SOIL MOISTURE VARIABILITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED SOIL CHEMICAL PROPERTIES IN TERRACED ANDOSOLS IN NAROK COUNTY, KENYA.
A field experiment was carried out in Suswa, Narok County during the short and long rain seasons of 2013-2015 to assess the effect of terracing on soil moisture and nutrient distribution. A randomized complete block design was used with maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaesolus vulgaris L.) as the test crops. The study examined soil moisture and distribution of pH, C, N, P and K along the top sequence of terraced and olols at 0-30 cm soil depth at the beginning (August, 2013) and at the end (May, 2015) of the experimental period in the upper (U), middle M) and lower (L) terrace slope positions. The results showed significant differences (p≤0.05) in moisture and nutrient distribution according to slope position with the lower position recording on average higher moisture content (15%) compared to 13% in upper position. The bottom slope position recorded 16 and 21% higher soil carbon and 33 and 48% higher N than the mid and upper slope positions, respectively. The bottom slope position had the highest soil P (24.88) followed by mid slope (18.36) and top slope (14.85) ppm. K however was not affected by slope position. The results shows that terracing has an effect on soil moisture and nutrient distribution within the terrace. The lower terrace position had the highest values followed by the middle and upper slope positions respectively.
Terracing, Slope Position, Soil Moisture, Soil Nutrients.