Cultivation of Chilli: Complete guide on Chilli plant farming involves in seed treatment, planting, pest management, irrigation and harvesting.
Scientific name of Chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) Solanaceae:
The chilli pepper (also chile pepper or chilli pepper, from Nahuatl chīlli is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. In Britain, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, India, and other Asian countries, the word “pepper” is usually omitted.
The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids.
Chili peppers originated in the Americas. After the Columbian Exchange, many cultivars of chili pepper spread across the world, used in both food and medicine. Chilies were brought to Asia by Portuguese navigators during the 16th century.India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chili peppers. Guntur in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh produces 30% of all the chilies produced in India. Andhra Pradesh as a whole contributes 75% of India’s chili exports.
Chili pepper pods, which are berries, are used fresh or dried. Chilies are dried to preserve them for long periods of time, which may also be done by pickling. Dried chilies are often ground into powders, although many Mexican dishes including variations on chiles rellenos use the entire chili. Dried whole chilies may be reconstituted before grinding to a paste. The chipotle is the smoked, dried, ripe jalapeño.
Many fresh chilies such as poblano have a tough outer skin that does not break down on cooking. Chilies are sometimes used whole or in large slices, by roasting, or other means of blistering or charring the skin, so as not to entirely cook the flesh beneath. When cooled, the skins will usually slip off easily.
The leaves of every species of Capsicum are edible. Though almost all other Solanaceous crops have toxins in their leaves, chili peppers do not. The leaves, which are mildly bitter and nowhere near as hot as the fruit, are cooked as greens in Filipino cuisine, where they are called dahon ng sili (literally “chili leaves”). They are used in the chicken soup tinola. In Korean cuisine, the leaves may be used in kimchi. In Japanese cuisine, the leaves are cooked as greens, and also cooked in tsukudani style for preservation.In India, most households always keep a stack of fresh hot green chilies at hand, and use them to flavor most curries and dry dishes. It is typically lightly fried with oil in the initial stages of preparation of the dish. Some states in India, such as Rajasthan, make entire dishes only by using spices and chilies.Capsaicin is considered a safe and effective topical analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, mastectomy pain, and headaches. However, a study published in 2010 has linked capsaicin to skin cancer. A 2015 cohort study in China found that eating foods containing chili peppers at least twice a week led to a 10 percent reduced mortality rate all else being equal and eating foods containing chili peppers 6 to 7 days a week had a 14 percent relative risk reduction in total mortality; there was an inverse correlation between eating fresh chilies and diabetes not found in remainder of the cohort.
Red chilies contain large amounts of vitamin C and small amounts of carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their very high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.
A very large study conducted by the British Medical Journal found some indications that humans who consume spicy foods, especially fresh chili peppers, were less likely to die of cancer or diabetes.
K 1, K 2
CO1, CO 2, CO 4 (vegetable type)
PMK 1 (for semi-dry conditions in Southern Districts)
PLR1 (for coastal regions of North – East Tamil Nadu) and
KKM (Ch) 1
Chilli Hybrid CO 1:
- Unripe fruits light green in colour, elongated, tapering towards the tip and 10.5 – 12.0 cm long.
- Capsaicin and oleoresin contents of 0.58 % and 14.0 % respectively.
- Moderately resistant to fruit rot disease.
- Yields about 6.74 t/ha of dry pod and 28.10 t/ha of green chilli in a crop duration of 195-205 days.
Well drained loamy soils rich in organic matter with pH range 6.5-7.5.
Season of sowing:
1. January – February
2. June – July
3. September- October
Seed rate :
Varieties: 1.0 kg / ha.
Hybrids: 200 – 250 g / ha.
Nursery area: 100 sq.m / ha.
- Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 g / kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g/ kg and sow in lines spaced at 10 cm in raised nursery beds and cover with sand.
- Watering with rose can has to be done daily.
- Drench the nursery with Copper oxychloride @ 2.5 g/l of water at 15 days interval against damping off disease. Apply Carbofuran 3 G at 10 g/sq.m. at sowing.
- Prepare the nursery area of 3 cents with slanting slope of 2 % for the seedling production to cover 1 ha.
- Cover the nursery area with 50 % shade net and cover the sides using 40 / 50 mesh insect proof nylon net.
- Form raised beds of 1 m width and convenient length and place HDPV pipes at 2m interval for further protection with polythene sheets during rainy months.
- Mix sterilized cocopeat @ 300 kg with 5 kg neem cake along with Azospirillum and phosphobacteria each @ 1 kg.
