• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Cover
 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Foreword
 Section I. Some Florida truck...
 Section II. Movements, acreage,...
 Section III. Florida state farmers'...






Title: Growing and marketing Florida truck crops
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015010/00001
 Material Information
Title: Growing and marketing Florida truck crops
Alternate Title: Some Florida truck crops
Physical Description: 341 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida Department of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Publication Date: 1950
 Subjects
Subject: Vegetable gardening -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Truck farming -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Vegetables -- Marketing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Previous editions published as Bulletin no. 23.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015010
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7404
ltuf - AJB1113
oclc - 01625307
alephbibnum - 0001698964
lccn - 51062305

Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover
    Title Page
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    Acknowledgement
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    Table of Contents
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    Foreword
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    Section I. Some Florida truck crops
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    Section II. Movements, acreage, production values and marketing statistics of Florida truck crops
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    Section III. Florida state farmers' markets
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Full Text








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7tar&eting


FLORIDA

TRUCK CROPS


1950





STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner


(Z061


TALLAHASSEE























ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We give grateful acknowledgment to the United States De-
partment of Agriculture, Florida Agricultural Extension Serv-
ice, Julia May Sampley of Florida State Farmers' Markets,
J. C. Townsend, Jr., Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting
Service, Neill Rhodes and Frank H. Scruggs of the Florida
State Marketing Bureau, L. C. Corbett, author of "Garden
Farming," P. H. Rolphs, author of "Subtropical Vegetable-
Gardening," Jones & Rosa, authors of "Truck Crop Plants,"
E. T. Ellis, Editor of "Black's Gardening Dictionary," Bailey's
"Principles of Vegetable-Gardening," and the "Journal of
Home Economics."












CONTENTS


FOREWORD


SECTION I-Some Florida Truck Crops

Chapter I -Market Gardening and Truck Farming

Chapter II -Planting Chart _---------------.-------.------

Chapter III -Planting and Harvesting Schedule for
Florida Crops by Counties -----

Chapter IV -Conserving the Food Value in Vege-
tables .--- --. .......-------------

Chapter V -Calory and Vitamin Tables ----

Chapter VI -Some Important Truck Crops ----
Tomatoes ----------
Celery
Beans ----------- -----
Cucumbers -------...-


Peppers -.------..-._.--- ...__......-
Eggplants ----_------------..----_
Lettuce ------
Romaine
Rhubarb ----.--. ..-.
Peas -__--__________
Okra ----------
Carrots
Squash _---.---- .___.. .... _____. ....._
Asparagus --- ----
Escarole and Endive ---
Onions ---------.-------_-_-......
Cruciferae ---------_------..------
Broccoli .---------------------.__...
Cauliflower -----
Cabbage .---------------------...--
Kohl-rabi ------_
Roselle -- -------
Artichoke ------
Cassava .------------- ---- ---


SECTION II-Movements, Acreage, Production Values and
Marketing Statistics

Chapter VII -Competitive Conditions .__ ---

Chapter VIII-Value of Florida Truck Crops ----


----- v


I


----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------
----------------


_I_









-Marketing Florida Truck Crops ..--..--_ 180
Values _.------.-- -- -------.. ------ 181-186
Movements _------------ -- 187-205
Acreage, Yield, Production and Value
by Commodity ------_------ 206-229
Commodity Acreage by County .--- 230-236
County Acreage by Commodity .__- 237-260


Chapter X -Costs and Returns Per Acre in Selected


Areas --------------
Beans .- -----
Cabbage --_--------
Celery --.----
Corn .---- ---.-----
Cucumber ---------
Eggplant ----------
Peppers -----------
Potatoes -----
Tomatoes ----------
Watermelons ------


-- ---------------- 261
------ ----------- 261
.----- -------------- 263
------------------------------------ 265
--- ------------ 266
---- ---------- 267
-- ---- 269
--------- 270
---------- 272
. ----- .. 273
--- --- ------ 275


SECTION III-Florida State Farmers' Markets
Chapter XI -State Farmers' Markets ...-------------
Chapter XII -Commodity Reports for State Markets
Florida City -.... ------------------
Fort Pierce --------------.......... ----
Fort Myers ---------------------------
Palatka -------
Palmetto ---------------------------
Pahokee .. -------------------------
Pompano ._.------------------ -- --
Plant City -------
Sanford _-----.. ------------------..-
Starke -- ----
Wauchula --- ----


Chapter IX










FOREWORD

As important as production is "how to sell at a profit."
This applies to all kinds of production-agriculture, market-
ing, mining, etc.
The market gardener as well as the truck farmer should
try to put himself in the position of the buyer. What would
you like to get for your money if you went to a market or
a store to purchase vegetables for your home? Would you
want the stale, wilted or dried-out vegetables that are some-
times offered the housewife?
Of course, the final condition of the vegetables you raise
is not entirely in your hands. You cannot always foresee
just what the commission merchant, or the vegetable stand,
or the store will do with the vegetables after they are delivered
to them, but a great deal depends on the manner in which
the vegetables are first prepared for market. If you will be
absolutely sure that you have first, harvested at the right
stage of maturity; (the most important step in marketing),
second, properly graded the vegetables, third, packed them in
the right kind of crates, baskets, or containers, fourth, neither
underpack nor overpack them (what we mean by this. is-not
too many nor too few of the articles in the crate), fifth, pack
them as soon after picking as humanly possible, sixth, deliver
them to the express office, (if you are shipping by express)
or to the motor truck for immediate shipment,-a great deal
will be added to the value of vegetables you ship.
Much has been written and said about this very important
feature in the handling of vegetables and still, if all of the
truck gardeners and farmers could go through the large com-
mission houses and see first hand the poor quality of many
shipments of produce sent to market they would realize why
this instruction is repeated.
Luther Burbank is quoted as saying: "I do not blame the
housewife for not wanting to cook some of the wilted, poor
quality vegetables that are offered them."
Harvest the vegetables when you know they are in proper
condition to stand shipment.
Don't take the risk of having your crop spoil in transit.









DO NOT PERMIT YOUR CROP TO OVER-MATURE IN
THE FIELD. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN TO HAR-
VEST A CROP IT IS BEST TO LEARN ALL ABOUT THIS
VERY IMPORTANT PHASE OF SUCCESSFUL VEGE-
TABLE PRODUCTION BEFORE YOU PLANT ANY CROP.
Next, grade correctly, pack and ship promptly and the
vegetables will remain in good condition a much longer time.
The old adage: "one bad apple remaining in the barrel will
spoil the entire barrel" will always be true. One bad bunch
of vegetables will spoil the entire crate.
You are producing vegetables as a means of income; so
study every phase of your procedure.

-T. J. BROOKS
Assistant Commissioner


I



















Section I
SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS










CHAPTER I


Market Gardening and Truck Farming

Olericulture as a general subject could be correctly sepa-
rated into two divisions and designated as market gardening
and truck farming. Most encyclopedias and dictionaries make
no distinction in their definitions, but market gardening which
has as its object the raising of large quantities of many varieties
of vegetables for local markets should be differentiated from
truck farming.
Truck farming which may be restricted in the variety of
products raised is conducted on a more extensive scale, the
production being confined to a few standard crops for shipment
to distant markets. The acreage returns are greater in truck
farming than in market gardening.
Vegetables in this state are now being raised as a market
gardening product as well as a truck farming product.
Irrespective of how vegetables are raised, quick transpor-
tation facilities and good markets are most essential for success.
Without efficient, fast transportation development of truck
farming would be impossible.

VALUE OF NEW VEGETABLES
It is a trait of human nature to want something new and
this is no exception to food products. A new vegetable, a new
fruit, or a new canned product finds ready acceptance. Con-
tinued good quality will result in a permanent place for the
article after it has been properly introduced.
Those varieties of vegetables which ship well and which
mature during the season when there is a shortage of other
fresh vegetables, and which are adapted to the climates of
the South, and particularly to certain districts of Florida, will
find ready acceptance on a great many of the best markets
of the North and East.

BUSINESS METHODS NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS
However, truck farming or market-gardening depends upon
the man just as it does in any business. A good crop grower
must be a good business man. He should thoroughly know his
business and have such knowledge that he will be able to









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


overcome difficulties in crop-production and understand mar-
keting in all its details.
Before producing any product for market there should be
a carefully developed plan of production which begins with
the most profitable use of the land, the preparation of the
land, the care of the land as well as of the crops and the right
succession of crops to meet market demands during the periods
when good prices are obtainable.

ADVANTAGES OF THE SOUTHERN GROWER
With the Southern Grower there appears to be less risk
in growing early crops. Crops produced at the time of year
when they can be marketed ahead of similar crops raised in
northern latitudes offer good inducements for the producer.

LABOR SUPPLY
Acreage devoted to any crop should depend on labor supply.
It is most risky to plant a large acreage in the hope that labor
will be available when the crop is ready for harvesting. This
risk should by all means be avoided.

CROP ROTATION
Crop rotation is necessary for successful operations. Any
soil will wear out if used continuously to produce the same
crop. Every time a crop, is raised there goes with the crop
certain elements of plant food from the soil, and unless land
is given an opportunity to rebuild and also assisted through
the proper application of fertilizers the land so used will not
produce a profitable crop.

REFERENCE TO SOILS AND FERTILIZERS
We want to recommend that the prospective producer of
vegetables for the market write the Department of Agriculture,
Tallahassee, Florida, for a copy of their Bulletin No. 3, entitled
"Soils and Fertilizers." Study this bulletin thoroughly.

ENEMIES OF PLANT LIFE
A great many vegetables are subject to the same class of
diseases and the same insect enemies. Send to the Department
of Agriculture, Tallahassee, Fla., for their bulletin, "Plant
Diseases and Pests and Their Treatment." You will find a
careful study of it helpful.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Land that has become infected with organisms which pro-
duce plant diseases must be abandoned until the disease pro-
ducing organisms can be starved out. Such organisms have the
ability to perpetuate themselves year after year, and for the
reason that they develop in the plant tissues they cannot be
exterminated, nor in fact treated to any degree of success
through the external applications of compounds used some-
times for the purpose.
CROP SUCCESSION
Crop succession as a rule is more important to the market
gardener than to the truck grower. Truck growers find it
advantageous to have two different crops growing at the same
time. Double cropping or catch cropping is followed on high
priced land. This makes possible a series of crops from the
same acreage. Sometimes four crops are produced from the
same land during a single year in localities having long growing
seasons.
SOIL
Soil character determines to a great extent the length of
maturing of the crop irrespective of climatic conditions. Cold
retentive soils will be late in maturing a crop while warm, light,
sandy soils will produce an early crop. The cold, heavy soil
that retains its moisture cannot be cultivated as early in the
season as the light, sandy soil which dries out more speedily.
PLANTING
When planting seeds in cold soil do not expect them to
germinate as quickly. Likewise the plants will not grow as
rapidly. Your plan of growing and marketing should determine
the. nature of soil preferable for your production. Some crops
demand a cold, retentive soil but that is something the grower
must decide.
Natural fertility of soil is not the most important consid-
eration for the truck grower's attention. With good mechanical
conditions, the fertility can be supplied by manure, the plowing
under of green crops, and the application of the right ferti-
lizers as referred to in Bulletin number 3, to which we have
already referred you.
PLANT STRUCTURE
To enable the grower to better understand the effects of
insect enemies and plant diseases on growing plants and also









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


the effect of fertilizers and moisture supply upon them, we
believe some information on plant structure will prove most
valuable. Plants are composed of three distinct parts, two above
the ground and one beneath the soil. These parts are known
as the root, stem and leaf. Each part of the plant performs
certain functions in direct relation to the others.
Root
The root function is both mechanical and physiological.
The mechanical function consists of furnishing anchorage
for the plant and the necessary support to the stem which in
turn carries the leaves. The physiological function is properly
classed as being of greatest importance and this function
covers the selection from the soil of the crude mineral foods
necessary to plant growth. Some of these foods are nitrogen,
potash, phosphoric acid, lime, magnesia, silica, iron and sul-
phur. Elements such as these are obtained from the soil in
what is termed solution, i. e., they are carried in water, through
the growing tissues of the roots. This tissue is generally
restricted to the .region near the tip of the root system. The
rapid development of crops is possible through a good actively
growing root system. Since this development of vegetables is
the most desirable feature to the growth it is of prime im-
portance that the soil conditions should be kept in such
condition as to induce rapid growth.
Stem
The stem is the frame work which supports the leaves,
flowers, and later the fruit and it also conducts to the leaves
and other parts of the plant the food elements gathered
through the root system. There are two systems of ducts in
the stem which serve as carriers for the crude materials in
solution, one of which supplies the leaves, flowers and fruit
and the other which carries back to the various parts of the
stem and the root system those various food elements which
are used in building additional stem tissue and roots, or
they may be stored up in the plant structure for future use.
From this it will be seen that the mechanical function of the
stem is the most pronounced.
Leaf
The functions of the leaves of the plants are the more com-
plex of the many delicate organs of plants regardless of
whether leaves are broad and thin or otherwise constructed








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


they have a proportionately large area that is exposed to air
and sun. With but few exceptions leaves of plants are green
in color, providing the plant itself is in a normal healthy
condition. This surface area of leaves over which this green
tissue is spread contains a very large number of small open-
ings, noticeably on the under side of the leaves. It is through
these openings that the plant breathes or takes in air as well
as moisture. It is likewise through these same openings that
excess moisture is exuded. Whenever the excess moisture is
not disposed of the plant will become affected with oedema
and will appear drooping and somewhat wilted.
Minute microscopic bodies contained in the cells of the
leaves give them their green color and they also serve to
build the outer layers of the leaf. These minute green bodies
are known as chloroplasts and when present in correct quanti-
ties give the plant its healthy, characteristic, green color. The
function of these microscopic bodies found in the cells is the
most important of any connected with plant growth. Sunlight
enables these chloroplasts to take the crude materials supplied
by the root system and the air and develop from these materials
the finished products most necessary in the building of plant
tissue. Some of these products are starch, sugar and oils. The
starches during plant growth are changed into sugars. The
plant needs the food in this state to build various parts of its
structure. We find that the oils are used by the young plant in
the seed or to build plant tissue. We believe it will be readily
understood that it naturally follows that the greater the food
supply, together with proper moisture and under proper at-
mospheric soil conditions, the more rapid will be the develop-
ment and growth of plant tissue and the growth of the plant.
Market gardening or truck farming on a commercial basis if
successful, is largely dependent on quick growth.

Root Cellar
In the South satisfactory root storage is made possible
through the building of a simple storage house. This is accom-
plished by cutting poles about eight feet long which in turn
are split into two equal parts. Trenches about one foot deep
by one foot wide that are parallel are dug about eight feet
apart. The ridge pole is placed the right height between the
two trenches and against this the flattened poles, the ends of
which have been cut like rafters, are fixed in position. The oppo-
site ends of these poles are anchored in the trenches. Boarding up








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


the ends of the structure and covering the roof with Spanish
moss or other materials completes this inexpensive root cellar.

SHIPPING SEASON
From the middle of November, throughout the winter and
until the last of June, refrigerator cars carry Florida produce
to many waiting markets. More care in harvesting and grading
should materially aid in creating increased demand for Florida
grown produce. Few cars are placed in storage and very little
is canned.
COMPETITION
The chief competition of the Florida grower is the produce
grown by greenhouse producers in the North. The production
of crops in greenhouses usually is more expensive than field
grown products. The shipper of Florida products, however,
must deduct the cost of transportation from his returns.

