Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: When bell pepper fruit mature and turn from green to other colors they gain in value. Processes that affect these need study to determine if cultural methods can influence the number of red fruit. Similarly the formation of red fruit on non-bell pepper plants increases the value of the yield. Two fertilizer rates were examined to determine how they affected yield of red fruit on five cultivars each of bell and non-bell peppers. Additional fertilizer did not improve yield of red fruit in the bell pepper cultivars. However, in one year increasing fertilizer rate increased green and total bell pepper yield. In both years, additional fertilizer increased green and total non-bell pepper fruit yield, and in 1998 also increased red fruit yield. Additional fertilizer did not benefit yield of high value red fruit of the pepper cultivars tested. Also, if additional fertilizer is not needed the cost of extra travel through the field will reduce input.
Technical Abstract: Fertilizer amount affects pepper yields (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L.), and can affect fruit color. An N-P-K fertilizer was applied at the rate recommended for this location and 1.5-fold that rate. Green and red fruit yields of five bell and five non-bell pepper cultivars, as affected by fertilizer rate, were determined. Yields of all cultivars were higher in 1996 than in 1998 where day and night temperatures were much above normal. In 1996, increasing fertilizer rate caused decreases in green and total yield of bell peppers, but had no effect on red fruit yield. In 1998, fertilizer rate had no effect on components of yield. Also, the interaction of cultivar and fertilizer indicated that additional fertilizer increased total yield of plants of 'Melody', and decreased that on plants of 'Red Beauty'. In both years, increasing fertilizer rate increased green nand total non-bell pepper fruit yield, and in 1998 also increased red frui yield. In both years the cultivar by fertilizer interaction indicated that additional fertilizer increased green fruit yield on plants of 'Anaheim TMR 23' and 'Pimento L', and in 1998, on plants of 'Long Red Thick'.