Influence of Associate Crop (African marigold - Tagetes spp.) on Insect Pest Infestation, Growth and Yield of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is susceptible to serious losses from pests which may result in 40-50% loss. The research therefore investigated the influence of associate crop (Marigold) on insect pest infestation, growth and yield of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The treatments were marigold at the edge row, marigold between the rows and control without marigold. Treatments were arranged in a randomised complete block design (RCBD).The soil chemical properties were analysed before the experiment. Data were collected on vine length, number of leaves, leaf area, insect pest severity and number of cucumber fruit. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) at p = 0.05. Means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT). Significant increase was observed in number of leaves among the treatments. Treatment with marigold in between rows had the highest numbers of leaves (54) followed by plots with marigold at edge rows (45) and the control (35). Fruit yield of cucumber with Marigold between rows had significantly higher fruit yield compared to other treatments. A similar trend was observed on the effects of marigold on the vine length. Insect damage was less severe on plants with marigold in between rows compared to other treatments.