in HortScience
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  • 1 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Published data on the spatial patterns and periodicity of root growth in asparagus are limited. During the 1989 growing season growth and distribution of both fleshy and fibrous roots were monitored in a 7 year old asparagus planting. Soil cores were removed at 15 cm intervals to a depth of 90 cm at 40 and 80 cm from the plants in asparagus beds which had been maintained under conventional (CT) and no-till (NT) production systems. Fleshy and fine roots were separated from the soil and root length densities calculated. Harvests began in late March and continued at three week intervals until early November. Fine root growth was greater in the NT than CT in all depths and at both locations in March. Greatest lengths of fine roots were at the 15-60 cm depths for both CT and NT. This pattern was consistent throughout the season. Fine root lengths decreased by one half by the middle of the year (July) and remained at those levels until the last harvest (Nov). Fleshy root lengths were more variable, however NT generally had greater lengths than CT. Greatest length of fleshy roots were located in the 15-60 cm depths for both CT and NT treatments. Few fleshy roots were found below the 60 cm depth.

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