Plant Density Affects Yield, Yield Components, and Color of Direct-seeded Paprika Pepper

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  • 1 Departamento de Genetica y Produccion Vegetal, Estacion Experimental de Aula Dei (CSIC), Apdo. 202, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2 Servicio de Investigacion Agroalimentaria, Apdo. 727, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain

Paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L., `Agridulce SIA') was direct-seeded on raised beds in double rows 0.35 cm apart. Plants were thinned within the row to establish densities ranging from 13,333 to >500,000 plants/ha. Yield of paprika pepper increased as plant density increased, but plant densities >200,000 plants/ha resulted in only small increases in yield. Fruit number and dry fruit weight/plant decreased with increasing plant populations, and weight/fruit decreased slightly. The increase in yield/ha as plant density increased was a result of increased numbers of fruits/ha. Pigment content (ASTA units) declined linearly as plant density increased, whereas moisture content of red fruits at harvest remained unaffected. Plant densities in the range of 150,000 to 200,000 plants/ha were optimal in terms of fruit yield and pigment content.

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