WHEN GROWN
The greatest percentage of Florida's truck crops is raised
during the cooler seasons of the year when insect pests and
plant diseases are more dormant and more easily controlled.
As the temperature rises greater vigilance is imperative to
bring the crop to a profitable income basis, as plant diseases
and insect pests will be found wherever there is plant life.
CULTIVATION
Soil conditions, weed growth, and the root system of the
plants grown will determine the amount and times of culti-
vation necessary to make a good crop, and here again is
evidence of the necessity of full knowledge of all the opera-
tions covering the production of truck crops if a profit is
to be made.
COVER CROPS
A deficiency of humus content exists in most Florida soils
with the exception of some muck soils. All soils become deficient
in plant food after being used and crop rotation will not
rebuild the soil to its high point of production unless good
cover crops are planted and turned under. There are a variety
of native grasses that are good for this purpose. Cowpeas,
beggarweed and crotalaria also make good cover crops.
Any cover crop should be plowed under at least twenty days
before planting the truck crop.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


SEEDBEDS
A number of Florida truck crops are started in seedbeds,
and when the young plants have reached the proper size they
are transplanted to the field. Seedbeds should be carefully
planned, and in advance of the transplanting time, to assure
good, strong, healthy plants in the field. The location, the
exposure, water supply, drainage, condition of soil and free-
dom from insect pests and diseases are some of the important
things that must be considered before seedbeds are started.
Some locations and conditions call for special treatment and
no general information can be given except as a basis for
establishing the seedbed. The particular characteristics of the
crop to be raised, the results already achieved in the locality
and a fund of information on truck crop production are essen-
tial to success.
Beds 31/2 feet wide are suitable for celery, lettuce, romaine,
cabbage, escarole, endive, cauliflower and other fall-planted
crops.
Old stable manure, or compost which is well decayed should
be thoroughly worked into the soil. A surface application of
hardwood ashes, in the proportion of a ton to the acre, should
follow the manure or compost. About a week later the appli-
cation of commercial fertilizer containing 5 per cent each of
ammonia, phosphoric acid and potash is necessary and must
be worked thoroughly into the soil. (The reader should refer
to Bulletin No. 3-"Soils and Fertilizers," issued by the
Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee). The bed is made
smooth and the seeds are sown several days after the commer-
cial fertilizer has been applied. Cover the seedbeds with cloth
as shown in illustrations, using 4-oz. cotton sheeting. A frame
of lath and wire will support the canvas covering, giving shade
during hot weather and protection against hard rains, winds
and frosts.

Winter Seedbeds
Winter seedbeds are used for eggplant, peppers, tomatoes
and other plants of a similar nature. These beds should be
41/2 or 5 feet wide and boxed in with a wall 24" high at the
back, and 10" high in front. The beds should run east and
west to obtain full benefit of the sunshine. Winter seedbeds
must be so constructed that they can be made tight to provide
protection against frost and cold weather.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Planting Seedbeds

Seeds should be planted in rows to facilitate cultivating,
weeding and economical fertilizing. The distance between the
rows is usually about 4 to 6 inches. The seeds should not be
planted more than one-half inch deep, and after planting
covered lightly with soil. Very small seeds such as celery and
lettuce will propagate better if sown on top of the soil and
covered lightly. After planting, place burlap on top of the
seeds and keep it wet until the seeds sprout and take root.
Then remove the burlap.
After the seeds have sprouted keep the bed well watered
until the plants are firmly rooted.
About twelve days before the young plants are removed
for transplanting, it is advisable to block them off, using a
blade long enough for the purpose. In this manner the lateral
roots are cut about two inches from each side of the block
of plants. As a result of this practice the plants will establish
a new root system and make transplanting easier and also
protect the newly set plants.




CHAPTER II

Planting Chart
(Courtesy of Florida Cooperative Extension Service)


Seeds or
Variety Plants Date to Plant Days to Width of
Per Acre Maturity Rows
Bountiful Sept.-March
Beans (Snap) Giant Stringless 4 peck Sept.-March 45-50 3 feet
(Green) Black Valentine Sept.-March
Kentucky Wonder March-April
Beans, Wax Davis White Wax April
Wardell Kidney Wax Oct.-March
Beans, Bush Fordhook Bush 60 pounds August-March 80 days 2 to 3 feet
(Lima) Pole Seiva 30 pounds
Purple Cape
Broccoli Mammoth White 4 oz. seed Nov.-Dec. 80 to 90 3 feet
Italian Green Sprouting
Charleston Wakefield
Cabbage Long Island 12 oz. seed Sept.-Jan. 60 to 80 3 feet
Premium Flat Dutch
Copenhagen Market
Cabbage
(Chinese) 8 oz. Sept.-Feb. 60 to 70 2% feet
Cauliflower Early Snowball 16 oz. Oct.-Jan. 70 to 90 3 feet
Erfurt 9,000 plants
Early Golden Self-blanching
Celery Specials 8 oz. seed Oct.-Feb. 80 to 100 2Y feet
Late Green Top 60,000 plants








PLANTING CHART- (Continued)

Seeds or
Variety Plants Date to Plant Days to Width of
Per Acre Maturity Rows

Chayote March-June 120 days 12 feet

Improved White Spine
Davis Perfect 4 lbs. seed Sept.-Oct. 70 to 80 4 to 5 feet
Cucumbers Early Fortune Feb.-March
Kirby Staygreen
Dark Long Green
Black Beauty
Eggplants Florida Highbush 6 oz. seed July-Sept. 120 days 5 feet
Purple Spineless 3,000 plants March-May
New Orleans Market

Endive 12 ounces Oct.-Feb. 50 to 60 2 feet

Lettuce Big Boston 2 pounds Oct.-March 70 days 15 inches

Perk ns Mammoth Podded
Okra Long Green 8 pounds April to June 90 days 3 feet
White Velvet
Crystal Wax 8 to 12 bu. sets
Onions White Bermuda 9,000 plants Sept.-Nov. 150 days 12 to 15
Red Bermuda 5 lbs. seed inches
Australian Brown







PLANTING CHART- (Continued)

Seeds or
Variety Plants Date to Plant Days to Width of
Per Acre Maturity Rows

Alaska Extra Early
Peas (English) Thomas Laxton 2 bushels Sept.-Dec. 60 to 70 4 feet
Laxtonia
Telephone
Peppers Ruby King 12 oz. Sept.-Nov. 70 to 90 3 feet
World Beater (Ruby:Giant) 9,000 plants April-June

Romaine 12 oz. Oct.-March 70 days 15 to 18
inches

Spinach Improved Curled Savoy 10 lbs. seed Nov.-Feb. 50 to 70 36 inches

Cocozelle planted
Squash Patty Pan 2 pounds Sept.-Oct. 45 to 60 in checks
Early Crook Neck Feb.-May 4 x 4 feet or
Mammoth White Bush 6 x 8 feet
Marglobe 2 lb. seed
Tomatoes Livingston Globe 6,000 to Nov.-April 50 to 80 4 to 6 feet
Stone 9,000 plants









CHAPTER III


Planting and Harvesting Schedule for
Florida Crops by Counties

The harvesting seasons for the various crops vary so greatly
owing to varying seasons as to temperature and rainfall that
no definite length of harvesting dates can be given. The same
crop will last much longer when planted on different dates.
Different varieties of the same crop differ as to length of
gathering days. Bunch beans do not bear as long as pole beans,
and pole butter beans bear longest of all.
It will be noted that the number of days from planting to
maturity varies much more in some crops than in others.
Weather and soil conditions are the cause in the main of
these variations.
NORTH FLORIDA
Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia,
Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Flagler, Gadsden, Gilchrist,
Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon,
Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St.
Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Walton, Washington, Wakulla
Counties. Area, 14,414,560 acres.


Vegetables When Planted
BEANS.............Mar., April, May, Aug., Sept.......
BEETS..............Feb., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov..
BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Jan., Feb., Sept., Oct., Nov........
CABBAGE.......... Oct. to Feb ... .......... ........
CARROTS........... Feb., Mar .......................
CASSAVA .......... Mar., April-a root crop. No definite
harvest date ...................
CAULIFLOWER...... Jan., Sept., Oct ..................
COLLARDS .......... Jan., Feb., Mar., Nov...........
CUCUMBERS. ...... Feb., Mar., April.................
EGGPLANT......... Feb., Mar., April, July, Aug........
IRISH POTATOES . Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Aug.,
Sept., Oct......................
KALE............. Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov.............
KERSHAW.......... Mar., April ......................
KOHL-RABI. ....... Mar., April, Aug.................
LEEK............ Jan., Feb., Sept., Oct.............
LETTUCE .......... Jan., Feb., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec...
MUSTARD ......... Sept., Oct., Feb., Mar.............


When Harvested
65
60
90 to 120
65 to 80
100

180
55
85
64
84

100 to 120
90 to 120
150 to 180
60 to 80
100 to 115
75 to 83
30










SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Vegetables When Planted
OKRA ............. Mar., April, May, Aug............
ONIONS............Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.,
D ec...........................
PARSLEY.......... Feb., M ar., April.................
PARSNIPS .......... Feb., Mar., April, Oct., Nov.......
PEAS (English).....Sept., Oct., Feb.............. ...
RADISHES...........Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Sept., Oct.,
Nov., Dec.......................
RUTABAGA .........Feb., Mar., April, Aug., Sept., Oct..
SPINACH ........... Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct.............
SQUASH ........... Mar., April, May, Aug............
,SWEET POTATOES... April, May, June.................
TURNIPS .......... .Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Aug., Sept.,
O ct...........................
TOMATOES......... Mar., April, May, June, July, Aug..
Friits
PEACH ............ Jan., Feb .......................
PEAR............. Jan., Feb .......................
Plum ............. Jan., Feb ............... .......
PERSIMMON........ Jan., Feb... ....................
FIG............... Jan., Feb........................
AXTSUMA........... Jan., Feb.......................
VSATERMELON ...... Mar., April ......................
DRAPES........... Mar., April ......................
CANTALOUPES ...... Mar., April .................. ...
Field Crops
CORN ............. Feb., M ar., April.................
COTTON ............ M ar., April ......................
PEANUTS ........... Mar., April, May, June, July......
SUGARCANE ........ Feb., M ar ................... ....
H AY ..... .........................................
TOBACCO.......... M ar., April ......................
JAPAN CLOVER ..... May, June, July ..................
CARPET GRASS .... Mar. to July .....................
VELVET BEANS ..... Mar., April, May ................
RYE .............. Jan., Feb., Oct., Nov., Dec.........
RAPE ............. Jan., Feb., Oct., Nov., Dec.........
SORGHUM .......... Mar., April, May, June...........
VETCH ........... Oct., Nov., Dec...................
COWPEAS........... M ar. to July.....................
BEGGARWEED...... May to July.....................
KUDZU .......... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
CROTALARIA....... M ay, June.......................
BERMUDA GRASS.... Mar., April, May, June, July......
SoY BEANS ........ Mar., April, May.................
Berries
BLUEBERRIES ...... Dec. to Mar.....................


When Harvested
60

100
40 to 80
125 to 160
45

27
50 to 80
50 to 60
60 to 80
100

45
73 to 82

2 to 3 years
3 to 4 years
3 to 4 years
3 to 4 years
2 to 4 years
3 to 5 years
83 to 93 days
1 to 2 years
85 days

75 to 90 days
180 days
120 to 150 days
210 days

100 to 120 days






160 days

90 to 120 days




90 to 100 days


2 to 3 years










DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Berries When Planted When Harvested
BLACKBERRIES .... .Jan., Feb., Mar .................. 1 to 2 years
DEWBERRIES....... Jan., Feb., Mar.................. 1 to 2 years
STRAWBERRIES..... May and June, Sept. and Oct...... March to June
YOUNG BERRIES. ... Nov. to May .................... 1 to 2 years

Nuts
PECANS .......... Dec. to Feb ..................... 4 to 6 years
TUNG NUT ........ Dec. to Feb ..................... 4 to 6 years

CENTRAL FLORIDA

Brevard, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Marion,
Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, Sumter, Vo-
lusia Counties. Area, 9,164,800 acres.


Vegetables When Planted
BRUSSELS SPROUTS..Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov...
BEANS............ Feb., Mar., Sept .................
BEETS..............Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov..
CABBAGE...........Jan., Feb., Oct., Nov., Dec.........
CANTALOUPES...... Feb., Mar........................
CASSAVA........... M ar., April ......................
CAULIFLOWER......Jan. (seed); Mar., June (seed);
July, Aug., Sept., Oct...........
CUCUMBER......... Sept. to Mar ....................
COLLARDS ......... Jan., Feb., Mar., April, May, Aug.,
Sept., Nov., Dec................
CELERY ........... June (seed); July (seed); Sept. to
Feb...........................
DASHEENS ......... Mar., April .................. ...
EGGPLANT........... Jan., Feb. (spring crop); July (fall
crop)..........................
ESCAROLE......... Oct. to Feb .....................
ENGLISH PEAS.....Sept. to Mar .....................
IRISH POTATOES .... Sept. (fall crop); Nov. to Mar.
(spring crop) ...................
KOHL--RABI ........ Mar., April, Aug .................
KALE ............ .Feb., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.,
Dec............................
LEEK ............. Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Dec...
LETTUCE.......... Jan., Feb., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec...
.MUSTARD .......... Ja., Feb., Mar., April, Aug., Sept.,
Oct., Nov .....................
ONIONS............Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Aug., Sept.,
Oct., Nov.. ....................
OKRA............ .Feb., M ar........................
PARSLEY .......... Feb., Mar., April, June, July ......


When Harvested
90 to 120
65
60
65 to 80
85
100 to 200

55
64

85

120 to 150


84
50to 60
62

100 to 120
60 to 80

90 to 120
100 to 115
75 to 83



100
40
40 to 80










SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Vegetables When Planted When Harvested
PARSNIPS.......... Feb., Mar., April, Sept., Oct., Nov.. 125 to 160
PUMPKINS ......... May, June, July.... ............. 150 to 180
PEPPERS............Jan., Feb., Mar. (spring crop);
July to Oct. (fall crop).......... 100 to 140
RADISHES..........Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Sept., Oct... 28
RUTABAGAS........ Feb., Mar., Sept., to Dec.......... 50 to 80
TOMATOES ........ Sept. to Mar., July............... 73 to 82
TURNIPS............Jan., Feb., Mar., April, Aug., Sept.,
Nov., Dec.................... .. 45

Fruits When Planted Years To Production When Harvested
ORANGES..........Dec., Jan., Feb...4 to 6 years......October to June
TANGERINES ....... Dec., Jan., Feb...4 to 6 years......October to March
GRAPEFRUIT ....... Dec., Jan., Feb.. .4 to 6 years...... October to May
LEMONS .......... Dec., Jan., Feb.. .3 to 5 years..... Depends on variety
LIMES..............Dec., Jar., Feb...3 to 5 years......Depends on variety
MANGOES..........Sept. and Oct... .4 to 6 years......June, July
AvOCADOES ....... Sept. and Oct.... 4 to 6 years......July to January
WATERMELONS ..... Jan. to March ................... 83 to 93 days
PAPAYA ........... Feb. to June..... 12 to 15 mos.
GUAVAS........... Oct., Nov., Feb...2 to 4 years
CANTALOUPES ...... Feb. to Mar .....................85 days
GRAPES .......... .Jan. and Feb.... .1 to 2 years...... June and July

Berries
STRAWBERRIES..... May and June, Sept. and Oct.... December to April

Field Crops
COTTON ...........Feb., Mar., April ................. 150 to 180
CORN ............. Jan. (early); Feb., Mar., April ..... 75 to 90
OATS............... Jan., Nov., Dec.................
SUGARCANE ........ Jan. and Feb .................... October-November
HAY (Native) .................................... July and August
CHUFAS ...........Mar., April, May.................Oct., Nov., Dec.
COWPEAS......... .April to July.....................
SORGHUM .......... April, May, June ................. July, Aug., Sept.
PEANUTS .......... April, May, June................. July, Aug., Sept.
VELVET BEANS.....Mar., April, May.................Sept., Oct., Nov.
TOBACCO ..........Mar., April......................June, July
SoY BEANS.........Mar., April, May................. 90 to 100
RYE ............... Jan., Feb., Oct., to Dec...........
RAPE ............. Jan., Feb., Oct., to Dec............
VETCH ........... Oct. to Jan .....................
BEGGARWEED ..... April, May, June.................
KUDZU ............ Nov., Dec., Jan ..................
NAPIER GRASS.....Jan. to Mar.....................
MEEKER GRASS.... Jan. to Mar ....................









