The efficacy of soil solarization was tested for the control of root-knot nematodes in Foron District of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State using three commercially available cultivars of eggplant (Solanum melongena) namely: Yallo Bello, Chida Masoyi and Farin Yallo. Two levels of soil solarization based on time of exposure namely: Four weeks, five weeks and a control were employed. Soil temperature for each bed was taken weekly in the morning and afternoon using soil thermometer at different soil depths. Results revealed that growth and yield parameters of eggplant namely plant height, stem girth, number of leaves, number of fruits, and fresh weight of fruits grown in solarized soil were significantly higher than those of the control (unsolarized soil) at 0.05 level of probability. More galls were seen on the roots of unsolarized plants, followed by the four weeks and the five weeks’ solarization had the least. This is indicative of the effectiveness of soil solarization in the control of nematodes, especially for longer periods of solarization. The three cultivars of eggplant did not differ with reference to soil solarization. Soil solarization could be an effective tool for nematode control on the Plateau since it is cheaper, has no phytotoxic effects, and does not constitute environmental and health hazards. The technique can be improved with more investigation’s on length of exposure and improvement of the durability of the polyethylene film. Continuous use of these polyethylene films will reduce the cost of buying the polyethylene films repeatedly when it is needed.
Key words: Soil, Solarization, Solanum melongena, nematodes, efficacy.
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