- Site selection and soil preparation
- The ideal site for the nursery should be under the sun and not have been grown with crops of the same family for the last 3-4 seasons. The nursery soil should be well aerated, drained and with good pH. The site should be ploughed to a depth of 20-30 cm and removed with stones, weeds and debris.
- The nursery soil should also be free from diseases and pests. It should be applied with well decomposed organic manure (5kg/m2) and the inorganic fertilizer such as NPK 17-17-17 (20 g/m2).
- The raised beds of 1-1.2m width and 20cm depth are made.
- Sowing and nursery care
- The quantity of seeds required is 0.5-1kg for 1ha (5-10g for 1 are). It is recommended to use non expired and from credited sources/seed companies.
- on the day of sowing, the bed surface is leveled and sowing lines of 0.5cm depth are made using a stick. Seeds are sown in lines at the spacing of 10-15cm x 2cm and are covered with soil. Then, the mulch ( dry grass) is applied on the bed, followed by regular watering.
- Upon germination (about 1 week), the mulching material is removed. The seedlings should be protected from the direct sunlight.
- When seedlings are overcrowded in nursery bed, it is recommended to do thinning to allow light penetration.
- Fungicides like Mancozeb (2.5g/L of water) and insecticides like Lambda-Cyhalothrin (1m/1L of water) can be applied when necessary.
- To harden the seedlings, watering frequency is reduced and seedlings are gradually exposed to direct sunlight 1-2 weeks before transplanting.
NB: Seeds can be sown in pots of 7.5cm diameter made in banana leaves or plastic. These pots are filled with the mixture of soil and well decomposed organic manure at 2:1 ratio. Two seeds are sown in each pot at 0.5-1cm depth. After 2-3 leaves have emerged, one well performing seedling is retained per pot and the other one is removed. The use of seed trays for seedling production is also encouraged.
Field selection, preparation and layout
The ideal field for peppers should have not be grown with tomato, eggplant, potato, tamarillo and tobacco or any other Solanaceous crop for the last 3-4 seasons. The field has to be deeply ploughed, the debris removed, and then leveled. It is preferable to plant pepper seedlings on the plots, each having 1m -1,20m of width and a reasonable length with 40 cm width pathway.