- Approximately 1.2 kg of cocopeat is required for filling one protay. 300 protrays (98 cells) are required for the production of 29,000 seedlings, which are required for one hectare adopting a spacing of 90 x 60 x 45 cm in a paired row system.
- Sow the treated seed in protrays @ 1 seed per cell.
- Cover the seed with cocopeat and keep the trays one above the other and cover with a polythene sheet till germination starts.
- After 6 days place the protrays with germinated seedlings individually on the raised beds inside the shade net.
- Water with rose can everyday upto seed germination. Drench with 19:19:19 @ 0.5% (5g/l) at 18 days after sowing.
Thoroughly prepare the field with the addition of FYM @ 25 t/ ha and form ridges and furrows at a spacing of 60 cm. Apply 2 kg/ha of Azospirillum and 2 kg / ha of Phosphobacteria by mixing with 20 kg of FYM. Irrigate the furrows and transplant 40-45 days old seedlings, with the ball of earth on the ridges.
Varieties : 60 x 45 cm
Hybrids : 75 x 60 cm
Apply Pendimethalin 1.0 kg a.i. / ha or Fluchloralin 1.0 kg a.i. / ha as pre-emergece herbicide followed by hand weeding once 30 days after planting.
Irrigate is done at weekly intervals.
Layout and planting for drip irrigation and fertigation:
- Apply FYM @ 25 t / ha as basal before last ploughing.
- Apply 2 kg / ha of Azospirillum and 2 kg/ha Phosphobacteria by mixing with 20 kg of FYM.
- Apply 75 % total recommended dose of superphosphate i.e. 375 kg / ha as basal.
- Install the drip irrigation with main and sub main pipes and place lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5 m.
- Place the drippers in lateral tubes at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm spacing with 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively.
- Form raised beds of 120 cm width at an interval of 30 cm and place the laterals at the centre of the each bed.
- Before planting wet the beds using drip system for 8-12 hrs.
- Planting to be done at a spacing of 90 x 60 x 45 cm in the paired row system, using ropes marked at 60 cm spacing.
- Spray Pendimethalin 1.0 kg a.i. / ha or Fluchloralin 1.0 kg a.i / ha as pre-emergence herbicide at 3rd day after planting.
- Gap filling to be done at 7th day after transplanting.
Basal dose : FYM 25 t/ha, NPK 30:60:30 kg/ ha.
Potassium as K2SO4 for quality improvement. Application of potassium in the form of potassium sulphate will increase quality of chilli.
Top dressing : 30 kg N/ha in equal splits on 30, 60 and 90 days after planting.
Basal dose : FYM 30 t / ha, NPK 30:80:80 kg / ha.
Top dressing : 30 kg N / ha in equal splits on 30, 60 and 90 days after planting.
Fertigation schedule (CHILLI F1 HYBRID): Recommended Dose: 120:80:80 kg / ha:
75% RD of Phosporous applied as superphosphate = 375 kg / ha
1. 19:19:19 = 42 kg/ha ; 2. 13:0:45 = 160 kg/ha ; 3. 12:61:0 = 20 kg/ha ; 4. Urea = 193 kg/ha
Effect of Endo root soluble and Mycorrhizae on Chilli:
Apply 250g of Endo Roots Soluble in two splits doses at 15 DAT and 45 DAT along with 100 % N and K and 50% P for higher yield and saving of Phosphorous.
Apply 250g of Mycorrhiza in two splits at transplanting and 30 DAT along with 100% N and K and 50% P for higher yield and saving of Phosphorous.
Spray Triacontanol @ 1.25 ml/l on 20, 40, 60 and 80th day of planting. Spray NAA 10 ppm (10 mg/l of water) on 60 and 90 days after planting to increase fruit set.
Foliar spray of Zn SO4 @ 0.5 per cent thrice at 10 days interval from 40 days after planting.
Spray 19:19:19 + Mn @ 1 % at 60 days after planting.
The intercrops like onion and coriander can be grown for getting additional income. It can also help to control the weed population.
