n South African Journal of Plant and Soil - Vegetative growth of Amaranthus hybridus and Amaranthus tricolor under different watering regimes in different seasons in southern Mozambique

Volume 34 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0257-1862
  • E-ISSN: 2167-034X
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Drought-tolerant crops with high nutritional value such as amaranth leafy vegetables have the potential to improve the diet of rural communities in dry semi-arid areas of southern Mozambique. A study was conducted aiming to (1) assess the vegetative growth and leaf nutritional content of Amaranthus hybridus and A. tricolor when subjected to different watering regimes (80%, 50% and 20% of total available water) during the rainy and dry seasons, and (2) ascertain the relationship between temperature and day length affecting the leaf yield of the two species. Six field trials were conducted in a randomised complete block design with 2 × 3 factorial layout with six replications in Maputo. Vegetative growth was sensitive to soil water at 50% and 20% of available water. However, the leaf and side-shoot number, leaf area and yield were less sensitive to short-interval water deficits during the rainy season. Leaf calcium and crude protein contents were higher at low water levels. Leaf yield was significantly affected by temperature and day length, where total leaf yield increased during the rainy season, and decreased during the dry season. Both species have the potential for sustainable leaf production during rainy and dry seasons.

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