Influence of Mulching Materials on the Growth and Yield Components of Green Pepper at Busia County in Kenya
Edgar, Ocharo N.
Gweyi-Onyango, Joseph P.
Korir, Nicholas K.
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Aims: Green pepper (Capsicum annuum) also named the bell pepper or sweet pepper is one of the most important and remunerative vegetable crops in the world. Due to the increased pressure on land, climate change and increased demand for the crop, there is need for better agronomical practices that will ensure enough food production. Place and Duration of Study: In Kenya, little attention has been given to the use of organic and inorganic mulch materials to increase productivity of horticultural crops and therefore this study was conducted in Alupe, Busia-Kenya, during the long and short rains season of 2015 to assess the efficacy of black plastic, transparent plastic and straw mulch on growth and yield of green pepper. Methodology: The treatments were black polythene mulch, transparent polythene mulch, straw mulch and bare soil as the control. Results: The straw mulch elicited significantly vigorous growth of seedlings compared to the other treatments but had the lowest number of leaves unlike transparent mulch which had the most with 58. The widest stem circumference was observed on mulched plots as well as the plant height where the control recorded the lowest height. The black polythene mulch gave significantly (P=.05) heavier fruits of 924.5 g/plant during the long rain and 681.1 g/plant in the short rain season. Unmulched plots of either variety had the lowest mass recorded for fruit in both seasons. The transparent mulch showed significantly (P=.05) more seeds per fruit (196), longest fruit length (8.5 cm) and greatest fruit diameter (9.2 cm). Based on the experimental results the black polythene mulches had greatest effects on the growth, and yield of sweet pepper and showed superior performance among the plastic mulches in the study area and therefore is recommended.