THE HOME GARDEN WITH THE CULTIVATION OF PEPPERS
The pepper is one of the main vegetables of our country, both in consumption and in economic importance. Knowing some cultivation recommendations and avoiding some bad performances can achieve good yields and fruit sizes. As always we are going to do it our way, going directly to the point and telling the main characteristics of its cultivation.
The pepper belongs to the Solanaceae family, like the tomato, and therefore it is a crop that requires high temperatures (warm or temperate climate). That is, it is a summer crop and if you want to grow it in autumn or winter you have to have a greenhouse.
Optimal growth temperatures are established between 15ºC and 32ºC , a little more during the flowering season or when it produces its fruits. In terms of humidity, it is favored by humidities between 50 and 75%. If the humidity is higher there is a danger of contracting fungal diseases
If you are in an area that is prone to frost or there is a large temperature difference between night and morning, pepper cultivation will be difficult.
Regarding light , in the cultivation of peppers large doses of light are required with long days, which are those of summer. For this reason, in autumn and winter, if it is grown in a greenhouse, a geographical position is needed quite to the south, with many sunny days a year and little rain or overcast sky.
The soils must be similar among the Solanaceae. Drained and deep soils, with organic matter content of 3% and clay-loam type.
The soil pH for pepper cultivation is quite wide and its range can range from 5.5 to 8, being recommended that it be around 6-6.5 (slightly acidic).
In this pH range , it is where more assimilation of macronutrients and micronutrients occurs. From there, at more alkaline pH, micronutrients such as iron, zinc or manganese become insolubilized and cannot be assimilated by the plant.
Others, such as boron or molybdenum, increase its assimilation. The first, from pH 8.5.
The roots can develop and even beyond the first 40 cm of depth, although keep in mind that almost 70-80% of all the roots are more superficial and are in the first 20 cm of soil.
IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC MATTER IN PEPPER CULTIVATION
It is always said that organic matter is an ideal factor to measure fertility. Provides carbon, improves the C / N ratio of the soil, acts as a buffer against pH variations and contains nutrients.
To get an idea of the nutrients it provides, 10 t of manure can cover the needs of a campaign of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium completely for one hectare, although it all depends on the percentage of nutrients and the mineralization potential of said matter. organic.
It is important not to overdo it with the continuous supply of fertilizers or choose the origin of the organic matter well . On many occasions, they contribute too much concentration of salts and raise the conductivity of the soil (mS / cm) above what is tolerable in pepper cultivation.
It is recommended not to add more than 2 points of CE (mS / cm) to avoid losing the productive performance of the pepper.
Bear in mind that from 2.5 mS / cm of conductivity, production drops by 10%, in addition to having a plant more susceptible to attack by pests and diseases.
PEPPER PLANTATION FRAMES
Due to the way of growth of the pepper plant, the height and the width that they can cover, the planting frame is usually 1m x 0.5m (1 meter between plants and 0.5 between lines). Although it is a fairly safe planting framework and can be refined a little more by increasing the number of plants per square meter (0.75m x 0.5m) controlling growth with pruning, or 0.5m x 0.4m for cultivation intensive.
The subscriber, for a production of 50-60 t / ha is the following:
- Nitrogen needs: 220-280 kg / ha
- Phosphorus requirements: 80-100 kg / ha
- Potassium needs: 300-340 kg / ha
CONTROLS THE ABSORPTION OF CALCIUM IN THE PEPPER CROP
One of the fertilizers that gives the most problems is calcium . This is because its assimilation is highly influenced by the mass flow or the amount of water absorbed by the roots.
- The calcium in fertigation is also limited in pepper cultivation, production of new roots or root hairs. This is due to the fact that these roots are not suberized (Caspary band) and they can absorb the calcium cation (Ca2 +).
- The calcium foliar application , calcium has the limitation that very small percentage (around 15% of the total) travels through the phloem, so if we want a rapid response of calcium in fruit pulp, often we choose Calciums in the form of complexes.
One of the most famous physiopathies in pepper cultivation is calcium deficiency , also known as Blossom end rot or blossom end rot .
Although there is a strong storehouse of calcium in the soil, as in limestone soils, it may not be effectively mobilized to the plant.
If it is very hot, the evapotranspiration of the plant is reduced (and therefore there is no movement of sap) and other physiological conditions occur (lack of root development, for example), surely we will have peseta or lack of calcium in the fruits.
The cultivation calendar, as we added in the post about the sowing calendar , is as follows:
Sowing takes place in February-April, and we harvest the peppers after 150 days. If we have a seedling instead of seeds, the time is much shorter.
The multiplication and growth of the pepper by seeds is very simple and is typical of the spring months, to have a plant already formed from June. Here you have a choice of different varieties of pepper seeds .
PESTS AND DISEASES IN PEPPER CULTIVATION
The most common pepper pests and diseases are broken down in the previous link, with an Gardenprue article dedicated to mentioning, diagnosing and treating them.
We summarize them here:
- Mites like white spider and spider mite
- White fly
- A wide variety of aphids
- Thrips that are located in the flower of the pepper
Within diseases, we also add viruses. The bell pepper is susceptible to the following viruses:
AMV, BBWV, CMV, EMDV, PMoV, PMMV, TMV, TBSV y ToMV.
And also to the following diseases:
- Powdery mildew and powdery mildew
- Phythophthora or sadness pepper
- rot (botrytis)