• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Historic note
 Front Cover
 Credits
 Cultivation
 Cover crops
 Seedbeds
 Beans
 Lima beans
 Beets
 Cabbage
 Chinese cabbage (Pe-tsai)
 Carrots
 Cauliflower
 Broccoli
 Celery
 Chayote
 Cucumbers
 The Dasheen
 Eggplants
 Lettuce
 Muskmelons and cantaloupes
 Okra
 Onions
 English peas
 Peppers
 Radishes
 Spinach
 Squash
 Strawberries
 Sweet corn
 Tomatoes
 Turnips and rutabagas
 Planting chart














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Division of Agricultural Extension ; no. 58
Title: Vegetable crops of Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026377/00001
 Material Information
Title: Vegetable crops of Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 54 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Spencer, A. P ( Arthur Perceval )
Publisher: University of Florida, Division of Agricultural Extension
Place of Publication: <Gainesville Fla.>
Publication Date: 1930
 Subjects
Subject: Vegetables -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by A.P. Spencer.
General Note: "March, 1930".
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Extension Division)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026377
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002570546
oclc - 47284877
notis - AMT6859

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Credits
        Page 2
    Cultivation
        Page 3
    Cover crops
        Page 4
    Seedbeds
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Beans
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Lima beans
        Page 8
    Beets
        Page 8
    Cabbage
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Chinese cabbage (Pe-tsai)
        Page 12
    Carrots
        Page 12
    Cauliflower
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Broccoli
        Page 15
    Celery
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Chayote
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Cucumbers
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The Dasheen
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Eggplants
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Lettuce
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Muskmelons and cantaloupes
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Okra
        Page 36
    Onions
        Page 37
        Page 38
    English peas
        Page 39
    Peppers
        Page 40
    Radishes
        Page 41
    Spinach
        Page 42
    Squash
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Strawberries
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Sweet corn
        Page 47
    Tomatoes
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Turnips and rutabagas
        Page 51
    Planting chart
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







March, 1930


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA DIVISION OF AGRICULTURAL
EXTENSION, STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN AND UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COOPERATING
WILMON NEWELL, Director




VEGETABLE CROPS OF FLORIDA

BY A. P. SPENCER


Fig. 1.-Lettuce seedbeds.


Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the
State Home Demonstration Department,
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.


Bulletin 58











BOARD OF CONTROL


P. K. YONGE, Chairman, Pensacola
W. B. DAVIS, Perry
RAYMER F. MAGUIRE, Orlando
A. H. BLENDING, Tampa
FRANK J. WIDEMAN, West Palm Beach
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee


STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION DIVISION

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

JOHN J. TIGERT, M.A., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director and County Agent Leader
J. FRANCIS COOPER, M.S.A., Editor
R. M. FULGHUM, B.S.A., Assistant Editor
E. F. STANTON, Supervisor, Egg-Laying Contest
RUBY NEWHALL, Secretary


COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION WORK

W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., District Agent
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairy Specialist
E. F. DE BUSK, B.S., Citrus Pathologist and Entomologist
N. R. MEHRHOF, M. AGR., Poultryman


COOPERATIVE HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK

FLAVIA GLEASON, State Agent
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Assistant State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, B.S., District Agent
RUBY McDAVID, District Agent
MARY E. KEOWN, M.S., District Agent
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, Food and Marketing Agent
MARY A. STENNIS, M.A., Extension Nutritionist


NEGRO WORK

A. A. TURNER, Local District Agent
JULIA MILLER, Local District Home Demonstration Agent









VEGETABLE CROPS OF FLORIDA
By A. P. SPENCER

INTRODUCTION
Florida produces at different seasons of the year a great quan-
tity of vegetables for shipment and home consumption. The
height of the shipping season is between November 15 and
July 1.
Most Florida vegetables are shipped in car-lots to Northern
markets and consumed fresh. Few cars are placed in cold
storage, either in Florida or at destination. Most of these
vegetables are sent to markets formerly supplied from Northern
greenhouses, the field truckers having, therefore, to compete
with greenhouse producers.
The greater part of Florida's vegetable crop is grown during
the cooler season when there are fewest diseases and insect pests.
However, the trucker has to combat insect pests and diseases at
all seasons on practically every crop he grows.
Information contained in this bulletin represents the practices
generally followed by the most successful vegetable growers of
Florida, together with information secured by experiments and
observations of the Horticultural Department, Florida Experi-
ment Station, and U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Fertilization recommendations as stated apply in particular to
soils other than muck, as the practice of applying fertilizer to
muck soil is not as yet general. More information must be com-
piled before general or specific recommendations can be made as
to the requirements of most vegetable crops when planted on
muck soils.
CULTIVATION
The amount and methods of cultivation necessary for vegetable
crops must depend on the rooting system of the plants and soil
conditions. Cultivation is necessary for keeping weeds in check
and to loosen the surface soil when it becomes compact. This
applies especially to the heavier types of moist lands.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This is a revision of Bulletin 44, published on the same subject in 1926.
The author is indebted to the Horticultural Department of the Experiment
Station and to county agents and growers in the vegetable area of Florida
for valuable suggestions and assistance.