Pests of Chilli:
Symptoms of damage:
- The infested leaves develop crinkles and curl upwards
- Elongated petiole
- Buds become brittle and drop down
- Early stage, infestation leads to stunted growth and flower production, fruit set are arrested
Green peach aphid:
Symptoms of damage:
- The infested plants turn pale with sticky appearance
- The leaves curled and crinkled
- Honeydew excrete – development of sooty mould
- Stunted growth of the plant
Symptoms of damage:
- Newly hatched larvae scrap the green matter in the leaf
- Affected leaf looks like a papery white structure
- Later instar larvae feed by making small holes
- In severe infestations they feed voraciously on the entire lamina and petiole
Symptoms of damage:
- Early instar feeds on foliage
- Grown up larvae mainly bore into the fruits.
Yellow mite or muranai mite:
Symptoms of damage:
- Downward curling and crinkling of leaves
- Leaves with elongated petiole
- Stunted growth
Seedlings killed before emergence
Water soaking and shrivelling of stem
Factors favouring infection:Moist soils poordrainage 90-100% R.H soil temperature 20°C
Fruit Rot and Die Back:
As the fungus causes necrosis of tender twigs from the tip backwards the disease is called die-back Infection usually begins when the crop is in flower. Flowers drop and dry up.
There is profuse shedding of flowers. The flower stalk shrivel and dry up. This drying up spreads from the flower stalks to the stem and subsequently causes die-back of the branches and stem and the branches wither. Partia1lly affected plants bear fruits which are few and of low quality.
On the surface of the soil the necrotic areas are found separated from the healthy area by a dark brown to black band.
Shedding of foliage
white powdery growth on lower side of leaves
Bacterial leaf spot:
The leaves exhibit small circular or irregular, dark brown or black greasy spots. As the spots enlarge in size, the centre becomes lighter Surrounded by a dark band of tissue.
The spot coalesce to form irregular lesions. Severely affected leaves become chlorotic and fall off.
Petioles and stems are also affected. Stem infection leads to formation of cankerous growth and wilting of branches.
On the fruits round, raised water soaked spots with a pale yellow border and produced.
The spots turn brown developing a depression in the centre wherein shining droplets of Bacterial cozen may be observed.
Cercospora leaf spot:
Leaf lesions typically are brown and circular with small to large light grey centres and dark brown margins. The lesions may enlarge to 1cm or more in diameter and some times coalesce.
Stem, petiole and pod lesions also have light grey centres with dark borders, but they are typically elliptical.
Severely infected leaves drop off prematurely resulting in reduced yield.
Fusarium wilt is characterised by wilting of the plant and upward and inward rolling of the leaves. The leaves turn yellow and die.
Generally appear localised areas of the field where a high percentage of the plants wilt and die, although scattered wilted plants may also occur.
Disease symptoms are characterised by an initial slight yellowing of the foliage and wilting of the upper leaves that progress in a few days into a permanent wilt with the leaves still attached.
By the time above – ground symptoms are evident, the vascular system of the plant is discoloured, particularly in the lower stem and roots.
Leaves curl towards midrib and become deformed.
Stunted plant growth due to shortened internodes and leaves greatly reduced in size.
Flower buds abcise before attaining full size and anthers do not contain pollen grains.
The virus is generally transmitted by whitefly. So control measures of whitefly in this regard would be helpful.
Light green and dark green patches on the leaves.
Stunted plant growth during early stages.
Yellowing, chlorotic ring spots on leaves and fruits.
Management of viral diseases:
Control measures are not known for majority of viral diseases.
Hence, mechanical, cultural methods are mostly recommended.
The infected plants should be uprooted and burnt or buried to avoid further infection.
Avoid monoculture of chilli crop.
Selection of healthy and disease – free seed.
Suitable insecticidal sprays reduce the incidence of viral diseases, since majority of viral diseases are transmitted by insect vectors.
Soaking seeds in a solution containing 150 g Trisodium orthriphosphate per litre of water for 30 minutes inhibits seed – borne inoculum.
Treated seed should be washed with fresh water and dried before sowing.
Nursery beds should be covered with nylon net or straw to protect the seedlings from viral infection.
Raise 2-3 rows of maize or sorghum as border crop to restrict the spread of aphid vectors.
Apply Carbofuran 3G @ 4-5 Kg/acre in the mainfield to control sucking complex and insect vectors selectively.
If it is not possible spray the crop with systemic insecticides. Dimethoate 2ml of Acephate 1g per litre of water.
Collect and destroy infected virus plants as soon as they are noticed.
Harvesting can be done 75 days after transplanting. First two picking yield green chilli and subsequently yield red ripe fruits.
- Varieties : 2 – 3 t/ha of dry pods or 10 – 15 t/ha of green chillies.
- Hybrids: 25 t / ha of green chillies.
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