Short term changes that occur in soil properties of an ultisol under different pigeon pea hedgerow alley populations and inter-hedgerow alley spacing and the effect of such changes on ginger rhizome yield response were evaluated in a two-year (2010 and 2011) field study in South Eastern Nigeria. Treatments comprised pigeon pea hedgerow alley populations of 20,000, 33, 333 and 66, 667 plants/ha in factorial combinations with three inter-hedgerow alley width spacing of 1, 2 and 3 m in a randomized complete block design with three replications. A plot having no pigeon pea component but planted to sole ginger constituted the control. Relative to the control, growing ginger in-between pigeon pea hedgerow alleys resulted in significant improvement in soil exchangeable Ca, Mg, and K, base saturation, organic carbon and available P in addition to reducing soil dry bulk density. Highest response in soil available P, organic carbon, dry bulk density, exchangeable Ca and Na and pH was achieved using pigeon pea population of 66, 667 plants/ha, while highest response for soil total N, base saturation and exchangeable K was achieved with 20,000 pigeon pea plants/ha. Optimum ginger rhizome yield response comparable with the control was achieved using pigeon pea hedgerow alley population of 20,000 plants/ha spaced 3 m apart. Increasing pigeon pea hedgerow alley population beyond 20,000 plants/ha and decreasing pigeon pea inter-hedgerow alley width below 3 m resulted in rhizome yield reduction due to probable nutrient competition. Apart from its capacity to continuously maintain the fertility of the fragile and infertile soils of South Eastern Nigeria, planting ginger in-between pigeon pea hedgerow alley will also serve as additional source of revenue to smallholder resource-poor ginger farmers in Nigeria.
Nwaogu, E. N. (2014). Soil fertility changes and their effects on ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) yield response in an ultisol under different pigeon pea hedgerow alley management in South Eastern Nigeria. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 9(28), 2158–2166. https://doi.org/10.5897/AJAR2013.7291