Chilly & Capsicum: Know uses, facts, cultivation, harvesting & storage techniques in Nepal

 Chilly & Capsicum

Introduction:

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Chilly (Capsicum annum) is major species commercially grown in a large scale in which both chilly & Capsicum come under it. Chilies are used green as well as dry in the powdered form. It is rich source in vitamin A and vitamin C among the vegetables. It is grown as a spices, sauces and pickles. Capsicum are used as green vegetables nowadays.

Origin:

The native home of the chilies/green pepper in considered to be tropical America, especially Brazil. These are widely cultivated in Central and Southern Americas in early times and were unknown in Europe prior to the discovery of America.

Note: The pungency is due to presence of the chemical capsaicin and the bright red color at the ripening stage is due to pigment called capsanthin.

Cultivation Practices:

Climate:

For the cultivation of Chilly and Capsicum, a temperature of 18-32 & 18-22 degree Celsius respectively are considered suitable. Above 35 degree Celsius there is reduced in the vegetative growth period thereby resulting in early flowering of the peppers. The size of fruit is reduced drastically below 10 degree Celsius. Temperature beyond 40 degree Celsius results in poor fruit sets as well as severe fruit drop.

A rainfall of 600-1200 mm spread throughout the growing period is sufficient as a rainfed crop for chilly to perform well.

Soil & Field Preparation:

Chilies are grown in wide range of soil, however well drained, loam soil rich in organic matter is best suited for Chilly cultivation. The pH of the soil optimum for cultivation is 5.5-6.5. Ploughing the land for 3-4 times followed by planking to level the land & obtain fine tilth.

Manuring & Fertilization:

Apply 20-30 tons FYM per hectare during field preparation. Bell pepper is heavy feeder crop, hence require higher nitrogen dose than that of Chilly. The recommended dose of fertilizer is 100 kg N, 100 kg P and 100 kg K for Chilly whereas it is 200 kg N, 100 kg P, and 100 kg K for Bell pepper per hectare.

Full dose of P, K and 1/3 part of N should be applied during crop planting. Apply 1/3 N at 25 Days after transplantation and 1/3 at 50 DAT.

Nursery Management:

About 225 square meter is required to raise seedling for one hectare. Nursery beds are prepared with 7.5 m length, 1 m width and 10-15 cm height. Treatment of seed with fungicide like Captan, Thiram @2g/kg seed is essential. Soil solarization is essential to reduce pest and disease incidence. For this, cover the nursery bed with transparent polythene sheet for at least 10 days during day time. Sow the seed in line and cover the bed with low tunnels and low-cost poly-house. Irrigate the bed in the evening regularly. Spray Diathane M-45 @ 0.25% every week if necessary, to prevent post emergence damping off.

Sowing Time:

Like brinjal and tomatoes, the chilies can also be grown as summer, rainy and winter crops in the frost free areas of the plains and as only summer and rainy season crop in areas where frost and severe winter occurs.

Geographical region Chilly Capsicum
Seed sowing Harvesting Seed sowing Harvesting
Terai July-August Nov-Feb March-April June-August
Mid Hills (Seasonal)

 

Off-seasonal

Oct-Feb May-June Jan-Feb April-June
June-July Aug-Sept Aug-Sept Nov-May
High Hills Feb-March June-August Aug-Sept Nov-March

 

Seed Rate:

800-900 grams of seeds are used to raise the seedlings for one hectare of Chilly or bell pepper. Under optimum nursery management condition only 250-300 gram of hybrid seed is enough. Similarly, cuttings can also be used for planting materials in Chilly. One-year old branch consisting of at least 2 nodes for planting.

Transplanting & Spacing:

 Usually, 30 days old seedlings of Chilly are transplanted at the distance of 60cm * 30cm during season & 80cm * 60cm for off-season and 60cm * 45cm for bell pepper. Transplanting carried out in the evening.

Irrigation & Earthing up:

Light irrigation is essential at 10-15 days interval in cool weather & 7-10 days interval during hot weather. After first irrigation or rain shower, light earthing up is essential.

Inter-culture & Weed Culture:

Gap filling is essential to maintain the adequate plant population. 2-3 hand weeding at 20 & 40 days after transplanting is essential. Pre-plant incorporation (10 days before planting) of Fluchloralin @ 0.5-1 kg/ha and pre-transplant surface application of Alachlor @ 2.5 kg/ha gave good control of weeds in Chilly. Mulching can be done for effective moisture conservation and weed control.

Staking for perennial crop.

Harvesting:

Chillies are harvested at two stages i.e. one for green vegetables and other as dry chillies. The green chillies and green pepper are harvested when they are fully matured and before they change from green to red on approaching the ripe stage. They are picked up at frequent intervals possibly twice a week. Sweet peppers can be harvested only once in a week.

Yield:

Yield range from 7-16 ton/ha of green chilies and 12-20 ton/ha of non-pungent sweet capsicum. The yield of dry chilly range from 0.5-1 ton/ha in rainfed crops and 1.5-2.5 ton/ha in irrigated crop.

Drying should be carried out.

Storage:

Green chillies and pepper should be cooled immediately after harvesting, stored and transported at temperature ranging between 7-10 degree Celsius with relative humidity of about 90-95 %.

Dry chillies can be placed for several months together in dry place, well protected from insect pests.

 

 

 

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