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Growth and fruit yield of pepper species as affected by plant spacing

Salau, Adewale Waheed, Hammed, Omotayo Babatunde, Makinde, Eyitayo Adekunle, Olosunde, Olatunde Musibau
International journal of vegetable science 2019 v.25 no.2 pp. 164-175
Capsicum chinense, Capsicum frutescens, field experimentation, flowering, fruit yield, growth habit, pepper, plant height, vegetative growth, Nigeria
Optimum spacing in a suitable environment is an important requirement for improved pepper (Capsicum spp.) performance. Spacing recommendations have been based on specie growth habit. Field experiments were conducted in a tropical forest-savanna/transition zone in south western Nigeria to investigate effects of plant spacing on growth and fruit yield of two pepper species: C. chinense (L) and C. frutescens (L). Pepper plants were established at spacings of 50 × 45 cm and 75 × 30 cm, each giving a plant density of 44444 plants∙ha⁻¹. Spacing did not affect vegetative growth of pepper, but the week of sampling and year of cultivation. With both species, the rate of increase in plant height was greater between 4 and 6 weeks after transplanting (WAT) but declined between 12 and 14 WAT. Both species of pepper grew taller in 2014 than in 2013. The rate of increase in vegetative growth of both pepper species was higher with 50 × 45 cm spacing than for 75 × 30 cm spacing. C. chinense and C. frutescens in 2014 attained 50% flowering 10 and 13 days earlier than in 2013, and had harvest durations of 16 and 12 days longer, respectively, in 2013 than in 2014. Fruit yield of C. chinense in 2013 was 4.43 Mt∙ha⁻¹, but was reduced by 45% in 2014. Fruit yield of C. frutescens at 50 × 45 cm was 5.53 Mt∙ha⁻¹ but was reduced by 24% at 75 × 30 cm spacing. With C. chinense, fruit yield was similar, irrespective of spacing. For high yield, C. frutescens can be established at 50 × 45 cm spacing and C. chinense at either 50 × 45 or 75 × 30 cm spacing.