Florida Cooperative Extension


Emphasis should always be placed on thorough preparation of
the soil before the fertilizer is applied or the crops started. This
is more important than is generally recognized. If this is done
the amount of cultivation when the crop is growing, aside from
that necessary to control weed growth, will be relatively small.
As the cost of cultivation is a relatively large item in the cost of
production, tests to determine the amount of cultivation that can
be profitably done indicate that cultivation for weed control is of
greater importance than cultivation to otherwise hasten the
growth of plants.
COVER CROPS
Most Florida soils except muck are deficient in humus content
and where a rotation of crops can be practiced it is advisable.
With most vegetable crops there can be a yearly rotation that will
increase the humus content if green crops are plowed under.
A variety of crops can be used including native grasses, cow-
peas, beggarweed, crotalaria. Whatever cover crop is selected it
should be turned under 20 days or more before the truck crop is set.

SEEDBEDS
Several Florida vegetable crops are started in seedbeds. That
is, the seeds are sown in seedbeds and the plants, when large
enough, are transplanted to the field. This necessitates the plan-
ning and arrangement of properly constructed beds sufficiently
in advance of the transplanting season to insure a liberal supply
of thrifty, stocky plants.
Seedbeds are made by selecting a favorable location in the field,
close to a water supply, on well-drained, comparatively rich soil,
or on such soil as can be made rich by fertilization and as free
as possible from root-knot and diseases.
For celery, lettuce, romaine, cabbage, escarole, endive, cauli-
flower and other fall planted crops lay out the beds three and a
half feet wide. Well-rotted stable manure or well-decayed com-
post should be worked thoroughly into the soil. The surface
should then receive an application of hardwood ashes at the rate
of one ton to the acre, and a week later an application of the
same amount of commercial fertilizer, analyzing 5 percent am-
monia, 5 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent potash. Much of
the nitrogen should come from an organic source. The fertilizer
should be thoroughly incorporated with the soil, the bed made
smooth and the seeds sown. It is best to allow a few days to







Florida Cooperative Extension


Emphasis should always be placed on thorough preparation of
the soil before the fertilizer is applied or the crops started. This
is more important than is generally recognized. If this is done
the amount of cultivation when the crop is growing, aside from
that necessary to control weed growth, will be relatively small.
As the cost of cultivation is a relatively large item in the cost of
production, tests to determine the amount of cultivation that can
be profitably done indicate that cultivation for weed control is of
greater importance than cultivation to otherwise hasten the
growth of plants.
COVER CROPS
Most Florida soils except muck are deficient in humus content
and where a rotation of crops can be practiced it is advisable.
With most vegetable crops there can be a yearly rotation that will
increase the humus content if green crops are plowed under.
A variety of crops can be used including native grasses, cow-
peas, beggarweed, crotalaria. Whatever cover crop is selected it
should be turned under 20 days or more before the truck crop is set.

SEEDBEDS
Several Florida vegetable crops are started in seedbeds. That
is, the seeds are sown in seedbeds and the plants, when large
enough, are transplanted to the field. This necessitates the plan-
ning and arrangement of properly constructed beds sufficiently
in advance of the transplanting season to insure a liberal supply
of thrifty, stocky plants.
Seedbeds are made by selecting a favorable location in the field,
close to a water supply, on well-drained, comparatively rich soil,
or on such soil as can be made rich by fertilization and as free
as possible from root-knot and diseases.
For celery, lettuce, romaine, cabbage, escarole, endive, cauli-
flower and other fall planted crops lay out the beds three and a
half feet wide. Well-rotted stable manure or well-decayed com-
post should be worked thoroughly into the soil. The surface
should then receive an application of hardwood ashes at the rate
of one ton to the acre, and a week later an application of the
same amount of commercial fertilizer, analyzing 5 percent am-
monia, 5 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent potash. Much of
the nitrogen should come from an organic source. The fertilizer
should be thoroughly incorporated with the soil, the bed made
smooth and the seeds sown. It is best to allow a few days to







