/Soil

Soil

 

Production of Compost:

The bottom of the composting bin is filled to a thickness of 10 cm with crop residues (maize stalks and shelled cobs) of the previous harvest. Cured poultry manure will be added to a thickness of 15 cm while green young leaves and wood ash will be added to a thickness of 15 cm and 0.5 cm respectively. Repeatedly cured poultry manure, green young leaves and wood ash will be added in layers until the pit is full. The top of the pit will be covered with banana leaves. After three weeks, the pile will be turned to a second pit and after another three weeks turned into the third pit and left to mature at the tenth week before application to the crops in the field. A shed will be made over the compost pits.   

 Production of Mycorrhiza:

In the multiplication of mycorrhiza and inoculation, pure sand collected from erosion channel will be put in half drum and sterilized through heating. The sand is allowed to cool for two to three days. The cooled sand is transferred to 120 x 90 x 30 cm pit. Maize seeds will be planted into the sterilized soil inoculated with 20 g vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) inoculum. The maize plants are watered every other day for eleven weeks. After twelve weeks, the maize plants will be cut off at 5 cm above soil level. The sterilized soil and the maize roots will be mixed thoroughly to constitute a new source of mycorrhiza. Established crops can now be inoculated by mixing the mycorrhiza inoculum around the base of the crops.    

In soils low in available phosphorus many species of plants could barely survive without mycorrhizal assistance in obtaining phosphorus. The microscopic threadlike mycorrhizal hyphae extend out into the soil several centimeters from the root surface. The hyphae are able to absorb phosphorus ions as the ions enter the soil solution. The hyphae then absorb the phosphate to the root by transporting it inside the hyphal cells.