Performance of cultivars of crisp mini-lettuce with respect to ground cover and spacing, in three planting times
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The planting of lettuce in greenhouses, as well as covering beds with a polyethylene sheet, is a viable technology, promoting improvements in microclimatic conditions of the environment. In view of the little information on mini-lettuce, the aim of this work was to evaluate the performance of three cultivars of crisp minilettuce ('Green Frizzly', 'Red Frizzly no. 1' and 'Red Frizzly no. 2') with and without ground cover, under different spacings (20 × 15 cm and 20 × 20 cm), in three planting times (1: November 16, 2004; 2: December 17, 2004; and 3: January 20, 2005). The study was conducted in a greenhouse at UNESP-FCAV, Jaboticabal-SP. The experiments were carried out using a randomized block design, following a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial scheme with 12 treatments and three repetitions. The characteristics evaluated were plant height (cm), head diameter (cm), fresh weight (g) and number of leaves per plant. Planting time 3 was shown to be favorable for all the characteristics analyzed. 'Red Frizzly no. 2' was found to be the most suited to planting time 1, and for planting times 2 and 3, this cultivar did not differ from 'Red Frizzly no. 1'. The factor ground cover was not found to affect the characteristics evaluated, and therefore, cultivation without ground cover is recommended. The spacing 20 × 15 cm was shown to be favorable, resulting in cultivation with the highest populations, thereby increasing productivity. Based on the results obtained and for the conditions in which the experiment was conducted, it can be concluded that: planting time 3 (January 20, 2005) was the most favorable; the cultivars 'Red Frizzly no. 2' and 'Red Frizzly no. 1' are adapted to all the planting times; and cultivation without ground cover using a spacing of 20 × 15 cm was the most suitable.