Green Pepper Growth and Yield Response to the Integration of Mulching Materials and Row Plant Spacing
Ocharo, Edgar N.
Korir, Nicholas K.
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An experiment was conducted at the Crops Research Station of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Alupe, Busia County. The experiment was performed to find out the most suitable mulching material and an ideal spacing for green pepper cultivation under Busia County Conditions. The experiment was laid out in a Factorial Randomized Block Design with three replications. The treatments comprised of four mulching materials viz. black plastic mulch, transparent plastic mulch, straw mulch and bare soil which was the control with three row spacings viz. 30 x 50 cm, 40 x 40 cm and 50 x 40 cm. Data collected was subjected to SAS statistical software for analysis and means separated using LSD at P≤0.05. Significant responses on plant height and number of branches per plant were observed for both seasons due to spacing and mulching treatments. The highest branches (6.97) per plant were recorded in the 40 by 40 cm spacing under the transparent mulch with the lowest (2.83) shown under the same spacing in the straw mulch of California Wonder variety. The widest spacing elicited the highest number of fruits per plant (7.37) in the black plastic mulch while only a mean of 1 fruit per plant was recorded in the mulch control during the short rain season. The highest fruit mean yield per plant of 1556 g and 1533 g was recorded in the widest spacing (50 by 40cm) during the long and short rain seasons respectively. Therefore this study recommends the use of plastic mulches at wider spacing.