Vegetable Crops of Florida


elapse between applying the fertilizer and sowing the seeds, in
the meantime keeping the beds moist.
These seedbeds should be protected with an A-shaped cloth
cover two yards wide, made of four-ounce cotton sheeting, over
a frame of lath and wire to provide shade during hot weather
and to protect the plants against beating rains, wind and pos-
sibly early frosts.
For starting a winter seedbed of eggplants, peppers, tomatoes
and other plants of like na-
ture, the bed should be from
four and a half to five feet
wide. It should be sur-
rounded by a wooden wall
two feet high on the north
side (back) and ten inches
high on the south side
(front). Wires stretched Fig. 2.-Winter and early spring seedbed
across the top to support a cover.
cloth cover capable of being made perfectly tight, as a protection
against cold, are essential. The seeds should be sown fairly
thick in rows from four to six inches apart. When sown


Fig. 3.-Shading seedbeds with canvas.







Florida Cooperative Extension


broadcast, the beds are difficult to cultivate, fertilize and weed.
Cover the seeds lightly, not more than half an inch deep. If the
seeds are very small, as celery and lettuce, sow on the surface,
give little covering, if any; then place burlap over the ground
and keep it wet until the seeds begin to sprout and take root, when
it should be removed.
When the seeds are sprouted the bed should be watered and
kept so until the plants are well-established.
A practice known as "blocking off" is advisable about 12 days
before the plants are taken from the plant bed. This is done with
a blade or long knife. The soil and lateral roots are cut about two
inches from the row of plants by pushing the blade along the side
of the plants deep enough to cut the lateral roots. This causes
the plants to establish new roots before being planted in the field
and makes them more easily transplanted.
It is best to cut on one side of the row of plants at a time, then
wait a few days before cutting the roots on the opposite side.
BEANS
Bush or snap beans are grown in every section of Florida and
are among the most important of the truck crops. They can be
grown under a variety of conditions and on different kinds of soil.
They require less fertilizer than most vegetables and are easy
to ship.
Snap beans are killed by freezing temperature. Therefore, the
fall crop must be matured before danger of frost and the spring
crop should not be planted until danger of frost is past.
Beans are raised as early fall and late spring crops. The largest
acreage of fall beans is in the southern part of Alachua and
throughout Marion, Putnam and Sumter counties. In these sec-
tions the growers plan to have most of their crop out of the way
by December 1. These sections produce large quantities of beans
during spring. They are planted in March and harvested during
April, May and June.
On the islands and protected areas of the coasts beans are quite
an important winter crop. The soil in these sections is principally
sandy hammock, and is near sea level. These protected areas are
limited in extent; therefore, the quantity produced is necessarily
limited.
Beans make good crops on the better grades of hammock and
pine lands. They also grow well on muck, if it has been planted
to some other crop for two or three years previously. They will








Vegetable Crops of Florida


not do well on sour or poorly drained land, and should never be
planted as a first crop, particularly on flatwoods pine land known
to be sour. They respond readily to good cultivation and require
comparatively warm weather to make them grow fast.
FERTILIZATION
Beans should have from 600 to 800 pounds fertilizer to the acre.
As the crop matures in approximately 45 days this fertilizer may
be applied before the seeds are planted. A fertilizer analyzing
5 percent ammonia, 7 percent phosphoric acid and 4 or 5 percent
potash is generally used. The ammonia element is the most im-
portant. Soils deficient in humus will require more fertilizer than
where there is a better supply of humus. From five to ten loads
stable manure to the acre, applied before the crop is planted, is
most beneficial in preparing the land for a bean crop.
VARIETIES
Two types of bush or snap beans are generally grown, the green
podded varieties and the wax podded varieties. The green podded
varieties are most extensively grown as they can be planted on a
greater variety of soils. Wax varieties should be planted on the
better grades of hammock land.
The green podded varieties recommended are Bountiful, Black
Valentine and Kentucky Wonder. The wax podded varieties rec-
ommended are New Davis White Wax, Wardell Kidney Wax and
Sure Crop Stringless Wax.
PLANTING
It will require about three to four pecks of seed to the acre,
with rows three feet apart and hills three to four inches apart.
In a few days the beans will show above the ground, and will grow
off rapidly, if weather conditions are favorable. No thinning will
be necessary, and just enough cultivation to keep the weeds in
check will be sufficient. In growing beans it is important not to
cultivate while the plants are wet or immediately after a rain, as
this will have a tendency to spread any fungous diseases that may
be present in the field.
HARVESTING
Beans are usually picked when the pods are mature in size.
However, they must be gathered before showing ripeness. Other-
wise by the time they reach market they will appear wilted. Sev-
eral pickings will be necessary under average conditions. The
beans are picked into bushel hampers in the field and should be







Florida Cooperative Extension


hand sorted in a central packing shed. On good land 100 to 200
hampers may be produced to the acre.

