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The influence of meteorological conditions on the growth and yielding of leek cultivated in living mulches

Elżbieta Jędrszczyk, Małgorzata Poniedziałek

Department of Vegetable Crops and Horticultural Economics
Faculty of Horticulture, Agricultural University in Kraków
29 Listopada 54, 31-425 Kraków, Poland

Five living mulch treatments were investigated: white clover, mulch of white clover desiccated in mid July by Roundup, black medic, rye, and the mixture of living mulches of rye and white clover which were compared to two controls: weeded permanently and twice time weeded. The experiment was conducted on brown soil developed on loess. Living mulches were sown in the middle of April in 50 cm wide strips. Leek ‘Lancelot’ was transplanted on 17 May in bare ground rows in the spacing of 62.5 × 20 cm. During vegetative period mean monthly air temperature and total precipitation were assessed at meteorological station situated next to the experimental plots. The amount of water available for plants was determined by soil moisture meter. The highest leek yielding was observed in the year 2000, when neither the temperature nor the rainfall were unfavorably distributed during the vegetation. In the months with both high temperature and precipitation mulches were mown twice (in very warm and extremely humid June 1999 and July 2001). The differences in available water between the mulched object increased during the minimal or no rainfall times. Living mulches decreased leek height, the fact that was especially evident during the measurements done at harvest. In result of limiting leek’s vegetative growth by mulching shaft, the weight and length decreased. Living mulches decreased leek yielding. Mulch of white clover decreased total and marketable leek yield the least, whereas mulches with rye the most. Desiccating white clover by Roundup decreased total and marketable leek yield by 11 and 18 percent respectively in comparison with objects were white clover was mowed. Mulch of white clover desiccated by Roundup and mulch of mixture of rye and white clover significantly lowered dry matter and total sugar content in shaft according to the control objects.

Jędrszczyk E., Poniedziałek M., 2007. The influence of meteorological conditions on the growth and yielding of leek cultivated in living mulches. Folia Horticulturae 19/2: 23-37.