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  • Author or Editor: Joseph E. VanDerwerken x
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A field study was designed to evaluate the effects of various irrigation methods, raised beds, and plastic mulch on yield and fruit quality of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Irrigation was scheduled on the basis of soil matric potential and monitored by Hg manometer tensiometers and soil moisture blocks. Trickle-irrigated plots were watered at soil matric potentials of −0.025 and −0.075 MPa, and sprinkled plots at −0.075 MPa. The combination of black polyethylene mulch and irrigation produced maximum yields, but frequency of irrigation had little effect on yield when peppers were mulched. High frequency trickle irrigation (irrigated 15×) and trickle irrigation of a lesser frequency (irrigated 5×) resulted in similar yields when peppers were mulched. The use of mulch without irrigation had a large effect on yield: yields from plots that were mulched but not irrigated were similar to yields from plots that were sprinkler-irrigated but not mulched. The percentage of marketable fruit was substantially reduced in the absence of irrigation or mulch, because of the high incidence of both solar injury and blossom-end rot.

Open Access