Influence of Three Rootstocks on Yield and Commercial Quality of "Italian Sweet" Pepper
Pepper crops (Capsicum annuum L.) represent a very important production sector in the Southeast of Spain. Specifically, in the province of Almería, approximately 7000 hectares are grown every year. Due to the economic importance that this crop has for the region and the withdrawal of soil fumigants from the market, agronomic techniques have been adopted with the aim of controlling some soil pathogens and increasing the yield and quality parameters of the fruits obtained. The use of grafted pepper plants is not, as yet, very well established in this region, due mainly to the lack of commercial rootstocks that satisfy the producers of this vegetable. In this experiment three pepper rootstocks were assessed. An experiment was designed with four treatments and three replications of each one (12 experimental plots), which were distributed in randomised blocks. Three of the treatments corresponded to grafted plants of the “Palermo” cultivar onto: “Oscos”, “AR40” and “Tresor”, using non-grafted “Palermo” cultivar as the control test. The average yield expressed in kg/plant, showed significant differences between grafted and non-grafted plants. The highest fruit weight was obtained in Palermo onto Tresor. The presence of Blossom end rot (BER) in the assessed fruits also showed significant differences between the different treatments, with the fruits from plants grafted onto Tresor showing a higher proportion of BER and the fruits coming from plants grafted onto AR40 showing the lowest proportion.