24-06-2021

Organic cultivation of sweet pointed peppers in soil (pt 2)

A trial with two varieties of sweet pointed peppers in the soil is currently underway in innovation centre 'de Kas'. In this trial, cultivation is carried out according to the usual organic cultivation method. However, when the crop needs it, organic Ca(NO3)2 is added. Read more about the trial design and start of this trial in our April article.

Well on the way

The first fruit set has now been harvested and the crop has become more balanced. Currently we have a nice spread of both young and harvestable pointed peppers. The quality of the fruit increases; they gain weight and ripen faster. The plant load has increased significantly as a result of the increased daily light sum.

Nutrient solution from the bioreactor

Currently, about 80% of the nutrient water is supplied by rain pipe. The remaining 20% is distributed by drippers over several turns. Moisture sensors are used to monitor the moisture content in the soil at different depths. During the dark and rainy days of this spring, we skipped some irrigation turns to keep the plants strong and active.

The nutrition from the compost is made available to the crop by the microhabitats in the soil. In addition, a nutrient solution with a lower EC value is supplied from the bioreactor. This combination meets the crop's needs for fruit setting and production, as may be expected during this thriving period of the year. The crop is therefore very healthy, vital, shiny and strong.

With the help of plant sap analyses, we gained more insight into the availability of nutrients. The distribution of nutrients and sugars is visualised in both the young and the old leaves. The results are used as a control tool for optimal growing conditions.

Biological control

At the beginning of the cultivation there was an aphid infestation that we curbed completely with biological control. This once again provides good proof that it is possible to get this under control in a completely biological way.

It deserves attention to be extra cautious during the ripening of upcoming fruit settings for a possible new aphid infestation. This can be achieved through a permanent deployment of biological control agents. In addition, the plant sap analyses are a useful tool to monitor potential aphid infestation.

More information

We will regularly share updates about this trial on our website. For more information, please contact us at rd@vanderknaap.info.

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