Planting Material

The planting material used is cuttings from orthotropic shoots. These cuttings, of an average 5-7 internodes, are taken from selected healthy and good plants from orthotropic climbing branches. They are cut in such a way that the cuttings are not too old or too young, as old cuttings do not grow well, while the young ones usually produce weak and stunted plants.

Usually good quality cuttings or young plants are collected from nurseries available in or near planting area. Cutting or well developed young plants from nursery will give better chance for the small holders to get good crops. Single-node-cuttings are planted on a hygienic sand medium for 2-3 months in an isolated nursery. The cuttings may be taken from the fields or from certain plants designated for propagations in a nursery site. The advantage of this method is in the quality and cleanliness of the planting materials. Its disadvantage is higher cost and requires more skill compared to the conventional methods.

Theoretically, vegetative materials or cuttings can be obtained from any part of pepper stem. i.e. runner, hanging shoot, climbing shoot and lateral branch. However, different plant materials will produce different type of plants. Climbing shoot produce vigorous vine, stolon and runners produce lanky type of pepper vine and lateral branch produce bushy type of pepper. Cuttings obtained from climbing shoot will give vigorous plants and high number of lateral branches which enables the plants to be more productive. At present, the prospects of plants originated from lateral branches are being investigated in several locations. Prospects for its development is bright. The expected advantages are: easier to harvest, easier to spray, without inputs of standards, easier to cultivate, high population per unit area and lower cost of production. Wahid and Nuryani (1996) showed that plant spacing for bushy pepper could be 1x1.5 m which meant plant density of about 6600 plants ha-1. Even with a productivity of 0.3 kg planr-1, production per hectare achieved is more than 1.8 tons, which is not less than the productivity of normal pepper plants.

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