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Group Title: ARC-A research report - Agricultural Research and Education Center - RH-83-20
Title: Nutrition of Asparagus Myriocladus
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066509/00001
 Material Information
Title: Nutrition of Asparagus Myriocladus
Series Title: ARC-A research report
Physical Description: 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Poole, R. T ( Richard Turk )
Conover, Charles Albert, 1934-
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1983
 Subjects
Subject: Foliage plants -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Foliage plants -- Nutrition -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 2).
Statement of Responsibility: R.T. Poole and C.A. Conover.
General Note: Caption title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066509
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71232401

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not reflect current scientific knowledge
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Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
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NUTRITION OF ASPARAGUS MYRIOCLADUS


R. T. Poole and C. A. Conover ""' i-;l
University of Florida, IFAS
Agricultural Research Center-Apopka ,"' u 198 J
ARC-A Research Report RH-83-20

Asparagus myriocladus also called A. macowanii and A. retrofractus is '--
fibrous rooted erect plant with clustered cladophylls about 1/2 inch long,
somewhat similar to a small pine tree in appearance. Although not widely
grown in Florida, it is useful as a source of cut foliage for flower arrange-
ments and does not shed like some other species.

Most growers who have tried to grow this species have not been overly
successful, probably because they tried to grow it like Asparagus plumosus
and only provided 30 to 40% shade and low levels of nutrition.

Growers report using 250 to 500 pounds per acre per year (ppa/yr) of N
for commercial production of A. plumosus (3). Suggested fertilizer rates for
container grown asparagus are 900 ppa/yr N from a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer (1).
Highest yield of A. virgatus fronds were obtained from applications of 1000-
500-1000 ppa/yr of N-P205-K20 (2).

The experiments described in this report were established to determine
required nutritional levels for A. myriocladus in ground beds and in pots as
well as potential yield and elemental tissue levels of good quality fern.

Experiment 1. A. myriocladus seedlings established in 3 inch pots with
2 to 4 stems were planted March 1980 on one foot by one foot spacing, 9 plants
per 3 x 3-1/2 foot plot in Blanton fine sand at ARC-Apopka. Shade level was
63% from regular polypropylene shadecloth. Treatments included no lime or
lime (calcium carbonate) incorporated at 5 lbs/100 ft2 (220 grams/plot) and
Osmocote 18-6-12 applied every 4 months at 100, 200, 300 or 400 ppa N (60, 120,
180, 240 g/plot). Fronds, 12 inches or larger, were harvested every 8 to 12
weeks through September 1982 (Table 1). The best treatment was no lime incor-
poration with plants receiving 300 lbs N from 18-6-12 Osmocote every 4 months.

Soil pH in plots without lime was 6.0, while that of limed plots was 6.7.
The second best treatment was also no lime and 200 Ibs N. These data would
indicate that when A. myriocladus is grown under 63% shade an N-P205-KO2 level
of near 300 Ibs N 100 Ibs P205 and 200 Ibs K20 will provide adequate nutrition
and excellent yield. Projecting the yield obtained in the best treatment from
plots to 30,000 ft2 planted/acre indicates 785,000 fronds would have been
harvested in 1981 with increased yield for 1982.

Experiment 2. A second experiment established August 15, 1980 and terminated
November 21, 1980, evaluated growth of A. myriocladus in 6 inch pots supplied with
2 levels each of Osmocote 14-14-14 (5 and 10 Ibs/ydJ), Perk (a micronutrient blend)
(0 and 2 1bs/yd3) and dolomite (0 and 6 Ibs/yd3) (Table 2). Seedlings utilized
were similar to Expt. 1 and plants were grown in a greenhouse under 1500 ft-c
maximum in a 3:1 peat:mason sand potting medium. The high level of each material







slightly increased fresh weight of fronds harvested at the end of the exF
However, there were no observable differences in overall color or appearance.
There were differences in tissue nutrient levels with decreases in P, K and Ca
with increased level of fertilizer and increased Fe and Mn levels. Addition of
dolomite decreased N, P and K levels and increased Cu, Mg and Fe. When Perk
added to the potting medium, there was an increase in K, Fe, Mn and Zn and a
slight decrease in P.

