Evaluation of Jalapeno, Big Chili, Poblano, and Serrano Chili Pepper Cultivars in Central Missouri

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1 Evaluation of Jalapeno, Big Chili, Poblano, and Serrano Chili Pepper Cultivars in Central Missouri Steven Kirk, Catherin Bohnert, and David Johnson Lincoln University Cooperative Extension-Commercial Vegetable Program, Jefferson City, MO Summary Sixteen cultivars of jalapeno, big chili, poblano and serrano peppers were evaluated at the George Washington Carver Research Farm in Jefferson City, Missouri, during the 2013 growing season. Replicated trials analyzed cultivars for both total and marketable yield along with individual fruit characteristics of fruit weight, length and width. The highest per-plant marketable yields were from Magno jalapeno (2289.0g), Sequoia poblano (1978.0g), Highlander big chili ( g), and Gran Camino serrano (2193.8g). Materials and Methods Sixteen chili pepper cultivars (4 big chili, 4 jalapeno, 4 poblano, and 4 serrano, Table 1) were chosen for this trial. Seeds were sown in germination ribbon flats on April 15, 2013, in the greenhouse. Seedlings inches tall were transplanted into 804 insert 4-cell packs. On June 4, plants with 3-4 true leaves were transplanted into raised beds covered in white plastic. Each block consisted of four plants of the same cultivar and was replicated 4 times. Plant spacing was 2 feet within a row and 9 feet on center between rows. To reduce soil erosion and moderate soil temperatures, a cover crop of sorghum sudangrass was planted between the rows as a living mulch and mowed weekly at the highest setting with a John Deere X inch mulching mower. Prior to laying the white plastic mulch, fertilizer was applied and cultivated into the soil at rates recommended by Kinsey Agricultural Service s analysis of soil samples (Table 2).

2 Table chili cultivar list and seed source. Cultivar Code Type Cultivar Name Seed Source J-6 Jalapeno Euforia Harris Moran J-8 Jalapeno Magno Sakata J-9 Jalapeno Sinai Syngenta J-10 Jalapeno Tlaloc Syngenta B-1 Big chili Charger Seedway B-4 Big chili Highlander Johnny's Select B-6 Big chili Chili G76 Harris Moran B-7 Big chili JPR-785 Johnny's Select P-6 Poblano Sequoia Harris Moran P-7 Poblano Capulin Harris Moran P-8 Poblano Caballero Sakata P-9 Poblano Tiburon Sakata S-2 Serrano Serrano Del Sol Johnny's Select S-4 Serrano Camino Real Harris Moran S-6 Serrano Gran Camino Harris Moran S-7 Serrano Sureno Sakata Table 2. Kinsey Agricultural Service fertilizer recommendations per 0.46-acre plot. Fertilizers Analysis Lb/plot Anions Urea Ammonium sulfate Urea *post planting 23 Sulfur 90-92% 36.8 Monoammonium phosphate (MAP) Cations Potassium sulfate Traces Boron 14.30% 6.9 Manganese sulfate 28% 13.8 Copper sulfate 23% 4.6 Zinc sulfate 36% 16.1 Irrigation was provided using two 8-mil drip tapes per row with emitters spaced at 12 inches. The peppers were irrigated 6 to 8 hours per week. Additional water-soluble urea was applied weekly using a Dosmatic Superdos 30 Mobile fertilizer injection system at a rate of 0.5 lb per 8 gallons. Pest control consisted of 1 application of Dipel (insecticide) on July 19. Four jalapeno bulk harvests were conducted on July 23, August 12, September 10, and October 7. Big chili peppers were harvested on July 29, August 19, September 11, and October 7. Poblano and serrano peppers were harvested on August 5 and 23, September 10 and 11, and

