The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE
PEPPER PRODUCTION GUIDE
This guide presents general recommendations
for the production of pepper in Florida. Modifi-
cation may be necessary as improved practices are
developed through research and experience.
For details on local application of these prac-
tices, see your County Agricultural Extension
Agent. Other publications on pepper production
*Commercial Vegetable Insect and Disease
Control, Extension Circular 193.
*Chemical Weed Control for Florida Vegetable
Crops, Extension Circular 196.
*Commercial Vegetable Fertilization Guide,
Extension Circular 225.
*Vegetable Variety Trial Results for 1969-
1970-1971 and Recommended Varieties, Fla. Exp.
Sta. Circular S-223.
Since these publications are revised from time
to time, be sure to get the latest issues.
ACREAGE AND YIELDS*
Ireas Harvest Period Acres (Bu/A)
Torth Florida June-July 1,000 300
*orth Central Fla. Nov.-Dec. &
Apr.-June 1,420 390
Vest Central Fla. April-June 790 310
southwest Florida Nov.-May 6,330 395
southeast Florida Nov.-May 3,260 420
Total 12,800 av. 388
'Acreage and yield information taken from Fla. Ag. Sta-
tistics-Vegetable Summary, 1972.
YIELD, COSTS AND RETURNS*
(1971-72 Season, Range Per Acre)
Palm Beach-Broward Immokalee-Lee
tem Range: from to Range: from to
fieldd (bu./acre) 197 425 227 760
'otal growing cost $ 635.05 $1,099.48 $ 579.15 $1,555.42
total harvest/market cost $ 290.18 $ 562.75 $ 431.19 $1.442.50
'otal crop cost $ 974.50 $1,558.70 $1,010.34 $2,997.92
rop sales $ 692.53 $2.018.75 $ 873.78 $3.589.03
et return (or loss) ($-673.60) ($+460.05) ($-202.39) ($+591.11)
From University of Florida, Ag. Econ. Report 44. (Note: Ranges
from low to high are for each item and are not additive in columns.)
Standard Blocky Types
Early Calwonder.-An early maturing Cali-
fornia Wonder type with medium, thick wall.
Does well in winter and with a concentrated har-
Florida Giant.-Standard variety. Fruit
green, sweet. Thick-walled and of blocky type.
Yolo Wonder, L or B.-Developed for resist-
ance to tobacco mosaic. Pendant fruit, California
Resistant Giant.-Thick-walled. California
Wonder type. Developed for resistance to tobacco
Worldbeater.-Standard variety. Fruit less
blocky in shape and thinner-walled than California
Allbig.-Worldbeater type, very productive.
Cuban or Cubanelle.-Two to three lobed, 6'
x 2", medium-walled, tapered, greenish yellow
sweet, heavy yields.
Italian El or Italianelle.-Three lobed, 4" x 2"
thin-walled, sweet, green fruited.
Neapolitan.-Same as Italian El except earlier
yellow fruit color.
Anaheim Chili.-Pointed, 7" x 11/2", thin-wall
ed, green, medium pungent, very prolific, red whei
Long Thin Cayenne.-Pointed, 5" x 1/", thin
walled, green, very pungent, red when ripe.
Hungarian Wax.-Pungent, fruit slende
Jalapeno.-Pungent, 1" x 21/2". Fruit tape
ing, dark green, turning very deep red.
Seed that are untreated when they are obtai
ed should be treated with one of the "seed trea
ment" preparations commonly available at far
No. Fla. Cent. Fla So. Fla.
Seeding Dates Jan.-March Dec.-Jan. July-Jan.
Transplanting Dates Feb.-Apr. Jan.-March Aug.-Feb.
Seed to Transplant
(Days, 42-56 42-56 42-56
Days to Maturity
Transplants 65-75 65-75 65-75
Field Direct Seeded 90-95 90-95 90-95
Two-row beds* 5'-6' 5'-6' 5'-6'
One-row beds 32"-48" 32"-48" 32"-48"
Between Plants 9"-16" 9"-16" 9"-16"
Seeding Depth 1/2" /" %"
Direct Field Seeded 1 lb./A 1 lb./A 1 lb./A
Seedbed transplant/A % lb. % lb. % lb.
