Bell peppers and paprika are both members of the Solanaceae family, which also includes other well-known plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes. These plants are native to the Americas and have been cultivated for thousands of years by indigenous peoples. Today, they are grown all over the world and are an important part of many cuisines.
Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers or capsicums, are a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum. They come in a variety of colours, including green, red, yellow, orange, and even purple. Bell peppers are known for their sweet, mild flavour and are often used in salads, sandwiches, and as a pizza topping. They are also used in many dishes as a source of vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system.
Paprika, on the other hand, is a spice made from dried and ground bell peppers. The type of pepper used to make paprika can vary, but the most commonly used varieties are Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, and Capsicum chinense. Paprika is used as a seasoning in many dishes, such as stews, soups, and sauces. It is particularly popular in Hungarian and Spanish cuisine. Paprika can also be used to make a spicy sauce called harissa, which is commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine.
The Solanaceae family is known for containing several toxic compounds, such as solanine and chaconine, but bell peppers and paprika are not toxic and are considered safe to consume.
Both bell peppers and paprika are also known for their high antioxidant content, which is beneficial for maintaining overall health and preventing certain diseases. Studies have suggested that consuming bell peppers may help to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and even have a protective effect against cancer. Similarly, consuming paprika may help to lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Growing bell peppers and paprika can be a fun and rewarding endeavour for both home gardeners and farmers. Both plants are relatively easy to grow, and with proper care and attention, they can produce a bountiful harvest. They are both sensitive to frost, so they should be planted in the warm season. Paprika is a bit hardier than bell peppers and can handle some level of frost and tolerate drier weather.
In conclusion, bell peppers and paprika are delicious, healthy, and versatile members of the Solanaceae family. They are enjoyed all over the world in various cuisines and are relatively easy to grow, making them great options for home gardeners and farmers.
Growing Capsicum (Sweet pepper / Bell pepper)
Varieties: Arka Basant, Arka Gaurav, Arka Mohini, Green Gold, Bharath.
Soil: Well-drained loamy soil rich in organic matter.
Seasons of sowing: September – February
Seed rate: 1.250 kg/ha
Nursery area: 3 cents/ha. Treat the seeds with 2.5 g of Bavistin and sow in lines across the bed at a spacing of 2.5 cm, then covered with topsoil and paddy straw. Watering with a rose can have to be done daily.
On the 20th day of sowing 300g of furadan 3G granules have to be applied in between the seedling lines across the bed stir the soil and then the beds are irrigated.
Preparation of field: Plough the field to a fine tilth. Form ridges and furrows 45 or 60 cm apart. Transplant 40-45 days old seedlings at 30 cm spacing.
Irrigation: Irrigation at weekly or 10 days intervals.
Application of fertilizers: Apply FYM 25 t/ha 40:60:30 kg NPK/ha as basal and 40 kg N/ha each on 30, 60 and 90 days of planting.
Weed control: On the 30th day, one hoeing and weeding and the plants are earthed up.
Growth regulator: Spray 1.25 ppm triacontanol (10 lit. of water) on the 20th, 40th, 60th and 80th day after transplanting. Spray NAA 50 ppm (1 ml planofix /4.5 lit. of water) 60 and 90 days after planting.
Plant Protection (PEST & DISEASES)
Nematodes and Sucking pests: Apply carbofuran 10-12 kg/ha 15 days after transplanting followed by dimethoate @ 1ml/lit. at 25 days intervals.
Aphids and Thrips: monocrotophos @ 1.5 ml /lit for control aphids. Neem oil 1% or neem cake extract 5% to control aphids and thrips. For white aphids acephate 1 kg/ha.
Powdery mildew: Wettable sulphur @ 2g/lit
Dieback and fruit rot: Mancozeb @ 2g/lit.
Yield & Harvest
Fully matured green fruits should be harvested before ripening.
Yield 15 tonnes/ha in 150-160 days.
Soil: Well-drained sandy loam or clay saline-free soil is preferable. It can be grown on any fertile well-drained soil suitable for chillies cultivation with pH 6.5 – 7.0.
Season: June – July.
Seed rate: 500 g/ha.
Spacing: 60 x 45 cm
Nursery: Prepare 10 – 12 beds 7 m long 1.2 m wide and 15 cm height and sow the seeds in rows 10 cm apart on 0.5 cm deep.
Apply 15 – 20 kg of well-decomposed compost and 500 g of 15:15:15 NPK complex fertiliser to each bed 15 to 20 days before sowing.
Transplanting: Healthy seedlings may be transplanted at a spacing of 45 cm apart.
Application of fertilisers: Apply FYM 20 – 25 tonnes/ha, 60, 100 and 60 kg NPK/ha as basal, 20 kg N and 20 kg K three weeks after transplanting. 40 kg N and 40 kg K/ha six weeks after transplanting.
Plant Protection (PEST & DISEASES)
Fruit borer: Spray endosulfan 2 ml/lit.
Anthracnose: Spray Mancozeb 2 g/lit.
Fruit rot: Spray Copper oxychloride @ 2.5 g/lit.
Powdery mildew: Spray Wettable sulphur @ 0.3%
Yield & Harvest
Yield: 25 – 35 t/ha.
To summarize our Capsicum farming techniques,
Capsicum, also known as sweet pepper or bell pepper, is a plant species in the Solanaceae family. There are several varieties of capsicum, including Arka Basant, Arka Gaurav, Arka Mohini, Green Gold, and Bharath. It is typically grown in well-drained loamy soil that is rich in organic matter.
The ideal time for sowing is between September and February, with a seed rate of 1.250 kg/ha. The nursery area should be 3 cents/ha, with seeds treated with 2.5 g of Bavistin and sown in lines at a spacing of 2.5 cm, covered with topsoil and paddy straw, and watered daily.
Capsicum requires proper irrigation at weekly or 10 days intervals, and application of fertilizers, including FYM 25 t/ha and 40:60:30 kg NPK/ha as basal and 40 kg N/ha each on 30, 60 and 90 days of planting. Weed control is done on the 30th day, with one hoeing and weeding and the plants are earthed up.
Growth regulators such as triacontanol 1.25 ppm and NAA 50 ppm are sprayed on the 20th, 40th, 60th, and 80th day after transplanting and on 60 and 90 days after planting. To protect against pests, carbofuran 10-12 kg/ha is applied 15 days after transplanting followed by dimethoate and for aphids and thrips, Monocrotophos and Neem oil are used. To protect against diseases such as powdery mildew, wettable sulphur is applied, and for dieback and fruit rot, mancozeb is used.
Yields of 15 tonnes/ha in 150-160 days can be expected when fully matured green fruits are harvested before ripening.
The Paprika variety of Capsicum annum var. longum is also mentioned with different soil preferences, the season of sowing, seed rate, spacing and fertilization, pest and disease control and harvesting methods. Paprika requires well-drained sandy loam or clay saline-free soil, with a June-July sowing season, and a seed rate of 500g/ha. Spacing is at 60×45 cm and the yield is 25-35 t/ha.
(This research was carried out directly at the Tamil Nadu University of Agriculture in India).