Growth Analysis of `Daliva' Chicory Grown Under Bare Soil or Straw Mulch Conditions

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  • 1 Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901

Some chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) cultivars, especially early and extra-early cultivars, often bolt and flower the first year of growth, contrary to the expected behavior of biennials. The extra early hybrid cultivar `Daliva' was grown in the field under bare soil and straw mulched conditions to examine possible correlations between growth rates, leaf and root sizes and bolting. Plants, sown on 19 June, were harvested weekly from 4 July to 1 Oct.; a total of 14 harvests. Root variables of length and diameter were best described by linear equations but root dry weight was decidedly quadratic in response. Leaf number, area and dry weight and crown diameter data were fitted to the Richards function to describe their sigmoidal phases of growth. In most cases, when using the Richards function, the two treatments (mulch vs. no-mulch) required different parameters to fit a line to the observed points with r2 values >0.95. A statistical comparison between treatment parameters (as obtained from SAS PROC NLIN and SigmaPlot) will be discussed.

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