A field experiment was carried out with the Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) variety BP1 to determine the effect of inorganic fertilizer (Compound C) on the growth rate, yield and quality of potatoes grown in bags. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with five treatments replicated four times, giving a total of 20 plots. In each plot, 5 plants were planted to give a total plant population of 100. The treatments comprised of Compound C fertilizer applied as a basal fertilizer at (1) 1800 kg/ha (2) 1400 kg/ha (3) 1000 kg/ha, (4) 600 kg/ha, and (5) control in which no fertilizer was applied. In addition, a top dress of ammonium nitrate was applied at 3 weeks after emergence (WAE) at a rate of 200 kg/ha in all treatments except the control. Parameters evaluated included average plant height at 2 WAE up to maturity, number of stems per plant, number of tubers per plant, yield per hectare, tuber sizes and percentage of marketable tubers. The results showed that there was a significant difference (P<0.05) in all the parameters measured. Treatment 2 (1400 kg/ha) recorded the highest yield of potato tubers per hectare (19.2 t/ha), while the control treatment (0 kg/ha) had the lowest yield (4.0 t/ha). Treatment 2 had the highest number of marketable tubers (87%), while the control (0 kg/ha) had the lowest (54%). From the results of the study, it can be concluded that basal dress of Compound C at a rate of 1400 kg/ha plus a top dressing rate of 200kg/ha of ammonium nitrate can be used in bag potato production. Further research should be conducted to investigate the appropriate type of fertilizer that can be used in bag potato production.
Key words: Inorganic fertilizer, Irish potatoes, growth rate, quality, yield.
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