International Journal of Agricultural Research1816-48972152-2553Academic Journals Inc.10.3923/ijar.2007.11.21Nicotina tabacum) Float Seedling Production Systems]]>MasakaJ.MusundireR.KogaC.1200721The present study was designed as Randomized Complete Block with three replicates, which were subjected to six treatments. Tobacco seedlings were grown in trays on float bed with treatments varying in growth media combinations as follows: T_{1}- 50% pine bark and 50% sand (control, farmer’s present practice), T_{2}- 100% maize cobs, T_{3}- 100% groundnut shells, T_{4}- 50% maize cobs and 50% sand, T_{5}- 50% groundnut shell and 50% sand, T_{6}- 50% groundnut shells and 50% maize. The lowest seed germination was observed in T_{2}; T_{3} and T_{6 }float trays, which, notably, did not include the sand matrix in the growth media cocktail. T_{2 }float trays had the highest tobacco seedling mortality where a modest 58.2% germination rate was attained before rapidly dwindling to 27.3% seedling survival rate at pulling stage. The growth media without the sand component in float bed system had the lowest seedling survival percentage of a paltry 27.3%. Control float trays supported the highest tobacco seedling survival rates of 80% at transplantable stage. All growth media with sand in their combinations had relatively high germination and seedling survival rates of 68.7-80.0% (T_{1}, T_{4 } and T_{5}). However, T_{1 }and T_{4 } quartz based seedling growth media produced comparatively higher spiral rooting rates of 1.0-2.2 and 0.8-2.3%, respectively. Growth media without sand component in T_{3 }andT_{2 }float trays generated the least spiral rooting rates of 0 and 0.7% at pulling stage, respectively. T_{2} andT_{4} growth media, which recorded relatively lower seedling survival counts of 27.3 and 54.2% had the heaviest shoot and root weights of 0.9 and 0.24 g; 0.89 g and 0.25 g per seedling, respectively. Growth media combinations in T_{1} and T_{3} coupled with T_{5} float trays, which, notably, had the highest seedling survival rates of 80.0, 68.7 and 69.5% propagated the tallest stem lengths of 159.5, 137.9 and 155.6 mm, respectively at pulling stage. In our search for alternative media combinations to the traditional pine bark/sand mix, study results suggest that the five alternative media combinations did not expose better seedling growth media qualities in almost all the essential biometric characteristics of tobacco seedlings.]]>Balisky, A.C., P.O. Salonius, C. Walli and D. Brinkman,1995Berg, B. and H. Staaf,1980Bilderback, T.E., W.C. Fonteno and D.R. Johnson,1999Blom, T.J.,1993Bremner, J.M. and C.S. Mulvaney,1982Fonteno, W.C., D.K. Cassel and R.A. Larson,2001Hallsby, G.,1995Hudson, H.J.,1972Hyvonen, R. and G.I. Agren,2001Johnson, P.,1998Judd, R.W. Jr.,1986McKenney, D.J., S.W. Wang, C.F. Drury and W.I. Findlay,1995Melillo, J.M., J.D. Aber and J.F. Muratore,1982MSTAT,1988Myers, R.T., D.R. Zak, D.C. White and A. Peacock,2001Nelson, D.W. and L.E. Sommers,1982Nyamapfene, K.W.,1991Paustian, K., G.I. Agren and E. Bosatta,1997Salonius, P.O.,1972Skene, T.M., J.O. Skjemstad, J.M. Oades and P.J. Clarke,1997Subba-Rao, N.S.,1977Taylor, B.R., D. Parkinson and W.F.J. Parsons,1989Vincent, V. and R.G. Thomas,1960Whicomb, C.E.,1988