LIMA BEANS
Lima or butter beans, while raised for shipping, are a less im-
portant crop than the bush bean. This variety can be grown
throughout the summer season and is one of the most useful
summer vegetables in Florida. The crop is handled in about the
same way as a crop of bush beans. With the runner varieties the
rows must be wider and these varieties should have a trellis or
pole on which to climb. Some growers plant them in corn fields
where the stalks act as supports.
Lima beans are more sensitive to cold than are bush beans but
will make better growth during warm weather, particularly dur-
ing a rainy season, as they are less subject to fungous diseases.
The bush Lima bean is an excellent summer vegetable, making
about the same size bush as the ordinary bush bean and growing
under similar conditions. They require, however, a longer period
in which to mature.
VARIETIES
For shipment to Northern markets Fordhook Potato Lima and
Henderson Bush are good varieties. For home use either the
White or Mottled Florida butter bean will prove satisfactory.
Navy beans have not proven a satisfactory Florida crop.

BEETS
Beets are grown throughout Florida both for home use and as
a shipping crop. Suitable soils for beets are a dark, sandy loam,
well-drained and supplied with organic matter, and muck soils.

CULTURAL METHODS
There are two methods used in producing the beet crop in Flor-
ida. In the first the field is reduced to a fine seedbed, the best
seeds are sown thick with a seed drill in rows from 12 to 14 inches
apart and finally thinned by hand to a stand of plants averaging
four inches apart in the rows. A few radish or other quickly
germinating seeds should be mixed with the beet seeds. This
permits wheel-hoe or hand-hoe cultivation, sometimes necessary
for weeds before the beet seeds are up. After the beet seeds are
up and the rows well defined the few radishes may be removed.
The second and better method (in case expert setters are ob-







Florida Cooperative Extension


hand sorted in a central packing shed. On good land 100 to 200
hampers may be produced to the acre.

LIMA BEANS
Lima or butter beans, while raised for shipping, are a less im-
portant crop than the bush bean. This variety can be grown
throughout the summer season and is one of the most useful
summer vegetables in Florida. The crop is handled in about the
same way as a crop of bush beans. With the runner varieties the
rows must be wider and these varieties should have a trellis or
pole on which to climb. Some growers plant them in corn fields
where the stalks act as supports.
Lima beans are more sensitive to cold than are bush beans but
will make better growth during warm weather, particularly dur-
ing a rainy season, as they are less subject to fungous diseases.
The bush Lima bean is an excellent summer vegetable, making
about the same size bush as the ordinary bush bean and growing
under similar conditions. They require, however, a longer period
in which to mature.
VARIETIES
For shipment to Northern markets Fordhook Potato Lima and
Henderson Bush are good varieties. For home use either the
White or Mottled Florida butter bean will prove satisfactory.
Navy beans have not proven a satisfactory Florida crop.

BEETS
Beets are grown throughout Florida both for home use and as
a shipping crop. Suitable soils for beets are a dark, sandy loam,
well-drained and supplied with organic matter, and muck soils.

CULTURAL METHODS
There are two methods used in producing the beet crop in Flor-
ida. In the first the field is reduced to a fine seedbed, the best
seeds are sown thick with a seed drill in rows from 12 to 14 inches
apart and finally thinned by hand to a stand of plants averaging
four inches apart in the rows. A few radish or other quickly
germinating seeds should be mixed with the beet seeds. This
permits wheel-hoe or hand-hoe cultivation, sometimes necessary
for weeds before the beet seeds are up. After the beet seeds are
up and the rows well defined the few radishes may be removed.
The second and better method (in case expert setters are ob-







Vegetable Crops of Florida


tainable) is to sow the seed in seedbeds and set the plants in the
field when about four inches high.
The field should be freshly prepared, free from grass and weeds.
Cultivate the field several times before setting the young plants
in order to kill the weed seed that may germinate, thus making
subsequent cultivations easier.
The plants should be set in rows 12 to 14 inches apart and from
four to five inches apart in the rows. A more uniform and satis-
factory yield of marketable beets can be produced by this method
than by seeds sown in the field. It will require approximately
100,000 plants to set an acre. Sow about four pounds of seed for
each acre to be planted.
FERTILIZATION AND CULTIVATION
Beets require liberal fertilization. One and a half tons to the
acre of a complete commercial fertilizer carrying 6 to 8 percent
potash will be suitable for most Florida soils. This should be
given in three applications during the growth of the plants. The
first application should be 10 days before setting the plants in the
field or sowing the seeds, as the case may be.
Beets should be cultivated sufficient to check weeds and until
the plants cover and shade the middles, thus preventing grass
and weeds from growing.
HARVESTING
Beets should be pulled and carried to a packinghouse in field
crates or baskets and packed in the shade to avoid wilting. The
one bushel and 11/2 bushel hampers are used in shipping Florida
beets. From 336 to 350 crates make a carload. Beets are usually
shipped under refrigeration.
VARIETIES
Eclipse, Detroit Dark Red, Crosby's Egyptian, and Edmand's
Early Turnip are some of the varieties most frequently planted.

