Matching the growth pattern of a vegetable cultivar with the seasonal changes in climate is a prerequisite for successful yield production in a northern climate. This paper describes the growth characteristics of two carrot cultivars in relation to climatic conditions in two years, with special reference to the factors associated with high yield. Cv. Fontana produced twice as large a leaf area and shoot weight as cv. Panther. Increased partitioning to shoot in the former cultivar also resulted in a higher root yield. Uniformity in relative growth rates during the period of analysis suggests that intervarietal differences in the shoot to root ratio and in the yield potential appear very early. Nearly half of the root weight at final harvest was gained after mid-August, when temperature and daily irradiance began to decrease. A large leaf area may ensure better utilisation of diminishing growth resources at the end of the growing season. In the more favourable growing season, 1997, plants invested more in leaf production than they did in 1996: shoot fresh and dry weights were considerably higher but leaf area was not much higher.;
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