Evaluation of the Motherstalk Method of Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) Production in a Greenhouse

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Sciences, 201 Hedrick Hall, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456-0462
  • | 2 Department of Horticultural Sciences, 201 Hedrick Hall, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456-0462

The motherstalk method of `Jersey Centennial' asparagus production was examined in two greenhouse studies. This technique allowed for one, two, or three spears to develop a mature fern while permitting harvest of later-developing spears. Cumulative yield was highest 10 weeks after planting with one and two motherstalks, and crown dry weights in these treatments were similar to those of the nonharvested treatment. In a second experiment, spear yield and crown dry weight were determined when the motherstalk was initiated at 0, 2.5, and 5 weeks after planting. Yields were highest when the motherstalk was established at week 0 or 2.5 compared to week 5. Crown dry weights of early motherstalk treatments were similar to those of the nonharvested treatment at the end of the 10-week harvest period. Our results indicate that the motherstalk system may allow for extended asparagus harvest in temperate areas.

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Rutgers Research and Development Center, R.D. 5, Box 232, Bridgeton, NJ 08302.
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