CABBAGE
Cabbage is one of the easiest truck crops to grow in Florida.
The soil must be naturally fertile, well-drained and sufficiently
retentive of moisture to carry the crop over drought periods.
Almost any good farming soil in Florida will produce satisfactory
crops of cabbage, if sufficiently fertilized.
The cabbage plant is a gross feeder, one of the hardiest of
Florida vegetables, and sometimes will withstand a temperature







Florida Cooperative Extension


of 16 F. after the plants are half grown. However when the
plants are small, just transplanted from the seedbeds and are ex-
posed to a freezing temperature, they will likely be killed. Cab-
bage in Florida is planted for the early winter and late spring
markets. Earlier cabbage is planted in the field in September and
October. The greater bulk of the crop is planted in December and
January.
Good yields are produced on sandy loam, clay loam and muck
soils. Thin, sandy, loose soil is not recommended for this crop,
although such lands can be made to produce satisfactory crops
by irrigation and liberal fertilization.
PLANTING AND CULTIVATING
The ground should be thoroughly plowed, pulverized, harrowed
and made smooth. The rows should be marked off about 36 inches
apart and the plants set about 15 inches apart. The cabbage
plants are taken from the seedbeds when from four to six inches
high, and are usually planted by hand in moist soil. If irrigation
can be furnished, it insures a more even stand and a heavier crop.
However, under average conditions, cabbage is grown successfully
in Florida without irrigation.
Sow about 12 ounces of seed to each acre. As soon as the plants
are large enough they should be cultivated. With the exception
of hoeing around the plants, all cultivation may be done with
horse cultivators. Shallow cultivation with light sweep is ad-
visable.
FERTILIZATION
Cabbage requires from a half ton to a ton per acre of a balanced
fertilizer, analyzing about 5 percent ammonia, 6 percent phos-
phoric acid and 4 percent potash. On the lighter soils half of this
amount should be drilled into the rows before the crop is planted
and the remainder worked into the soil when the crop is about half
grown. When stable manure is available an application of five
to ten tons of this to the acre, worked well into the soil before the
crop is planted, produces excellent results. In such cases the
amount of commercial fertilizer may be reduced.
When the crop is about half grown, or even earlier, if it tends
to grow slowly, an additional application of 150 pounds sulphate
of ammonia or nitrate of soda to the acre is advisable for steady
growth and to produce firm heads. This, however, must not be
overdone, as it is liable to result in loose-headed cabbages and,
therefore, an unmarketable product.








Vegetable Crops of Florida


IRRIGATION
With cabbage irrigation can easily be overdone. It requires a
reasonable amount of moisture to keep up steady growth; but, if
cabbages are forced too much and given continual irrigation and
heavy fertilization, the heads are liable to burst, making the crop
unmarketable. This bursting is caused by too rapid growth; the
heart of the cabbage grows faster than the outer leaves, causing
it to break open. When there is a tendency toward bursting it
















Fig. 4.-Cabbage crated for shipment.
is a good practice to run a furrow along each side of each row
and cut off some of the roots.
VARIETIES
The principal varieties grown for market are Copenhagen Mar-
ket, Charleston Wakefield, Long Island Wakefield, and Premium
Flat Dutch. For home use the Jersey Wakefield is most desirable.
Premium Flat Dutch is usually planted in October and is ready
to ship in January, whereas Charleston Wakefield and Long
Island Wakefield are planted in December and January and
shipped in the spring.
MARKETING
The chief limitations to cabbage growing in Florida are the
markets, as practically all shipments go to Northern markets
where stored cabbage grown at lower cost, is placed on the market
in competition with Florida cabbage.
The crop is packed in one and a half bushel hampers, and in the
standard cabbage crate (12x18x33 inches).








