Evaluation of Sweet Pepper Varieties, 2014
University of Maine, Highmoor Farm, 2014
Mark Hutton, Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Science and University of Maine Cooperative Extension
David Handley, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Sweet peppers are an important crop for many mixed vegetable growers who sell direct to end consumers or through regional wholesale accounts in Maine, Open field production of sweet peppers in Maine is challenging due to the short and highly variable growing season. Previous sweet pepper trials in Maine from 2005-2008 identified few cultivars with commercially acceptable yields. Results from the 2013 and 2014 trial indicate that many of the new cultivars have much better potential for Maine.
Thirty-one bell pepper cultivars were evaluated in this trial. Plants were started in the greenhouse on 5 May and then transplanted into the field, on 16 June. Four plots of each variety were planted in a randomized complete block design. Each plot consisted of 20 plants planted in double rows at 18 inches within row spacing. The plants were planted into black plastic covered 42” wide beds spaced six feet on center. Prior to forming the beds, the field was fertilized with 10-10-10 at 500lb/acre. The plants also received 1 cup of starter solution at transplanting. Supplemental fertigation was provided on 18 July (20 lbs N / acre), 1 August (20 lbs N / acre) and 20 August (20 lbs N / acre). The first harvest was made on 18 August and the final harvest 18 September. No sprays were made to manage insect or diseases. Weeds were managed by cultivation.
New Ace produced the greatest yield. New Ace, Ace, JPR 632, JPR 1124, and JPR 1127 tended to produce mostly medium size fruit having irregular shapes and thin walls. Declaration, Revolution, and Vanguard produced greater numbers of jumbo and extra large fruit.
Several varieties performed consistently over the two years averaging greater than 1000 boxes per acre in each year. Aristotle X3R, Currier, Revolution and Karma each did well in both 2013 and 2014.
We would like to thank Patricia McManus, George Greene, Christina Howard, and the Highmoor Farm summer student crew for substantial help with this project. We also greatly appreciate the support of the Maine Agricultural Center, the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association, the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association, and the following seed companies: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Harris Seeds, Rupp, Seedway, Siegers, and Stokes Seeds.
|Table 1. Marketable Harvest of Bell Peppers Grown at Highmoor Farm, Monmouth Maine during the 2014 Seasonz.|
|Size Classification % of Fruit Harvested|
|Tukey’s HSD (p=0.05)||82||35.3||11||20||23||55|
|Table 2. Marketable Harvest of Bell Peppers Grown at Highmoor Farm, Monmouth Maine during both the 2013 and 2014 Seasonsz.|
per Plot (lbs)x
Boxes per Acre
|Tukey’s HSD (p=0.05)y||64.9||28.2||2.2|
y Values within columns with differences greater than Tukey’s HSD value are significantly different.
x Values are plot averages over both seasons.
Figure 1. Karma: Large fruit; good color; shape can be variable; strong spreading plant.
Figure 2. Currier: Fairly large, blocky, smooth fruit; attractive mature red; strong spreading plant slight amount of lodging.
Figure 3. Islamorada: Dark green deep lobed, block fruit; fair mature color; strong medium to large plant.
Figure 4. Bastille: Medium green blocky fruit; high shoulders, strong plant slightly prone to lodge.
Figure 5. Aristotle: Medium size blocky fruit; good mature color; upright plant.
Figure 6. Vanguard: Fruit can be rough with poor shapes; tall shoulders; erect medium size plants.
Figure 7. New Ace: Rough, variable shaped fruit; nice mature color.
Figure 8. Early Excursion: Small blocky, smooth fruit; very attractive mature color; medium to large spreading plant; can have poor foliage cover.
Figure 9. Sprinter: small medium green fruit; good mature color; weak open plant.
Figure 10. Revolution: Large, blocky fruit; non-uniform mature color.
Figure 11. Rampart: Blocky fruit, medium to pale green color; some silvering; non-uniform mature color; strong plant little to no lodging.
Figure 12. Abay: Good size fruit, good green color; non-uniform mature color; questionable shelf life of mature fruit.
Figure 13. Early Summer: dark green fruit; slightly rough skin; strong plant.
Figure 14. SQ 6517: Fruit shape somewhat variable, good color, long stem; plant is variable.
Figure 15. SV 3964: Dark green blocky fruit, attractive.