Characterization of velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens ) lines for cover crop use

Waldemar Klassen, Maharanie Codallo, Inga A. Zasada, Aref A. Abdul-bakiI


The phenology, morphology and biomass production of nine velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) lines were evaluated at Homestead, Fla. The time from seeding to first floral buds ranged from 69-135 days, to first blooms 89-153 days, and to first pods 103-160 days. The nine lines initiated blooming in a certain order, which could be described either by calendar days or degree-days. Five lines had an indeterminate flowering habit, while four were determinate. Lines 2, 5 and 7 produced the most biomass and line 8 the least. The petiole constitutes 14% to 28% of total leaf weight. Leaf weight at bloom accounted for 62% of above-ground plant weight in indeterminate lines, and 70 to 81% in determinate lines. The period from first bloom to first pods spanned 10 weeks. Differences in velvetbean growth habits may be used to stagger planting dates of vegetables. Growers may implement a strategy of quot;one time plantingquot; of several velvetbean lines of various maturation rates each on a fraction of their acreage. Two weeks in advance of each vegetable planting, the appropriate velvetbean line would be soil-incorporated, and this process would be repeated at appropriate intervals allowing staggered vegetable planting over ten weeks.


Meloidogyne incognita; allelopathy; tomato; cover crop; phenology; degree-days

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283