Research Report

Effect of Plant Density, Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Rates and Soil Depth on Clonal Tea Soil Nutrient Content  

Kibet Sitienei , Kiplangat Kirui , David Kamau , John Wanyoko , Kimutai Langat
Tea Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Tea Science Research, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 7   doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2016.06.0007
Received: 27 Jan., 2016    Accepted: 16 Mar., 2016    Published: 07 Apr., 2016
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Sitienei K., Kirui K., Kamau D., Wanyoko J., and Langat K., 2016, Effect of Plant Density, Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Rates and Soil Depth on Clonal Tea Soil Nutrient Content, Journal of Tea Science Research, 2016, 6(7), 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2016.06.0007)

Abstract

Trial on plant density which started in 1990 has revealed that in clonal tea, yield significantly increased with decrease in plant population density (ppd), with the highest ppd showing significantly lower yield than all the other ppd. However, this effect was opposite when the tea was young. It is not therefore known whether the same effect applies to nutrients content. This study was carried out to determine the effect of plant density of AHP S15/10 clonal tea plants and rates of nitrogenous fertilizer applied on soil content in Kericho, Kenya. Soil samples were collected from all the experimental plots. The samples were analyzed for their contents of macro and micro elements by ICPE spectroscopy. The results showed that plant density had no significant effect on the soil nutrients content. Nitrogen fertilizer application rates and depths of soil showed significant effects. Every element in the soils showed similar nutritional pattern for different nitrogen application rates across the four depths of the profile. However, the pattern was different for different plant density. Phosphorus content was least in the highest ppd.

Keywords
Clones; Concentration; Nutrient; Plant population density
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