Field trial was carried out at Vegetable Research Farm of National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) Mbato, Substation, Okigwe to study the effect of harvesting frequencies on the yied of garden egg, S. gilo. Seeds of Solanum gilo var. Ngwa large obtained from the station were raised in the nursery and matured seedlings transplanted at a spacing of 50cm X 50cm on the experimental units 6 weeks after sowing. Treatments consisted of four different harvesting frequencies/regimes: harvesting once a week i.e. farmers practice (HVTST1), harvesting twice a week (HVST2), harvesting three times a week (HVST3) and harvest at the final harvest (Control). The design of the experiment was replicated five times. Data were collected on the cumulative number of fruits/plot and cumukative fruit yield/plot. Fruit yield value was based on current NIHORT price of N60.00k per kilogram fruit. Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Genstat Discovery Software (2010). The means were separated using Fishcers Least Significant Difference (FLSD) at 5% probability level. Results obtained showed that harvesting frequency influenced that harvesting twice a week (HVST2) gave the highest number of fruits of 2,150,000ha-1. This result was followed by harvesting three times a week (HVST3) which recorded fruit number of 1,870,000ha-1 while harvesting once a week (HVST1) gave 790,000 fruits per hectare. The control (i.e. harvest at final harvest) recorded the lowest number of fruits (260,000ha-1). The highest fruit yield (26.24t/ha-1) was obtained by harvesting twice a week (HVST2)and was statistically different from other harvesting regimes. The highest fruit yield output of N1,574,400ha-1 was obtained from plots in which fruits were harvested twice a week (HVST2)and the control gave the lowest crop value of N190,800ha-1 and the farmers practice (HVST1) with N61,320ha-1.
Garden egg, harvesting frequency, fruit number, fruit yield output