Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 63, No 4 Suppl. (1998)

Effects of Mulching and Irrigation in Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Growing in Mediterranean Part of Croatia


Pages: 325-330


The Mediterranean part of Croatia is known for its vegetable production, but also for shortage of irrigation water in the warmest period of the year. Introduction of mulching films and drip irrigation represent an improvement in pepper production. The research involved three mulch types (black PE-film, transparent photodegradable PE-film, paper) and two irrigation systems (drip and sprinkler). The two-years field trial was set up according to the split-plot design in three replications in the Vrana valley near Biograd, as very known vegetable production area.
The mean decade soil temperatures, at a 10 cm depth, in May and June, were by 1.5 to 4.5°C higher under black film, and by 1 to 2°C lower under paper, in relation to soil temperatures without mulching.
Depending on the mulch type and irrigation method, eight weeks after planting, the plants were up to 91% higher in 1995 and up to 29% higher in 1996 than green pepper grown without mulching but under sprinkler irrigation. At same time in both years, the smallest number of fruits were set per plant in the crop without mulching and irrigated by sprinkling.
In comparison with the conventional pepper growing method, the yield of marketable fruits grown by other methods was 14 to 89% higher in 1995, and 30 to 99% in 1996. In the first two harvest weeks, in PE-film mulching treatments, the yields of up to 128% achieved in 1995 and up to 115% in 1996 were higher than the total yield for the whole harvest period in treatments involving conventional bell pepper production.


bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.); mulching; irrigation; plant height; fruit setting; yield

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