‘Soil with High Organic Content Ideal for Vegetable Yield’

A Soil Scientist, Prof. Lateef Taiwo, says that loose and friable soils with high organic matter are ideal for production of heavy vegetable yield.

The soil scientist at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan said that vegetables such as ``Ugu’’ (pumpkin) germinate well in drained sandy loam that was rich in organic matter.

According to him, organic matter has a neutral acidity of liquid solutions.

``The plant does not germinate well in waterlogged areas and is prone to diseases, so farmers should avoid such land.

``For `Igbagba’ (an African eggplant), a soil that is rich in organic matter is required.

``The soil should have sandy loam texture and neutral acidity, waterlogged soil must be avoided.

``Amaranth and other vegetables can be fertilised by using farmyard manure at 25 tons/hectare of compost chicken manure.

``Chicken manure has considerable amount of nitrogen,’’ he said.

According to Taiwo, inorganic fertiliser should be placed 6cm to 10cm away from the base of the plant to avoid scorching.

He emphasised that land selected for planting must be well prepared through clearing of bush, removal of stumps, debris and pulverised to a fine tilt.

``Beds of 2m by 2m, 3m by 3m or 3m by 4m can be constructed while farmers should always construct beds across the slope to check soil erosion,’’ he said.

Taiwo explained that vegetable planting should be done throughout the rainy season.

For example, he said that planting should be carried out between March and November or throughout the year under irrigation.

``After clearing the land of vegetation, remove stumps and debris and then the land should be ploughed and harrowed,’’ he added.