Cultivar trials of seed propagated artichoke
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The artichoke industry in Spain is based principally on asexually propagated cultivars ('Blanca de Tudela' or 'Violeta de Provenza'). The use of seed propagated cultivars prevents stand deficiency and soil-borne diseases in addition to allowing for the possibility of obtaining summer crops. A considerable number of new seed propagated cultivars have been developed over recent years. The trials were conducted during three seasons. Between 1999-2000, the cultivars tested were 'A-106', 'Lorca', '101', 'A-108' and 'Nun 6374'. Between 2000-2001, we tested the cultivars 'A-106', 'A-107', 'A-108', 'A-104', 'Nun 9409', 'Nun 6374' and 'Nun 9444'. In the 2001-2002 season the cultivars tested were 'Blanca de Tudela', 'A-106'. A-108', PSI 25000', 'Nun 9409', 'Nun 6364', 'Nun 9435', 'Nun 9444' and 'Nun 3006'. In the-three seasons the planting was done at the end of June or the beginning of July at a density of 7500 plants ha(-1). During the first two seasons the cultivar trial was combined with the study of the effect of gibberellic acid (GA) treatments (3 fortnightly sprays at 30 ppm from 7 weeks after planting). In the last season all plants were treated with GA. The results indicate that to crop in a similar cycle as it is done with the asexually propagated 'Blanca de Tudela', during autumn-winter, an early cultivar like A-106 or 'Lorca' (similar to 'Imperial Star') should be planted and sprayed with GA. As the yields during the spring are low with this system, this crop should be complemented with the same cultivar without GA treatments or with a hybrid, like 'Nun 9444' or 'Nun 9409', which are more productive than the early cultivars.