*The two rows of pepper on the plant bed should be spaced 16 to 20
DIRECT SEEDING OR TRANSPLANTING
Peppers can be direct-seeded or transplanted
to the production field. Both systems have cer-
tain advantages and disadvantages. Although no
accurate comparisons have been made, costs of
getting the crop started may not differ greatly be-
tween the two methods. Seedlings growing under
full-bed mulch culture are subject to injury from
ligh soluble salts during periods of hot, dry
weather. They should be top-watered with 1/4 to
-/ cup of water every two to four days until the
:oots are well established.
Part I Direct Seeding
An improvement worthy of trial by those
growers direct-seeding their pepper crop is the
'plug-mix seeding technique." The term "plug-
nix" is used to define a method of seeding where
eeds and water are incorporated into a blended
rowing medium which is then precision placed in
he field rows at measured rates of 1/8 to 1/4 cup
>f loose mixture per hill. The system is not over-
y expensive to use and has many advantages
ver the conventional system of planting seeds.
"he mix can be precision placed in the field
mechanically with an automatic planter available
rom farm equipment dealers. A complete dis-
ussion on the materials and methods used for
lug-mix seeding is available in Fort Pierce ARC
limeo Report RL-1972-2 of the University of
Part II Transplanting
Growers choosing to start pepper crops with
transplants should realize that it is extremely im-
portant to have sturdy, healthy transplants. Two
general systems are used to produce transplants.
They are: (1) barerooted-the standard system
where transplants are grown in plant beds and
placed in the field barerooted, and (2) container-
ized-similar to the peat pot or plant band sys-
tem, where transplants are grown in individually
containerized growing media and placed in the
field with growing media attached to an undis-
turbed root system.
To produce good barerooted transplants, a few
simple practices must be followed. Select new
ground or a site where pepper, tomato, eggplant
and tobacco have not been grown before or fumi-
gate the soil. Lime the soil to a pH of 6.0 to 6.5
and add 2 to 3 pounds of 4-8-8 or similar fertilizer
per 100 square feet of surface area. If the soil is
fumigated, supply at least 50% of the nitrogen in
the nitrate form.
To help in the control of nematodes, diseases,
insects and weed seeds, fumigate the plant bed
soil as recommended in Table I.
Control of insects and diseases in the plant bed
is the same as for plants in the production field.
See "Insect Control" and "Disease Control."
There are several variations which are press
ently being used in the production of container-
ized transplants. They are pressed blocks of soi
and organic materials, peat pots with soil mi
added at seeding and tray production where th
soil mix is held together by the plant roots when
removed from the tray for transplanting to th
field. Each of the above systems requires a cer
tain amount of know-how and experience for suc
cessful production of transplants. Grower
wishing to investigate the possibilities of con
tainerized transplant production should contact
their local Agricultural Extension Agent as wel
as representatives of the manufacturers supplyin
the materials needed for each system. Grower
should provide protection from adverse weather
with structures covered with plastic, glass, etc.
for the small plants until transplanted to the pro
Soil Fumigants* Rate Directions
Methyl Bromide 872 lbs/acre Use for production of vegetable transplants only.
(Brom-O-Gas)** (24 lbs/1200 sq ft)
Application method: Inject to 6-8 inch depth with chisels spaced 10-12 inches apart.
Cover with polyethylene.
Exposure period: 48-96 hours.
Aeration before planting: 2-10 days.
(Dowfume MC-33) 350 lbs/acre Same as above.
(Terr-O-Gas 67) (9.6 lbs/1200 sq ft)
Chloropicrin 35-46 gals/acre Application method: Inject to 6-8 inch depth with chisels spaced 10-12 inches apart
(Chlor-O-Pic) (1-1.3 gal/1200 sq ft) or apply with handgun. Press immediately and cover with polyethylene or apply a
(Picfume) water seal.
Exposure period: 24-48 hours.
Aeration before planting: 7-14 days.
