Effects of Some Cultural Practices and Some Plant Extracts on the Wilt Disease of Tomato (Lycopersicon Esculentum Mill) Grown in Owerri Metropolis in Imo State, Nigeria.
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T he effect s of some cultural practices and some plant extracts on wilt disease of tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill ) in Owerri, were studied. The experiment s were conducted in 2010, 2011 and 2015 at the Teaching and Research Farm and in the Crop Science and Technology Laboratory of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria . The inve stigation consisted of three (3) different experiments and each repeated two times . Experiment one dealt on the effect s of some mu lching materials and some tomato cultivars on wilt disease of tomato. The design was a 3x4 factorial in randomized complete block design (RCBD) in four (4) replications . Experiment two (2) dealt on the effect s of some plant extract s and tomato cultivars on the wilt disease of tomato. The design was a 3x4 factorial in RCBD with three (3) replications . Experiment three (3) studied the effect s of plant spacing/ density and inter - cropping on wilt disease of tomato. The design used was a 4x4 factorial in RCBD w ith 4 replications . Data on growth, flowering, yield , disease incidence and severity on tomato were collected and s tatistically analysed using Gen stat Version 4 analytical software, while the means were separated for difference using Fisher’s Least Signifi cant Difference protocol. Percentage wilt disease incidence was significantly (P<0.05) affected in the 3rd and 5th week after transplanting (WAT) in 2010 and in 6 WAT 2015 due to tomato cultivars. In the 7th week, mulching significantly (P=0.0.5) affected tomato wilt. The wilt incidence was lowest (31.0%) under grass mulch in 7 t h ( WAT ) in the 2010 experiment and the wilt severity was also lowest (1.75) at 2 WAT in 2015 . Wilt incidence was significantly affected (P<0.05) by interacti on between cultivars x pl ant extracts at 4 WAT in the 2011 experiment, whereas spacing significantly (p<0.05) affected wilt incidence in the last experiment at 2 WAT in 2011 and 8WAT in 2015. In the c ase of wilt severity, tomato cultivars, spacing, inter cropping, cultivars x mulc h inter action, and cultivars x p l ant extracts interactions , all significantly (p<0.05) affected tomato wilt severity in 2010 and 2011 . There was generally a poor yield of the tomato crop in the whole experiments. However, the number of fruits for Rio Grand e cultivars significantly (p<0.05) increased at 8 WAT in the first experiment in 2010 and second experiment in 2015 . For effective control of tomato wilt ROMA VF cultivars should be grown under grass mulch; Tropimech tomato cultivars should be left unmulc hed. Also, Ocimum viride ( Basil plant (Nchuanwu)) with its interaction with Tropimech tomato cultivars significantly (P<0.05) reduced the tomato wilt incidence (20.7 5) to the lowest in the 2011 trial. Spacing distance of 50 x 25 c m under the inter crop of s oy be a n/tomato/okra combination significantly (P<0.05) reduced tomato wilt incidence to the lowest (9.5%) in 2011 . More attention should be directed on the e ffect of plant extract s on the tomato wilt disease in future , to determine the effects of specific r ates of Basil plant leaves on tomato wilt disease. Keywords: effects, cultural practices, plant extracts, wilt, disease, tomato