Fruit Yield and Quality of Greenhouse-grown Bell Pepper as Influenced by Density, Container, and Trellis System

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Department, 1143 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110690, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690.
  • | 2 Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 2199 South Rock Rd., Ft. Pierce, FL 34945-3138. Florida Agricultural Experiment Station journal series R-10005.

Production and quality of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit were evaluated in a passively ventilated greenhouse, in soilless media trellised to a “V” system (two-stempruned plants) or the “Spanish” system (nonpruned plants) in flat bags or nursery pot containers; and densities of 1.5, 1.9, 3.0, and 3.8 plants/m2 (0.14, 0.18, 0.28, and 0.35 plants/ft2), in a winter-to-summer-crop in Gainesville, Fla. The trellis systems did not affect total marketable fruit yields but production of extra-large fruit was higher (38%) in non-pruned than in pruned plants. Marketable fruit yields were similar in plants grown in bags and pots, and had positive linear responses to increased plant density. Not pruning reduced by half the percentage of fruit with blossom-end rot. Pruned plants produced 50% fewer flower bud supporting nodes than non-pruned plants but had a greater percentage of fruit set. Regardless of trellis systems, fruit set per plant decreased linearly as plant density increased. Overall, the “Spanish” trellis system at a density of 3.8 plants/m2 resulted in greater yields of extra-large fruit and required 75% less labor than the “V” system to prune and support the plant canopy.

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