• A. W. SALAU




Intercropping, Cucurbita maxima, Pumpkin, Cassava, Manihot esculenta, Odongbo, Idileru, TMS 30572, Soil microenvironment


Experiments were conducted in Abeokuta, Nigeria in a forest-savanna transition zone to evaluate the effects of intercropping pumpkin with cassava (Cv. Odongbo Idileru and TMS 30572) on soil micro environment, weed control, crop growth and yields. Experimental design used was Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. Intercropping cassava with pumpkin significantly reduced supra-optimal soil temperature by 1.1-2.4 0C and weed biomass by 19-140%, and increased soil moisture content by 19-33g kg,-1 light interception by 67% and earthworm cast by 87% compared with sole cassava. Intercropping did not significantly affect the vegetative characters, number of days to harvesting and harvest duration of pumpkin, irrespective of the cassava cultivars. However, intercropping with cassava significantly increased the aggregate leaf area index of both crops by 35-77% and 45-58% compared with sole cropped pumpkin and cassava, respectively. Although, tuber yield of cassava was significantly reduced by 7-11% when intercropped with pumpkin, yield advantage of intercropping increased by 42-91% compared to sole cropping.  Irrespective of the cropping system; TMS 30572 produced higher tuber yield of 5-20% than “Idileru†and 21-41% than “Odongboâ€. It is concluded that pumpkin can be grown in mixture with cassava to provide a suitable environment for growth, but this depends on the cassava cultivar. Using a short early maturing cassava cultivar with a moderate leaf area index (TMS 30572) in a mixture with pumpkin is therefore recommended.



Anonymous, 1988. Annual Report for 1987, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Dahniya, M.T., Jalloh, A. 1995. Relative effectiveness of sweet potato, melon and pumpkin as live-mulch in cassava. Proceeding of the sixth Triennial Symposium of the International society for Tropical Root crops- Africa Branch. 22-28 October 1995. pp 353-355.

F.A.O. 2000. Production year book, F.A.O of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

Hulugalle, N.R., Ezumah, H.C 1991. Effect of cassava-based cropping system on physico-chemical properties and earthworm casts in a tropical Alfisol. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ, 35: 55-63.

Ikeorgu, J.E.G. Wahua, T.A.T., Ezumah, H.C. 1989. Effects of melon (Citrillus lanatus Thumb) and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.). Moench) on soil moisture and leaf- water status of intercropped cassava/ maize in Nigeria. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad), 66: 78-82.

Mead, R., Willey, R.W. 1980. The Concept of a ‘Land equivalent ratio and advantages in yield from intercropping Experimental Agriculture, 16: 217 – 218.

Nnodu, E.C. J.E. Okeke., A.G.O. Dixon. 1995. Evaluation of newly improved cassava varieties for Nigeria ecologies. Proceedings of the sixth Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops Africa Branch. 22-28 October 1995. PP 207-216.

Okigbo, B.N. 1980. The importance of mixed stands in tropical agriculture, In: Proceedings of 75th Anniversary Meeting of the Association of Applied Biology, 17-21 September, 1979 (Eds. R.G Hurd, P.V. Biscoe and C. Dennis), pp 237-245, University of Reading.

Olasantan, F. O. 1988. The effects of soil temperature and moisture content on crop growth and yield of intercropped maize with melon. Experimental Agriculture, 24: 67-74.

Olasantan, F.O. 1992. Vegetable production in traditional farming system in Nigeria, Outlook on Agriculture, 21: 117-127

Olasantan, F.O. 1994. Nutrient requirement of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) maize (Zea may L.) intercrop. Ph.D. thesis, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Olasantan, F.O. 1999. Effect of time of mulching on soil temperature and moisture regime and emergence, growth and yield of white yam in western Nigeria. Soil and Tillage Research, 50: 215-221.

Olasantan, F.O. 2001. Optimum plant populations for okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) in a mixture with cassava (Manihot esculenta) and its relevance to rainy season-based cropping systems in south-western Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge, 136: 207-214.

Olasantan, F.O. 2007. Effect of population density and sowing date of pumpkin on soil hydrothermal regime, weed control and crop growth, in a yam-pumpkin intercrop. Experimental Agriculture, 43: 365-380.

Olasantan, F.O. Ezumah H.C., Lucas E.O. 1996. Effects of intercropping with maize on the micro-environment, growth and yield of cassava. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment, 57: 149-158.

Purseglove. J.W. 1977. Tropical Crop Dicotyledons Vols.1 & 2 combined 2d edition. Boon Hua Printing Company PP. 100-138.

Ramanujam, T., Indira, P. 1978. Linear measurement and weight methods for estimation of leaf area in cassava and sweet potato, Journal of Root Crops, 4: 47-50

Salau, A.W., Olasantan F.O. 2006. Rapid leaf area estimation in pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) ASSET 6(1): 255-258.

Schippers, R.R. 2000. African Indigenous Vegetables, An overview of the Cultivated Species. Chatham, UK: Natural Resources Institute/ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. Pp. 16-31.

SAS, 1990. Statistical Analyses System (SAS).

Tsay, J.D, Fukai, S., Wilson, G.L. 1987. The response of cassava (Manihot esculenta) to spatial arrangement and to soybean intercrop. Field Crops Research, 16: 19-31.

Wahua, T.A.T. 1985. Effects of melon (Colocynthis vulgaris) population density on intercropped maize (Zea mays) and melon. Experimental Agriculture, 21: 281-289.

Zuofa, K., Tariah, N.M., Isirimah, M.O. 1992. Effects of groundnut, cowpea and melon on weed control and yield of intercropped cassava and maize. Field Crops Research, 28: 309-314.






Original Manuscript