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Effects of Hydrogels on Soil Moisture and Growth of Cajanus cajan in Semi Arid Zone of Kongelai, West Pokot County

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2014.41006    3,537 Downloads   5,189 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Studies on the effects of hydrogels on soil amendments, moisture conservation and growth of Cajanus cajan in arid and semi-arid lands were carried out. Seedlings of C. cajan were established both in the nursery and in the field with and without hydrogels. In the field, three replications were used with three levels of hydrogels concentration (7 g, 11 g, and 15 g). Control seedlings were established in soils without hydrogels. In the nursery, root collar diameters and heights were measured every two weeks up to eight weeks. Seedlings established without hydrogels in the nursery were transplanted into field soils with none, 7 g, 11 g and 15 g of hydrogels. Root collar diameters and heights were again measured every month for three months. In addition, soil was collected randomly once every month from the base of each seedling and analyzed for soil moisture using standard laboratory procedures. All data were subjected to analysis of variance. The results show that growth in both the height and root collar diameter of the species was significantly different at the three levels of hydrogels. This suggests that use of hydrogels retards plant growth in nursery soils but improves growth in the field. Hydrogels increased soil moisture volume from 8.3% to 10% in H15g level of hydrogels under C. cajan after transplanting. It was concluded that hydrogels do not contribute to growth of seedlings in the nursery but they do so after transplanting. Hydrogels increase soil moisture in the soil, so they are recommended for use in semi-arid lands to boost the survival and growth of seedlings.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gilbert, C. , Peter, S. , Wilson, N. , Edward, M. , Francis, M. , Sylvester, K. & Erick, B. (2014). Effects of Hydrogels on Soil Moisture and Growth of Cajanus cajan in Semi Arid Zone of Kongelai, West Pokot County. Open Journal of Forestry, 4, 34-37. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2014.41006.

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