Vol 124 (2011): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Vegetable

Evaluation of Planting Densities and Shoot Pruning Practices for Indeterminate Bell Pepper Production in Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Costa Rica

Bielinski M Santos
University of Florida, IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
Teresa P Salame-Donoso
University of Florida, IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
Henner A Obregon-Olivas
Agropecuaria San Antonio, Tecolostote, Nicaragua
Jessie E Inestroza
Corporacion Dinant, Comayagua, Honduras
Ricardo Galeano
Corporacion Dinant, Comayagua, Honduras
Marco V Saenz
Laboratorio de Postcosecha, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Jose E Monge-Perez
Laboratorio de Postcosecha, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Maria G Cuevas
Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Emmanuel A Torres-Quezada
University of Florida, IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
Carlos J Mendez-Urbaez
Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Published December 1, 2011
Keywords
  • Capsicum annuum,
  • protected culture,
  • cultural practices,
  • shoot removal,
  • fruit quality,
  • in-row distance
  • ...More
    Less

Abstract

Indeterminate bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) production in Central America under protected agriculture has steadily increased over the last 10 years. The Protected Agriculture Information Network (PAINet) was created in 2009 as a free-of-charge network to assist on research, education, and information exchange among protected agriculture growers in seven countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of diverse plant densities and pruning practices on the performance of indeterminate bell pepper in commercial greenhouses in Honduras, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. In Costa Rica and Dominican Republic, treatments were combinations of planting densities and pruning practices. In Honduras, only the pruning practices were compared. The results indicated that pruning has little effect on total marketable yields for indeterminate bell pepper, regardless of the cultivars and planting densities. Similarly, the effects of planting densities on bell pepper total marketable yield were barely measured in all locations, which indicated that the lowest planting densities (26,000 and 27,500 plants/ha) have the lowest investment among all tested densities. Therefore, producing colored bell peppers in Central America and the Caribbean under protective structures may not need pruning for sustainable production,
which may save major labor costs.