Metham 100 gals/acre Application method: Inject to 6-inch depth with chisels spaced 5 inches apart. Follow-
(Vapam) (2.8 gals/1200 sq ft) ing application, compact the soil surface and cover with polyethylene or seal with light
(Fume V) watering to help prevent gas escape.
(VPM) Exposure period: 7 days.
Aeration before planting: 21 days.
Table I. Multi-Purpose Soil Fumigants Rates and Use for Transplant Bed
Soil Fumigants* Rate Directions
100 gals/acre Application method: Drench on material in 150-250 gals. of water. Cover with poly-
(2.8 gals/1200 sq ft) ethylene or seal with light watering to help prevent gas escape.
Exposure period: 7 days.
Aeration before planting: 21 days.
Vorlex 34-40 gals/acre Application method: Inject to 6-8 inch depth with chisels spaced 6-8 inches apart.
(1-1.1 gal/1200 sq ft) Press and cover with polyethylene.
Exposure period: 7 days.
Aeration before planting: Aerate by shallow cultivation and wait about 4 weeks before
50 gals/acre Organic (peat and muck) soils.
(1.4 gal/1200 sq ft)
*Effective in controlling nematodes, certain soil-borne diseases, insects and weeds.
**Where used for nematode control at the rates listed below, it will also control certain soil-borne diseases, insects and weeds.
NEMATODE CONTROL IN THE
Peppers are susceptible to injury from sting,
stubby-root, awl and root-knot nematodes. Plant-
ing in soils heavily infested with these nematodes
should be avoided whenever possible. Fallow
cultivation, crop rotations, flooding, etc., are
means of controlling nematodes. Soils heavily in-
fested with plant parasitic nematodes should be
fumigated as suggested in Tables II and III.
NOTE: In cases where nematode control only is
needed, use one of the materials listed in Table II.
The multi-purpose fumigants, which are effective
in controlling a complex of soil-borne diseases,
nematodes, certain insects, and in some cases,
weed seeds, are listed in Table III.
Table II. Nematicides Rates and Use
for Production Field
Fl oz/chisel FI oz/chisel
per 1000 per 1000
Nematicide Gal/Acre linear feet Gal/Acre3 linear feet
D-D 20-25 59-73 8-10 72-90
W-85 4.5-6.0 13-18 1.5-2.0 13-18
Nemagon 12.14 1.5-2.0 4.4-5.9 .75-1.0 6.6-8.8
Nemagon 8.64 2.1-2.8 6.2-8.2 1.0-1.4 8.8-12.3
Telone 15-20 44-59 6-8 54-72
SThe overall rate per acre of fumigants is based on a 12-inch chisel
2 For organic (peat and muck) soils, rates should be increased 75-
SThese rates are given as a guide to determine total amount of
chemical needed for 3-foot rows. Closer row spacing will require more
chemical per acre; wider row spacing, less.
4 Rates listed above are for direct-seeded pepper (except bell pepper)
nly. For transplanted pepper (except bell pepper) apply Nemagon
2.1 at 1.0 gallon or Nemagon 8.6 at 1.5 gallons per acre overall at
east two weeks before transplanting.
Table III. Multi-Purpose Soil Fumigants1 Rates
and Use for Production Field
Fl oz/chisel Fl oz/chisel
Soil per 1000 per 1000
Fumigants Gal/Acre linear feet Gal/Acre4 linear feet
Chloropicrin* 35-46 103-135 12-15 103-135
Metham** 40-60 50-74 6-8 50-74
Vorlex 30-35 60-70 7-8 60-70
Use the high rate in fields heavily infested with nematodes. An
additional 7-10 day waiting period is generally necessary when the high
rate is used.
** Do not use in fields known to have high soil-borne disease stress.
1 Multi-purpose soil fumigants are effective in controlling a complex
of soil-borne diseases, nematodes and certain insects, and in some cases,
2 The overall rate per acre listed above, except Metham and Vorlex, is
based on a 12-inch chisel spacing. Metham requires a 5-inch chisel
spacing; Vorlex requires an 8-inch chisel spacing.
