Climate Information for Pepper Farming.
Pepper requires warm and humid climatic conditions. It grows well in areas receiving rainfall of 1500-2500 mm. The ideal temperature for its growth is between 16 to 37 degree Celsius.
In India, Pepper cultivation is practiced in coastal areas where high temperature and humidity prevail.
Suitable Soil for Pepper Farming.
Pepper cultivation can be practiced on a wide range of soils. Ideal pH for pepper cultivation is nearly 4-6. Pepper grows well in well-drained loamy and red lateritic soils containing high organic matter.
Pepper growth is hindered when it is grown in clayey soils and waterlogged conditions.
Recommended sowing times for Pepper Farming.
Planting of Pepper is done in the month of June-July.
Land preparation for Pepper Farming.
The land must be ploughed twice along with harrowing. Proper drainage channels must also be prepared. The nursery must be prepared to sow the seeds. The nursery beds must be 1 m wide with a height of 15-20 cm. Length of nursery beds should not be more than 5-6 m. For transplanting the cuttings pits are dug in the field of dimensions 50cm× 50cm× 50cm at a distance of 2-3 meters. The soil which is dug out from pits is mixed with farmyard manure and filled back.
Sowing methods and tips for Pepper Farming.
Pepper is mostly cultivated by vegetative propagation through cuttings. The cuttings are taken from runner shoots bearing at least 3-4 nodes. These cuttings are then planted in nursery beds or in a mixture containing soil, farmyard manure and sand in the ratio 2:1:1 to prevent disease infestation. The cuttings are also dipped in rooting hormone solution to increase rooting from the nodes of cuttings. Roots emerge within 1-2 weeks and can be transplanted in the main field after 2-3 months.
The cuttings are placed in pits in the field at a spacing of 2.5m×2.5 m and supported with the bamboo stick to promote the growth of vines.
Irrigation methods for Pepper Farming.
When the cuttings are to be prepared for planting, they are initially watered 5 times a day. After one month, irrigation to the cuttings is reduced up to twice a day.
Light irrigation must be applied to the vines at an interval of 8 to 10 days during the winter season. No irrigation must be given during the rainy season.
Fertilizer Requirements for Pepper Farming.
10kg of farmyard manure is required for each vine. The fertilizers are applied around the vine in the basin. Initially recommended dose of NPK is 100:40:140 grams per vine. Apply 80-100gram Azospirillum culture in each pit after the application of chemical fertilizers.
Seed rate for Pepper Farming.
Approximately 18000 to 45000 plants are needed for the one-hectare area.
Seed treatment required for Pepper Farming.
The seeds are soaked in lukewarm water 24 hours before sowing.
The cuttings are treated with copper oxychloride @ 2 gram per ml of water for two to three times.
Best Varieties for Pepper Farming.
- Subhakara- This variety produces nearly four-kilogram berries per vine. The average yield is nearly 25 quintal per hectare. Essential oil content in seeds is nearly 5 to 6%.
- Panniyur-3 (Shima)- This variety is developed by Kerala Agricultural University and on average 4.5-kilogram berries are produced per vine. This variety grows well in open conditions and produces long berries. The total yield is 20 quintal per hectare.
- Panchami- This variety is developed by clonal selection. The average yield by this variety is 28 quintal per hectare and essential oil content varies from 3 to 4%.
Best practices for Pepper Farming.
- To increase the berry size, spray naphthalene acetic acid at the rate of 50 ppm after pruning the vines.
- Spray quinalphos at the rate of 2ml per liter of water to avoid infestation of Pollu beetle and leaf caterpillars.
- Spray 1% Bordeaux mixture to prevent anthracnose attack.
- Apply Phorate 10G at the rate of 30 gram per vine + copper oxychloride and metalaxyl @0.1% to prevent wilting of vines.
- Apical buds must be pinched to promote lateral branch development.