Chapter 1. Introduction.
- Use high quality seeds
- Seedlings must be grown in protected nurseries
- There must be proper site selection and land preparation
- Timely application of fertiliser and water
- Seedlings must be transplanted only at the correct stages of growth
- Appropriate pest and disease control techniques must be used, including chemical and non chemical methods
- proper harvest and post-harvest techniques should be applied to ensure that fruits are of high quality.
Chapter 2. High Quality seeds
Good quality seeds should have a germination rate of 85%, be free of dirt, weeds and other crop seeds.
It is recommended to buy from a reliable source for best results. The seed package should be clearly labeled, detailing species, variety, date of harvest, percentage purity, net weight and producer’s name.
Chapter 3. Nurseries
Good fruit will only come from healthy plants. A good nursery is necessary, with secure insect protected screen.
It should be located at least 200 metres away from where tomatoes, irish potatoes, or any other kind of peppers are grown, as these crops are related, and are affected by similar pests and diseases, which can spread to the seedlings in the nursery.
Potting soil which is free – draining, free of pests and disease organisms must be used.
you can make your own soil using manure, mulches and composts mixed with soil or sand.
Soil may be sterilized by wetting, covering with clear plastic sheeting and leaving it for 6 – 8 weeks. this ‘soil solarizing’ kills pests, disease organisms and weed seeds.
Seedlings will normally emerge in 7 – 12 daysand should be watered lightly and frequently( twice daily) until they are ready to be transplanted.
Spray mist is better, and the nutriments are absorbed directly by the leaves and some by the roots.
20-20-20 fertiliser mix is best. This contains the 3 main plant foods, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
The seedlings should be transplanted after 5-6 weeks when they are about 12-15 cm tall.
To prepare for the shock of transplanting, they should be ‘hardened off’ for 5-7 days. This is done by reducing their water supply and exposing them to outdoor conditions, making them less likely to wilt when put in the field.
Chapter 4. Field site selection and land preparation.
The fields should have full sunlight all day, unshaded, with fairly deep soil and good drainage.
Peppers grow best in a soil with pH of between 5.5-7.0.
Allow time between ploughing and transplanting, so as to expose the soil to birds, bees and wasps, which are friendly insects as they feed on pests and help to eradicate weed seeds.
The beds should be raised, and about 100cm wide, and 40 cm high. Regular weeding is necessary.
Chapter 5. transplanting
The best time to transplant is late evening and ideally after rain or irrigation has been applied.
Carefully remove seedlings from the tray, or bag, with the root ball intact keeping the soil around the roots, the shock of transplanting is reduced.
Dig holes large enough to easily hold the seedling, pat down the soil around the root ball so that good contact is made with the soil, and water immediately.
Spacing is very important to scotch bonnet pepper growth. Plants should be spaced about 1 metre apart.
chapter 6. Fertiliser
Fertilizer must be applied at the correct time during the plant’s growth, and in the correct way.
Fertilize when transplanting, when flowering and again 25-30 days after start of flowering.
Fertilizer type varies depending on the soil you’re working with. Consult with your farm lab in your area.
Drip irrigation soluble, foliar, or other types may be used.
Apply in a band about 10-12 cm away from the stem of the plant.
Chapter 7. irrigation
For best growth and production, peppers need to be well irrigated. Failure to do so will result in poor yields and wilting.
Too little water will cause the plants to wilt, flowers to fall off, and fruit to become soft and also fall off.
Chapter 8. Weed control
Weeds compete with the plants for nutrients and water, and therefore must be removed.
They harbor viruses and aphids, and are detrimental to plant growth. The most critical period is 40-70 days after transplanting.
Chemical herbicides may be used. Best applied in evening, Fusilade, Agil, and Glyphosate are herbicides which may be used, in conjunction with weeding. Plastic sheeting or mulch also helps to reduce weeds.