ROOT DISTRIBUTION OF IRRIGATED AND NON-IRRIGATED VEGETABLE CROPS

V.A. Dirks, C.S. Tan
Root distributions of corn, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes grown in the field were investigated by using four glass-faced root observation chambers 1.5 m deep. Root intensity at the transparent panel face in each root chamber was recorded at four time intervals during the 1974, 1975 and 1976 growing seasons. Plants were grown at two levels of irrigation (a) no supplemental (b) supplemental irrigation (15 mm) applied twice a week.

The root intensity of all four species increased markedly during the first two months of growth, but towards the end of the growing season, the number of roots decreased. Overall root distribution patterns for each species indicated that corn had dense root systems at all depths about 2 months after establishment, while tomatoes had intermediate root systems. Peppers had a shallower root system than either corn or tomatoes with low root intensity below 50 cm soil depth. The root intensity of potatoes was high in the upper 20 cm of the soil, but declined sharply in the 20 to 100 cm soil depth.

Supplemental irrigation increased the root intensity of corn and potatoes and tomatoes, especially in the upper 50 cm of the soil at the period of maximum plant growth about 2 months after establishment. Peppers showed relatively little response to irrigation in terms of increased root distribution.

Dirks, V.A. and Tan, C.S. (1988). ROOT DISTRIBUTION OF IRRIGATED AND NON-IRRIGATED VEGETABLE CROPS. Acta Hortic. 228, 299-304
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.228.34
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.228.34

Acta Horticulturae