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Field Crops When Planted When Harvested
BERMUDA GRAS....Mar., April, May, June, July, Aug.,
Sept., Oct .................
Nuts
TUNG NUT.........Dec., Jan., Feb... 4 to 6 years...... October-November
PECANS.......... Dec. and Jan.....4 to 6 years...... October-November

SOUTH FLORIDA
Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee,
Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Mon-
roe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Lucie Counties.
Area, 11,376,680 acres.
Vegetables When Planted When Harvested
BEANS ............ Sept. to April; June, butter beans... 65
BEETS..............Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov.. 60
BROCCOLI..........................................
BRUSSELS SPROUTS..Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov... 90 to 120
CUCUMBERs...... Sept. to Mar .................... 64
CABBAGE.......... Oct. to Feb ..................... 65 to 80
CORN............. Jan. to Mar ...................... 75 to 90
CARROTS........... Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov...
CAULIFLOWER ..... Jan. (seed); Feb., Mar., Aug. (seed);
Sept........................... 55
COLLARDS ........Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.,
Dec........................... 85
CANTALOUPES ...... Feb., Mar .......................
DASHEENS ........ Jan. to April ..................... 85
EGGPLANT ......... Jan., Feb. (spring crop); July, Aug.,
(fall crop) .................... 84
ENGLISH PEAS .....Sept. to Mar ..................... 62
IRISH POTATOES... Nov. to Mar. springe crop); Sept.
(fall crop) ..................... 100 to 120
KALE............. Jan., Feb., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct.,
Nov .......................... 90 to 120
KOHL-RABI ........ Jan., April, Aug ................. 60 to 80
LETTUCE........... Sept. to Jan...................... 75 to 83
MUSTARD .......... Jan., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.,
D ec...........................
OKRA............. Feb., Mar., Sept .................. 60
ONIONS.............Jan. (seed); Feb., Mar., April, Aug.,
Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec ........... 100
PEPPERS ........... Jan., Feb. (spring crop); July to
Oct. (fall crop) ................. 100 to 140
PUMPKINS ......... Mar., April, May, June, July ...... 150 to 180
RADISHES..........Jan., Feb., Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov.,
Dec........................... 28
RUTABAGAS........Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.............. 50 to 80










SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Vegetables When Planted
SQUASH........... Feb., Mar., April, May, June, July,
Aug., Sept .. ..................
SPINACH............Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov...
SWEET POTATOES.. April, May, June, July............
TOMATOES......... Sept. to Feb.; July for fall crop....
TURNIPS ........... Jan. to Oct......................

Fruits
TANGERINES ....... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
ORANGES .......... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
GRAPEFRUIT ....... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
LEMONS ........... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
LIMES............. Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
BANANAS.......... Any time .....................
PAPAYAS .......... Feb. to June ....................
MANGOES ......... Sept., Oct., Nov .................
AVOCADO PEARS.... Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
SAPODILLAS........ Dec., Jan., Feb ..................
GUAVAS ...........Oct., Nov., Feb..................
CHAYOTE ......... Nov. to Feb.....................
COCOANUTS.........Any time .......................
CANTALOUPES-
WATERMELONS...Jan. and Feb....................


When Harvested

60 to 80
50 to 60
100
73 to 82
45


4 to 6 years
4 to 6 years
4 to 6 years
3 to 5 years
3 to 5 years
12 to 18 months
12 to 15 months
4 to 6 years
4 to 6 years
6 to 10 years
2 to 4 years
4 to 5 months
5 to 8 years

3 months


Field Crops
SORGHUM FORAGE...Mar. to June .................... 3 to 4 months
PARA GRASS ......Any time .......................
NATAL GRASS.......................................
NAPIER GRASS .... Any time .....................
BERMUDA GRASS... (Seed) Oct. to Feb................
CARPET GRASS .... (Seed) Oct. to Feb................
ST. AUGUSTINE
GRASS........... (Seed) Any time .................
COWPEAS.......... Mar. to July ....................
MILLET.......... .Feb. to June ....................
SUGARCANE ........ Nov. to April ................... November to April
PINEAPPLES........Aug. and Sept .................... 18 to 20 months











CHAPTER IV


Conserving the Food Value in Vegetables

Nutritive Value of Vegetables
The vitamins, mineral salts, iron, phosphorus and calcium
contained in vegetables make them a very valuable addition
to our food. These elements vary in different vegetables. The
calory and vitamin tables in this bulletin illustrates these
differences.
The energy obtained from the different vegetables depends
on their content of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
There is an indigestible residue in vegetables that holds
water which tends to retain its bulk in passing through the
body and the addition of vegetables to the menu aids in the
elimination of waste material from the digestive tract.

Buying Vegetables
The most important consideration in the purchase of vege-
tables is their condition. They should be fresh, firm and free
from bruises. Stale, wilted, bruised or soft vegetables have
lost much of their original food value. If vegetables of uniform
sizes and shapes are purchased they are easier prepared and
they are more economical to use as there is less waste.
Price does not determine the actual value of vegetables as
this is controlled almost entirely by seasonal demand and supply.
Through careful buying and in accordance with the amount
of space available for storage, a variety of vegetables may
be purchased without buying too many kinds at one time.
Storing Vegetables
Vegetables containing large quantities of water will lose
quality due to the rapid evaporation of their moisture con-
tent and they are affected by the micro-organisms with which
they are contaminated through handling. Other vegetables
having a delicate flavor and considerable sugar content will
deteriorate due to the changing of the sugar into starch. Vege-
tables of this nature should be used at once and it is better
to make purchases in small quantities or sufficient for imme-
diate needs. If they cannot be used when bought it is best to
pre-cook, cool and store them in the colder parts of the refrig-
erator. Vegetables for use in salads should be kept in a covered.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


ventilated container where they will be cold, or they can be
wrapped in a dampened cloth and placed where they will
keep cold.
Root vegetables should be kept cool to prevent them from
drying out. Such vegetables may be kept in good condition
a long time if stored in a cool, ventilated storage place. Do
not attempt to keep any vegetables that are bruised or soft.
Stored vegetables should be examined frequently to ascertain
their condition and for the purpose of removing any that
have begun to spoil.
Vegetables to be stored in bulk should be purchased from
the producer as the price will be lower than that obtainable
from the retail stores.

Preparing
Wash carefully any vegetable to be used regardless whether
it is to be eaten raw or cooked. It is not necessary to peel thin
skinned vegetables. Remove all discolored or decayed parts.
To prevent discoloration place the vegetables in water to keep
out the air. Placing vegetables in cold water will restore their
crispness if they are not badly wilted. In cooking cauliflower,
cabbage or similar vegetables whole, first soak them in salted
water to drive out any insects they may obtain. To every
quart of water put in about one teaspoonful of salt. Dried
vegetables, such as peas or dried beans, are improved by soak-
ing overnight.
The manner in which vegetables are cooked will affect both
their palatability and food value. Consult a good cookbook
and be sure your method is right. Should you overcook vege-
tables they will be more like mush than tender, firm garden
products. Properly cooked vegetables have an appearance that
appeals to the appetite and they contain real food value. The
water or liquid in which vegetables are cooked contains a
considerable percentage of the food materials of the vegetables
and should be served with the cooked vegetables. If not prac-
ticable to use a large quantity of this liquid it is best to follow
that method in cooking which will permit the use of a small
amount of water.
Vegetables should be served and eaten when cooked as keep-
ing them hot will destroy their vitamin content. Cooking at
or below the boiling point for a short time will assist in retain-
ing vitamins B and C which are more difficult to retain. Acid
foods are easier to control in this respect.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Flavor
The acids, acid salts, tannins, sugars, and essential oils
contained in vegetables are responsible for their flavor. These
can be destroyed by improper or careless cooking. The chemical
changing of the starch content will add to the flavor in sopne
vegetables. Adding salt will bring out the natural flavor, and
cooking certain vegetables together will produce a blended
flavor which adds to their palatability. The use of condiments
improves the flavor when added in the proper proportions.
In the purchase of any food, the flavor, appearance, food
value and digestibility are all taken into consideration. When
foods are cooked before eaten a full knowledge of how to
prepare them is most important. The serving of raw foods, to
retain as much of their original flavor as possible is also essen-
tial. These methods can be learned only through study of
modern methods. Too much stress cannot be put on this sub-
ject. Many fine vegetables have been ruined in their prepara-
tion for serving, the flavor being destroyed, and the food value
greatly reduced.

Baked Vegetables
Practically the entire mineral content of vegetables is re-
tained when they are baked in their skins. The flavor is also
brought out and most of the vitamins are kept intact. Cucum-
bers, onions, potatoes, squash and tomatoes are some of the
vegetables that are easily baked in this manner. The moisture
content of such vegetables being converted into steam during
the process of cooking is kept within the skin and the food
value is not lost.
Other vegetables are cooked in baking dishes. If the cover
is partially opened just before removing from the oven the
contents of the baking dish will become slightly brown which
improves the flavor.

Steamed Vegetables
The next best method for cooking vegetables is steaming.
More of the food value is retained in steamed vegetables than
when they are boiled. Beets, carrots, parsnips, squash, sweet
potatoes, and wax beans are a few of the many vegetables
suitable for steaming.
Salt may be added when put in the steamer or just before
they are served. Steam pressure cookers are recommended for













SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS 23



dried peas or dried beans but they should not be used for

fresh vegetables.


Boiled Vegetables

The most common method for cooking vegetables is to boil

them. With proper care there need not be a great loss of the

mineral salts and vitamins when boiled. Brussels sprouts, cab-

bage, cauliflower, onions, rutabagas, turnips, and similar vege-


TIME REQUIRED FOR COOKING THE MORE COMMON

VEGETABLES BY DIFFERENT METHODS

Time of cooking when

Vegetable Quantity as purchased required Preparation for vegetables are-
vegefab or 5 or 6 servings cooking Boile
Baked Steamed Boiled


Artichokes, globe or
French.
Artichokes, Jerusa-
lem.
Asparagus ........
Beans, Lima, fresh...
Beans, Lima, dried..
Beans, navy, dried --.
Beans, snap -------...
Beets, young.......
Beets, mature -----.
Beet greens ......---
Broccoli.--..--..-...
Brussels sprouts ...--
Cabbage-...-........
Carrots, young-......
Carrots, mature-.....
Cauliflower) --------
Celeriac.............
Celery.....--.......-
Chayotes .---.......
Collards...----------
Corn..--..-..........
Dandelion greens--...
Eggplant--.......---
Fennell...-..-.......
Kale...... ......
Kohlrabi.............
Lentils, dried .---..-
Mushrooms ..----...

Okra....---------.. --
Onions, Bermuda ---
Onions, Spanish.. .
Parsnips.-..........
Peas, fresh .........
Peas, dried-..........
Potatoes.............
Rhubarb ---..... ....
Rutabagas ..........
Spinach..............
Squash, summer....
Squash, winter.......
Sweetpotatoes-.....

Swiss chard-.......- .

Tomatoes-..........
Turnips ..........
Turnip greens.. ..
Vegetable oyster, or
salsify.


Lbs.
6 medium-sized-.. 3

....------- 1

2 bunches.----------.......1-2
----- -----.-- 4, inpods.






1 large bunch. .... 2-2
1 small ead-------------- 2
--do-----------
134-2



2 bunches........ ..........
--------.----------- 3








6 medium-sized .... 2%
1 large bunch...... 2-
1 quart ...--- 3I
1 small head---- 2
2 bunches...------- -----...........--



6 medium-sized.... 2
1 large bunch------ 2
3 medium-sized -.-- 1
3
--------------- 3
6 ears.............-
--------------------- 2
2 small or 1 large... 2
6 medium-sized -... 2%
2-3
6 medium-sized-.-- 1
Icup-- -----------------


-----------------
6 medium-sized---- 1^,2

6 medium-sized-... 1%
.------- 3, in pods.
I cup-- ---.... %
6 medium-sized.... 1 -2
1 large bunch....... 2
2-3 ----------------- 2
--------- 2-3
3-4..----....... --.- 3
---------------------- 3
6 mediu'm-sized--.. 134

--------------------- 2

6 medium-sized _.- 14-2
2 bunches.... ... 2
2-b s-------- 23
2-3
1 large hunch-- ----1


HIrs. Mins.
Whole-..-..--.-..-........ ........

Pared, whole ...-- -1l 35


In bunches -
13-inch pieces-
Shelled .....
Soaked overnight
--._do----------
In pieces -----
Whole-....--.
. -do--------
fWith stems-------
INo stems.-------
Cut in strips......

(Quartered----
.Shredded ..._ .
Whole-.-------
Diced or sliced ---.
DiSedaratd --------
mWhole -----.-------
Diced ..--------
13-inch pieces _--
Sliced.--------.







Whole.--....------

-inch do-piec---..
Peeled, whole--.
Peeled, cut in half..
Whole .... --.
Shelled.......------
Soaked overnight- -
Whole....----------
1-inch pieces-.......
Pared, quartered. .
fWith stems ---..--
WNo stems---------
Pared, sliced ...-
2-inch pieces-...-..
Whole --------
IWith stems ....---
Leaves alone --......
IStems alone 3 ....---
Quartered.........-
Sliced or diced-...

ISliced.....'.'---'/...


----- ---------
- -. - 12


6-8 ----
.--- 125-30
--- 60





10
----- .20-30
....... 25-30
--- 10-15
--- 25-30

-..-- 25-30
20
-----. 30
..... 10
15
------ 253

..... 30
6-8 ......
----
---- 20


i-- 3 0-40
------- 10


4% 40



----- -- 2
20
A-1 3--40
3 30-35



...... 225
20



I Cooked separately but combined for serving.


35

30-

15-20
12-15
30
180
180
20-30
30-5
60-90
15-20
10
20-25
'15-20
10-15
5-10
15-20
20-25
10-15
20-30
15-20
15-20
15
20
6-15
10-20
10.
15-20
20-25
25--30
180-240
5 (in own
juice).
10-20
30
35-40


180
35.
5
20-30'
10
5-8
15.
20
25-30
20-30
10
30.
10-20
15-20
20-30
20


I Green beans lise color on steaming.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


tables should be boiled slowly in just sufficient water to cover
them. Very little water should be put with leafy green vege-
tables and it is advisable to remove the cover of the boiler
to allow the volatile acids to escape. This will preserve the
color but causes a loss of some of the flavor. In boiling vege-
tables that do not lose -their color easily the food value may
be retained by keeping the cover on the boiler and the use of
very little water. Special cooking utensils have been developed
that cook vegetables without any water. The earthenware or
heavy glass casseroles that keep the steam within the cooking
vessel are types of such cookers. This method is satisfactory
for vegetables with high water content.

Cooking in Pans
This method of cooking is very popular. The vegetables are
cut into small pieces and a little fat is added to the contents.
The pan is covered and placed on top of the stove to cook.
The moisture that cooks out escapes through evaporation
and there is not much loss of the mineral salt or vitamins.

Time to Allow for Cooking
A vegetable is considered sufficiently cooked when it is
tender, but not soft and flabby. The time required under those
methods most appropriate to the vegetables is given in the
table.

Serving Vegetables
Both fresh, crisp vegetables or well cooked vegetables lose
their appeal to the appetite if they are improperly served.
The Department of Agriculture at Tallahassee, has issued a
bulletin No. 46, entitled: "Florida Fruits and Vegetables in
the Family Menu," which will aid materially in serving vege-
tables in an attractive manner. The U. S. Department of Agri-
culture, Washington, D. C., has published their bulletin, No.
265, which also has some valuable information on this subject.













CHAPTER V


Calory and Vitamin Tables

1. CALORY TABLE

S(Selected from "Feeding the Family"-Mary Swartz Rose,
and from Bulletin 28, U. S. Department of Agriculture).
Select 600 out of 3,000 calories daily from fruits and vege-
tables. The following table is for convenience in planning
menus. The number of calories for ordinary servings rather
than the usual 100-calory portion is given.
SERVING C.
Asparagus (5 tips) ....................................... 25
Celery (1 cup, chopped) ...............----........ 15
Cauliflower (4 heaping tbs.) .................... 20
Cabbage (1 cup, shredded) .....................-... 20
Carrots (1 medium) .........................--........-- 100
Corn (1 medium ear) ............................... 100
Brussels sprouts (four) .......................... 50
Beets (2 heaping tbs.) ..............--... ......---- 30
Beans (string, /2 cup) .............---.........----- 25
Beans limass, fresh, 2 tbs.) .....................-.. 100
Eggplant (1 medium) .............................. 50
Lemons (1 large) ...............--....---- ..--- ---- 30
Lettuce (/2 head) ......................... .... ....... 25
Onions (% medium) ............................. 25
Parsnips (medium) ............................-- -...-.. 75
Potato (med. white, bkd.) ....................... 100
Potato (med. sweet, bkd.) .................. .. 150
Peas (green), 1/2 cup .................................-... 75
Peas (field), (1/2 cup) .....................-- .------- 100
Strawberries (1 cup) ..................------...- 35
Squash (2 heaping tbs.) ................---...........-- 70
Spinach (2 heaping tbs.) ............................. 60
Turnip (2 heaping tbs.) .......................---...... 15
Tomatoes (med.), uncooked .........- ........... 40
Tomatoes (stewed, 1/ cup) .......................... 25
Tomatoes (1 cup cream soup) ................. 125
Bananas (average size) .......................... 125
Blackberries (3 heap'g tbs.) ........................ 60
Cantaloupe (% melon) ............................... 90
Grapefruit (% large) ........................... ..... 140
Grapes (1 large bunch) ............................ 110
Blueberries (4 heaping tbs.) ..............-........ 80
Orange (average) ................................... 100
Peach (average) ......................................-- 45
Pear (average) ...................................... ---- 90










26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

SERVING C.
Pineapple (2 slices) ..................................... 45
Plum (average) ........................................... 25
Strawberries (4 heap'g tbs.) ........................ 40
Watermelon (large slice) .............................. 40
Marmalade (orange), 1 tbs. ...................... 100
Butter, 1 tbs. ................................................. 100
Milk (whole, 1 glass) .................................. 170
Egg (1 medium) ......................................... 75
Cheese (1% in. cube) .................................... 100
Bread (21/ in. slice, white) ........................ 100
Corn muffins (1 medium) .......................... 125
Molasses (11% tbs.) ........................................ 100
Sugar (2 tbs.) ............................................... 100
Cream (thin, cup) .................................... 100
Wesson Oil (1 tbs.) ...................................... 100









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS 27

2. VITAMIN TABLES
Reported occurrence of vitamins A, B, and C in fruits and vegetables.
Selected from Circular 84, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Sibyl L. Smith, Senior Chemist. Experiment Station.
$ indicates that the food contains the vitamin.
$ $ indicates that the food is a good source of the vitamin.
$ $ $ indicates that the food is an excellent source of the vitamin.
indicates that the food contains no appreciable amount of the
vitamin.
indicates that evidence is lacking or appears insufficient.


