GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSE OF SWEET PEPPER AS INFLUENCED BY LIVE MULCHES
The use of live plants as an alternative weed control strategy for vegetable crops is rapidly becoming a sustainable method towards reduction of weed infestation thereby increasing the productivity of poor resource farmers. In Nigeria, one of the most challenging problems in vegetable crops production is how to significantly reduce the rising incidence of weeds infestation. The objective of this research is to determine the effect of cover crops as weed management alternative on sweet pepper yield under tropical conditions. Field experiments were carried out in 2006 and 2007 cropping season at the National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan (7°25 and 3°52), Nigeria. The experimental design was Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. Sweet pepper (California wonder) was grown on plots with melon, cucumber and pumpkin (as live mulches) and on plots receiving herbicides or hand weeding in addition to control (no weeding) plots. Data on days to flowering and sweet pepper fruit yield and its components such as number of fruits per plant and fruit weight were taken, while vegetative dry matter production consisting of stem, leaves and roots were determined at final harvest. Results showed that the highest significant yield of 5.6 and 5.1 kg plant-1 were obtained from plants with melon mulch in 2006 and 2007, respectively, while the lowest yield of 0.8 and 0.9 kg plant-1 was obtained from pumpkin for the same respective years. Weed density was different among cover crops, while the control gave the highest value of weed biomass at both years. It is concluded that the use of pumpkin as a cover crop for the production of sweet pepper significantly controlled weeds in two years, but resulted in fruit yield reduction.
Akintoye, H.A. and Adebayo, G.A. (2013). GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSE OF SWEET PEPPER AS INFLUENCED BY LIVE MULCHES. Acta Hortic. 1007, 543-548
vegetable crops, live mulch, weed control, herbicide