Yield of polyethylene-mulched bell pepper (Ccapsicum annuum l.) as affected by time of emergence and population density of smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus l.)

J. Pablo Morales-Payan, William M. Stall


A field experiment was conducted in 2001 in Live Oak, Fla., to study the effect of smooth pigweed time of emergence and densities on the fruit yield and grade of plastic-mulched bell pepper. Smooth pigweed was grown from seed placed alongside the pepper stems. 'Camelot' bell pepper was grown from transplants. The weed plant densities were 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 per m, and weeds were allowed to emerge at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after transplanting (WAT) the crop. Once emerged, the weeds were allowed to interfere with the crop the remainder of the season. As pigweed emerged earlier and/or weed density increased, pepper fruit yield, pepper plant dry weight and concentration of nitrogen in pepper leaf petioles decreased. Maximum yield loss (61%) occurred at the pigweed plant density of 6 per m emerging 1 WAT. At the weed plant densities of 4 and 6 per m, yield losses in pepper were lower than 10% when pigweed emerged later than 4 WAT. At the pigweed plant densities of 1 and 2 per m, pepper losses were lower than 10% if pigweed emerged lather than 2 WAT. These results show that smooth pigweed interference on bell pepper is affected by density and time of emergence. Interference by pigweed emerging later than 4 WAT may not cause critical pepper yield losses.


capsicum annuum; amaranthus hybridus; competition; critical time of interference; weed interference; yield loss

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283