TRANSPLANT GROWTH AND STAND ESTABLISHMENT OF BELL PEPPER (CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.) PLANTS AS AFFECTED BY COMPOST-AMENDED SUBSTRATE
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of using compost on bell pepper transplant growth and subsequent fruit yield after transplanting in the field. Bell pepper, 'X3R Wizard', was seeded on the spring of 2000. Transplants were grown using (1) commercial transplant growing substrate (Pro-Mix PGX, 70% peat moss) routinely used to grow bell pepper transplants and (2) the same substrate amended with on-farm produced compost (Gromor Organics Inc., Tifton, Georgia). Compost-amended (20% by volume) substrate significantly increased transplant height by 10%. In addition, leaf area, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, and plant height were significantly higher for transplants grown in compost-amended substrate 51 days after seeding. Transplants grown in compost-amended substrate also yielded 20% more fruit than transplants grown in non-amended substrate. In a follow-up study in 2002, the effects of amending the substrate with various rates of compost (from 0% to 50% by volume) on transplant growth were determined. Forty-two days after seeding, plants grown in substrate amended with 0% and 10% compost were shorter and had lower root dry weights compared to plants amended with ≥20% compost rate. In conclusion, our results show that the utilization of compost as a substrate amendment resulted in high quality transplants with increased vigor. This growth enhancement was partly due to the mineral nutrients contained in the compost, although compost was unable to supply all the nutrients needed by the plants. The results of this study did not show any beneficial effects on fruit yield attributed to using compost for transplant production.
Diaz-Perez, J.C., Granberry, D.M. and Germishuizen, P. (2008). TRANSPLANT GROWTH AND STAND ESTABLISHMENT OF BELL PEPPER (CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.) PLANTS AS AFFECTED BY COMPOST-AMENDED SUBSTRATE. Acta Hortic. 782, 223-228
organic agriculture, sustainable, compost, propagation, Capsicum annuum, potting mixtures