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Grafted Pepper Seedlings for Crop Farming

Benefits of Crop Farming from Grafted Pepper Seedlings

With their higher resistance to soil-borne pathogens and improved climatic tolerance, grafted pepper seedlings are gaining popularity with crop farmers throughout the world. Farmers are well aware of grafting as a way to propagate fruits. The varieties they want to propagate are grafted onto specific rootstocks, ensuring the best qualities from both the rootstock and the scion – the upper part of the plant grafted onto the rootstock. More recently, the grafting technique has become popular for growing vegetables on a commercial scale. Though grafted pepper seedlings are relatively new in South Africa, grafting has been used for vegetable-crop growing for years now in countries such as Korea and Japan. They apply the technique to prevent root rot.

Why Grafting

Vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are grown for the quality, taste, and quantity of the fruits. Several of the better-known varieties are vulnerable to soil-borne pathogens because little attention was given to disease resistance in the past. Grafted pepper seedlings, however, have specific characteristics, making them more resistant to soil-borne pathogens that affect the quality and quantity of the yield. With stronger plants, the farmer doesn’t have to apply as many chemical treatments as with ungrafted plants to prevent plant losses related to soil-borne diseases.

Fewer chemical treatments mean a lower environmental impact. This is important in modern society where the focus is on sustainable farming practices. Farmers also benefit from the improved yield and uniformity, a better stand, and better climatic tolerance. As such, farmers enjoy the benefits of growing from seedlings as opposed to seeds – and the advantages of grafting. Grafted pepper seedlings grow faster, and are stronger, ensuring a better stand. The plants are propagated in protective greenhouses and extensive research goes into the development of the desired characteristics. As such, farmers gain the benefit from superior-performing plants. This helps them gain a competitive edge in the high-risk environment of crop farming.

Advantages of Growing from Seedlings

When growing from grafted pepper plants obtained from trusted commercial nurseries, the farmer can plan better. The soil is prepared before the plants are delivered and transplanting takes place on the day of delivery. All the plants are chemically treated before being transported to the farmer. Such plants thus already have protection against diseases and pests during their early developmental stages. This gives the farmer time to initiate their normal chemical-treatment plan and they have fewer chemical treatments to apply, reducing propagation costs.

In addition, all the plants are similar in size and characteristics. As such, the farmer can apply the same irrigation, fertilisation, and treatment regimens for all the plants. Harvesting is easier because the plants yield fruits of uniform character at the same time. Lower labour costs associated with harvesting is thus another benefit. The shorter period on the field helps reduce risks and costs associated with growing peppers. At the end of the day, the farmer can realise more profits whilst experiencing reduced risks.

Importance of Best Practices to Ensure High Yields When Growing from Grafted Pepper Seedlings

Soil preparation is crucial to the success of crop farming, also when growing from seedlings. The soil must be prepared in advance to ensure the correct pH and nutrient levels. Soil analysis beforehand helps the farmer to determine which nutrients to add. In addition, windbreaks must be used in areas where strong winds are experienced. It is, furthermore, essential to irrigate the soil before transplanting the buds. Careful handling of the plants is essential to prevent damage. Firming of the soil around the roots is also necessary to prevent air pockets forming around the roots. Irrigation must follow immediately after transplanting. Farmers should follow the supplier’s instructions regarding plant spacing and hole depth.

Where to Find A Supplier in South Africa

Hishtil SA supplies quality grafted pepper seedlings to farmers across South Africa.