This study focused on the effectiveness of dried banana (Musa Cavendish) leaves and dried papaya (Carica papaya) leaves as mulches on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants.
Five set-ups were prepared- set-up A received 500g of dried banana leaves mulch; set-up B, 500 g of dried papaya leaves mulch; set-up C, 500 g combination of 250g of dried papaya leaves and 250g dried banana leaves mulch; set-up D received 60x60 cm red plastic mulch; and set-up E which did not receive any mulching application. Filtered sandy loam soil was used for planting. The mulches were applied to only one variety of tomato plants- Apollo White.
The results showed that the Average Height of the tomato plants after seven weeks in set-up A, B, C; D & E are 15.79 cm, 12.68cm, 13.65 cm, 9.62cm, and 9.07cm respectively. The average number of leaves of the tomato in set-up A, B, C, D & E is 33.3, 24.2, 28.1, 21.7, and 17.2. The mass of weeds collected in Set-up A, B, C, D, and E are 0.40g, 2.96g, 0.64g, 4.10g, and 6.85g respectively.
The use of dried banana (musa Cavendish) leaves as mulch made significant effects on the height of the tomato plants, number of leaves and mass of the weeds. It yielded the highest average height of the plants which was 15.79 cm, produced the highest average number of leaves which was 33.3 leaves per plant and least mass of weeds which was 0.40 g. With these results, it was proven that using dried banana (musa Cavendish) leaves as mulch was more effective than using dried papaya (Carica papaya) leaves as mulch.
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