Zenaida C. Gonzaga1*, Warren L. Obeda2, Ana Linda G. Gorme3, Jessie C. Rom4, Oscar F. Abrantes Jr.5 and Othello B. Capuno6
Okra or Lady’s finger, botanically known as Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench, is a tropical and sub-tropical indigenous vegetable crop commonly grown for its fibrous, slimy, and nutritious fruits and consumed by all classes of population. It has also several medicinal and economic values. Despite its many uses and potential value, its importance is under estimated, under-utilized, and considered a minor crop and little attention was paid to its improvement. The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different planting densities and mulching materials on the growth and yield of okra grown in slightly sloping area in the marginal uplands in Sta. Rita, Samar, Philippines. A split-plot experiment was set up with planting density as main plot and the different mulching materials as the sub-plot which were: unmulched or bare soil, rice straw, rice hull, hagonoy and plastic mulch.
Planting density did not significantly affect the growth and yield of okra. Regardless ofthe mulching materials used, mulched plants were taller and yielded higher compared to unmulched plants. Moreover, the use of plastic mulch resulted to the highest total fruit yield. The results indicate the potential of mulching in increasing yield and thus profitability of okra production under marginal upland conditions.
Keywords: rice straw, rice hull, hagonoy, plastic mulch