Zenaida C. Gonzaga1, Hubert B. Dimabuyu1, Richielda R. Sumalinog1 and Othello B. Capuno2
Basella or malabar spinach locally known as alugbati is a tropical leafy indigenous vegetable commonly grown for its succulent, nutritious, and tender stems. It has also a number of medicinal applications. Despite its many uses and potential value, its importance is underestimated. The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different mulching materials on the growth and yield of two Basella species grown in a rolling soil in the marginal uplands of in Inopacan, Leyte. A factorial experiment was set-up with Alugbati species/varieties as the main plot factor and the different mulching materials as the sub-plot. Treatments were: T0- control, T1- rice hull, T2- rice straw and T3- plastic mulch.
Basella alba, the green-stemed alugbati had significantly bigger stems, greater number and heavier shoots than the red-stemed Basella rubra. Leaf spot disease caused by Colletotrichum sp. was more evident in B. rubra. Regardless of the mulching materials used, mulched plants yielded higher than the unmulched plants or those planted in bare soil. Moreover, the use of silver plastic mulch resulted to the highest total yield. The results indicate the high potential of mulching in increasing the yield and thus the profitability of alugbati production.
Keywords: Alugbati, Basella alba, Basella rubra, plastic mulch, rice hull, rice straw