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Germination, Growth and Yield Responses of Eggplant and Okra Grown on Anthill and Termite Mound Soils
1 , 1 , 2 , 1 , * 1
1  Department of Crop Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
2  Department of Soil Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
Academic Editor: Jose Antonio Pascual


BS Turay1, AM Bah1, DMK Amara2, VI Kallon1 and SA kanu1*
1Department of Crop Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
2Department of Soil Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
*Corresponding author: SA Kanu (
Physicochemical properties of anthill and termite mound soils with their combinations with ordinary top soil were assayed by studying their effects on the germination indices, growth and yield performance of eggplant and okra. The six soil treatments used are as follows: (I) pure anthill soil (AHS), (II) pure termite mound soil (TMS), (III) top soil (control) (TS), (IV) anthill +top soil (AHS+TS), (V) termite mound +top soil (TMS+TS) and (VI) anthill+termite mound soils (AHS+TMS). The physicochemical properties of these treatments were analysed. A standard seed-germination experiment arranged in a complete randomized block design (30 seeds per treatment per tested crop) was carried out in a screenhouse. For the growth experiment, a pot experiment arranged on top of tables using a completely randomized design (CRD) was carried out in the screenhouse and the growth and yield determined at seven (eggplant) and eight (okra) weeks. The results show that all treatments are acidic with pH ranging 3.3 to 4.5. The treatment containing anthill and anthill soils had higher EC (μS/CM), organic carbon (%), nitrogen (%), and phosphorus (%) compared to control (top soil). Treatment had a significant (p<0.05) effect on the germination indices of eggplant and okra. Enhanced seed germination was obtained with eggplant and okra seeds sowed in ordinary top soil amended with anthill soil compared to control. The growth and yield of eggplant and okra were significantly (p<0.05) affected by treatment. Generally, eggplant and okra grown using anthill soils (alone or mixed) had taller plants, bigger stem girth and leaf area, and higher number of leaves per plant compared those grown on top soil. Eggplant and okra grown on anthill and termite mound soils and their combinations with ordinary top soils had heavier fresh whole plant and root biomass compared to control. It could be concluded that these results indicates that anthill and termite mounds soils can serve as cheap alternative source of nutrients for the cultivation of common vegetables by smallholder farmers .

Keywords: anthill; eggplant; okra; termite mound; smallholder; southern Sierra Leone