Response of bell pepper to cultivation in coconut fiber or soil

Vegetable production in greenhouses is preferred when soil quality is degraded by high salinity or incidence of pests and diseases. In these soils with abiotic and biotic issues, it is a challenge to increase the yield and quality of fruits. The use of rootstocks and organic substrates are effective and environmentally friendly techniques to solve that challenge.

The objective of a new study was the effect of rootstocks on yields and quality in bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) grown in either soil or coconut fiber substrate, in greenhouses. Using a randomized block design with three repetitions, the resulting treatment groups consisted of three rootstocks (Foundation-F1, Yaocali-F1, CLX-PTX991-F1 (Ultron), and non-grafted controls) with four hybrids as scions (Lamborghini, Bambuca, DiCaprio, and Ucumari).

The yield of fruit per plant (YFP) and number of fruit per plant (NFP) obtained in coconut fiber were 85% and 55% greater, respectively, than in soil. The CLX-PTX991-F1 rootstock was superior to the hybrids without rootstock (p ≤ 0.05) in YFP and NPF (30% and 19.5%, respectively). The Lamborghini hybrid had significantly greater YFP and NFP than the Ucumari. The researchers concluded that the use of coconut fiber significantly improves the yields of bell pepper and that the use of rootstock improves plant vigor and plant yield.

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