Robert is an Agribusiness Consultant, who studied Agribusiness Management
Sweet pepper Cultivation Farming
Sweet pepper is a fruit which can be grown throughout the year under a wide range of soil and is used in food dishes. Sweet Peppers are rich in the following nutrition ingredients; vitamins A, B and C, calcium, protein, and fibre. This article will give in detail on how to grow Sweet pepper as well as its management practices which can help you benefits from this rewarding business.
Sweet pepper Varieties
The following are commonly grown Sweet pepper in different countries; King Arthur, Florida Giant, Blue Star, Pacific, California Wonder among others.
Sweet pepper performs well in warm weather temperate regions and requires an optimum temperature of 20 to 25 °C. Sweet pepper does not perform well in frost areas, so make sure you grow them during frost free period. When growing them in a temperature range of 5 to 16 °C, it does not give better results. The optimum temperature for Sweet pepper germination is known to be in a range of 24 to 30 °C. Lower temperatures slow down Sweet pepper growth and this may increase their time to be ready for harvesting and this may also accelerate pest damage since they can be exposed to pests for more period. The optimum temperature range for Sweet pepper during flowering is 21 to 24 °C. During flowering when the temperature is above 30 degrees, yield ability is slowed down.
Site and soil
Sweet peppers perform well on deep, well drained soils having a good soil fertility. Sweet pepper does not do well on waterlogged soils and high humidity areas. The optimum soil pH for growing Sweet pepper is known to be in a range of 6 to 7. Avoid growing Sweet pepper on a land or field where herbicides have been used recently, similarly avoid growing on a land where long residual corn or soya bean herbicides have been used recently. Sweet pepper responds negatively to aphid-vectored viruses which attack tobacco, so make sure your field is located away from the tobacco field to avoid the risk of transmission. Make sure you avoid growing Sweet pepper continuously as this will increase chances of depleting soil fertility and in your rotation, make sure that Sweet pepper does not follow Eggplants, tomatoes, strawberry, among others, to reduce risk of Verticillium wilt. Quantity and quality of sweet pepper depend on soil fertility as well as well as agronomic practice, so make sure you perform this well, i.e. growing your Sweet pepper on high soil fertility having right moisture content.
Sweet pepper requires annual rain of 2000 mm to give optimal yield, any moisture shortfall, should be supplied with Irrigation water.
Sweet peppers perform well when they are transplanted from nursery field, but they can also he sown directly in the field and give a better result. After transplanting Sweet pepper plant, make sure you Irrigation the plant if moisture content is very low, but make sure you avoid waterlogging condition. Similarly, after sowing your seeds, make sure you Irrigation with clean water if soil moisture content is very low. 2kg of Sweet pepper is required per hectare when sowing Sweet pepper directly in your field. When pepper seeds are sown in a nursery bed, it takes 3 to 4 weeks for the seedlings to be ready for transplanting to the actual field and make sure you slow down water application one week before transplanting is done.
Sweet peppers and tomatoes, eggplants e.t.c is attacked by same diseases, so make sure the site where you want to grow Sweet pepper was not recently grown any of these nor hot peppers. You can till or plough the site either through mechanical means or by hands using a hoe.
You can plant or sow directly Sweet pepper to the field any time of the year, the key is that, you should make sure the soil has required soil moisture and temperature.
Make sure you transplant your Sweet pepper 3 to 4 weeks from the day they are sown and make sure you slow down water application before transplanting is done. It is recommended to do the transplanting early in the morning and in the evening to avoid direct sunlight which may affect the transplant. When transplanting, make sure the topsoil is mixed with manure if possible to improve soil fertility. After transplanting your seedlings, make sure you supply enough water to each transplant and provide a mulch surrounding each transplant.
Days to maturity
From the time transplanting is done, Sweet pepper takes a range of 60 to 90 days to be ready for harvesting.
Make sure you observe a seedling spacing of 45 centimeters apart within Sweet pepper rows and 60 to 90 centimeters between rows. Whenever Sweet pepper is intercroped, make sure you observe a root room space of 0.5 square meters per Sweet pepper plant.
About 100 to 200 grams of Sweet pepper seeds are required per hectare.
Make sure before you apply any fertilizer you conduct a soil analysis first to know right type and as well as the amount of fertilizer to apply in your Sweet pepper field. It is recommended to apply 100 kg of NPK fertilizer per hectare and 40 kg of Nitrogen per hectare to your Sweet pepper plants, but this has to be done after soil analysis is done. Sweet pepper plant requires nitrogen for growth and reproduction while phosphorus is required by Sweet pepper for photosynthesis.
Make sure your Sweet pepper field is free from weeds all the time as these can be sources of pests and diseases. You can remove the weeds by hands using a hoe or you can use herbicides to remove or control them with the help of instructions written on the bottle.
Harvesting can be done 60 to 90 days from the time Sweet pepper transplanting is done, under good agronomic practices and a yield of 142812 kg cartoons may be obtained per hectare of land. Harvesting can be done by hand picking the mature Sweet pepper fruit.