Studies on mixtures of cotton (gossypium hirsutum l.) and beans (phaseolus vulgaris l.) with special reference to planting arrangement
Studies were conducted at Mwea Tebere Research Station and Wanguru Sunflower Research Centre to evaluate the effect of growing cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in mixture with field beans (Phaseolus vulgaris LJ on their respective yields and on the combined yield from a unit area of land. The studies were also designed to test the effect of various patterns of planting on the yield of each of the two crops as well as evaluating the efficiency with which rainfall is utilized. The study further considered the effect of intercropping on weeds. It was found that the yield of seed cotton was not-influenced by the companion crop of beans, but, was significantly effected by the row to row spacing of cotton with closer rows producing more seed cotton than wider rows. The yield of dry beans was however slightly reduced by mixing the latter with cotton. Results showed that huge advantages in land productivity and monetary earnings can be obtained by mixing cotton with beans compared to growing these crops separately. Such advantages varied with the planting patterns. It was further observed that in a bimodal rairifall pattern such as in Central Kenyat rainfall is more efficiently utilized when cotton is mixed with beans than by growing either of the crops separately. Observations on weed problems indicated that weeds are suppressed a great deal through mixing cotton with beans and the return per unit labour used in weeding was greater in mixed stands than in pure~stand cotton.