3 For organic (peat and muck) soils, the rates listed above, except
Vorlex, should be increased 75-100%. Use Vorlex at the rate of 50 gals/
4 These rates are given as a guide to determine total amount of chem-
ical needed for 3-foot rows. Closer row spacing will require more chem-
ical per acre; wider row spacing, less.
Since fertilizer rates, sources and placement
for unmulched and strip mulch differ considerably
from full-bed mulch culture, information for each
is presented separately.
Part I. Production Under Unmulched or
Placement Recommendations in the past for
open culture have been to place the main or basic
application of fertilizer normally used at planting
in bands 2 to 3 inches to each side and slightly
below the level of the seed or plant roots. This
practice is good where soluble salt injury is not
anticipated. An alternative practice, which helps
alleviate soluble salt problems, is the use of broad-
cast applications for part or all of the basic ferti-
lizer before planting.
Strip-mulch culture differs from the ope
method in that about 80% of the fertilizer is
placed under an 8- to 12-inch strip of mulch to re-
Timing The basic application of fertilize
may be applied before planting, during planting
shortly after planting, or in split applications com-
bining any two or all three of these. Supplemental
fertilizer may be applied whenever needed during
the growing season and especially after heavy,
Soil pH Optimum range for pepper production
is between 6.0 and 6.5. Where magnesium levels
are low, use dolomitic limestone.
Minor Elements In the absence of previous
history and experience on sandy soils, a "shotgun"
approach can be used. A general guide for
adequate minor elements is the addition of 0.3%
MnO, 0.2% CuO, 0.5% Fe203, 0.2% ZnO, and 0.2%
B20, with the fertilizer. The minor elements can
be obtained from mixtures of oxides and sulfates
or fritted trace elements.
Higher rates are necessary to overcome the
tendency of minor elements to be tied-up by the
organic matter in muck and peat soils and from
the high pH affect on marl soils.
Table IV. Fertilizers Rates and Use
Applied each Number
Actual Lbs./A application of
N-POs-KO N-PO-KO Applications
Irrigated 108-144-144* 30- 0-30 1 to 6
Unirrigated 72- 96- 96 30- 0-30 1 to 3
(Peat & Muck) 0-160-240** *** ***
Rockland 45- 60- 60 30-30-30 1 to 4
Marl 54- 72- 72 30- 0-30 1 to 3
*The total amount may be applied in split applications to reduce leaching and fertilizer
**Rates suggested are for new or low P.O, and K.O organic soils. When soil tests show a
medium level of P,O,, reduceamount applied by one-third. When P,Olevelsare high,reduce
by two-thirds. Follow the same suggestion for KO. On new organicsoils, apply 15 lbs. of CuO,
10 lbs. of MnO and 4 lbs. of BO, per acre before cropping.
'**During cold weather or following heavy rainfall, nitrate-nitrogen sidedressing may be
Part II. Production Under Full-Bed Mulch
Under this system of culture, the crop must
be supplied with all of its soil requirements (lime,
nutrients, soil pesticides, soil preparation and bed
shape, etc.) before the mulch is applied. It is al-
ost impossible to correct a soil problem after the
ulch is applied.
The following are suggestions for fertilization
under full-bed mulch culture. They should be
modified as needed.
A general sequence of operations for full-bed
mulch culture is: (1) land preparation, (2) liming,
(3) addition of superphosphate, mixed fertilizers
and minor elements to be broadcast and mixed in
the soil, (4) mixing insecticides into soil, (4a) in-
corporation of herbicide, if used, (5) bed-shaping,
(6) fumigation, (7) bed-firming and re-shaping,
(7a) application of surface-applied herbicide, if
used, (8) application of the balance of mixed
fertilizer on the surface, and (9) application of
mulch. The following are guidelines to rates,
sources and placement of fertilizer for full-bed
Total major elements suggested per acre are:
N P20, K20
150 to 300 lbs. 100 to 200 (old land) 200 to 400 lbs.
200 to 300 (new land)
Placement of the fertilizer materials may vary
somewhat. The following approach has been used
successfully by growers.
