Phenology and productive performance of chamomile in sowing dates and spacing between plants
The present work has aimed to evaluate phenology and productive performance of chamomile in a subtropical weather region, sown in different dates and spacings in between plants. The experiment took place in Santa Maria – RS with four sowing dates in the year 2017 (18/03, 28/04, 30/06 and 31/08) and seven spacings along plants in rows (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 cm), spaced 30 cm between each other. Phenological observations were made every two or three days in two plants per portion while also accounting for the number of nodes in the main stem. The harvest of chamomile floral chapters was performed manually from the beggining of flowering and repeated biweekly until plant maturation. Productivity of dry floral chapters as well as content and productivity of essential oils were evaluated. It was established that sowing dates affect the productivity of dry floral chapters, content and productivity of essential oil from cv. Mandirituba chamomile, with the sowings of March 18th and April 28th presenting the highest values for such variables. Increasing the space between plants from the 10 cm line to 40 cm in lines spaced in 30 cm has shown a linear tendency of decreasing the productivity of dry floral chapters. Spacings between plants did not affect the phenological development of chamomile, however, sowing dates interfered in the thermal time of six evaluated subperiods regarding plastochron and the final number of nodes.
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