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  • Author or Editor: Kebede Woldetsadik x
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Two field experiments were conducted with shallot (Allium cepa var. ascalonicum Baker) on heavy clay soil to evaluate growth and yield response to mulching and nitrogen fertilization under the subhumid tropical climate of eastern Ethiopia during the short and main rainy seasons of 1999 with rainfalls amounting to 240 and 295 mm, respectively. The treatments included wheat straw, clear and black plastic mulches, and an unmulched control, each with nitrogen rates of 0, 75, or 150 kg·ha-1. Straw and black plastic mulches increased soil moisture while clear plastic reduced it considerably. Weed control was best with black and clear plastics in the short season and with black plastic or straw mulch in the main season. Both plastic mulches elevated soil temperature, especially clear plastic, which also caused most leaf tip burn. Yield increased nearly three-fold with the black plastic mulch in the short season and by one fourth in the main season compared to the bare ground. The straw and clear plastic mulches increased yield during the short sea son, but slightly reduced yield in the main season. The growth and yield of shallot were related to the weed control and soil moisture conservation efficiency of the mulches. Mulching did not alter the dry matter and the total soluble solids contents of the bulbs. Nitrogen fertilizer increased leaf numbers, plant height, mean bulb weight, bulb dry matter, and total soluble solids while reducing marketable bulb number, but did not significantly affect yield, leaf tip burn, or weed abundance.

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