Growth of ‘Jewel’ sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] plants was increased significantly by black plastic mulch. Leaf area, number of leaves, and total shoot dry weight were significantly larger for mulched than for unmulched plants. Marketable root yield was increased significantly by black plastic mulch and raised beds. The highest root yield (18.6 MT/ha) was obtained from mulch-covered raised beds.
The effects of transplant depth on lodging and yield were evaluated in five experiments in Florida and Massachusetts. `Cherry Bomb', `Jupiter', and `Mitla' pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) transplants were set at three depths so that the soil surface was even with the top of the rootball, the cotyledon leaf, or the first true leaf. Seedlings set to the depth of cotyledon leaves or to the first true leaf lodged less than did those set to the top of the rootball. No yield differences were recorded among treatments in Massachusetts; however, total weight of red fruit was greater in treatments that lodged less in 1 of the 2 years, suggesting that lodging delayed maturity. Soil temperature in Massachusetts declined at the level of the rootball as planting depth increased.