3 Poblano and serrano peppers were harvested on August 5 and 23, September 10 and 11, and October 7. Harvesting consisted of picking all mature fruit from the 4-plant blocks and weighing them together. Individual fruit measurements (weight, length, and width) were taken at each harvest to determine the average size of each cultivar. Data was collected by randomly selecting 3 mature chilies per block for a total of 12 fruit per cultivar, per harvest. Results and Discussion Marketable yield (Table 3) of jalapeno cultivars ranged from 1,625.7 grams/plant for Eufonia, to 2,289.0 grams/plant for Magno. Big chili yields ranged from 1,470.6 grams/plant for Chili G76 to 2,231.2 grams/plant for Highlander. The yield of serrano chilies ranged from 1,106.5 grams/plants for Serrano Del Sol, to 2,193.8 grams/plant for Gran Camino. The yield of poblano chilies ranged from 1,330.5 grams/plants for Caballero, to 1,978.0 grams/plant for Sequoia. Table total and marketable per plant yields (g). Cultivar Yield (grams per plant) Total Marketable Jalapeno Magno 4, ,289.0 Tlaloc 2, ,234.9 Sinai 2, ,077.2 Euforia 1, ,624.7 Big Chili Highlander 2, ,231.2 JPR-785 2, ,800.2 Charger 2, ,775.1 Chili G76 1, ,470.6 Poblano Sequoia 2, ,978.0 Tiburon 1, ,492.3 Capulin 1, ,470.6 Caballero 1, ,330.5 Serrano Gran Camino 2, ,193.8 Camino Real 1, ,353.6 Sureno 1, ,346.9 Serrano Del Sol 1, ,106.5 Single fruit characteristic measurements were taken at each harvest on all cultivars (Table 4). The single fruit weight of jalapeno cultivars averaged from 33.4 grams ( Tlaloc ) to 40.0 grams

4 ( Magno ). Big chili cultivars weighed from 47.3 grams ( Chili G76 ) to 64.7 grams ( Charger ). Poblano-type chilies had single fruit weight from 54.3 grams ( Capulin ) to 67.9 grams ( Caballero ). Serrano-type chilies had single fruit weight from 8.5 grams ( Serrano Del Sol ) to 12.3 grams ( Gran Camino ). The fruit length of Big chili cultivars averaged from mm ( Chili G76 ) to mm ( Highlander ). Fruit length for jalapeno cultivars averaged from 74.1 mm ( Tlaloc ) to 86.1 mm ( Magno ). For poblano-type chilies, the range was from 84.3 mm ( Tiburon ) to 110 mm ( Sequoia ). As for the serrano-type chilies, the range was from 63.7 mm ( Serrano Del Sol ) to 83.7 mm ( Gran Camino ). The average width of an individual fruit of jalapeno cultivars ranged from 32.7 mm ( Euforia ) to 46.2 ( Tlaloc ). Big chili cultivars were from 46.6 mm ( JPR-785 ) to 51.2 mm ( Charger ); poblano cultivars were 53.4 mm ( Caballero ) to 57.3 mm ( Sequoia ); and width ranged from 15.3 mm ( Serrano Del Sol ) to 18.2 mm ( Gran Camino ) for serrano chilies. Table Individual fruit characteristics (averages from 4 harvests). Cultivar Weight (g) Length (mm) Width (mm) Jalapeno Magno Sinai Euforia Tlaloc Big Chili Charger Highlander Chili G JPR Poblano Caballero Sequoia Tiburon Capulin Serrano Gran Camino Sureno Camino Real Serrano Del Sol Unlike commercial vegetable growers who harvest fruit as it ripens, we were only able to harvest four times during the growing season. Both total and marketable per plant yields are listed in Table 3. The difference between the two columns reflects cull fruit.

5 The 2013 Chili Variety Trial identified cultivars that performed well under the variable weather conditions that pervaded the Midwest this summer. These results should help growers in our region make informed decisions in selecting cultivars for their operation. Acknowledgments This trial was funded by the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension-Commercial Vegetable Program. The authors would like to thank the Staff at George W. Carver Research Farm, the Integrated Pest Management Program and our technicians and students.

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