An Evaluation of the Effect of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) Corm Planting Rate and Pattern on the Crop's Performance
In a field experiment, during three successive years of 2007, 2008 and 2009, the effects of planting pattern and high corm density on agronomic performance of saffron was investigated at the Research Station of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. A complete randomized block design in a factorial arrangement of three replications being employed. Treatments consisted of three corm rates of planting (4, 8 and 12 t ha-1) along with three planting patterns (row, random and hill planting). Results revealed that during the three years of experimentation, corm rate of planting, and planting pattern significantly affected the number of flowers per unit area, fresh and dried flower weights as well as the fresh and dried stigma weights. A high corm rate of planting of 12 t ha-1 resulted in a highest number of flowers, fresh and dried flower weights as well as fresh and dried stigma yields. Row planting pattern resulted in a better performance than the others, as regards the number of flowers, fresh, and dried flower weights. The highest fresh and dry weights of stigma per unit area were obtained from the row planting pattern. The number of daughter corms increased significantly in the second year of experimentation for a corm planting rate of 12 t ha-1 (30.81% more as compared with 4 t ha-1 corm rate of planting), and for hill planting pattern (43.07% more as compared with row planting). Corm rate of planting did not significantly affect the fresh and dry weights of daughter corms per unit area during any of the three years, but with change in planting pattern from row to either hill or random planting, there was a decreasing trend in fresh and dry weights of daughter corms per unit area during the first year of experimentation. Interaction of row planting pattern and 12 t ha-1 of corm was rate of planting represented the best combination of treatments only in the first year affecting the number of flowers, fresh and dried flower weights as well as fresh and dried stigma weights per unit area. Also in the third year, number of daughter corms, fresh and dry weights of daughter corms were affected by interaction effects of corm rate of planting and planting pattern. In general, results revealed that increasing corm density from 4 to 12 t ha-1 in a row planting pattern, performed best among all the treatments.
Iranian Journal of Horticaltural Sciences, Volume:42 Issue:4, 2012
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