(1) Broadcast and disk in:
(a) Superphosphate (20%) at rate of 500 to
1,000 lbs. per acre before fumigation. (Vary
amount depending on residual POs.)
(b) Minor elements At same rates suggested for
(c) Mixed fertilizer 500 to 600 lbs. of 5-10-10 or
6-12-12 as a "starter." (Note: Alternative is
to broadcast the starter fertilizer on the sur
face just prior to applying mulch cover.)
(2) Apply on bed surface:
Balance of fertilizer in two bands on each side
of a one-row bed or in three bands on a two-ro
bed. A total of 800 to 1,600 Ibs. of an 18-0-25 mix
ture can be used here, depending on the length o
harvest season anticipated.
Note: Nitrogen in fertilizer mixes should com
primarily from nitrate sources for soils that hav
been fumigated and mulched. A rate of 60 t
70% nitrate-nitrogen and 30 to 40% ammoni
nitrogen is suggested. Some natural organic ca
be added, but they will not convert readily i
fumigated soil until re-inoculated with nitrifyin
CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL
Before attempting wide-scale use of a new
herbicide, it should be tested on a small scale for
at least one season.
For preemergence weed control, it is especially
important that the bed be prepared properly be-
fore treatment with herbicides. The bed should
be firm, smooth and free of crop residues. Good
soil moisture is necessary for most herbicides to
After herbicides are applied, the treated soil
should not be disturbed unless otherwise specified
for the herbicide. Cultivate carefully to prevent
movement of untreated soil into the treated area.
Table V. Herbicides Rates and Uses'
Time of Ingredients)
icides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks
OPEN CULTURE OR WHERE
STRIP-MULCH IS USED
A Posttrans- 10% Plants should be 4 inches
thal) planting or tall. Apply directionally
postthinning to base of plant.
Lenamid Preemergence 4 to 5
nid or Posttrans-
lin Pretrans- 1 May be incorporated b3
navin) planting irrigation and rainfall oi
1 to 1% inches within '
days following application
See footnote2 at end oJ
iralin Pretrans- 1/ to 1 Incorporate within 8 hour!
lan) planting after application. Use low
er rate on light sands an(
higher rate on dark sands
amben Posttrans- 3 Use granular formulation
iben or planting Do not apply when plant:
ben) are wet.
Table V. Herbicides Rates and Uses'
Time of Ingredients)
Herbicides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks
FULL-BED MULCH SYSTEM:
Diphenamid Preemergence 4 to 5 If holes are cut or bur
(Dymid or Posttrans- in the mulch cover,
Enide) planting phenamid may be dire(
as a band over the
after seed is sown
transplants are set.
Nitralin Pretrans- 1 Mechanically incorpo
(Planavin) planting band treatment 1 to
inches within 2 days
lowing application or
fore installing cover. 7
transplant. See footn
at end of table.
Trifluralin Pretrans- 1/ to 1 Incorporate in band u
(Treflan) planting the cover within 8 h
after application. Use
er rate on light sands
higher rate on dark sa
1 All treatments are premergence to weeds unless otherwise noted.
2 Do not replant to cucumbers, watermelons, or crops not on the label fo
year after last application.
The amount per acre of insecticides and fungi-
cides recommended under "Insect Control" and
"Disease Control" is for full-grown crops and
should be reduced proportionately for smaller
plants. "Minimum Days to Harvest" means the
minimum number of days that must elapse be-
tween last foliar application and harvest. If the
dosages recommended are exceeded, the minimum
days listed may not be applicable and a longer
interval should be allowed.
The amount of spray required for adequate
coverage varies according to size of the plants.
Generally, 50 to 150 gallons of spray are sufficient
for good coverage. Pressure in spraying should
not exceed 250 psi.
PRECAUTIONS: Pesticides should be used
with extreme caution. Read the label and fol-
low recommendations on crop to use, dosage
and time lapse required between last appli-
cation and harvest. Study suggestions for
safety and follow carefully.