Florida Cooperative Extension


CHINESE CABBAGE (Pe-tsai)
Chinese cabbage is not an important commercial vegetable,
although it is grown in a limited way in several places.
It grows well on land suited to cabbage or lettuce. The growth
should be rapid so that the vegetable will be crisp. It requires
about the same fertilization as lettuce.
The plants are started in the seedbed and transplanted into the
field when three or four inches high. The rows should be about
30 inches apart and the plants set about 15 inches in the row.
Shallow cultivation combined with liberal amounts of ammonia
fertilizer will produce large heads. When preparing for the table
the outer leaves are stripped off, leaving a whitish crisp center
that is used in salad or eaten as lettuce. Unless the plant makes
a quick and succulent growth it is practically worthless.
When shipped it is packed in celery crates.
From 6 to 10 ounces of seed should supply sufficient plants to
set one acre.

CARROTS
Carrots grow well during the cool months under a variety of
conditions. On average garden soil fairly moist and well fertilized
the crop can be made especially profitable as a market garden
crop or can be shipped to distant markets.
Carrots are also an excellent garden crop for home use as their
food value is relatively high. On rich land they produce a heavy
yield.
The seed should be sown during the fall, as the crop requires
three or four months to mature. One can have marketable car-
rots from January to June with a reasonable amount of care.
SOIL AND PLANTING
Muck, sandy loam, garden soil thoroughly pulverized is desir-
able. The seed should be sown in drills about 18 inches apart and
covered about an inch deep. Carrot seed are slow to germinate.
Often the germination of seed is poor so that liberal seeding is
advisable, at the rate of four or five pounds per acre. In case of
too thick a stand they should be thinned to about 3 inches apart
in the rows.
FERTILIZATION
From 600 to 900 pounds of fertilizer per acre should be applied
to average soils, although smaller quantities may be used on well
decayed and moist muck soil. The fertilizer should analyze about








Florida Cooperative Extension


CHINESE CABBAGE (Pe-tsai)
Chinese cabbage is not an important commercial vegetable,
although it is grown in a limited way in several places.
It grows well on land suited to cabbage or lettuce. The growth
should be rapid so that the vegetable will be crisp. It requires
about the same fertilization as lettuce.
The plants are started in the seedbed and transplanted into the
field when three or four inches high. The rows should be about
30 inches apart and the plants set about 15 inches in the row.
Shallow cultivation combined with liberal amounts of ammonia
fertilizer will produce large heads. When preparing for the table
the outer leaves are stripped off, leaving a whitish crisp center
that is used in salad or eaten as lettuce. Unless the plant makes
a quick and succulent growth it is practically worthless.
When shipped it is packed in celery crates.
From 6 to 10 ounces of seed should supply sufficient plants to
set one acre.

CARROTS
Carrots grow well during the cool months under a variety of
conditions. On average garden soil fairly moist and well fertilized
the crop can be made especially profitable as a market garden
crop or can be shipped to distant markets.
Carrots are also an excellent garden crop for home use as their
food value is relatively high. On rich land they produce a heavy
yield.
The seed should be sown during the fall, as the crop requires
three or four months to mature. One can have marketable car-
rots from January to June with a reasonable amount of care.
SOIL AND PLANTING
Muck, sandy loam, garden soil thoroughly pulverized is desir-
able. The seed should be sown in drills about 18 inches apart and
covered about an inch deep. Carrot seed are slow to germinate.
Often the germination of seed is poor so that liberal seeding is
advisable, at the rate of four or five pounds per acre. In case of
too thick a stand they should be thinned to about 3 inches apart
in the rows.
FERTILIZATION
From 600 to 900 pounds of fertilizer per acre should be applied
to average soils, although smaller quantities may be used on well
decayed and moist muck soil. The fertilizer should analyze about







Vegetable Crops of Florida


4 percent ammonia, 6 percent phosphoric acid, and 7 percent
potash. It is usually best to apply one-half the fertilizer before
sowing the seed and work the remainder in between the rows
when the plants are half grown. An additional application of
some readily available ammonia fertilizer, sulphate of ammonia
or nitrate of soda, is advisable if the plants are growing slowly.
If stable manure is available a liberal application before sowing
the seed will produce a good growth in the plants.
MARKETING
Carrots grown in Florida are marketed locally or can be shipped
in carlots. They should be washed clean, then tied in medium
sized bunches of 6 to 10. Any dead leaves are removed and the
green tops left attached. With a good crop and a strong local
demand at fair prices, the gross return per acre is usually high
and the crop very profitable.
Carrots are also shipped to distant markets packed in crates
or boxes.
VARIETIES
The Long Orange, Early Scarlet Horn, Oxheart, Chantenay and
Danvers Half-long are satisfactory varieties.

CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower is secondary in importance to most commercial
truck crops. It is planted and handled under conditions similar
to cabbage, but is more difficult to raise and place on the market
in the best condition. It grows best during the cooler months
and should be ready for market during January, February and
March. To mature it requires about four months from the time
the plants are set, so that the seeds must be sown in the seedbed
early in the fall.
Early Snowball is the leading variety in Florida; Erfurt is
second.
SOIL
The soil best suited to cauliflower is a sandy loam well supplied
with organic matter.
Wet land should be avoided, although the crop needs a constant
supply of moisture. Irrigation is more necessary than with cab-
bage, although good crops are grown without irrigation on certain
soil types. Surface or sub-irrigation is preferable to an overhead
system, to avoid a discoloration of the heads when about mature.







Florida Cooperative Extension


The soil should be thoroughly plowed and harrowed, and all vege-
tation covered well.
In order to have it ready for market, cauliflower must be set in
the field between October 10 and January 10. It may be marketed
from January to April.
PLANTING
When ready to plant the rows should be laid off 36 inches apart
and the plants set 20 inches apart in the rows. The plants are
set in about the same manner as cabbage, but with a little more
care, as they are less hardy. It will require about 9,000 plants to
set an acre, which may be secured from about 16 ounces of seed.
Cultivation should be continued until the crop is harvested.
FERTILIZATION
Cauliflower requires liberal fertilization, from 1,500 to 2,000
pounds commercial fertilizer to the acre being needed on average


Fig. 5.-Cauliflower.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


soils. Half of this fertilizer should be worked into the rows 10
days before the plants are set, and the remainder applied when
the crop is about half grown. Almost any well-balanced fertilizer,
containing 5 percent ammonia, 6 percent phosphoric a"id and 4
to 6 percent potash, will answer. An application of 150 pounds
of readily available nitrogenous fertilizer to the acre will give
good results if applied just before curd formation.
When mature the leaves should be tied or pinned over the curd
to blanch it and prevent discoloration.
HARVESTING AND PACKING
The one and a half bushel hamper is used for packing cauli-
flower. The standard crate (24x18x9) is the best container.
In harvesting, the leaves surrounding the head should be cut
so that they extend 5 to 6 inches above the head. The head is
then packed upright in the crate and the projecting leaves serve
as a protection to the curd against bruising.

BROCCOLI
Broccoli is a hardy, cold resistant vegetable, resembling the
cauliflower, but it is not as desirable, from the standpoint of qual-
ity. It is grown only to a very limited extent and up to the pres-
ent time has not become of much commercial importance.
It is more hardy than cauliflower and can be grown when cauli-
flower would be destroyed by frosts and is therefore more desir-
able to the grower.
One should select a sandy loam soil and have it well prepared,
using about the same fertilizer and cultivation as for cauliflower.
The seed should be sown in a seedbed during September and
October and may be transferred to the field when the plants are
about four inches high. Care should be taken to see that the
seedlings are not too thick in the seedbed. The plants will be
stronger if they are first transferred into rows, setting them
three or four inches apart and later transferring to the field.
This, however, involves an extra amount of labor and is not neces-
sary if the plants in the seedbed are not too thick and spindling.
The heads should be cut with a few leaves to protect them and
marketed in the same way as cauliflower.
VARIETIES
Purple Cape, Mammoth White, and Italian Green Sprouting, are
some of the most frequently grown varieties.







Florida Cooperative Extension


One-fourth pound of seed should produce sufficient plants to
set an acre. In field planting the rows should be about three feet
apart and the plants set 15 to 20 inches in the row.
Plants set in the field during November should have mature
heads in February and March.
CELERY
Celery in Florida is generally planted on level, well-irrigated
land. The soil should be sandy loam, fairly compact, with a good
supply of humus and thoroughly drained. A low, sandy ham-
mock, or a high quality flatwoods soil produces good crops. Celery















Fig. 6.-Papering celery.
may also be planted on muck soils. Due to the lower average
temperature muck lands are well adapted to the spring crop.
The soil should be deeply plowed, thoroughly harrowed and
treated with lime or ashes for acidity, if acid is present. Unless
it is rich in organic matter, it should receive a liberal application
of 10 to 20 tons per acre of stable manure or have a heavy crop
of vegetation plowed under.
In planting celery the rows are laid off 30 inches apart and the
plants are set every three and a half inches in the row with a
small trowel. They are wet down with a sprinkling pot as fast
as set. In some cases the plants are set six inches apart in double
rows, but the single-row system is most frequently used. On flat
land, where lack of drainage may endanger the crops, celery is
planted on raised lands and in double rows.
Plants for transplanting should be about four inches high. It
will require approximately 60,000 plants to set an acre. About







Vegetable Crops of Florida


8 ounces of seed should be sown to produce this number of plants.
When the plants are set the ground must be made thoroughly
moist, almost wet, until growth starts, after which the soil needs
just enough moisture to induce growth.
The varieties of celery grown in Florida are Golden Self-Blanch-
ing, for early crops, and Green Top and Easy Blanching for late
crops.
FERTILIZATION
From two to four tons of commercial fertilizer (according to
the natural richness of the soil), analyzing 6 percent ammonia, 6


Fig. 7.-Celery papered for blanching.







