Bandile Mavuso, Kwanele A Nxumalo, Tajudeen O Oseni, Michael T Masarirambi
Green pepper (Capsicum annum L.) is one of the most popular vegetables in the Kingdom of Eswatini, with its production mainly under irrigation in open fields. Shade nets are used to modify the crop micro-environment to improve plant growth and yield. This experiment was conducted at Mphaphati, under Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprises, (ESWADE) in the summer of January and April 2018. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of plastic and net covered tunnels on the growth, yield and quality of green pepper (Capsicum annum var. Crusader L.). Shading materials were used white fiber plastic tunnel, green net tunnel (40%) and black net tunnel (40%). The treatments were arranged in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. The results revealed that plants grown under the green net covered tunnel significantly (P<0.05) had higher plant height (46..6 cm), number of leaves (68), number of branches (11), leaf area (90.3 cm²), number of flowers (16) and total fruit yield (30.8 ton/ha) when compared to plants grown under the black net covered tunnel. All plants grown under the white fiber plastic-covered tunnel died three weeks after transplanting, as a result, no result for the parameters that were observed. Results obtained in this study indicate that green net covered tunnel supported better growth and development of green pepper grown in sawdust media.
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