Relative Distribution of Vitamins A, B, and C in Vegetables


ITEM A B C

Vegetables:

Artichokes, globe. ................... *
Asparagus, bleached.................. *
Asparagus, green, canned .............. *
Asparagus, green, cooked............... *
Asparagus, green, raw ................ .. t t t *
Beets, leaves.......................... f t *
Beets, roots.......................... to t t t
Beets, stem s ......................... t *
Broccoli (See special chapter)......... t t
Cabbage, Chinese. .................... *
Cabbage, head, canned ................ t
Cabbage, head, cooked ...............
Cabbage, head, raw ................... t t t
Cabbage, leaves, green, dried........... f to f I t tI
Cabbage, leaves, green, fresh........... .. f + t I
Cabbage, leaves, green, stored.......... to I
Cabbage, leaves, white, fresh........... to t : :+ t
Carrots, autoclaved. ................... $ *
Carrots, canned, young................
Carrots, cooked, old................... to f
Carrots, cooked, young. ............... +
Carrots, raw, old. .................... t tt i
Carrots, raw, young .................. f I I I t

Cauliflower, canned .................. *
Cauliflower, cooked.................... t to $ $ *
Cauliflower, raw....................... . f t

Celery, leaves, bleached. .............. *








28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

VITAMIN TABLE- (Continued)
Relative Distribution of Vitamins A, B, and C in Vegetables

ITEM A B C
Vegetables-Continued:
Celery, leaves, green. .................* *
Celery, stalks, bleached ............... to t : *
Celery, stalks, ethylene bleached........ $ *
Chard, Swiss, autoclaved............... f t *
Chard, Swiss, raw ................... f t to *
Chayotes ............................ *
Collards, cooked .....................
Collards, raw .........................
Cowpeas, cooked .................. ... ft *
Cowpeas-dried. ...................... *
Cowpeas, sprouted .................... *
Cucumbers........................... to t t t t
D asheens ............................. I to t :
Dasheens, steamed .................... . .
Eggplant............................. *
Endive .................... ........ t
Escarole............................. t *
Kale................................ *
K ohl-rabi ........................... *
Lettuce-head ....................... I to $I I I I I I
Lettuce, leaves, bleached................ I I t I I
Lettuce, leaves, green ................. + + t $ I :
Okra................................ . *
Onions, cooked ....................... to $ t
Onions, raw.......................... to
Parsley............................... I t *
Parsnips ............................. to I I I *
Peas, dried........................... f *
Peas, green, canned. ................... t I to $f t
Peas, green, raw. ...................... I I
Peppers, green...................... f t I I I t
Poi (fermented, steamed, dasheens)..... t









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS 29

VITAMIN TABLE- (Continued)
Relative Distribution of Vitamins A, B, and C in Vegetables

ITEM A C C

Vegetables-Continued:
Potatoes, baked ..................... to $
Potatoes, boiled 15 minutes...........
Potatoes, boiled 1 hour................ $
Potatoes, peel. ....................... *
Potatoes, peeled, boiled, and dried.... *
Potatoes, raw ....................... $ t t
Pumpkin, boiled ................ ....... f t *
Pumpkin, dried. ..................... *
Pumpkin, raw ........................ $ .
Radishes ............................ -
R hubarb ............................. *
R om aine ............................. $. *
Rutabaga juice ...................... t
Rutabaga juice, frozen, stored 15 months to T
Rutabaga juice, heated ............... ... *
Rutabaga, cold storage. .............. *
Rutabaga, raw (Swedes) .............. t t 1
Soybeans. ........................... .
Soybeans, sprouted...................*
Spinach, canned...................... t t t f to ~
Spinach, cooked ..................... T to
Spinach, dried........................ ~ I t t*
Spinach, raw......................... 1 . f t
Squash, Hubbard, autoclaved and raw.. *
Sweet Potatoes, autoclaved. ........... t to f *
Sweet potatoes, raw................... to t$ I t I t
Tomatoes, concentrate. ...............$. $ tt t t I
Tomato juice, dried................... I I
Tomatoes, green, canned............... *
Tomatoes, green, pickled.............. to t
Tomatoes, green, raw, mature.......... I
Tomatoes, raw, air-ripened ............ f1 :I f t
Tomatoes, raw, ethylene-ripened ....... :. t t
Tomatoes, raw, rine-ripened............. I t t t t
Tomatoes, ripe, canned................. .. $ t tto t
Turnip greens, cooked.......................... $ $ : to
Turnip greens, raw .................... : $ $ t t
Turnips, white ....................... to f I I I I

Vegetable marrow, juice .............. *
Water Cress.......................... $ *









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


FLORIDA VEGETABLES


Asparagus
Lima Beans
Green String Beans
Beets
Roots
Greens
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Breadfruit
Jackfruit
Cabbage
Chinese Cabbage
Cauliflower
Rape
Kohl-rabi
Carrot
Cassava
Swiss Chard
Sweet Corn
Collards
Cucumbers


Endive
Eggplant
Garlic
Lettuce
Escarole
Water Cress
Mint
Green Mustard
Chinese lMustard
Kale
Dandelion
Okra
Onion
Leek
Chives
Shallot
Parsley
Parsnips
Peas
Field Peas
Pigeon Pea


Red Pepper
Sweet Pepper
Potato-White
Potato-Sweet
Yam
Dasheen
Plantain
Radish
Salsify
Spinach
Squash
Chinese Squash
Pumpkin
Chayote
Tomato
Plum Tomato
Turnip Greens
Turnip Roots
Rutabaga


BOOKS ARE NECESSARY TO SUCCESS

Every grower should be a reader. Books, bulletins and maga-
zines covering the general subject of crop production will be
found of great assistance. New ideas are continually being pro-
mulgated and invariably something of value may be gleaned
from each one of these publications. Books which embrace the
general subject of raising vegetables have been written by
Greiner, Landreth, Henderson, Green, and Rawson. A book
written by Rolfs on the Atlantic South should prove of par-
ticular value to the Florida grower. The book by London en-
titled, "Vegetable Garden," will be found to be an authority,
and the English translation of Vilmorin carrying the title of
"Les Plantas Potageres" will prove most interesting.










CHAPTER VI


Some Important Truck Crops

Tomatoes
The early crop of tomatoes is planted during November and
December in South Florida and is ready for market in February
and March. In the central sections of the State the crop is
planted in February or March. In the north and northwestern
part of Florida plantings are made in the latter part of April
and in May. This crop when harvested supplies the late markets.
The early crop brings the best prices.
Planting
Tomatoes are planted in four foot rows about 15 to 18 inches
apart. Between 8,000 and 9,000 plants are required to set an
acre.
To plant the seedbed about one-half pound of seed will
supply sufficient plants for each acre.
Fertilization
The more successful tomato growers apply from 1,500 to 2,000
pounds of commercial fertilizer to the acre. The formula most
generally preferred is 4-8-8 (4% ammonia, 8% available phos-
phoric acid, and 8% potash). The muck soils of Florida do not
require as much fertilizer as the lighter sandy soils.
All of the fertilizer is usually not applied at one time. The
first application is made a week or ten days before setting the
plants. The second is applied about the time, or just before the
first bloom appears. In working the second application of fer-
tilizer into the soil, the cultivation must be shallow and care
taken not to injure the roots. If the roots are injured the bloom
will drop off.
Some tomato growers also apply 50 pounds of manganese
sulphate to each acre, either mixed with the regular fertilizer
or used separately.
Harvesting
The early tomatoes bring the best prices. Harvesting is an
important step in the production of the crop.
When the fruit has reached the proper stage for shipment
the shading will be found to be changing from a dark to a








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


light green. Tomatoes should then be picked. Several pickings
are necessary to harvest the entire crop. For local markets the
tomatoes should not be gathered so early, but allowed to ripen
more, which will improve the flavor. Baskets of a half bushel
capacity are generally used in harvesting. Soon after picking
the fruit must be taken to the packing house to be sorted,
wrapped in paper and packed six baskets to the crate for
shipment.


Tomato Field on the West Coast


A good thing to remember about any truck crop is that all
of the preparatory work, labor in the field, fertilizer, etc., can








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


be lost through improper attention to grading and packing.
Don't overlook this last but most important step in making
money from truck crops.
Marglobe, Globe, Cooper's Special, Bonny Best, and Florida
Special are popular varieties among the successful growers.

THE GLOVEL TOMATO*
The new scarlet red variety of tomato named Glovel was
produced co-operatively by the U. S. Department of Agriculture
and the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. The Glovel
is both a local market and shipping variety.
It was developed from a cross between Globe and Marvel,
made in the Department greenhouses in Washington, D. C.
The Marvel has very strong resistance to wilt and was de-
veloped by selection from the French variety, Merveille des
Marches., The new Glovel, therefore, has the same parentage
as the scarlet red Marglobe, but it is not a selection from that
variety.
Marvel was chosen as one of the parents because of its
vigorous vine, its abundant and continuous fruit setting habit
and its long bearing period. In addition to being resistant to
fusarium wilf it also has a high resistance to nailhead rust.
The variety, Marvel produces fruits that are smooth, uni-
formly red and well flavored, but they are a little small, some-
what flat and rather late in maturing for marketing. Likewise
they are not sufficiently solid to make a desirable shipping
product.
The variety, Globe was selected as the other parent for the
reason that the fruit produced on its vines are large, thick
walled, globular and of a scarlet red. However, it is very
susceptible to nailhead rust which in some year has caused
damage to tomato crops raised for winter shipment.
The primary purpose in developing the new Glovel was to
produce a scarlet red tomato that would be resistant to diseases
and have good shipping quality. By combining the disease
resistant characteristics of the Marvel with the fruit qualities
of the Globe, there has been produced in the Glovel a pink
fruited tomato which should appeal to those consumers and
markets who prefer the new variety.


* U. S. Dept. of Agriculture circular No. 388, issued March, 1936.




























SO





C14










Typical Fruit of Glovel Tomato (natural size)









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Celery

Celery is a very important truck crop in Florida. It will
grow on any type of soil that is well filled with humus and
retains moisture well. A large part of the celery in the State
is grown where irrigation is available.

Planting
The land should be well prepared by thoroughly plowing and
the surface harrowed. The surface of the soil should be prac-
tically level when ready to plant. Celery is always transplanted
from the seedbed to the field.
The rows should be 21/2 feet apart and the plants set 3 to 4
inches apart in the row. A trowel or dribble is used for setting
the plants. It is very important to have water available to wet
down the plants as soon as set. From 60,000 to 70,000 plants
are required to set an acre of land.

Fertilizing
After plowing the ground and about ten days before setting
the plants, there should be from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of fer-
tilizer applied. Scatter it over the surface of the soil, working
it in well with the harrow.
Many growers make a second application about thirty days
after setting the plants. The amount varies from 800 to 1,000
pounds to the acre. In some localities both applications of fer-
tilizer are mixed with nitrate of soda in quantities of 100 to
200 pounds an acre. Some growers use 500 to 800 pounds of
nitrate of soda to the acre. On acid soils the use of lime or
ashes is recommended.
The plants when transplanted should be about four inches
high.

Blanching and Harvesting
When the celery plants have matured, they are blanched with
either 12-inch boards set on edge on either side of the rows, or
with 10 or 12-inch strips of heavy building paper. The paper
is placed on each side of rows and held in place with wire
wickets. The blanching is started two or three weeks before
harvesting time.
Celery is shipped in standard sized containers 10x20x22
inches, in refrigerator cars containing from 340 to 350 crates.






























A. - 74 r..

-r -r r--
. - 3~ u
' r* :- r-v -~-'
'CL*"'w~j ~"p .;%~ b, ~:4~S


"~!~~;~"iF~~"
; ~ :
' ;
'
i"









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS 37

All cars are iced before shipping, the season being from January
to June.

Varieties
The best are Golden Self Blanching, Sanford Special, Golden
Plume, Pearl Golden Heart, and Pascal.









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Beans

SNAP BEANS
Snap beans originated in America. They have been common
in this country for several centuries. Florida leads in pro-
duction of market garden beans. Beans are an important
although a short season crop in Florida. They mature from 45
to 60 days after planting. String or snap beans are cultivated
in all parts of the State. In the southern and central parts of
Florida they are grown for both early spring and early fall
crops. They will grow on a wide variety of soils, including sandy
loam and muck. On muck soil it is necessary to crop it for at
least two years before planting beans if satisfactory growth
is to be obtained.

Soils
Beans will not produce well in excessive alkaline or very acid
soils. High acidity can be corrected through the application of
lime, but care should be exercised not to overtime. Both light
and heavy soils are used for bean production, but alkaline soils
should not be planted to beans. Very heavy soils are not good
for bean crops. If the soil is very light apply plenty of fertilizer.
Beans thrive in sunshine and warmth. With sufficient mois-
ture, sunshine and warmth their growth is rapid. The yield will
vary greatly, depending on many factors, but as a general rule
125 to 200 or more hampers per acre may be expected on good
land and with favorable weather conditions.

Seedbeds
The seedbeds should be free from clods and well pulverized.
In the event rains cause the top soil to harden it may be neces-
sary to break the crust to permit the plants to break through.
Beans are not gross feeders and hence are unable to obtain their
share of food from spring plowed sod.
If beans follow a sod crop the land should be plowed in the
fall. It is best to follow some cultivated crop with beans.

Planting
Beans should be planted when the soil has become warm and
after danger from frost is passed as they are very sensitive to
cold weather.
Bean seed are drilled in rows about three feet apart. One









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


bushel of seed is required to plant an acre. The crop does not
need to be thinned. Cultivate sufficiently to keep the weeds
checked.

Irrigation
In irrigated areas the soil should be sufficiently moist to
make irrigation unnecessary to start the crop. The rate of
evaporation will control the frequency of irrigation. Beans
should have sufficient water to prevent them becoming dark
green in color.

Fertilizing
An application of 500 to 800 pounds of 5-7-4 fertilizer is
recommended for each acre, depending on the humus content
of the soil. The ammonia content of the fertilizer is the most
important. The fertilizer should be applied a week or ten days
prior to planting the seed.

Harvesting
Beans are picked by hand when the pods have reached mature
size, but before they begin to ripen. As the beans do not all
reach picking stage at one time, two or three pickings are
necessary.
Regular bean hampers are used and when filled the tops are
fastened securely for shipment.
The crop should not be harvested when the plants are wet
from dew or rain. Neither should they be cultivated under such
conditions, as this will tend to spread disease among the plants.
Using old bean plants for diverting the flow of water in irrigated
districts will have the same effect.
In shipping market garden beans by rail many growers place
chunks of ice between the containers and on the lids of the top
layer of containers. Ice should not be put in the hampers with
the beans.

Diseases
Farmer's Bulletin 1692, issued by the U. S. Department of
Agriculture, contains full information on the control of bean
diseases.
Varieties
N. B. Kennedy produced in 1894 the Dupree Stringless Green
Pod, the first successful stringless beans with green pods.
c j









































Picking Beans in December









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Both green and wax beans are grown, but green beans are
grown more extensively, due to the fact that the green beans
mature earlier.
The green bean varieties generally preferred are Black Valen-
tines, Plentifuls, Bountifuls, Tendergreens, Giant Round String-
less, and Florida Belles among others. The wax bean varieties
are Wardell, Kidney Wax, and Davis White Wax and others.

