Effect of Plant Row Arrangement on Yield Components of Bell Pepper
An alternative to the production of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) under greenhouse conditions is the management of plants in a high-density population, with blunting above the fourth branching to achieve short cycles and arrangement of plant rows at different heights to form a stair-like canopy (stepped canopy), a system that has not been studied in this species. The aim of this study was to compare four bell pepper production systems using two canopy arrangements (stair-like and uniform) and two planting densities (6 and 8 plants·m-2). The cultivar ‘Cannon’ was used. The experimental design used was plots split into randomized blocks with four replications. The plant row arrangements were located in the large plots and the densities in the subplots. With the stepped arrangement, the yield per unit area increased with respect to the control (uniform arrangement) by obtaining a higher fruit set per plant, without decreasing its weight. Under this plant arrangement, the density increase from 6 to 8 plants·m-2 did not boost yield. The highest yield obtained was 12 kg·m-2 with 6 plants·m-2 of greenhouse area in a period of four months, from transplant to final harvest. This suggests the possibility of establishing three crop cycles per year, with an annual yield higher than those achieved by current greenhouse production systems.