Table VI. Insecticides Rates and Uses1
Insecticides and Amounts Min. Days
[nsect Formulations Per Acre to Harvest
Leaf Miners2 Diazinon 4E 1/ pt. 5
Naled (Dibrom) 8E 1 pt. 1
De-Fend) 2.67E %-1 pt. NTL
(Guthion) 2E 1 qt. 3*
Aphids Demeton (Systox)
2E 1-1/2 pts. 3
De-Fend) 2.67E %-1 pt. NTL
Nudrin) 90% SP 1/ pt. 10
2E 1 qt. 1
Armyworms Methomyl (Lannate,
(fall, beet & Nudrin) 90% SP 1/ lb. 10
southern)3 Carbaryl (Sevin)
Corn 80% WP 1a lbs. NTL
Earworm Endosulfan (Thiodan)
2E 1 qt. 1
Toxaphene 8E 1-2 pts. 5
Pepper Toxaphene 8E 1-2 pts. 5
rhrips Parathion 4E 1/2 pt. 15
Dutworms If cutworms are known to be present, a
preplant application of 2 pounds active in-
gredient per acre toxaphene or chlordane
can be used. The soil should not be dis-
turbed for 3 to 5 days after application.
If cutworms become a problem after the
peppers have been planted, a bait should
be used. A 21/% toxaphene, 2% chlordane
or 5% Dylox bait at the rate of 20 to 40
pounds per acre can be used.
Iole Broadcast aldrin or diazinon at 2 pounds or
rickets chlordane at 4 pounds active ingredient per
acre as a spray, dust or granule, or a 2%
chlordane or aldrin or 5% Dylox bait evenly
over the soil surface at 20 to 40 pounds per
acre before seeding or transplanting if in-
sects are present. After plants are up, use
a fresh bait on soil (not plants) in late
afternoon when soil is moist and warm.
For seedbeds use a bait; or drench with one
Insecticides and Amounts Min. Days
Insect Formulations Per Acre to Harvest
of the above materials at the rates given.
Treatments should be made a few days be-
Lesser In the Everglades area apply parathion,
Cornstalk using a wetting agent or detergent in the
Borer spray water to help wet the soil and the
webbing. Make first application broadcast
(covering rows and middles) just before
crop emerges, using 1 pint of parathion 4E
per acre. Make second application as soon
as crop emerges and before cultivation, us-
ing 1 pint of parathion 4E per acre. Higher
gallonage (up to 300 per acre) of more
dilute coarse sprays at about 100 pounds
pressure may be more effective.
The lesser cornstalk borer is an erratic pest
with outbreaks during dry periods. It is
doubtful that routine control measures
would be profitable.
The interval for a maximum of 4 treatments. If more than 4 treat-
ments are applied, allow 14 days to harvest.
I Other formulations may be registered and available.
2 Leaf Miners-Watch closely for leaf miners. Apply insecticides twice
a week to small seedlings when there are heavy migrations of adult leaf
miners, or to older plants when weekly applications are not giving con-
trol. Weekly applications of dimethoate have given good control.
Diazinon has not been effective in the Homestead and Lower East Coast
areas in recent years. Parathion will usually give control in Central
and North Florida.
3 Beet Armyworm-This worm is extremely difficult to control beyond
the second instar.
4 Pepper Weevil-Cut open fallen blossom buds and small fruits for
evidence of infestations. Apply toxaphene at 7-day intervals when in-
festation becomes evident.
Bacterial Spot (Xanthomonas vesicatoria) -
Use 4-5 lbs. of copper (48-53% metallic copper)
Spray applications should be started at emer-
gence of seedlings and continued on a 7-day sched-
ule. Complete coverage is essential. In plant
beds, begin spraying when plants emerge.
Damping-Off (Pythium spp., Rhizoctonia spp.
etc.) Avoid planting on low or poorly drain
areas. Do not follow peppers with peppers. Soi
treatment with the multi-purpose materials give
in Table I for plant beds and those listed in Tabl
III for direct-seeded peppers should be used where
damping-off and other soil-borne pests are prob
lems. Follow instructions given with the tables.
