CULTURAL MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES FOR ALLEVIATION OF HEAT STRESS IN BELL PEPPERS

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  • 1 Wes Watkins Agricultural Res. & Ext. Center, Dept. of Hort. & L.A., Oklahoma State University. Lane, OK 74555
  • | 2 Dept. of Hort. and L.A., Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) was grown in 1989, 1990, and 1991. Cultural modifications were used in an effort to alleviate heat stress, improve fruit set, reduce sunscald, and improve yield quantity and quality. Treatments included bare soil, plastic mulch (both black and white), straw mulch, living rye (Secale cereale) mulch, and row covers (white and black) suspended above the foliage. Soil temperature at 2.5, 10, and 20 cm, soil moisture at 20 cm, and yield parameters were recorded. In general, plots containing white rowcovers produced good yields each year, straw mulched plots produced good yields two out of three years, plots with black plastic mulch gave poor yields two out of three years, and plots with living rye gave consistently poor yields. Yield inconsistency from year to year was correlated with, and can be explained by, soil temperatures. Sunscald was reduced by rowcovers.

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