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Trellising and Training Pepper Plants using HORTOMALLAS

Clearly training vegetable plants with some sort of trellising system (like trellis netting ) will pay back the initial investment many folds as the plant will grow more vigorously and maintain its branches and fruits away from the ground humidity.

Peppers, like tomatoes, are subject to bacteria attacks as well as viruses and fungi, which are usually transmitted mechanically by some sort of vector, we most often blame insects like thrips and white flies for the contagion as they jump from plant to plant and spread the disease with pure mechanical touch (not only are lymph feeding insects the cause of pathogens). Mechanical transmission of pathogens is caused by workers and supervisors who inadvertently come in touch with an infected plant (or a cigarette with tobacco virus) and start spreading the virus, bacteria or fungus from plant to plant during pruning and training operations.

The company HORTOMALLAS that manufactures this trellis net specializes in crop support and offers a great deal of information in their web site on all aspects of plant training: since the great majority of their technical blog entries are in Spanish I suggest you look up entries that include the word entutorar and then run the online translator in case you are not fluent.

No matter how much we try to spray and disinfect workers before coming in contact with pathogens and bringing them unto our planted fields, it seems to be a common trait of hired employees that having to perform due to a per-piece pay structure are forced to work under time pressure and tend to skip on quality if necessary in order to bring in the required quantity measurements scales.

HORTOMALLAS trellis netting permits farmers to finally reduce the amount of labor necessary in the field, allowing the plant to grow freely and lean on the meshes of the vegetable support net, without needing further manual guidance like with raffia twine methods, where the plant needs to be “shown” the way inch per inch.

As pepper and tomato plants will grow through the meshes of HORTOMALLAS, they will orient their leaves towards the light source effectively and organically, without mechanical stress which reduces crop yields and reducing the rate of transmission of pathogens. This video on this trellis support net might help visualize how this system works.

Overall my vote on this type of trellising system is a 8/10, I would have given it a 9 or even a 10 if they had the same amount of reading material in English as they have in Spanish. I must say though that this is a serious company, and they responded all of my emails in perfect English!