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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1249: VI International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural Crops

Cell size effect on lettuce transplant growth and establishment in relation to physiological age at transplanting

Authors:   M. Garbi, M.A. Sangiacomo, H. Martí
Keywords:   Lactuca sativa, transplant, cell volume, growth rate, yield
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1249.8
Cell size and physiological age at transplanting may affect stand establishment and yield. The aim of this study was to evaluate cell size effects and physiological age at transplanting on head lettuce establishment and yield. Butterhead lettuce cultivar ‘Lores’ (Vilmorin®) was sown in September 2004 and 2005 in polystyrene planter flats with inverted pyramid cells of three different cell volumes: 21, 11 and 5 cm3 and were raised in a greenhouse in La Plata, Argentina (34°55’17”S; 57°57’16”W). Transplanting was performed when transplants reached 2, 4, 6 and 8 leaves. A randomized complete-block design with 3 replicates was used. Plant weight and leaf area were measured at transplanting. Plant weight was measured again 15 days after transplanting. Relative growth rate was computed: RGR=[ln (final total dry weight) – ln (initial total dry weight)÷(final time – initial time)]. Initial time was at transplanting and final time was 15 days after transplanting. Fresh plant weight at harvest was recorded. Analysis of variance and means separation with Tukey test were pereformed. Two-leaves plants; grown in 21 cm3 cells had higher leaf and total dry weight and leaf area. Six- and eight-leaves transplants grown in 11- and 5-cm3 cells had less leaf and total dry weight. Cell size did not affect root dry weight. Plants grown in 11- and 5-cm3 cells increased RGR at transplanting. In 2004 experiment, RGR was higher for 8-leaves plants but in the 2005 experiment, all physiological ages were significant. At harvest, head weight was not affected by treatment.

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