Comparison of biological characteristics and productivity of introduced cultivars of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.)
Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Studentu 11, Kaunas-Akademija LT-53067, Lithuania
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There is no wide range of cultivars of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) in Lithuania. Only two of them – ‘Mary Washington’ and ‘D’Argenteuili hative’ – have been investigated and are recommended for cultivation, however they do not meet the modern requirements for the cultivars. Therefore these cultivars must be renewed or replaced by the newly developed and more productive cultivars. The investigations of biomorphological characteristics of introduced cultivars of asparagus were carried out in the period from 2003-06 by the Department of Horticulture of the LUA. The biological characteristics of standard cultivars of asparagus ‘Mary Washington’ (control) and introduced cultivars ‘D’Argenteuil Primaticcio’, ‘Schwetzinger Meisterschub’, ‘Eposs’, ‘Schneekopf’, ‘Rambo’, ‘Gartner Saat’ and male cultivars ‘Ravel’, ‘Ramos’, ‘Ramada’, ‘Rally’, ‘Ranger’ were investigated. Harvest period, productivity, and chemical composition were established and the indicators of shoot quality were evaluated. The results of the research showed that vegetation of bushes of the male cultivars start later but their harvest period is longer (lasting 20 – 24 days on average). In 2004, the highest yield of shoots was formed by the bushes of the male cultivars ‘Ramos’ and ‘Ranger’, and in 2005, the highest yield was received from the bushes of standard cultivars such as ‘D’Argenteuil Primaticcio’, ‘Schwetzinger Meisterschub’, and ‘Eposs’. The highest yield of shoots of the cultivars under investigation was received in 2006 (third harvest year), ‘Ramos’ and ‘Ranger’; the bushes of standard cultivars ‘Schwetzinger Meistersschub’, ‘Rambo’ and male cultivars ‘Ravel’, ‘Ramos’ were the most productive. According to the average results of investigations, the most productive cultivars in the group of standard cultivars were ‘Schwetzinger Meisterschub’ and ‘Eposs’, and in the group of male cultivars – ‘Ravel’, ‘Ramos’ and ‘Ranger’. Shoot quality indicators (length, diameter, average mass) were in compliance with the standard quality requirements.