First crop trial Certhon Innovation Centre

(sweet) Peppers

The aim of the research was to increase knowledge of the cultivation of peppers for a production application in indoor farms without daylight. The first purpose was to optimize the fruit production by minimizing flower and fruit abortion. There was a special focus on the lighting part, because, in the Dutch greenhouse business, (artificial) lighting of peppers is considered as difficult or providing little extra productive advantage.

Results

Cultivar First harvest after sowing (days) Weekly production during research (kg/m2) Increase (Certhon research - greenhouse) (%)
Orange snack pepper 106 0,67 86

Production reference numbers were provided by Rijk Zwaan

The results of this first cultivation round were, depending on the used variety, a 30% to 86% higher production/m² compared to an unlighted greenhouse in the Netherlands. The red snack pepper and the Palermo Yosemite clearly suffered from a fruit overload on the plants, which suppressed their average production. A better schedule of fruit pruning and plant balancing will solve this. With our experiences and obtained cultivation data, knowledge is acquired to help customers to do an ROI calculation for their project and enable us to advise them in the first period of cultivation.

The crop was removed on August 17th 2018, because the snack peppers (all supplied by Rijk Zwaan) reached the end of the crop wire and no crop lowering strategy was applied from the start to elongate the cultivation period.
During the whole cultivation period, no pests and plagues have been discovered. Fungi were no problem at all and hard to find. No chemicals were used or necessary.

A new cultivation round will start in September 2018, in which several pruning strategies will be tested to make sure the plants will not suffer because of a fruit overload.

More detailed information about the research results or the possibilities with your breed?

Timelapse - Growing peppers in the Certhon Innovation Centre

Cultivation information

Propagation: All plants are sown and propagated in the Certhon Innovation Centre on a rockwool substrate. No crop protection or pesticides are used, only a good controlled climate with conventional climate settings. After a regular propagation period of 6,5 weeks, plants were transplanted to a larger production room.

Density:

Cultivar Stems on a gutter of 3,3m Available floor surface (m²) Stems/m²
Orange snack pepper 44 3,6 12,1
Red snack pepper 44 5,3 8,3
Palermo Yosemite 33 3,6 9,1

Lighting: LED fixtures were of own design, water cooled and with a daylight kind of (white) spectrum.

Cultivation time course:
Planting date: week 12
First harvest: week 20 & 21
End of cultivation: week 33

Watch the cultivation of the (sweet) peppers in the Certhon Innovation Centre