Use of a PSNM to Increase Precocity and Its Benefits in Greenhouse-Grown Sweet Pepper

J Lopez-Marin, A Galvez, I Porras, J Brotons-Martinez
2017 J. Agr. Sci. Tech   unpublished
The types and varieties of peppers grown in Mediterranean areas are a response to the demand of European markets, although in each Autonomous Community local varieties are grown to satisfy the national demand. Nowadays, the range of shapes, colours, tastes and uses is wider than ever as a result of greenhouse cultivation, national and international tendencies and increased demand. In Murcia, the growing cycle runs from December to July or August, depending on the market and the growth of the
more » ... he growth of the crop. Sweet pepper is normally grown in greenhouses, using a variety of technologies: from simple shaded greenhouses, to the most-advanced multitunnels (large, in the form of a round arch or Gothic arch and with sophisticated ventilation). Due to the high cost of fuel, it is impossible to use heating during winter after transplanting, so alternative techniques are used to raise the temperature a few degrees and improve crop production. The aim of this work was to increase the precocity and productivity of sweet pepper grown in greenhouses. The effect of a Polypropylene Spunbonded Nonwoven Microtunnel (PSNM) was studied. The results show that, although the increase in production was not great (lower than 5% in both years of the study), precocity increased by 16% in both years. Since the increased cost of using this technology is not excessive, crop profitability increases if precocity is taken into account, as all our indicators show. The study suggests that the use of a PSNM raises the marketable production and brings forward the first harvests.