SEASONAL GROWTH PATTERNS IN MATURE ASPARAGUS.

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  • 1 Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853

Asparagus officinalis L. cv. Centennial established with seedling transplants in 1983 was maintained with a conventional tillage (CT) or a no-till) (NT) system with either metribuzin or metribuzin + napropamide being applied for weed control. Marketable yield was assessed from 1985-1989. In 1989, in addition to yield data, destructive harvests were made every three weeks from March to November to evaluate the effects of tillage on fern, crown and bud growth and root carbohydrate levels. Yields were reduced in CT when compared to NT during all years. Asparagus growth (crown and fern weight, bud cluster, bud and fern numbers) was greater in NT than CT throughout the year although seasonal patterns of growth were similar for both tillage systems. Root carbohydrate levels were higher in NT than CT before the harvest season began. Carbohydrates for both tillage systems reached their lowest level in late July before recovering to pre-harvest levels in late September. Use of metribuzin + napropamide did not reduce fern number or yield but significantly reduced the number of bud clusters, buds and fern when compared to metribuzin alone.

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