The effect of intercropping Telfairia occidentalis Hook f. with okra and pepper on the populations of plant parasitic nematodes in heavily infested soil were evaluated in the early cropping seasons of 2004 and 2005. The pie pan extraction tray method was used to assay and determined initial pre plant soil nematode populations prior to establishment of the trial. Seedlings of T.occidentalis and pepper were each transplanted at two and six weeks respectively after emergence while okra seeds were sown directly at the time of transplanting T.occidentalis and pepper. The crops were in each trial, arranged in different planting arrangement resulting in four treatments combinations. The experimental layout was in each a 4 (treatment combinations) x 2 (staking methods) factorial experiment fitted into a randomized complete block design with three replications. The results showed that nematode populations fluctuated between treatments with high populations of Meloidigyne incognita occurring in plots with either okra or okra + pepper in association with Telfairia. High populations of M. incognita were predominant in unstaked sole T.occidentalis but insignificant when compared with the staked T.occidentalis. Telfairia + pepper intercrop showed significant suppression of the nematodes as compared with other treatment combinations. The mixed cropping effect of the crops association however did not influence the yield of T.occidentalis suggesting crop compatibility. The study showed some advantages in intercropping T. occidentalis with other fruity vegetables. The approach could be useful tool in plant parasitic nematode management especially under intensive cultivator in southern Nigeria where these vegetable crop are most preferred.
Intercropping, Telfaira Occidentalis, plant parasitic nematodes