DRIP IRRIGATION FOR PEPPERS

Cultural background and characteristics of the species

The pepper (Capsicum annum L.) is a horticultural plant belonging to the Solanaceae family and the genus Capsicum. The species is native to Central and South America and is now widely spread and cultivated around the globe; in Italy it is grown in all regions from north to south.

The pepper is an annual plant with an initially herbaceous stem that gradually tends to thicken as it ages; it can reach a height of up to 1 metre depending on the variety, environmental and cultivation characteristics.

Climatic requirements and cultivation

The species is easily adaptable and prefers warm-temperate climates with little rainfall. It is sensitive to drastic variations in temperature and light: temperatures above 30-35°C and light levels below 6000 lux can encourage flower droop and reduce fruit set, which is favoured instead by temperature fluctuations between day and night.

Low night temperatures encourage the formation of fleshy, lengthened fruits, while high night temperatures lead to fruit deformation.

Peppers are widely cultivated in open fields however, for greater profitability of the final product, many are cultivated in protected environments (tunnels or greenhouses) for early and/or late production; in such cases, the most common inter-annual cycles are October-January, January-April and May-July.

Harvesting takes place over a period of 2-3 months (even 4-5 months in some areas of southern Italy) with cycles occurring on average every 5-8 days; harvesting the green peppers causes the plant to produce new flowers, thus increasing the number of harvests, which can reach 10 per single cycle.

Irrigation system for peppers

The best irrigation system for peppers is drip irrigation, using driplines that allow uniform irrigation of the cultivated row; Irritec recommends its lightweight, continuous-labyrinth driplines (Irritec Tape and eXXtreme Tape) as the small spacing between the drip points and the low nominal flow rates are well suited to pepper cultivation.

The hoses are laid along the row in the case of single rows or between the rows in the case of twin rows (a technique adopted especially in the summer to create more shade and consequently a lower risk of scorching the fruit); in most cases they are laid under the ground cover, taking care not to use extremely thin layer thicknesses.

It is also essential to provide an accurate filtration system in order to safeguard the driplines from possible blockages and maintain the high performance of the irrigation system over time.

Fertigation

Considering the different absorption rhythms of the plant, it is essential to equip the irrigation system with an efficient fertigation system; in this way, a rapid growth of the leaf can be encouraged from transplanting onwards, as well as substantial nutritional support during the reproductive phases (flowering-blossoming-development and fruit ripening).

For fertigation of peppers, Irritec offers the Dosabox Junior Advanced, a device suited for both in-soil (open field and greenhouse) and off-soil cultivation.

As peppers are predominantly a potassic plant, but also have high requirements for nitrogen, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium, the Dosabox Junior Advanced is an ideal tool as it allows up to 3 different solutions + acid to be injected into the irrigation system in a way that is proportional to the inlet flow rate or to pH and conductivity sets.

Monitoring the pH and EC of the irrigation water makes it possible to make the elements present in the soil and/or administered in fertigation available and absorbable, avoiding any nutritional deficiency problems.

In peppers, the lack of calcium absorption is risky, which, encouraged by high temperatures and acid pH, is the main cause of apical fruit rot.

Peppers Cultivation - Drip Irrigation

A practical example of how to drip irrigate peppers:

peppers irrigation system project

Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate peppers

1

EXXTREME TAPE®

The eXXtreme Tape dripline® is particularly useful in the case of water that is “difficult” to filter: the continuous double inlet filter is twice the length of the pipe (system designed and patented by Irritec®), guarantees excellent filtration performance even when using water that is heavily laden with sediment, sludge and dirt.

exxtreme pepper dripline irritec

2

LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE PIPES

The low density irrigation pipe is produced with state-of-theart equipment, using selected special resins that are highly resistant to chemicals and weathering. Due to its high resistance to mechanical stress, it is particularly suitable for side branches and withstands deformations caused by the assembly of hose couplings very well.

pipes pepper irritec

3

FILTERS

The Rotodisk Automatic range represents a valid solution for the primary filtration of all types of water in an agricultural setting and large green spaces. The range of models makes it possible to manage water flow rates from 20 to 600 m3/h. Fully automatic operation ensures constant efficiency of the irrigation system and eliminates the need for filter maintenance. Disc filter elements, thanks to their “three-dimensional” filtration, are the greatest guarantee of reliability for your equipment.

filters pepper irritec

4

FERTIGATION

Irritec fertigation systems combine practicality and reliability with a modern nutrient injection system. Fertiliser management is regulated by simple fertigation recipes that can be set according to agronomic and nutritional requirements. Proper hydraulic management, which is essential for conveying the right nutrition to plants, is ensured by years of experience in sizing machines and equipment and by reliable and certified materials.

fertigation system pepper irritec

5

DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Complete range for connecting tape, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.

DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.