Pepper planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Pepper is Piper nigrum L.; it belongs to the family  Piperaceae

Varieties: Panniyur 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, Karimunda, Kottanadan, Sreekara, Subhakara, Panchami, Pournami, Ottaplackal 1, Kalluvally, Balamkotta, Uhiramkotta, PLD – 2, Aimpirian,
Arkulam munda, Kuching, Kurimalai, Chumala.
In lower elevation and less shady areas Panniyur 1 performs well for higher elevations with more shady area Karimunda is preferable. Panniyur 5 is suited for growing in Arecanut plantation.
Soil and climate: Pepper is grown mainly as a rainfed crop. Pepper requires heavy rainfall (150 - 250 cm) high humidity and warm climate.
Thrives best on virgin soils rich in humus content at elevations up to 1500 m.

Season: June - December.

Planting: Slopes facing West and South should be avoided. Pits of 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm size are dug at a spacing of 2 to 3 m in either direction. 5 to 10 kg of FYM/Compost is mixed with top soil and the pits are filled. Rooted cuttings are planted in June - July @ two per standard like Silver oak, Dadap and Jack. In multitier cropping system, standards should be planted at a spacing of 7 – 8 m.

Manuring: Apply cattle manure or Compost @ 10 kg/vine just before the onset of South West monsoon. In addition 100 g of N, 40 g of P and 140 g of K per vine are applied in two split doses in the months of May - June and in September - October. Slaked lime at 500 g per vine is applied in alternate years during May - June. The manures and fertilizers are applied around the vine at a distance of 30 cm from the base and incorporated into the soil. Azospirillum @ 100 g/vine can
be applied one month after the application of chemical fertilizers.

Irrigation: Protective irrigation in basins during December - May at 10 days interval is more beneficial wherever facilities are available.

Aftercultivation: Two weedings are given during the months of June - July and at October - November. The vines are to be trained to the standards. Prune excessive foliage of the standards and limit the height of the standards to about 6 m. Spray NAA @ 40 ppm to increase the berry

Plant protection against Pests
Pollu Beetle: Spray endosulfan 35 EC 2 ml/lit once in July and again in October.
Leaf gall thrips: Spray monocrotophos 36 WSC 1.5 ml/lit or dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit or chlorpyriphos 2 ml/lit or dichlorvos 76 WSC 1 ml/lit or phosphomidan 40 SL @ 2 ml/lit three
rounds at monthly intervals starting from new flush formation.

Protection against Diseases
Foot rot
Nursery: Application of Trichoderma viride @ 1 g/kg of pot mixture.
Main field: Application of neem cake 1/2 kg per vine.
Swabbing Bordeaux paste upto 1 m from the ground level.
Application of Trichoderma viride @ 20 g/vine along with FYM or Bordeaux mixture 1% or Metalaxyl-Mancozeb @ 2 g/lit.
Combined application of Neem cake 2 kg per vine + 3 monsoon foliar spray and soil application of 0.1% Metalaxyl.
Any of the above formulation may be used for drenching the soil twice in a year once during May- June and the other during October - November.
Spray Bordeaux mixture 1% or Fosetyl-Al 3 g/lit or Metalaxyl-Mancozeb 2 g/lit twice in a year once during May - June and the other during October - November.

Harvest: It starts bearing after 3 years of planting. The harvesting season is from November to March. Harvest is done by hand picking the whole spikes when few berries in the spike start
turning red. The berries are separated and dipped in hot water (80°C) for one minute and sun dried for 7 to 10 days.

Yield: 2 to 3 kg/vine/year.

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