Experiment 3. A third experiment was initiated August 12, 1980. Varying
levels of N, P and K were applied to A. myriocladus (similar to plants in Expt.
planted in 5 inch pots receiving a maximum of 2,000 ft-c and watered twice
Fertilizer was applied weekly as 125, 250, 375 or 500 ppm N in combination with
50 or 500 ppm P and 250 or 500 ppm K. Fresh weight was taken November 24, 1980
when all but unfurled fronds were cut, and again on May 1, 1981 when the
experiment was terminated. The high level of P caused lower fresh weights,
increasing levels of N and K had a negligible effect (Table 3). Considering
variation in nutrient levels, change in tissue content was much lower than
expected. These data would indicate that tissue analyses may not be a feasible
system of monitoring fertilizer levels with this plant.

Summary

Asparagus myriocladus apparently grow well within a wide range of fertl -
tion, but P level should not be too high. Lime and micronutrients were not
beneficial when applied under conditions of this experiment. Suggested nutri-
tional level for A. myriocladus grown in ground beds is 900 Ibs N/A/yr from a
3-1-2 ratio fertilizer. Container grown ferns should receive the equivalent of
1200 Ibs N/A/yr from the same 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer.

References

1. Conover, C. A. and R. T. Poole. 1981. Guide for fertilizing tropical
foliage plant crops. ARC-A Research Report RH-81-1.

2. Conover, C. A., R. T. Poole and C. A. Robinson. 1978. Bamboo fern, a new
cut fern crop. Florida Orna. Growers Assoc. Newsletter 3:2.

3. Platt, W. J. 1952. Asparagus fern culture. Agri. Ext. Serv. Univ. of Fla.
Bull. 153.







Table 1. Number of harvested fronds of A. myriocladus grown in 3.5 x 3 ft plots.

Treatments Lbs N/A No. Fronds
CaC03 2 applied Aug-Dec Jan-Dec Jan-Sept Total
lbs/100 ft every 4 1980 1981 1982
(1 appl.) months
0 100 84 196 171 451
0 200 92 247 213 552
0 300 121 275 264 660
0 400 73 176 150 399
5 100 102 154 140 396
5 200 94 198 144 436
5 300 99 153 153 305
5 400 94 216 162 472



Table 2. Effects of fertilizer regime on growth and nutrient content of
container grown A. myriocladus.

% dry weight ppm
Treatments Fresh
(1bs/yd3) wt.(q) N P K Ca Mg Cu Fe Mn Zn
Osmocote
14-14-14
5 7.2 2.1 .53 3.05 .20 .28 17 71 72 66
10 7.7 2.2 .40 2.61 .14 .25 15 120 87 124
Dolomite
0 7.2 2.3 .53 3.29 .10 .22 17 74 83 97
6 7.7 2.0 .40 2.37 .24 .31 16 117 77 93
Perk
0 7.1 2.1 .52 2.55 .19 .28 16 81 51 59
2 7.9 2.2 .41 3.11 .15 .25 16 110 108 131









Table 3. Growth and tissue content of A. myriocladus.


% dry weight


N P K Ca Mg Cu Fe Mn


Nitrogen


125
250
375
500
Phosphorus
50
500
Potassium
250
500


12.5
12.3
14.2
15.3


14.2
12.9


13.6
13.6


14.4
13.3
12.4
13.3


16.9
9.8


13.3
13.3


0.3
0.3
0.2
0.2


2.3
2.3
2.1
2.1


.20
.16
.20
.16


2.1 0.2 2.1 .22 .23
2.2 0.3 2.4 .14 .17


2.1 0.3 2.2 .19 .21
2.2 0.2 2.3 .17 .19


(ppm)
per
week


Fresh wt (g)


11/24/80 5/1/81


ppm




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