Phenotypic nutrient up-take differences in an alley cropping system in semi-arid Machakos, Kenya
Alley cropping of Cassia siamea and maize was studied in semi-arid Kenya for soil fertility improvement. Katumani composite maize was planted except in the short rains of 1988 (SR88) when a hybrid variety was sown. Therefore the grain yield per row increased differently in the alley cropped maize (CM). Sole maize (SM) and CM yields were higher in SR88 than in the long rains of 1988 (LR88) by 62% and 38%, while yields from the same treatments in LR89 were only 21% and 45% of those in SR88. These differences in relative maize yields are attributed to differences between the two maize varieties in competition under nutrient stress conditions.