Irrigation management methods for the production of bell pepper in agricultural substrates






ABSTRACT This study’s objective was to assess the response and effectiveness of irrigation management systems for the production of bell pepper with different agricultural substrates, under protected conditions. The current study was conducted in a greenhouse located in Juazeiro, BA, in the northwest of Brazil. The experiment design was completely randomized in a split-plot system, with two irrigation treatments as the main plots (the drainage lysimeter and the Piché evaporimeter) and two substrates in each sub-plot (coconut fiber and pinus bark), with 5 replications per treatment. Harvest was conducted from 86 to 151 days after transplanting, and the following characteristics were evaluated: total, marketable and unmarketable yields, production per plant, fresh mass of fruits, fruit number per plant, length and diameter of fruits, length/diameter ratio, water use efficiency, pulp thickness, fruit pH, soluble solids, and titratable acidity. No interaction effects between irrigation treatments and substrates were observed on the following variables: total yield, marketable yield, non-marketable yield, production per plant, mean mass, and diameter of marketable fruits. Irrigation treatments and substrates did not show a significant effect on bell pepper yield. Drainage lysimeter-based management and coconut fiber substrate had the best results in terms of the physical quality of fruits, whereas pinus bark-based substrate positively influenced all chemical variables and the Piché evaporimeter-based irrigation management showed a good performance raising fruit pH in relation to fruits cultivated in lysimeter with pinus bark. Additional research is required under different environmental conditions so that this crop fully expresses its yield potential.

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