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ANDRIOLO, Jerônimo Luiz; ESPINDOLA, Maria Carolina Grigoletto and STEFANELLO, Moisés Osmari. Growth and development of lettuce plants from transplants with different physiological ages. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2003, vol.33, n.1, pp. 35-40. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782003000100006.
The aim of the work was to determine the effect of the physiological age of lettuce transplants on further growth and development of plants in the field. Transplants were sown in polystyrene trays using a commercial substrate mixture, without any additional supply of nutrients. Water was delivered periodically to compensate evapotranspiration losses, as done in the commercial practice of growing lettuce seedlings. Sowing was done in four dates: 5, 11, 19 and 26 July, named T1, T2, T3 and T4 treatments, respectively. Planting in the field was done at 3 September, at 60, 54, 46 and 39 days after sowing, respectively. At this date, average number of leaves was 6.0, 6.0, 4.8 and 4.0 and dry mass was 0.7, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.3g/transplant, respectively. Number of leaves, dry mass and specific leaf area (SLA) in a per plant basis were determined at 25, 30, 35, 42, 46 and 51 days after planting (DAP). Average number of leaves at ending date was similar in T1, T2 and T3 plants: 21.2, 21.2 and 20.6 leaves/plant, respectively. In T4 plants, the number of leaves/plant was 15.4. At the same period, growth was also similar in T1, T2 and T3 plants: 12.4, 12.2 and 11.2 g/plant, respectively. In T4 plants, this variable reached only 6.0g/plant. For SLA, values increased during growth of plants and were higher at 46 DAP, decreasing thereafter, and did not differed among T1, T2 and T3. In T4, values decreased during the experimental period and differed significantly at last harvest. It was concluded that planting can be done at 5.0 leaves/transplant and 0.5g/transplant and that in winter and spring grown periods it may be delayed until 6.0 leaves/transplant and 0.7g/transplant.
Keywords : Lactuca sativa; yield; growth efficiency; dry mass.