Effects of catnip (Nepeta cataria L.) and Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia L.) density on growth, yield, and proximate composition of jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.)
Keywords:Corchorus olitorius, Mexican sunflower, catnip, weed density, proximate composition
Purpose. Jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.) is a mucilaginous vegetable and fiber crop cultivated in the tropics, where catnip (Nepeta cataria L.) and Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia L.) are common weeds. Hence, the study investigated the growth, yield, and nutrient level of jute mallow in weed-free, catnip, and Mexican sunflower environments.
Methods. The study involved two screen-house experiments in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with six replications. The treatments were 0 (control), 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weed plants per pot in both experiments. These are 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 weed count per square meter equivalent, based on the surface area of the pots used. Mexican sunflower and catnip plants interacted with jute plants in the first and second experiments, respectively. Growth parameters of jute mallow were recorded weekly from 5 to 8 weeks after sowing (WAS), and harvesting was done at 8 WAS. The proximate composition of jute was evaluated using standard procedures outlined by AOAC. The data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), and means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at P < 0.05.
Results. Catnip and Mexican sunflower negatively impacted the morphological features of jute mallow from 100 plants per square meter upwards. Catnip and Mexican sunflower, at 300 and 100–500 plants per square meter, respectively, reduced the dry weight of jute mallow. The crude protein content of jute mallow was also lessened by Mexican sunflower at some point.
Conclusions. The study recommends that the density of catnip and Mexican sunflower plants interacting with jute mallow should be maintained below 100 plants per square meter to prevent yield loss.
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