compared to the local variety following the growth parameters recorded and analyzed.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series