Environmental concerns about nitrate contamination of groundwater have prompted renewed interest in optimizing fertilizer rates. A field study was initiated to study the influence of preplant and drip fertigation rates of nitrogen on the yield of hell peppers grown on Quakertown (QkB) silt loam soil. Preplant nitrogen rates of 0, 56.7, and 113.5 kgha were incorporated into the plots before transplanting. The three fertigation rates (0, 17 and 34 Kg/mulched hectare) were injected through the drip irrigation starting one week after transplanting and repeated at three week intervals.
Proplant nitrogen applications variably influenced early pepper yield. and did not significantly influence total yield. Early pepper yield was not influenced by drip fertigation rate, however, total yield increased as the fertigation rate increased. The dry weather conditions of the 1993 growing season may have influenced the responsc of pepper yield to the fertilizer treatments. Further studies are required to determine the optimum fertilization program for bell peppers grown under Northern New Jersey's edaphic conditions.