LIMA BEANS
Lima or butter beans are not as important to Florida as snap
or string beans. Lima beans are grown throughout the summer
and they make a good mid-year crop in Florida.
In the extreme southern part of the State they are raised as
an early spring or late fall crop.
The method of cultivation is the same as for other beans.
Where runner varieties are grown, more distance should be
given both between the rows and plants in the row. Many
growers have found it an advantage to plant corn in the row
to act as a trellis or support for the bean vines.

Varieties
There are a number of varieties of lima beans suitable for
both shipping and for home use. Among the best are Fordhook
Bush Lima and the White or Mottled Florida butter beans.

POLE BEANS
The cultural methods for pole beans are practically the same
as for other beans, except that supports of some kind must be
put in position for the vines to climb on.

Varieties
The varieties generally grown are Kentucky Wonder and
Florida Pole.
Navy beans are not grown in Florida as a commercial crip. c- C 'i






















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I r A d j







iror VE
.-.- 4 ~1
- -; ..

.,.









4 Alf
-~ 2 - .

r. .P-








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Cucumbers

The production of cucumbers in Florida is of such volume
that it ranks high in importance among the truck crops. They
are grown as spring and fall crops, the bulk of the shipments
being made between February and June. The earliest crop
comes from the extreme southern part of the State and is usually
distributed among the home markets within the State. Later
shipments come;from the northern sections of the State.
Cucumbers grow best on a sandy loam soil that will retain a
fair amount of moisture. Land subject to overflow should not
be planted to this crop. Neither will it be advisable to plant on
dry, sandy soil that is likely to suffer for lack of moisture.
Soils with a southern slope give very satisfactory results.

Planting
Cucumbers are invariably planted in the field where they are
to grow. The seed is drilled in rows four or five feet apart. The
hills are placed about two feet apart. Four to six seeds are
planted in each hill.
Plant as early in the season as possible after danger from
frost has passed. The majority of growers make at least two
plantings and some make three. The second is made from a week
to ten days after the first, and the third planting a week or
ten days after the second. These plantings are all made in the
same row. Planting the second and third time gives greater
assurance of a crop in the event of low temperatures or high
winds.

Protection
Protection from wind and cold is provided by making V-
shaped troughs of 10 or 12-inch boards. Troughs can be made
in any convenient length, 10, 12, or 14 feet long. The troughs
are laid over the rows when the plants are small.
When a good stand is secured and the plants are making a
nice growth, they should be thinned, leaving one plant every
11/2 to 2 feet.
Two to three pounds of seed are necessary to plant an acre
of land.

Fertilizing
The most successful cucumber growers in Florida use from
1,000 to 2,000 pounds of 5-7-5 fertilizer to the acre.








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jj p a-


Florida cucumbers ready for packing.


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SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


About half of the fertilizer is applied ten days to two weeks
before planting, and the remainder a short time before the
first blooms appear. The second application should be just
ahead of cultivation so that the one operation will cultivate the
soil and at the same time work the fertilizer into the soil.
The crop is often helped by a side dressing of nitrate of soda
or sulphate of ammonia, at the rate of 150 to 200 pounds to the
acre. If the fertilizer is not applied when the foliage is dry,
there is danger of burning the plants.

Harvesting
The crop is ready for picking when the fruit has attained
a size from five to eight inches in length, depending on its
color. Cucumbers should be straight and of uniform diameter
and of a dark green color. When a yellow coloring appears it
indicates over-ripeness. Such fruit has no market value.
Several pickings are necessary for the cucumbers will not all
mature at the same time. The field should be gone over carefully
two or three times a week. The harvesting season may cover a
period of two or three weeks.
Use field crates to gather the crop. These are taken to the
packing shed where they are very carefully examined and
graded and packed for shipment.
Varieties
The most popular are White Spine, Kirby Stay Green, Dark
Long Green, Davis Perfect, and Early Fortune among others.










DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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Specimens of Florida DeDDers.


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SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Peppers

The past twenty years have seen a large increase in the
production of peppers in the United States. Their use is growing
more popular as new methods of preparing are discovered. Our
native peppers are used in making cayenne, tabasco pepper
sauce, pimentos, tabasco catsup, paprika and chili powder. The
common pepper, Capsicum annuum, is a distinct species from
the black and white pepper, Piper nigrum.

Description
The pepper is a perfect flowered annual, the plant growing
usually from 1 to 21/2 feet high. It has smooth, glossy, heart-
shaped leaves that are elongated. The flowers are generally dul
white, the fruit being green when immature and red when
ripe.
Climatic Requirements
Peppers require the same climatic conditions as that whicn
are necessary for the successful growth of tomatoes and egg-
plants. The pepper plant is more drought resistant than the
eggplant and tomato, but to assure a good crop there should
be an ample and well distributed moisture supply. On account
of their sensitiveness to frost and the long growing season
protection must be given to the plants.
The production of peppers is not confined to any one section
of Florida and for the reason that they are grown so universally
they have become an important truck crop in the State. Every
county raises peppers.
A variety of soils that retain moisture will produce satis-
factory crops.
Peppers continue to produce fruit over a long period and
conditions being favorable the plants will bear fruit for eight
months.
Pepper seed requires from 15 to 20 days to germinate. It
takes about eight weeks for the plants to attain the right size
for transplanting. The seed can be sown in the seedbeds either
broadcast or in rows and are set to the field when the plants are
about an inch high.
Planting
Peppers are planted every 18 or 20 inches in rows three
feet apart. Ten thousand plants are required to set an acre.









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


The plants are produced in seedbeds and one-half pound of seed
should furnish sufficient plants for an acre. In transplanting
the young plants must be handled carefully as they are easily
injured.

Fertilizing
The quantity of fertilizer to be applied will depend on the
length of time the plants produce a crop. Growers use from 1,800
to 3,000 pounds to the acre in two applications. One-half of the
amount is used ten days before setting the plants and the re-
mainder about thirty days after the plants are set. Four or six
weeks after the second application 100 to 200 pounds of nitrate
of soda should be used to each acre.'The condition of the soil
will also determine the correct amount of fertilizer to use. We
suggest studying the Agriculture Department's Bulletin No. 3.

Harvesting
When the fruit has matured and has reached the right color
and size it is picked and packed in standard pepper-crates
111/4x14x22 inches.

Diseases
Peppers seem to be less seriously affected with plant diseases
than most other vegetables. Bacterial spot, Anthracnose, Rhizoc-
tonia, Fusarium wilt, Phytophthroa blight, Cercospora leafspot,
Sclerotium rot and Mosaic are the most common diseases. Bul-
letins issued by the Florida State Department of Agriculture
contain information for the control of these diseases.

Pests
Aphids, red spiders, and flea beetles may cause some damage
to the crop.
Peppers are shipped in refrigerator cars containing from 360
to 400 crates.

Varieties
Ruby King, World Beater, Ruby Giant, Florida Queen,
Florida Giant and California Wonders.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Eggplants
History
The eggplant is a native of the Old World. India is probably
its home. The Chinese and Arabs grew eggplants in the ninth
century. The early types had small egg-shaped fruits which
accounts for its name. Its botanical name is Solanum melongena
and it is closely related to the tomato, potato, pepper and other
solanaceous plants. Two of our serious weed pests, the horse
nettle and the nightshade, belong to the genus. The eggplant will
thrive under relatively high temperature conditions.

Soils
Fertility, moisture supply and good drainage are necessary
to its successful propagation. Wherever soil is found in Florida
that will grow vegetables, eggplants can be produced. In South
Florida they are produced as a winter crop; in the other
sections of the State they are raised as late fall or early spring
crops.
Sandy loam soil supplied with vegetable matter, plus a
constant supply of moisture until the plants have become firmly
rooted is necessary to produce healthy plants.

Growing the Plants
The growing of the plants is very important. Stunted or
injured plants will not develop into high yielding plants and
possibly will result in a crop failure. Eggplant seeds should be
sown in rich, mellow soil.
Eggplants are more sensitive to weather conditions than any
other vegetable planted in the same manner. Local weather
conditions should govern the time for setting the plants in the
field. Planting should be delayed until all danger from frost
has passed.
The production of eggplants is similar to that for tomatoes,
but they are not so easily raised and require more cultivation.

Seedbeds
The seedbed should receive the best attention as eggplants
are subject to more diseases than tomatoes. If in the beginning
of the crop this important phase is overlooked the crop is likely
to be a failure. Plant the seedbeds four weeks before trans-
planting to the field.












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A field of eggplant.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


In transplanting from the seedbed the young plants must be
carefully handled to prevent injury.

Planting
The plants mature in about four months after transplanting.
Six ounces of seed in the seedbed should produce 3,000 plants,
which is sufficient for an acre. Place the plants at distances of
three feet in rows five feet apart. Again the grower is cautioned
to protect the delicate plants when transplanting as they are
likely to wilt if set out in warm weather. Shade should be pro-
vided for a few days. Palmetto is used for this purpose, par-
ticularly for fall plantings.

Fertilizing
Commercial fertilizer and manure can be used with profit in
eggplant production. On fertile soils apply 20 tons of well
rotted manure to the acre. It should be well mixed with the soil
while preparing the soil for planting.
The fertilizer is divided and one-half applied two weeks before
the plants are set and the remainder when the plants are 10 to
12 inches high; 1,200 to 4,000 pounds of 5-5-5 fertilizer is used
to each acre, depending on the fertility of the soil.

Harvesting
The harvesting may be started any time after the fruit has
attained sufficient size, and before the flesh becomes tough and
the seed begins to harden.
Insects
Flea beetles, aphids, and the Colorado potato beetle attack
the eggplant. Spraying with a Bordeaux mixture containing
calcium arsenate or dusting, with dehydrated copper lime sul-
phate lime and calcium arsenate is effective against flea beetles.
This should also control the Colorado potato beetle.
Prepare the Bordeaux mixture with four pounds of copper
sulphate, eight pounds of hydrated lime, and fifty gallons of
water to which has been added two pounds of calcium arsenate.
The copper lime dust should consist of monohydrated or dehy-
drated copper sulphate 16 per cent, calcium arsenate 20 per cent,
and hydrated lime 64 per cent. The plants should be well covered
when using these mixtures, and particularly the undersides of
the leaves. Control plant lice by dusting with 3 per cent nicotine.
Check the aphids before setting the plants in the field. Red








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


spiders may attack the plants during dry weather. They can be
controlled by dusting with equal parts of powdered sulphur
and hydrated lime, using about 45 pounds to the acre. Do not
use any poisonous sprays or dusts after the fruits have started
to develop, unless they can be removed before marketing.

Diseases
Wilt and fruit rot are the most serious diseases affecting
eggplants. Fruit rot may be carried over the winter by the
seed and in the debris in the soil from the previous crop. Rotate
the crop for three or four years and use clean seed. A Bordeaux
mixture of 4-6-50 with two pounds of calcium arsenate has been
found to be an effective measure for the control of fruit rot.
Wilt affects the plants only in the cooler sections of the country.

Uses
Eggplants may be prepared in a number of different ways.
They are both appetizing and nutritious. Information on pre-
paring eggplant may be obtained from the Bureau of Home
Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Varieties
Two varieties of eggplant are grown in Florida-Black Beauty
and Florida High Bush. Black Beauty plants grow to a height
of 18 to 30 inches. This variety requires about four months from
seed to maturity. The Florida High Bush is slightly later than
Black Beauty, requiring about ten days longer to come to
maturity.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Lettuce Growing

ACREAGE, PRODUCTION AND PRICE
Production of lettuce has remained more or less static during
the last ten years. California accounts for 61% and Arizona
23% of total volume (mostly Iceberg type), leaving all other
States with only 16%. These figures do not include small lots
of lettuce grown for local market.
Lettuce is an important Florida truck crop. It is grown
for northern markets and for home use. Most of the crop is
shipped in refrigerator cars to distant markets. The- crop to
do well must be grown during the cool months in a warm soil.

Factors Governing the Field Production of Lettuce
Temperatures, moisture, and soil are important contributing
factors in the successful production of lettuce in Florida. Let-
tuce requires a relatively low average temperature, especially
after the heads begin to form. Any good trucking soil will
grow lettuce, provided moisture and plantfood conditions are
suitable. Soil requirements consist of adaptability to intensive
cultivation, capacity to retain moisture, and an abundance of
plant food.

Planting
A large proportion of the commercial crop of head lettuce
is started in beds and transplanted to the field The usual custom
is to prepare seedbeds either in hotbeds, in coldframes, or in
the open ground, fertilize the soil of the seedbed somewhat
highly, about 4 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet, and
sow the seed thinly so as to produce strong, healthy plants.
One-half pound of good seed planted in a special seedbed will
produce enough plants with which to set an acre of lettuce. Ap-
proximately 50 coldframe sash 3 by 6 feet will be required for
growing these plants. Where the beds are in the open and not
covered with sash, a bed 100 feet long and 12 feet wide is recom-
mended. Great care must be taken in the watering and ventila-
tion of the plant beds in order to avoid losses by damping off.
This disease seldom gives trouble in the open beds, except during
seasons of excessive railfall accompanied by warm weather.
Lettuce growers sometimes start the plant by drilling the
seed in rows in the open ground, using an ordinary garden
seed drill and spacing the rows 10 or 12 inches apart. Where
























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SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


the seed is sown in this manner the plants will be ready for
setting in the field in from 30 to 40 days.
Lettuce seed retains it viability for several years if stored
under proper conditions, but in order to obtain vigorous plants
it is recommended that seed not more than two years old be
planted. Strictly fresh lettuce seed, that is, seed that is planted
the same season that it is grown, is likely to give a poor germi-
nation, and for that reason it is desirable to plan seed grown
the previous season.
Lettuce is transplanted when four leaves have formed. A
rich, moist, compact, sandy loam soil that can be thoroughly
irrigated and well drained produces the best crops. The soil
should be well supplied with humus, and kept moist constantly
but with good drainage. It may be necessary to irrigate. Care
must be exercised as the crop is easily ruined by too much
water.

Rotations
Crop rotation in lettuce growing has proved to be of value,
both in the control of diseases and in the maintenance of soil
fertility and physical conditions through the use of green
manures.

Cultivation
Hand cultivation is generally employed in the growing of
lettuce, but in a few sections 'the rows are spaced so as to
permit of horse cultivation. Small garden tractors are now
being employed extensively, both for drawing the gangs of
seed drills used in sowing the lettuce and for its cultivation.
The object of cultivation in lettuce growing is primarily the
control of weeds, as the soil is thoroughly prepared before
planting. Where the plants have been transplanted in check
rows they can be cultivated in both directions until the heads
begin to form. This will eliminate a large part of the hand
work of hoeing and weeding.

Fertilizing
Manure containing a large proportion of undecayed straw
or other coarse bedding should not be applied, because the
decay of coarse straw or other woody materials results in the
temporary depletion of the available nitrogen in the soil. This
is likewise true of soil improving crops used as substitutes
for manure, and these should be turned under while green and








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


in condition to decay quickly. Thorough disking of the mate-
rial in advance of plowing will greatly facilitate the disinte-
gration of the organic matter.
The manure for use on lettuce land should be composted in
a compact pile for at least three months and preferably six
months in advance of being spread on the land. During this
period the leachings from the pile should be collected in a pit
and pumped over the pile of manure from time to time. If
the manure is excessively dry at the time it is piled for com-
posting, enough water should be added to cause it to decay
rapidly. The manure is usually spread broadcast over the land
with a spreader or by hand at the rate of 20 to 40 tons to the
acre and thoroughly disked into the soil. One such application
every three years interspersed with at least two soil-building
crops will usually be sufficient to maintain the organic matter
in the soil.
A liberal supply of plant food will produce tender lettuce.
If the soil is deficient then liberal applications of 5-5-5 fertilizer
is added. The quantity ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 pounds to
the acre is divided and half of the amount applied two weeks
before the plants are set and the remainder two weeks after
setting the plants. Each acre will have from 45,000 to 50,000
plants to feed and be kept in good condition.


Cross section of head of lettuce, showing enlarged core due to over-maturity








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Irrigation
Lettuce requires a constant fairly high moisture content in
the soil. Excessive rainfall or irrigation will seriously damage
the crop. Lack of moisture in the soil will stunt the growth
and produce poor heads. A moisture condition in the soil
which is just a little greater than that required for good trans-
planting is satisfactory or just about as great as is permissible
for cultivation.

