Nutrition of Nursery Plants

The exact requirement of the nutrients for proper growth and development of pepper plants in nursery has not been worked out. Studies on nutrients removed (Table 4.1.3) showed that rooted pepper plants of about three months with four to five leaves removed 64.8, 3.3, 54.8, 24.5, 11.2, 8.1 mg of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S respectively. Among the major nutrients studied, consumption of N was highest followed by K and Ca. The micro nutrients utilized were 0.978, 0.191, 0.128 and 0.451 mg of Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu respectively. Among these, iron utilization was more followed by copper.

Significant differences exist among cultivars with regard to utilization of nutrients. Aimpiriyan utilized more of N and K than the other cultivars. The studies conducted at IISR showed that proper nutrient management of pepper nursery is essential to get healthy plants that can give high establishment rate and vigorous growth in the field.

Planting and After Care Site selection

The land proposed for planting pepper should be cleared of weeds and undergrowths. In level lands proper drainage channels should be provided. Hill slopes are also suitable for raising pepper. When plantations are raised on sloppy land, the slopes

Table 4.1.3 Uptake of nutrients by rooted cuttings of some black pepper cultivars (mg kg-1).

Variety

Dry

matter

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

S

Fe

Mn

Zn

Cu

Mo

<g)

(fig planr1)

Panniyur-I

1.724

53.33

3.55

51.30

15.86

5.56

6.05

1.54

0.185

0.098

0.207

5.24

Kottanadan

2.470

58.65

3.00

59.25

30.11

12.84

8.88

0.75

0.195

0.184

0.832

3.38

Karimunda

1.657

59.13

3.36

40.51

16.05

6.85

6.08

0.75

0.140

0.074

0.241

3.63

Aimpiriyan

2.834

88.13

3.47

68.08

35.77

19.62

11.57

0.87

0.243

0.157

0.524

4.70

Mean

21.7

64.81

3.35

54.79

24.45

11.22

8.15

0.978

0.191

0.128

0.451

4.24

CD 5 %

0.590

6.73

0.99

15.09

10.46

4.94

3.77

0.18

0.061

0.040

0.189

1.17

facing south should be avoided. The lower half of north and north-eastern slopes are better suited for raising plantations so that the plants are not subjected to scorching effect during summer months. If the land is sloppy it is necessary to adopt soil and moisture conservation measures such as contour terracing. The site should be fenced to prevent trespassing of animals, which is essential as a phytosanitary measure.

Land preparation and standard establishment

With the receipt of first rain in May-June the primary stem cuttings of Erythrina indica, Garugapinnata, seedlings of Ailantbus spp. or Grevillea robusta are planted. However, when Erythrina indica is used as standard, application of Carbofuran 3 g at the rate of 30 g may be given once in a year to control nematode and root grubs. When Erythrina indica and Garuga pinnata are used, the primary stems/stem cuttings of about two metre are cut in March-April and stacked in shade in groups. The stacked stems start sprouting in May. The stems are planted at the edge of the pits dug for pepper vines.

In India, pepper is invariably trailed on live standards, the most commonly used ones are dadap (Erythrina indica and E. lithosperma) (Fig. 4.1.2), silky oak (Grevillea robusta), Glyricidia, Garuga pinnata, Ailanthus spp., etc. The less common support trees include Mesopsis eminii, Leucaena glauca (=L. leucocephala), Pajanalia rheedii, Macaranga peltata, Salmalia malabarica, mango and jack trees. Both coconut and arecanut palms are used for trailing pepper when pepper is planted as a

Figure 4.1.2 A monocrop of pepper on Erythrina indica standard. The pepper is maintained at 5-6 m in height.
Vietnam White Pepper Pole
Figure 4.1.3 Long columns of pepper 12-15 m high are found when pepper is trained on tall trees. Pepper on Grevillea robusta intercropped with coffee.

mixed crop. When interplanted in cardamom and coffee plantations pepper is trailed on all forest trees in the area. Dead standards are not used in India, though trials at IISR have shown that pepper trailed on dead standards gives higher yield (Menon et al. 1982). Tall columns of pepper can be established on tall trees such as Grevillea robusta (Fig. 4.1.3).

