A nursery experiment was carried out in Akure (rain forest zone), south-western Nigeria to study relative effect(s) of some organic wastes as fertilizers on growth performance, soil and leaf chemical composition of cocoa seedlings (Theobroma cacao L.) in the nursery. The experiment comprised of five treatments: Cowpea Pod Husk (CPH) (2.5 t/ha), cocoa pod husk ash (CPHA) (2.5 t/ha), kola pod husk (KPH) (2.5 t/ha), NPK15-15-15 (2.5 t/ha) and control (no fertilizer application). Each treatment was applied to 2.5 kg of soil filled polythene bags containing cocoa seedlings. The experiment was arranged in completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The organic wastes increased significantly (P>0.05) the plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, number of leaves, fresh root and shoot weights and dry root and shoot weights of cocoa seedlings. The treatments also increased significantly (P>0.05) soil and leaf N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, soil pH and organic matter (OM) content relative to the control. Kola pod husk (KPH) was the most effective in improving cocoa growth, leaf and soil chemical composition.
Key words: Cocoa, growth, organic matter, NPK, cowpea pod husk, cocoa pod husk ash, kola pod husk.
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