Harvesting
Lettuce intended for long-distance shipment is packed with-
out washing. Eastern-grown outdoor lettuce which is shipped in
carloads is packed in the field.
Under favorable conditions the greater part of a crop of
lettuce can be harvested at one cutting, but it is often necessary
to go over the field three or four times, each time cutting only
the heads that are matured. The different cuttings, however,
may usually be made at intervals of two or three days. Imma-
ture heads are spongy and do not hold up well during transit
and marketing. It frequently happens that head lettuce ma-
tures and is at its best before the heads are solid. Solidity of
the heads at maturity also depends to some degree upon variety.
The common practice of lettuce growers is to distribute the
crates or hampers along one side of the field and begin cutting
at that point. Cutting is usually done as early in the morning
as possible. Heads that have been frosted in the field should
never be handled while in that condition. The first 10 or 12
rows of lettuce are cut and packed, and the containers are
loaded upon the wagons or trucks for hauling to the car. An-
other section of 7 to 12 rows is then cut and packed and the
trucks or wagons driven directly through the field for loading.
In harvesting the lettuce the heads are cut close to the ground
or slightly below it. As the heads are cut and slightly trimmed,
they are packed directly into the containers or thrown into a
wind-row from which they are packed. Sometimes the cutters
trim the heads, removing all discolored leaves and turning the
heads upside down where cut. The packers immediately follow
the cutters and pack the lettuce in the crates before it suffers
from exposure. This system has the advantage that one man
not only can pack behind two cutters but can do the work a
little better than where the cutters do the packing themselves.
If not packed in the field, the heads are placed rather loosely









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


in lug boxes or large crates and hauled from the field to the
central packing houses.
Lettuce that is packed in the field can seldom be graded as
uniformly as in a central packing house.
Before packing, the heads are inspected and if necessary
are given additional trimming to remove any dirt or undesir-
able leaves and to give the cut portion of the stem a neat, white
appearance. The outer leaves are then slightly drawn together
or folded over the head, and the heads are crowded just enough
in the packages to make a firm but not tight pack. Although
most of the outer leaves are firmly trimmed off before the
heads are offered for sale, these outer leaves protect the head
in transit.
Lettuce is a perishable crop and requires extreme care in
handling. To avoid exposure to sun and wind after the cutting
and packing of the lettuce, the crates or hampers should be
loaded upon trucks or wagons, covered with a light canvas,
moved directly to the shipping point, and loaded into the cars.
Lettuce should be hauled to the packing shed promptly after
it is cut, and there should be no delay in having it crated and
placed under ice. Rough handling of the crates after they are
packed should also be strictly avoided.
Lettuce is ready for harvesting within 70 to 80 days after
transplanting when the heads have become fairly solid. It is
packed in standard crates 711/2"x18"x22" or in standard ham-
pers. A carload contains from 350 to 400 crates or hampers.

Insect Enemies-Cutworms*
The lettuce plant is comparatively free from insect attack.
Cutworms are particularly destructive to the seedling crop.
Some winter in the soil in the immature worm stage, and as
soon as the weather becomes favorable in the spring they attack
the early-planted crop. Later in the season the crop may be
damaged by cutworms that pass the winter in the egg stage.
The crop is also subject to attack from worms that hatch from
eggs laid by the moth in early .spring and through the season.
Cutworms damage the crop by cutting the plants off near the
ground. They feed for the most part at night, spending the
day inactive just below the surface of the soil.
Cutworms may be controlled by the timely use of a poison-
bran bait, as shown in the directions that follow.
* Prepared by W. H. White, Entomologist, Division of Truck-Crop Insects, Bureau
of Entomology.










SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Poisoned bran bait for control of cutworms.


Ingredient In Small Quantities In Large Quantities


Dry Bran................. ........ ...... 1 peck or 5 pounds ....... 25 pounds
White Arsenic or Paris Green... ........... y pound.........:.... 1 pound
Sirup or M olasses ............. ........ 1 pint................... 2quarts
W ater.......... ... ... ... ........ 3 or 4 quarts............. 15 to 20 quarts


(1) Thoroughly dry mix the poison with the bran. This is important.
as each particle of bran must carry a little poison in order to get a
good kill. When making small quantities mix the bait in a bucket with
a paddle, adding the poison slowly and stirring the bran at the same
time. A more effective way is to mix the poison and the bran with the
hands, but as soluble arsenic to a slight extent is absorbed through the
pores of the skin, there may be some objection to this method. If the
hands have any cuts, scratches, or other wounds, do not put them into
the bait. When making large quantities, the poison can be mixed with
Sthe bran on some flat, smooth surface, using a shovel and rake in much
the same way as in mixing concrete.
(2) Mix the sirup with the water.
(3) Add the water and sirup solution to the mixture of bran and
poison, stirring slowly all the time. Large quantities of water added
at one time will wash the poison from the bran, resulting in an uneven
mixture.
Cauttion.-Add only enough liquid to make a crumbly mass. It is
a good plan to set aside a little of the mixture of dry bran and arsenic
so that if too much water has been used this reserve can be added to
bring the mixture to the proper consistency. Large quantities can be
made up in galvanized-iron or wooden washtubs, and small quantities
in buckets or similar containers.
How and when to use the bait.-Either broadcast the poisoned bait
or sow it by hand along the rows or about the base of the plants late
in the evening so that it will not dry out to any great extent before
the worms become active. Because cutworms overwinter in the ground.
it is a good plan to broadcast the poisoned bait over the cultivated
areas a few days before the crop comes up or is set in the field. Where
plants are to be transplanted to the field, this method is particularly
valuable. If hills are made for melons or tomatoes, apply the bait
directly to the hills a few days before the crop is set in the field.
Such applications will rid the field of many of the worms before the
crop is subject to attack.
Quantity of bait to use: 10 to 15 pounds of the wet bait is sufficient
for one application per acre. Where the bait is applied directly to the
rows or hills, a smaller quantity will suffice. It may require two or
three applications at intervals of two days to rid the field of the pests.

Plant Lice and Other Pests
Plant lice or aphids sometimes attack the lettuce crop. These
pests can best be controlled, especially on the young crop,









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


by the use of nicotine dust containing 2 per cent of nicotine.
Apply the dust when the air temperature is above 70' F.
and when the foliage of the plants is dry, and when there is
little air movement. The dust should be applied to the under-
side of the leaves, where the insects feed. Nicotine dust should
be applied to the crop not later than 10 days before harvest.
The lettuce looper, army worms and wireworms, occasionally
become troublesome. Up to the present time no entirely satis-
factory method has been developed for the control of these
pests. Although arsenical treatment will control the lettuce
looper, such treatments are not recommended on crops with
edible foliage, except when the crop is in the earliest stages of
development.




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.* ..* .. .















Head of Iceberg Lettuce
Diseases
Tipburn is a nonparasitic disease, occurring primarily during
warm weather, and particularly when warm bright days follow
periods of foggy or rainy weather. Although resulting from
climatic conditions, the trouble is much reduced by good cul-
tural methods and care in fertilizing and irrigating. Lettuce
varieties differ greatly in susceptibility to tipburn.
Simple tipburn is manifested by brown dead areas around
the margins of the leaves without decay. Decay fungi and
the margins of the leaves without decay. Decay fungi and









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


bacteria, however, often gain a foothold in these dead margins,
causing soft rot both in the field and in shipment and mar-
kets. Shippers and dealers frequently refer to this soft rot
as slime. Soft rot may sometimes affect heads that are free
from tipburn.
Downy mildew also attacks wild lettuce, and this week
should be eradicated from the vicinity of lettuce fields and
greenhouses. Crop rotation is advisable. Applications of Bor-
deaux mixture to the small plants hold the diseases in check
while the plants are young.
Lettuce drop is caused by a fungus which usually attacks
the stem near the surface of the soil, causing a soft watery
rot. This rot soon involves the entire stem and leaf bases and
results in the collapse of the plant. The casual fungus may
live in the soil for at least two years. Crops recommended,
for rotation with lettuce are sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes,
cucumbers, radishes, beets, spinach, and onions. Celery and
cabbage should not be grown in the rotation as they are quite
susceptible to the disease.
Damping off of small lettuce plants, which occurs particu-
larly in seed beds, is caused by various fungi. Keeping the
surface of the soil and the plants as dry as possible is of pri-
mary importance in preventing the trouble. Means of accom-
plishing this are the selection of a reasonable light soil of a
type that dries readily after watering, the sparing use of
water, the avoiding of crowding of the plants. New soil that
has been in grass or general farm crops for several years
usually gives less trouble than soil that has grown vegetables
or flowers for some time.
Some other diseases are bottom rot, anthracnose, bacterial
wilt, mosaic, and yellows.









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Romaine
Romaine, a variety of lettuce, grows successfully where
other varieties of lettuce are grown. The demand is somewhat
limited.


Cross-section of Head of Romaine or Cos Lettuce

Planting, cultivation, fertilizing, harvesting and marketing
are similar to lettuce.
Paris White Cost and Green Cos are the two varieties gen-
erally grown.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a crop little known in the South. Yet it has been
demonstrated that it will grow in Florida. This is the famous
pie plant. Rhubarb requires a deep, rich, loamy, moist soil for
best growth. A good muck soil seems very suitable also.
There are two possible methods of propagation: First, by
importing root clumps from the North and forcing them by
planting; or, second, by planting the seed in flats and trans-
planting to the garden row. The latter method is much to be
desired. If seeds are planted in September, plants should be
ready to set out by the last of October. The plants are hardy
and will withstand temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
They should be protected against lower temperatures, especially
when young. If given proper care, edible stalks (leaf petioles)
ougth to be ready by February.
No specific plant food requirements have been determined
for rhubarb, but one could not go far wrong in following the
recommendations made for fertilizing cabbage. In addition it
may be advantageous to use some readily available nitrogen,
such as nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia at the rate of
1 pound per 150 feet of row, just after the plants become
well established after being transplanted.
It is necessary to start from seed each year, since the plant
will not survive in warm weather.
Varietal adaption to Florida has received no consideration
so far as records show. Linnaeus, Victoria, Giant Crimson
Winter, Giant Cherry, Panama and Senator are listed as va-
rieties from which to choose.















































Planting Rhubarb


I

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SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


English Peas
English peas are being raised in all sections of Florida. Care
in the preparation of the soil, the application of stable manure
in the bottom of the rows before the seeds are planted will
give greater assurance of a good crop. Peas should be planted
in richer soil than that in which beans are raised. If the soil
is deficient in humus the plants will be weak and the crop
correspondingly light. The plants should produce leaves and
vines in abundance for a good crop. The soil should be fairly
moist but not wet. Sour land or new muck soil will not pro-
duce a good crop. Peas require nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Good
hammock soils that are well drained give the best yields.

Climatic Requirements
The pea is a cool-weather plant. Not only will the seeds
germinate and make vigorous growth at lower temperatures
with many vegetable crops, but cool weather is necessary for
obtaining good yields and high quality. High temperature
checks the growth of the plants and causes them to flower and
form pods before the plants have attained sufficient size to
bear a good crop, while cool weather permits a long-continued
growth and the formation of many pods that do not reach the
harvest stage prematurely.
The growing of peas exerts a beneficial effect on many crops
which may follow. The disking of the pea stubble puts the soil
in excellent physical condition. The growth and seeding of
weeds are partly prevented by the early working of the ground,
by the heavy cover formed by the pea vines, and also by the
early harvesting of the crop. The growing of peas increases
the nitrogen content of the soil through the action of the
nitrogen-gathering bacteria when these are present in the root
nodules. Some farmers have deliberately planted peas in a
belated season or have turned under a poor crop of peas without
harvesting, in order to get back the value of the seed and of
their labor from the increase in the succeeding crop.

Planting
The preparation of the land and of the seed bed is very
important and should receive the closest attention, as a fertile,
deeply prepared, mellow soil is one of the essentials in suc-
cessful pea culture. The pea is a vigorous, free-growing plant,
the roots of which are extensive and penetrate deeply into the









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


ground. The crop usually receives no cultural attention after
the seed is sown. The operations before planting will influence,
in part, the water content of the soil for the season of pea
growing. The preliminary preparation, furthermore, will con-
trol the development of the root system and influence the extent
of weed infestation.
The rows are generally laid out about four feet apart and
the seed sown fairly thick. About two bushels of seed are
required to the acre. Plant the seeds deep if the soil is dry.
Cultivate until it is impossible to drive the horse between the
rows without injuring the plants.
Fertilizing
Five hundred to 800 pounds of 4-8-3 fertilizer is recommended
for each acre, in addition to a liberal supply of stable manure
if available. Should the growth be slow 100 pounds nitrate
of soda may be applied when the vines begin to bear and this
will prolong the bearing period.
The quantity of commercial fertilizer that can be profitably
used on the pea crop is dependent upon the needs of the soil,
the price received for the crop, and the probable increase in
yield as determined from the experience of other growers.
The time for harvesting is determined largely by the ap-
pearance of the pods. These should be swollen and well filled
with young succulent peas and changing in color from dark
to light green. By this time the vines have attained their full
growth, and the stem, which retains all of its leaves, is still
succulent. It is the aim to harvest the peas at a time when a
high yield will be secured, but while the peas are still in prime
condition.
Harvesting
Within 60 days after planting, under favorable conditions,
the first picking can be made. The harvesting period will
cover from 30 to 40 days. Pick the peas while they are green,
do not allow them to harden. The time of picking will depend
on whether they are being shipped or delivered to home mar-
kets. This is a crop that must be watched carefully if a profit
is to accrue to the grower. The crop is shipped in bushel
hampers.
Insect Pests
The pea crop is subject to the attacks of certain insect pests.
Among the insects that may cause damage are the pea aphid









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


and the pea weevil. The aphid is perhaps the only insect that
makes serious inroads on the growing of green peas. The
aphid can be controlled in part by crop rotations. The presence
of the weevil should be noted at the time of planting. Weevil-
infested seed may give a germination as low as 30 per cent.

Diseases
The pea plant is subject to two groups of plant diseases, both
of which vary in prevalence in different localities from season
to season. The more conspicuous and better-known group con-
sists of those which attack parts of the plant above ground.
Among these are the so-called pea blight, leaf and pod spot,
and mildew. The less conspicuous and more important group
of diseases cause decay of the plant below ground, resulting
in reduced growth and in extreme cases the wilting of the entire
plant. Against both these groups of diseases only preventive
measures are practicable.

Crop Rotation
Nearly all of the foliage diseases are carried over from year
to year on dead straw and debris of the pea plant. Whenever
these diseases become troublesome they can readily be con-
trolled by crop rotation. The diseases that cause decay of the
plant below ground at the base of the stem or on the root may
also be controlled by crop rotation, though not so readily,
since the fungi causing this injury are soil-inhabiting organ-
isms which persist a long time when once they have become
abundant.

Vine Disposal
Large quantities of vines remain after the peas are threshed.
A large percentage of the vines is fed to livestock. These vines
are now considered a valuable by-product.
Freshly gathered vines may be used in their natural state
as green feed, and as such they are probably equal to any
other soiling crop.

Varieties
The best varieties for Florida are Florida McNeil, Extra
Early, Early, Dixie, Dwarf Telephone, Thomas Laxton, Nott's
Excelsior, and Little Marvel.









68 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Varieties Preferred by Canners
Among the early wilt-resistant varieties are strains of the
Alaska Peerless, and Wisconsin Early Sweet. Mid-season
varieties that resist wilt are the Green Admiral, Green Giant,
Horal, Prince of Wales, Resistant Perfection, Roger's-K, Yellow
Admiral and Senator.
Other varieties, even though they do not withstand wilt,
the are sometimes planted are Surprise Horsford and Canners
Gem.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Okra

Okra, or "gumbo" as it is commonly called, is a tropical
annual. It has for many years held an important place among
the garden vegetables of the Southern States, where it is used
mainly in soups and preparations of which. meat forms an
integral part. The young and tender seed pods are used and
give a pleasant flavor to soups and stews.
The okra plant somewhat resembles that of cotton, though
having much larger and rougher leaves and a thicker stem.
Its flowers, which are similar to those of cotton in size, shape,
and color, are always single, and there is very little variation
between those of different varieties.
Okra being a crop easy to grow, is raised in many sections
of the State. In some counties it is one of the most important
truck crops. Okra can be raised on a variety of soils, but pro-
duces the best crops on sandy loam that is warm, when the
crop is planted, and has a fair degree of fertility and moisture.

Planting
The small seeds should have a light covering of soil and
planted in rows that are laid off about three feet apart. From
six to eight pounds of seed are required to plant an acre. When
the plants are well established they should be thinned to one
plant for every 10 to 12 inches depending on the fertility
of the soil. The plants bear for several months and are culti-
vated similar to corn.
Cultivate like corn or cotton, keeping the ground well stirred
and the surface soil loose, especially while the plants are small.
After the leaves begin to shade the ground, very little culti-
vation is necessary except to keep the land free from weeds.
A poor soil and insufficient moisture will yield pods of inferior
size and quality, and irrigation may often be desirable in order
to produce a marketable crop. The okra plants will usually
continue to grow until late in the season, but after a time the
pods are not so large or tender as those produced earlier. As
the pod is the only part of the plant ordinarily used for food,
it is desirable to secure a rapid and continuous growth in
order to produce the greatest quantity of marketable pods.

