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  • Author or Editor: J. M. Fulton x
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Abstract

Root systems were studied to determine if differences in utilization of soil moisture were associated with the extent and number of roots produced by corn and tomato. Growth room studies for both crops indicated that the reduction in transpiration when the upper portion of the root zone was dry was greater than when the lower portion was dry. Total root length of corn was about twice that of tomato roots. However, no direct relationship between the total amount of root length and transpiration was found. Roots of corn and tomato in the field extended beyond the maximum depth measured (100 cm) between 42 – 46 days after establishment. The spatial density of corn roots was much greater than that of tomato roots, especially as depths increased. This difference possibly explains the use of stored soil moisture by corn. On the other hand, the capacity of tomatoes to extract large amounts of water from the soil cannot be explained by the density and rooting depth. Perhaps this capacity is due to total root surface area differences or high absorption capacity of tomato root system.

Open Access

Abstract

An experimental peach (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch cv. Harken/Siberian C) orchard was planted on Fox sand in 1973 at 266, 358 and 536 trees/ha. The plots were either not irrigated or irrigated at a frequency necessary to prevent the available soil moisture (ASM) from falling below 25 or 50%. Irrigation stimulated tree growth in the earlier but not in the later years of the experiment. Growth was reduced by an increase in tree density especially in the later years at the highest density. Only in 50% ASM plots was growth not affected by high tree density. Irrigation (50% ASM) increased cumulative, marketable yields in the first 5 years of production by up to 9.7% while tree density (536 trees/ha) increased similar yields by up to 74.6% without irrigation and up to 99.5% with irrigation (50% ASM + 536 tree/ha). Irrigation consistently improved the proportion of large and medium-sized fruit while reducing the proportion of small, unmarketable fruit. Tree density had a smaller and less consistent influence on fruit size. Neither irrigation nor tree density adversely affected split pits, raw product fruit quality, cold hardiness or canker (Leucostoma spp.) susceptiblity. There were no significant interactions of irrigation and density treatments in any year, indicating that each treatment might be used to advantage without adversely affecting the other, at least in the first 7 years of growth and first 5 years of production.

Open Access