Sadanandan et al. (1992) reported that pepper plants trailed on Erythrina indica yield better than those trailed on other standards. But this is highly susceptible to stem and root borer and often they do not last long. The timber is also valueless. At higher elevations, silky oak is the most widely used standard and is found to be an ideal tree for trailing pepper. This is also a valuable hard wood. In plains Ailanthus sp. (mainly A.malabarica) are very good standards and they are valuable soft woods.

Both in Sri Lanka and Philippines only live standards are used. In Sri Lanka Glyricidia is the most common standard. In Phillipines Glyricidia, ipil-ipil (Leucaena), dadap (Erythrina indica) and Acacia are used. It has been shown that Glyricidia has strong allelopathic effect on pepper growth (Murni 1989). In other pepper growing countries dead standards are preferred though in recent times many small farmers started using live standards, mainly because of the high capital investment required for establishing dead standards and also due to their relative non-availablity. In Malaysia and Indonesia, the preferred support material is wooden pole of the Belian

History Black Pepper Plantation
Figure 4.1.4 The Sarawak system, when pepper is grown over Belian poles. Note the bushy growth of plants resulting from pruning.

tree (Eusideroxylon zwageri, Lauraceae, otherwise called Borneo Ironwood, is a high density, heavy construction timber resistant to white ants—ed.). The Ironwood poles are very durable and can remain for many years without getting damaged (Fig. 4.1.4). In India, teak poles (Tectona grandis) and reinforced cement concrete poles were tried for trailing pepper (Menon et al. 1982). The trials conducted at IISR indicated that both are useful, but teak poles are not long lasting and they are highly expensive and difficult to get. RCC poles are also very expensive. Reports from Indonesia indicated that RCC poles are not good for trailing pepper. But in Thailand, RCC poles are extensively used. Earthern pipes erected vertically and filled with sand or mud are also used in Thailand, Vietnam and also in Malaysia. (See annexure for more details).

Planting

With the onset of monsoon, 2-3 rooted cuttings of pepper are planted individually in the pits on the northern side of each standard. (In the case of unrooted cuttings, about 4-5 cuttings per pit are to be planted and the number of nodes in this case may be 45). At least, one node of the cutting should go below the soil for proper rooting. To boost rapid growth during initial years, pits can be filled with a mixture of top soil, five kg well rotten cattle manure, one kg neem cake and 150g rock phosphate. In case of large pits alternate layers of coconut husk and the above mixture can be filled to help the young plants to withstand hot summer (Pillai 1992). Ten to twelve cuttings may be planted around the large trees except on southern side. At a spacing of 2.5x2.5 m, there will be about 1600 standards ha-1. Karimunda yielded highest (6160 kg ha-1 green) under 2x1 m spacing followed by Panniyur-1 (4278 kg ha-1) when trailed on RCC standards (Menon et al. 1982). The build-up of soil nutrients increased substantially under wider spacings. As plant density increased from 1100 to 5000 ha-1 depletion of organic matter, K, Ca, Mg and micro nutrients like Zn, Fe, Cu and Mn were more conspicuous (Reddy et al. 1992). The young plants in the first one or two years are shaded loosely with twigs of trees or coconut leaves, and should be removed at the onset of rain.

In Sarawak, usually only one top shoot cutting (5-7 nodes) is planted on mounds, and is then tied to a wooden stake. Young plants are shaded usually with fern leaves or straw. In 3-4 weeks the vines get established and start growing. Wooden supports— 4 to 5 m poles of the Borneo Iron wood, are planted after 2-3 months. The recommended spacing is 1.8 mx2.4 m, accommodating about 2300 plants/ha. However, the average plant density is only 1970-2000/ha (George 1982). The first fertilizer application also starts with the planting of the support (See annexure for more details).

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  • Nilde
    How can i nursery black pepper?
    2 years ago

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