Disease Spray to Harvest
Progeye Spot Zineb 75%, 2 lbs., or NTL
(Cercospora Copper 4 lbs. of 48-53%
capsici) metallic copper, or NTL
Maneb 80%, 1/2-2 Ibs./A
Gray Leaf Spot Zineb 75%, 2 lbs./A NTL
Phytophthora Blight Zineb 75%, 2 lbs./A NTL
In plant beds, begin spraying when plants are
two to three inches high and repeat at seven-day
intervals. In fields, after plants have become es-
tablished, repeat at 7- to 10-day intervals as
Frogeye spot is not normally a serious disease,
and when weather conditions are not favorable for
its development, the spray schedule may be
Viruses Use resistant varieties when avail-
Workers handling pepper plants should wash
hands with strong soap and water or 70% alcohol
beforee handling plants. This is most important
for workers who use tobacco.
To reduce insect transmission of viruses from
wild host plants (nightshade, ground cherry and
others) several practices are suggested:
(1) Eradicate wild plants in fence rows and
)n ditch banks during season when crops are not
(2) Plant barrier crops around pepper fields.
A 50-foot strip of a non-susceptible crop (corn,
means etc.) tends to trap insects flying in until
hey become non-infective.
(3) Spray barrier crop with suitable insecti-
ide at least weekly to reduce population of insect
ectors. See insect control suggestions.
(4) Destroy old infected crops before plant-
ng following crops alongside them.
Bacterial Soft Rot of Fruit (Erwinia caroto-
ora) Avoid harvesting while plants are wet.
void wounding fruit. If peppers are washed,
ater should be chlorinated and sprayed over the
pods to prevent entry into the pepper cavity
Chlorine treatment is particularly important
soft rot is observed in the field or packinghou,
Desired chlorine concentration of 100 to 200 par
per million can be maintained with commerce
bleach (one gallon to 50-100 gallons water)
HARVESTING AND HANDLING
Peppers should be harvested when they a
best marketable size and color for highest yiE
and market preference. Sweet pepper varieti
are usually sized before packing and larger siz
grade higher than smaller sizes. Handle car
fully during harvesting and cleaning with wat
or revolving brushes to avoid bruising and sk
breaks. Lined crates or cartons, not overfillE
are suitable shipping containers, whereas mu,
mechanical damage results from packing in busl
baskets and they are not adapted to palletiz
handling. Protective packing and high relati
humidity (90 to 95 percent) should be used to I
tard water loss which can cause severe softenii
Removal of field heat and suitable refrigeratii
during marketing are practices which will he
to maintain quality. Peppers can be precooled 1
placing the packed containers in a refrigerate,
room with adequate air movement. Temperatur
above 500 F result in increased decay and ripe
ing, and temperatures below 450 cause chilli]
injury. Peppers may be seriously injured at no
freezing temperatures, either before or after ha
vest, by chilling which is cumulative and chars
terized by water-soaked spots, pitting ai
increased susceptibility to decay, particularly A
ternaria. Chilling injury occurs primarily durii
winter months and during warm weather whi
peppers in mixed loads are top-iced. Peppe
should not be mixed with produce requiring low
temperatures and top-icing during shipping.
The use of trade names in this publication is solely I
the purpose of providing specific information. It is r
a guarantee or warranty of the products named and do
not signify that they are recommended to the exclusion
others of suitable composition.
/,, A ^ "
Prepared by: James Montelaro and S. o.R ostewicz
Acknowledgments-The authors wish to express their
sincere thanks to the many faculty members of the Insti-
tute of Food and Agricultural Sciences who made many
helpful suggestions in the preparation of this circular.
Special contributions were made by:
J. E. Brogdon and F. A. Johnson-Insect control
R. S. Mullin and T. A. Kucharek-Disease control
W. L. Currey-Weed control
D. W. Dickson-Nematode control
R. K. Showalter-Harvesting and Handling
Single copies free to residents of Florida. Bulk rates
available upon request. Please submit details on
request to Chairman, Editorial Department, Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611.
This public document was promulgated at an
annual cost of $1004.20, or 10 cents per
copy to inform vegetable growers on pepper
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OllK IN XGPIC IITTIRZE AND 110MIr ECONOMICS