Mulching minimizes water evaporation from cropped surfaces and increases efficiency of water utilization by the crops. A study was conducted between January to March and August to November 2015 in Zimbabwe, to establish the effect of different densities of thatch grass (Hyperrhenia filipendula) mulch on growth and yield of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) under drip irrigation. The experiment was laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), with five grass mulch rate treatments (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 kg/m2) in three replications. Assessments were done on days to emergence, germination percentage, inter-flower distance, and stem thickness and fresh pod yield. There were significant differences (P<001) in the number of days to emergence under different mulching densities. The differences in stem thickness, inter flower distance and crop yield were also significant (P<0.001) among the different mulch rate treatments. The 1.5 kg/m2 mulching rate of thatch grass (H. filipendula) had least number of days to emergence, highest germination percentage, lowest inter flower distance and highest yield and, therefore, were the optimal rate for okra production
Key words: Okra, Hyperrhenia filipendula, mulching rate, moisture conservation, inter flower distance, stem thickness, fresh pod yield.
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