PEPPER (Capsicum spp)
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE

PEPPER (Capsicum spp)

Pepper is a spice crop which adds flavours to stew and soup. It can be used when green or red. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. It belongs to the plant family, Solanaceae.

 

Land Preparation: The bush is cleared and ridges or heaps are made with hoe. The land can also be prepared mechanically by ploughing, harrowing and ridging.

 

Varieties/Cultivars

  • Sweet pepper (Capsicum annum).
  • Chilli pepper.
  • Bird’s eye pepper (Capsicum frutescens).

 

Climatic and soil requirements: Pepper requires a temperature of 15°C- 27°C, rainfall of 100cm -150cm per annum and a rich, well- drained loamy soil.

 

Method of propagation: This is by seeds.

 

Planting dates

Nursery: February – March.

Transplanting (Field) – April/May.

 

Spacing: Nursery: 5cm by 5cm.

 

Field: 60cm by 60cm.

 

Nursery Practices

  • Seeds are drilled in seed boxes or trays containing top soil.
  • Shade is provided.
  • Watering is done every morning and evening.
  • Weeding is done regularly.

 

Planting: This is done when plant is 10cm-15cm tall. Transplanting is done with ball of earth on the root to the field around April and May.

 

Cultural Practices

  • Weeding: This is done regularly.
  • Mulching: This should be done to conserve moisture in the soil.
  • Fertilizer application: Apply 100kg/ha of Ammonium sulphate by ring method.

 

Maturity period: It matures between two and three months. Harvesting: Pepper (ripe or unripe) can be harvested with hand or with knife.

 

Processing and storage: Ripe fruits can be dried or cured day and night for 6 – 14 days. Dried fruits are stored in sacks and kept in warm places.

 

Pests of pepper

1) Crickets and grasshoppers attack plants and eat up the leaves.

Control

  • Spray with insecticides.

 

Diseases of pepper

1) Leaf spot: It is caused by a fungus.

Symptoms: Symptoms include spotting of leaves of young plants in nursery, resulting in decay of flowers and leaves.

Control

  • Spray with insecticides.

 

2) Damping off: It is a fungal disease spread by water. The leaves wither gradually and dry off.

Control

  • Seeds should not be sown very close to each other.
  • Spray with copper fungicides.

 

3) Leaf Curl: It is caused by a virus which is transmitted by an insect.

Symptoms: Symptoms include wrinkling of the leaves and stunted growth.

Control

  • Spray with insecticide to kill vector.
  • Uproot and burn infected plant.
  • Practise crop rotation.

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