Fertilizing
If stable manure is available 'for liberal applications, com-
mercial fertilizer is unnecessary, otherwise from 600 to 800









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


pounds of fertilizer to the acre applied the same as for sweet
corn should be added to the soil.

Harvesting
To obtain the full benefit from the crop the okra pods should
be cut every two or three days. Otherwise the pods will harden
and be unfit to use. Cutting the pods increases the bearing of
the plants.
Pack the pods in six-basket tomato carriers, or for some
shipments in bushel hampers. When the market is good the
grower will find it profitable to ship by express.


Flower and pods of okra. The pod in the center is in prime
condition for gathering; the larger pods have been allowed
to mature for seed.


The pods should always be gathered, irrespective of size,
while they are still soft and before the seeds are half grown.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


The illustration shows a flower, together with the pods formed
the two previous mornings, the middle one which is in the
proper condition for gathering. The full-grown pods shown
to the right and left of the flower were from those allowed to
mature for seed.

METHODS OF PREPARATION

No copper, brass, or iron cooking vessels should be employed
in preparing okra, as the metal will be absorved and the pods
discolored. The cooking should be done in agate, porcelain,
aluminum, or earthenware vessels.

OKRA SOUP
2 pounds of beef, without fat 4 quarts of cold water
or bone 1/ pound of butter
2 cupfuls of okra, chopped 1 onion, sliced and chopped
fine salt and pepper
Cut the beef into small pieces and season well with butter and salt.
Fry it in the soup kettle with the onion and butter until very brown.
Then add the cold water and let simmer for an hour and a half. Add
the okra, and let simmer gently for three or four hours longer.

WINTER OKRA SOUP
1 can of good okra 1 dozen oysters
1 can of tomatoes 3 tablespoonfuls of rice
2 onions, chopped fine A red pepper pod, without
2 tablespoonfuls of butter the seeds
Chop the onions and fry them in the butter. Wash the rice well, then
stew the onions, tomatoes, and pepper together in about 3 quarts of
water and 1 pint of oyster water for about three hours, stirring fre-
quently. Ten minutes before serving add the okra and let it come +t
a boil. Then drop in the oysters, boil up once, and serve.

CHICKEN GUMBO
1 chicken weighing 3 or 4 1 large slice of ham
pounds 1 bay leaf
1 quart of sliced tomatoes 1 sprig of thyme or parsley
1 onion 1 tablespoon each of lar.
1/ pod of red pepper, without and butter
the seeds salt and cayenne to taste
2 pints of okra, or about 50
pods
Clean and cut up the chicken. Cut the ham into small squares or
dice and chop the onion and the parsley or thyme. Skin the tomatoes
and chop fine, saving the juice. Wash and stem the okra and slice into
thin layers of one-half inch each. Put the lard and butter into the soup
kettle and when hot add the chicken and the ham. Cover closely anil
let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the chopped onions,









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


parsley or thyme, and tomatoes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Then add the okra, and when well browned add the juice of the
tomatoes, which imparts a superior flavor. The okra is very delicate
and may scorch if not stirred frequently. For this reason many Creole
cooks fry the okra pods separately in a frying pan, seasoning with the
pepper, cayenne, and salt and then add them to the chicken. Equally
good results may be obtained with less trouble by simply adding the
okra to the frying chicken and watching constantly to prevent scorching.
The least taste of a "scorch" spoils the flavor of the gumbo. When
well fried and browned, add about 3 quarts of boiling water and set
on the back of the stove to simmer for about an hour longer. Serve
hot with nicely boiled rice. Round steak may be substituted for chicken,
but it must be borne in mind that the chicken gumbo is the best
flavored.
Another recipe for gumbo which is very similar to the one
just preceding, the process being practically the same, is as
follows:
1 quart of tomatoes, sliced One-half pound of corned ham
2 pounds of good beef, cut in or pork, cut up
small pieces Small piece of red pepper,
2 quarts of okra, sliced without the seeds
4 tablespoonfuls of butter Spray of parsley

OKRA SALAD
Boil the young okra pods whole. When cold, dress with vinegar, salt,
and pepper, or, if preferred, use plain French dressing and serve very
cold. This is a most delightful summer salad, the okra being very
cooling.
BOILED OKRA
1 quart of young okra Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoonful of vinegar
Wash the okra well in cold water and place in a porcelain or agate
saucepan. Add a pint of water and a teaspoonful of salt. Cover the
saucepan and let the okra simmer for about half an hour. Place in a
dish, season with salt and pepper, pour over the okra a tablespoonful
of tarragon vinegar, and set to cool. Serve as a salad with roasi
meats, etc.
BAKED OKRA
Place a thin layer of rice in a baking dish, add a layer of sliced okra,
then a layer of sliced tomatoes; add salt, pepper, a little curry, and a
small lump of butter. Repeat with alternate layers of rice, okra, and
tomatoes until the dish is filled. Cover and bake in the oven until the
rice is thoroughly cooked. Remove cover and brown on top. Serve in
the baking dish. The rice should be washed in cold water before using
and the okra pods and tomatoes washed and sliced rather thinly.

CANNED OKRA AND TOMATOES
Equal parts of okra and tomatoes may be canned together for winter
use. Cut the tender pods into short pieces and mix with the tomatoes;









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS 73

pack in cans and process at least 10 minutes longer than for tomatoes
alone.
Another method is to blanch the okra pods for 10 minutes in boiling
water, then dip into cold water to cool. Cut into sections, pack into
cans with the tomatoes, seal, and process as for tomatoes.

Varieties
Most varieties of okra will ship well. Perkins Mammoth
Podded has the preference, but Long Green and White Velvet
are also very good varieties.












V~FP~Za~ rrL~-JYIS~n- ~---r.r~dll


Florida carrots.


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'---rr Fl a -r










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SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Carrots
This is one of the easiest crops to grow and has a relatively
short growing season.
A deep loam or muck soil makes best carrots. The crop is
quite tolerant of acid conditions. Put the soil in fine physical
condition, for the seed are small and the seedlings are delicate.
Sow the seed plentifully since the percentage of germination
is usually rather low. Sow in a row where the plant is to grow.
Rows may be made 14 to 18 inches apart. Thin the plants evenly
and it is well to do this in collecting plants for the table. Allow
from 2 to 3 inches between plants at maturity.
Plantings should be begun in October and continued through
January at intervals of a few weeks in order to have fresh,
crisp carrots over a long unbroken period. Carrots can be held
in storage only at temperatures near the freezing point, since
they are susceptible to soft rot.
Fertilizer requirements are not well known, but the usual
practice is to use from 800 to 1,000 pounds per acre (about
1 pound to 16 feet of row) of a 4-6-7 mixture. This may be
applied in two applications, half at planting time and the other
half when the plants are well started.
Chantenay is one of the best varieties for Florida.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Squash
Pumpkins and squashes are considered natives of America.
They are known to have been used by the Indians before the
advent of the white man. Both are nutritious and valuable
vegetable crops. They have many and varied uses. In addition
to their use as fresh vegetables, a large tonnage of pumpkin and
squash is canned each year, the canned product being used
largely for pie making. If properly handled and stored a supply
may be had from midsummer to late spring. Every garden
having sufficient space for such crops should have at least a
few hills of one or both of them.
The raising of squash is not difficult and while squash can
be produced on a wide variety of soils, the crop raised on high
lands will ship better than those produced on flat or muck lands.
If planted with corn there will be difficulty in cultivating
the corn.
Almost any good garden soil will grow these crops. While a
soil of medium texture is perhaps best, good yields can be
produced on the heavier and lighter soils if properly handled
and well fertilized. A light rich soil that warms up rapidly
is best.
Squashes are less sensitive to unfavorable soil and weather
conditions than melons and cucumbers.





.-- "' - --" =..-..- -" -

Planting
Like other cucurbits squashes and pumpkins have a large
but shallow root system. The root growth is very rapid and
extensive in the upper 6 or 8 inches of. soil. The character of
the root systems requires that the upper layers of soil be
thoroughly prepared and well fertilized for best results. The
soil should be well supplied with organic matter and retentive
of soil moisture. A surface soil capable of retaining its moisture
content is especially desirable in localities where rainfall is
likely to be deficient.
The earlier varieties can be planted 4 feet apart each way,
the later, running varieties should be placed 6 feet apart. Four








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


or five seeds are placed in each hill and an acre will require
about two pounds of seed to plant it.
The seeds should sprout within a few days and when they
have reached a height of two or three inches it is time to thin
them, leaving about three plants to the hill. During warm
weather the plants will grow rapidly necessitating continuous
cultivation or until the plants-spread between the rows. Squash
plants grow close to the ground and obtain their food from the
surface of the soil. In cultivating care must be taken not to
bruise the plants.
Planting should be delayed until the soil has warmed up and
in good condition for germination of the seed. The seed germi-
nates best at a relatively high temperature and is likely to
decay if planted in a cold, wet soil.
The bush and small vine varieties may be planted in hills
as close as 4 by 4 feet, but the varieties having long running
vines should be spaced 8 to 12 feet apart each way, depending
on the growing habit of the variety and the fertility of the soil.
Fertilizing
If manure or compost are not available, 800 to 1,200 pounds
of 4-8-4 commercial fertilizer should be applied to each acre.
The entire amount can be used before planting. If the land is
thin, sandy loam it is best to make two applications, one-half
before planting and the other after the plants are about a month
old. If manure or compost is available the amount of fertilizer
can be reduced to 600 to 1,000 pounds to the acre. Squash plants
need a supply of available ammonia.
Harvesting
Squashes are shipped in standard cabbage crates or bushel
hampers. When shipped early the grower generally realizes
good profit on the basis of cost of production. With ordinary
care in harvesting there should be no difficulty from rotting
in transit. Ripe squash may be gathered in late fall when some
other vegetables are not growing in addition to being a good
spring crop, making it one of Florida's most satisfactory truck
crops.
Insects and Diseases
For information on the control of insects and diseases, write
to the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Varieties
The early varieties are suitable for shipping. They include
the Cocozelle, Early Crook Neck, Early Yellow Bush, Patty
Pan, Mammoth White Bush, Straight Yellow, Butternut and
Acorn.














1L-















Fri














Florida squash.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Asparagus

IMPORTANCE OF THE INDUSTRY

Asparagus is one of the most valuable of the early vegetables
and perhaps the most important of the perennial vegetable
crops. It is healthful and palatable, both as a fresh vegetable
and as a canned product.
Asparagus offers fair potentialities as a truck crop in Florida.
It is a very popular vegetable, and although the food value of
asparagus is not high it is a good source of vitamin A, whether
canned, cooked or raw. In its raw state it is an excellent source
of vitamin B. The analysis of asparagus shows that it contains
a larger volume of water than most vegetables.
The value of the crop to the truck grower depends upon the
cost of production, the yield per acre and the demand. If the
crop can be raised and shipped while the market is barren of
fresh asparagus the income should be satisfactory.
The table of production in California and Connecticut gives
the yield per acre in these two States. Practically the entire
crop of California is canned and shipped to many parts of the
United States. Canning of asparagus may develop in Florida.

CALIFORNIA CONNECTICUT
YEAR Yield per Acre Yield per Acre
in Pounds in Pounds


First ................ .............................. 0 0
Second........................................... 500 830
Third.................. ......................... 1,000 2,425
Fourth ........................................... 2,000 3,832
Fifth .............. ... ... ................ ........ 4,000 4,838
Sixth ......................... ..... .............. 4,250 5,375
Seventh................ ......................... 4,500 5,259
Eighth .......................................... 5,000 ...................
Ninth ............................................ 5,000 ...................
Tenth ............... ...... ..................... 4,750 .. .........
Eleventh............... ....... ................... 4,500 ...................


The advantages to the Florida grower in producing asparagus
seem to be early production and economy in raising the crop.
With no fresh, green asparagus on the market until about the
first of March, the truck gardener in this State should be able
to find profitable markets for early shipments.
The price of green asparagus in the early part of the year








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


for several years has been nearly $4 for a crate of 30 pounds.
The demand for high quality green asparagus is on the increase.

Origin
So far as we know, asparagus was first discovered in the
north temperate regions of Europe, where there is a continuance
of cold weather for several months. Cold weather prevents
budding during these cold periods and the growth is practically
dormant. Following these dormant periods the plants begin
their normal growth and the green tips will grow rapidly. Soon
after, cutting of the tips begins.
In South Carolina, where considerable asparagus is grown
profitably, the temperature during November to February is
sufficient to bring about a dormant condition in growth. Like
most natural desert areas, the temperature in the Imperial
Valley Desert, California, (where asparagus is grown) has
continuous cold nights which check asparagus growth during
one or two months of the year.
The average Florida temperature is mild with occasional
freezing weather lasting but a few days. Frost will kill the
asparagus tops, but warm days induce new growth. In the
course of a year the tops may be killed two or three times.
Every time new shoots develop, the reserve plant food is de-
pleted and the new crowns which are formed lack strength
and vigor.
In the northern and northwestern parts of Florida some
truck raisers have been able to maintain asparagus plants in
fair production for three or four years. This section of Florida
seems to offer encouragement to asparagus raisers, but care
must be taken in selection of soil, its moisture content and
fertility.
Planting in the Everglades
Several years ago 275 acres in the vicinity of Canal Point
was planted in the muck soil of the Everglades. In May, 1928,
approximately 40 acres were planted to two-year-old asparagus
roots shipped from the Imperial Valley of California. Prior to
September of the same year these plants had made a very
satisfactory growth. New crowns had formed within four months
from the time of planting. Growers familiar with asparagus
production in other parts of the United States stated that they
never saw such remarkable plant growth. Indications for cutting
a profitable crop during January to March of 1929 were excep-








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


tionally good, but the flood waters from Lake Okeechobee during
that year ruined most of the crop. Credit must be given those
growers who are persistently attempting to overcome these
difficulties.
Another tract of 75 acres was planted in the same area of
1929. A good crop was cut during the months of December to
February. The size of the tips were enormous and of fine
quality, but apparent financial success was again destroyed by
high waters. Only about half of the plants on a 5-acre field
was saved. Lack of water control is the most serious barrier to
successful asparagus production in the Everglades. The acreage
now producing has been carried through a period of successive
rainfall by means of a system of dikes and pumps.
There is not sufficient
low temperature in southern
Florida to bring about a 2
dormant condition in growth. j
Repeated cutting, bending or .
breaking of the ferns have
not brought satisfactory re-
sults. The growth of the
plants under soil temperature
and moisture conditions pre-'
vailing in this southern area
is so luxuriant that new
crowns are produced in
abundance and new tips
grow rapidly. This may
eventually lead to the suc-
cessful canning of asparagus i
in Florida.
Soils
Muck soil, known as the
"Custard Apple" provide j
satisfactory conditions for A -~ m,:. '
asparagus growth where r
there is dependable water
control. The quality is ex- '
cellent and a number of
cuttings may be made from
the plants the first year of
production. The use of the
mold in and between the Asparagus Tips









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


rows prior to planting is desirable. A sandy loam that contains
a medium amount of moisture and rich in organic matter, is
also suitable for asparagus growing.

Planting
The rows generally are 6 to 8 feet apart and the plants set
every 20 to 24 inches in the rows.

Cultivating
Cultivation in muck soil is for the purpose of controlling
weeds and grass and is essential to hold certain insect pests
in check.

Fertilizing
No fertilizer is being used in the muck soils of the ,Ever-
glades. Considerable fertilizer rich in potash is being used by
growers in other states and it would appear necessary on the
muck soils since they are deficient in potash. Organic matter
and potash should be used liberally on most Florida soils.

Harvesting the Crop
Three kinds of asparagus, relative to the color of the spears,
are marketed. The spears may be entirely green, green with
white butts, or entirely white. The greatest market demand is
for a green product, whereas most of that grown for canning
is white. Nearly all the green asparagus is harvested with a
small amount of white on the butt end. The entirely green
product that is cut at the surface of the ground does not keep
well as that cut with a portion of the shoot underground. Since
the part of the stem that was underground is more woody than
the stem above ground, it loses moisture less rapidly than the
tender green portion and adds to the keeping quality of the
spears.
White asparagus is obtained by growing the spears in dark-
ness. This is accomplished by ridging the soil over the crowns
and cutting the shoots below the surface as soon as the tips
of the spears appear. White asparagus is grown in some localities
where the asparagus beetle is prevalent in order to reduce the
loss from beetle injury. The injury by the beetle causes the
spears to grow crooked, otherwise mars the appearance, and
thus destroys their market value. When white asparagus is
grown the beetles have little opportunity to do much damage
before the spears are cut.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Edible shoots must be taken from the growing fern. Th.?
yield per plant will probably not be as great as where plants
have been previously dormant. Keep the shoots gathered regu-
larly; do not let them toughen before cutting.

Packing
The usual methods of packing in 21/2-pound bunches and the
use of a crate such as used in the Carolinas seem satisfactory.
The crate is 91/2 inches at the top and 11 inches at the bottom.
It is 101/2 inches high and 17 13/16 inches long. It is not
advisable to wash asparagus prior to shipping unless it is
extremely dirty.
The most commonly used crate is pyramidal in form, having
two compartments each holding six 2-pound to 21/2-pound
bunches.

Marketing
At present the trade centers of Florida seem to offer very
good markets for asparagus. Since no other asparagus areas
can produce a crop during the winter months, there should be
no marketing problem for several years.

Insect Pests
There are two insect pests that may be a menace to a crop:
First, the striped cucumber beetle; second, a "six-point" mite.
In case the ditch banks adjacent to the asparagus fields are
kept clean and the grass and weeds are allowed to stand in the
asparagus rows, then some danger results, as the insects are
forced to come to the asparagus. If the reverse conditions obtain,
the insects seem to prefer the native growth on the ditches, and
practically leave asparagus unmolested.
Only the better varieties of the rust-resistant types should
be planted. Mary Washington and Martha Washington are
popular with asparagus growers.









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Escarole and Endive
Escarole or Broad Leafed Batavian Endive, belongs to that
group of plants known as the Composites, which is one of the
largest families in the plant kingdom. Escarole is a variety of
chicory; endive has been cultivated in the United States since
1806. Only five of the Composites, however, are known to have
any appreciable economic value as garden crops and are of
importance in the order named:
Lettuce;
Globe Artichoke;
Escarole or Endive;
Chicory;
Salsify or Oyster Plant.
Escarole is used principally as salad. In its unbleached state
it is also eaten as "greens." Florida produces over $100,000
worth of escarole annually. Only within comparatively recent
years has escarole become generally known in American home
gardens. It is gradually gaining favor. When good lettuce is not
obtainable escarole makes a very good substitute. From mid-
summer through early fall and winter it will be found in our
markets. During the hot summer months and early fall, solid
head lettuce is difficult to purchase in some markets and un-
blanched escarole, having a better flavor meets with ready
acceptance among many consumers.

Soil
Poor land that is deficient in humus or that is dry and
exposed is not suitable for the cultivation of this crop. Any
soil that has ordinary fertility or that has been enriched through
the application of manure or other fertilizer will produce
escarole. A warm soil to which has been added plenty of manure
raises the best crop.

Planting
If the seed is sown in the field, the first planting may be
made in June and followed by other plantings through August.
The rows should be about twelve to twenty inches apart. While
the plants are small they are thinned, leaving a foot of space
between the plants in the rows. The seed may be sown in seedbeds
such as are used for lettuce, and the young seedlings trans-
planted to the field. Seedbeds are preferable when the ground









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


is very dry as this method of planting assures stronger plants.
It is best to transplant after a rain, if possible, while the soil is
moist. If the ground is deficient in moisture it will be necessary
to water the plants. To ensure tender plants their growth should
be forced through the application of plenty of plant food and
thorough cultivation. If the seed of the Green Curled variety
is planted in August, or transplanted from the seedbeds early
in September, the crop may be kept for winter use. The full
grown, unblanched plants are harvested with a good ball of
earth surrounding the roots and are stored in a dark rootcellar
the same as celery is sometimes kept. Properly harvested and
stored plants will bleach within a short period. When desired
for summer use, the first sowing of seed is made in seedbeds in
April and the last in August.
Cover the seed very lightly. Plenty of moisture is necessary
to prevent the plants going to seed.
At the approach of severe weather the best plants should be
removed from the field and placed in a cold frame and pro-
tected from outside conditions. When the weather permits the
frame containing the plants should be given free ventilation.

Fertilizing
Eight hundred to 1,200 pounds of standard fertilizer should
be applied to each acre. Escarole is a surface-feeder and the
fertilizer should be distributed evenly in the field. Nitrate of
soda should be used if the soil is deficient in nitrogen.

Blanching
The plants may be bleached by tying the outside leaves over
the heart or the placing of 10-inch boards on edge along each
side of the rows. The tops of the boards are brought together
to keep out the light. The method of blanching is similar to
that used for celery except no light is admitted at the top. The
hearts of the plants are fully covered. About three weeks are
necessary to bleach the plants to a delicate white or creamy
color. The heart and inner leaves will be crisp, tender and
have a pleasant flavor. To overcome the bitter flavor the leaves
and hearts of the plants must be well blanched.

Insect Enemies and Diseases
The diseases and insect enemies that attack spinach and
lettuce sometimes must be guarded against in the production









86 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

of this crop. The recommendations for their control is the same
as for these crops.

Varieties
The varieties preferred by most growers are Batavian, French
Moss Curled and Imperial.
The Green Curled variety has been popular with growers for
many years. It has narrow, curled leaves. When well blanched
it is a very attractive vegetable. Broad Leaf has wider and
plain leaves and is a variety that is gaining in popularity.
The curled varieties of Escarole or Endive are both orna-
mental and attractive plants in the home garden.









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Onions
Onion production in Florida is not an important commercial
crop. In the past this crop was more extensively cultivated.
During recent years interest has revived in onion production,
resulting in the accumulation of more information of value
to the Florida grower.
This plant is adapted to a wide variety of climate and soil
conditions, so that it is known and grown in most countries of
the world. It is of great antiquity. Onions are grown in every
state in the union.
It is not known definitely when onions were first introdu-
duced into the United States, but early in the seventeenth cen-
tury they were being grown in Massachusetts. At the present
time the bulk of the onion crop in this country is grown in
New York, Texas, Indiana, California, Massachusetts, Ohio and
Michigan. The production in each of these states is shown by
the graph.

Root System
The root system of the onion is fibrous. According to Goff
a young onion plant with leaves 8 inches long was found to
have developed a root system penetrating to a depth of 16
inches. Most of them are so deep. This depends mainly upon
soil and moisture. The roots spread outward and downward,
a few of them being very deep. In general they extend about
a foot from the base of the bulb. The root system of one plant
was estimated at 400 linear feet about 40 days after planting.

Pollination
Cross pollination is easily accomplished as a variety of insects
visit the blooms of the onion plant. In attempting to develop
new strains by selection or cross-breeding the plants should be
planted at least a half mile away from other onion plants.

Soil
Sandy loam soil filled with organic matter and having a
compact subsoil to insure a constant supply of moisture or
decomposed muck soil produce the best crops of onions in this
State. Excessive rain or drouth will affect the crop adversely.
Other types of soils will also grow onions, providing there is
a plentiful supply of ammonia, readily available to the plants
at all times. This will induce rapid growth and well shaped









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


unions. Flat, heavy sandy loam on which pines formerly grew
are suitable for this truck crop.

280



26001


2400



2200


Z000


/600


1400


1200


i, __ _


V. q.


Texas Ind. Calf Mass Ohio /lich.
Sfa-es


Showing onion production in thousands of bushels in the 7 leading states.
Texas is listed in the "early crop" column along with California
and Louisiana. The remainder of those given in the
above graph are so-called "late crop" states.








SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


Planting
Best root development is obtained in relatively cool soils.
The young plants will withstand a temperature that is several
degrees below freezing.
During early growth it is highly essential that ample soil
moisture be maintained near the surface. New roots will not
develop in dry soil. Should the growth be suspended the outer
scales of the bulb mature, and when growth is resumed the
inner scales take on additional growth, which results in splitting
of the bulbs.
Onion grow best when there is plenty of daylight, or during
long days. Varieties differ in this respect but they seem to do
best when there are about 15 hours of daylight. Possibly this
explains why onions do not "bottom" early irrespective of the
time of planting. Planting made in January are less subject
to weed growth, insect pests and plant diseases.
The bulk of the crop in Florida is planted directly in the
field. The soil must be in good tilth and thoroughly pulverized.
From 31/2 to 5 pounds of seed are required to plant an acre.
The seed is generally sown to a depth of 1/ to 1 inch although
in muck soils the seed is often planted 2 inches deep.
The use of a seed drill is necessary for uniform distribution.
The rows range from 14 to 24 inches apart and are parallel
to facilitate cultivating. Onion seed germinate best when the
soil temperature is about 65 degrees.

Cultivating
The root system of onions will not permit deep cultivation.
If the field has been properly prepared in advance of sowing
the seed a minimum amount of cultivating will be necessary.
Hand tools are used almost exclusively in the production of
this crop as the plants in their early stages are delicate and
easily damaged.
Shallow cultivation is easier controlled with hand imple-
ments.
The wire weeder is almost indispensable in growing a crop
of onions. It consists of numerous long, fine steel fingers
fastened to a cross bar of convenient length. Where flat culti-
vation is the rule this may be about 4 feet long. For ridge
culture it would have to be modified to suit such conditions.
The cross bar is attached to the wheel hoe. In case of a heavy
rain which packs the soil prior to germination, this weeder is









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


almost the only tool that can be used to break the crust without
seriously damaging the seed. Even after the crop is up, the
weeder renders very efficient service in keeping down the first
crop of weeds.
When it is possible to distinguish the rows, a wheel cultivator
is used. There are single wheel types with the shovels and plows
offset to prevent the wheel from running on the plants and also
double wheel types which straddle the rows. With both types
the double knife attachment is used. This cuts a swath just
beneath the soil surface on both sides of the row. This kind of
cultivating kills small weeds and stirs the surface of the soil
without covering the young plants. Weed growth, rainfall and
other conditions will determine the frequency of cultivating
but usually the plants are cultivated every week to ten days.
For the last cultivation some growers substitute a triple set
of shovels. The shovels turn a small amount of soil against the
rows, affording some protection to exposed bulbs, giving them
a better color. If the shovels are run deep enough, many roots
may be severed, thus hastening maturity. This may be an im-
portant factor in Florida under certain climatic or market
conditions.

Irrigation and Drainage
The control of soil moisture is a prime necessity in onion
culture. Sub-irrigation or overhead systems are quite satis-
factory. Tilling of the land may serve a dual purpose-drainage
and irrigation-if properly done. While there are no records
available in Florida, irrigation plants elsewhere have frequently
more than doubled the yield. A small area properly handled will
be more productive, proportionately, than larger areas care-
lessly managed.

Thinning
The economical way to thin the rows is to bunch the onions
pulled and sell them on the local market. Thinning is necessary
and to permit proper growth a space of 4 to 5 inches should
be left between the plants.
Harvesting
Most varieties require a little over four months to mature
where favorable conditions for growth exist. If young plants
are set in the field a crop may be made within 100 days.
When the plants develop normally, ripening is evidenced by









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


a drying of the leaves in the region just above the bulb, which
causes the top to fall over while the leaves are still green. If
the tops dry from the tips downward while standing erect, the
neck is not properly closed, with the result that the bulbs do
not keep well in storage.
Harvesting should be done in dry weather. One of the greatest
faults with onion producers is failure to cure the bulbs. Unless
the bulbs are properly cured they will not keep well in storage.
Generally the months of April and May are dry and afford the
best season for harvesting. Should these months be wet and the
crop not ripe then the crop must be cured in some other
manner. Kiln drying has been successful, tobacco curing houses
being used for the purpose.

Fertilizing
Muck soils are ordinarily well supplied with nitrogen, but
they require liberal amounts of phosphate and potash. There
is a tendency on the part of many growers to use little or no
fertilizer on muck soils. Experiments on these soils in New York
showed that best onion yields were obtained by using about a
ton to the acre of a mixture containing 3 per cent nitrogen, 5
per cent phosphoric acid and 10 or 15 per cent potash.
Onion growers who use the sandy loams in Florida have found
it profitable to use from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of fertilizer per
acre, and the tendency has been toward a 10 to 12 per cent
potash mixture with relatively small amounts of nitrogen. When
early fall plantings are made, more fertilizer is required to
produce a crop than when the crop is planted later and is then
forced to mature in a shorter time. A considerable percentage
of the nitrogen should be supplied from organic sources.
The Use of Lime
Almost all experiments where acid soils have been corrected
by applications of lime, increased yields of onions have resulted.
The use of 200 to 500 pounds to the acre of dehydrated lime has
proven very satisfactory. Since organic matter is so essential to
the economic growth of most crops, especially in the sandy soils
of Florida, barnyard manure, chicken manure and most litter
should be conserved and made into compost. Onions thrive under
large quantities of organic matter. Organic matter not only
provides plant food but improves the physical conditions of the
soil, giving it greater water-holding capacity. In many muck
areas where onions are grown extensively, it is not an unusual









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


practice for the growers to give the land a liberal application
of barnyard manure. The beneficial action of the bacteria is
worth the cost. Usually it is good practice to apply the manure
to the crop grown ahead of onions, unless it is well composted.
Weed seed and a tendency to keep the ground too open are the
chief objections to applying manure to onions.

Cover Crops
Barnyard manure may not be available and cover crops must
then take its place. Most grasses, except nut and Bermuda will
add humus to the soil and should be allowed to grow for the
purpose of later turning under. Crotalaria, a leguminous, rank-
growing annual that is resistant to nematode infection, is the
most promising cover crop for Florida truckers. Other good
legumes are velvet beans, cow peas and beggarweed.

Transplanted Onions
There are advantages in starting onions in a good seedbed.
The growing can be better controlled, the bulbs will be more
uniform and the yield per acre will probably be greater.
Seed should be sown in drills in a well-prepared seedbed.
About 2 pounds of seed should be planted for each acre of
field to be set. Both top and root pruning are practiced to assist
in developing stocky plants before they are transplanted to the
field. The leaves are cut back to about- 4.inches...The plants
should be about the thickness of a lead pencil when ready for
transplanting. They are set every 4 to 6 inches in rows that
are 18 to 24 inches apart. Cultivating the crop is the same as
for seed sown directly in the field.

Marketing
Market demands, year after year, for cured onions are quite
constant. The average American home does not consume large
quantities of this crop, but it does use a few every week of the
year.
Recently there has been a strong tendency in certain Florida
trucking areas to cater to the demand for mixed cars of
vegetables. Some green onions are shipped in response to this
demand. Some also are sold on the home market which, during
winter, demands considerable quantities of attractively bunched
and good quality green onions. The bunches should be tied neatly
and washed thoroughly, and the tops should be clipped evenly.
The flavor should be mild. Variety and rapidity of growth









SOME FLORIDA TRUCK CROPS


usually have the greatest influences upon flavor at this early
stage, although soil types may also be a factor. Where the
demand for green onions is good, it may be desirable to plant
onion sets, in order to get size more quickly. If the green onions
are a by-product of the main crop, it is doubtful whether sets
can be economically planted.

Grading
The usual method of grading is to pass the bulbs over a slatted
table. The slats are spaced far enough apart to permit dirt and
smaller bulbs (those under 11/2 inches in diameter) to fall
through. United States Grade No. 1 calls for onions of similar
varietal characteristics: firm, mature, well-shaped; free from
doubles, splits, bottlenecks, scallions, dirt, tops or other foreign
matter, damage caused by sprouting, freezing, disease, insects,
mechanical or other injury. A tolerance of 5 per cent is allowed
below the requirements of this grade, but a tolerance of only 4
per cent is allowed for decay. Grade No. 2 includes the bulbs
which do not meet the requirements of Grade No. 1. These are
further graded into sizes as follows: Boilers, from 3/ to 1/2
inches in diameter; small, from 11/2 to 13/ inches-large, over
21/4 inches-very large, over 3 inches. Not more than 5 per
cent by weight may be below the specified size and not more
than 10 per cent by weight may be above the specified maximum
size.

Containers
Most of the northern-grown crop is marketed in "grass
sacks" of 100-pound capacity. They have a course mesh which
provides ventilation and easy inspection. Southern or Bermuda
onions are shipped in slatted crates. The latter move directly
to market, from April to June. Dry onions supply the markets
from then until March, winter shipments coming from storage.
Fewest cars move during June.
Considerable quantities of onions are imported, especially
during years of small production in the United States.

Varieties
Onions are commonly grouped into three classes as follows:
1. Those propagated by divisions-Potato onions, Multipliers.
2. Those propagated by bulblets or top sets-Egyptian or
Winter onions.




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