Florida Cooperative Extension


percent phosphoric acid and 8 percent potash, are required to
grow an acre of celery in the principal celery districts of Florida.
The fertilizer should be applied in three or four applications, the
first of say 1,000 pounds, mixed well into the rows 10 days before
the plants are set. This usually should be supplemented with
several light applications of nitrate of soda, from 100 to 200
pounds to the acre each application, while the crop is growing.
BLANCHING AND SHIPPING
When the celery is mature, heavy reinforced paper, cut in 10-
or 12-inch strips and held close
to the plants by wire wickets, is
used to blanch the celery. This
operation should be done about
three weeks before cutting be-
gins.
The standard container for
shipping Florida celery is the
10-inch celery crate, measuring
10x20x22 inches. From 336 to
350 of these make a carload. All
car-lots of celery from Florida
Fig. 8-Cutr- are shipped in refrigerator cars,
Fig. 8.-Cutter used in har-
vesting celery, well iced.

CHAYOTE*
The chayote (Chayota edulis) is a perennial-rooted cucurbit,
belonging to the same family as the cucumber, squashes, and
melons. It is a native of tropical America. The vine is a climber
and the fruit is more or less pear-shaped-variable with different
varieties, and somewhat flattened. The crop has not yet attained
commercial importance, though it has appeared on various mar-
kets in the South and in some Northern cities for many years.
Numerous varieties of chayotes exist: dark and light green and
ivory white; shapes varying from distinctly pear-shaped to nearly
round; weights from two or three ounces to as many pounds
each; and from perfectly smooth and even to very spiny or corru-
gated or both. The nonspiny and noncorrugated types are much
preferred because of their better appearance and the greater ease
of handling.
*Information on the chayote supplied by R. A. Young, Bureau of Seed
and Plant Introduction, U. S. D. A.








Vegetable Crops of Florida


COOKING AND SERVING
The cooked chayote has a delicate squashlike flavor and, when
not too old, an excellent texture which makes it distinctive and
very pleasing when served without mashing. The single large
seed is edible and is commonly cooked and served with the rest
of the vegetable. The vegetable may be prepared in different
ways. A convenient method is to cut about three-quarters of an
inch thick, crosswise through the seed, pare the slices, and boil
until tender (15 to 20 minutes) in just enough salted water to
cook. These slices may then be served hot, either whole or in
pieces, with butter melted over them, or they may be diced and
served with a cream sauce. The boiled chayote is especially
adapted for use in salads. Sliced chayote, either raw or cooked,
is excellent fried. The vegetable is also used in stews and may
be baked and stuffed. Immature chayotes are used for pickles.
CULTURE
The whole chayote fruit is planted, with the broad (sprouting)
end slanting downward. A small part of the smaller end is left
exposed above the surface of the soil. The distance between
plants should be at least 12 feet, as the vine is a rampant grower.
Planting is usually done in the early spring, when danger of frost
is past. It may be done earlier, or even in the fall in southern
Florida, if protection against frosts can be given.
A rich sandy loam soil is desirable for chayotes. Well-rotted
stable manure, when available, should be worked into it. It
should be always moist but must not remain water-soaked after
rains. Mulching is advisable, especially where the ground is not
shaded by other means.
The vines should be provided with some sort of trellis or other
means of support. A fence, a porch, an outbuilding, fern or to-
bacco shade or a tree that does not give too dense a shade will
often suffice.
The first year, the vines usually will not flower until early fall.
The fruit matures in about 25 days from setting. The second
year, a late spring crop may be obtained if frost does not occur
much after March 1. The size of the crop from one vine varies
from a few fruits to several hundred. Fruit seldom sets during
the summer.
FERTILIZERS
As already stated, stable manure should be used for chayotes
when available. This may be supplemented by a complete fer-








Florida Cooperative Extension


tilizer carrying 6 to 8 percent of potash. Moderate applications
three or four times during the season are better than fewer in
larger quantities. Nitrate of soda may be applied lightly when
vine growth lags, and especially when flowering begins. For a


Fig. 9.-White-fruited variety of chayote grown on a bamboo trellis in
central Florida. This variety is practically free from spines and but slightly
corrugated. (Courtesy U. S. D. A.)








Vegetable Crops of Florida


mature vine, about five ounces may be used, but it must not come
into direct contact with the plant.
INSECT PESTS AND DISEASES
Chayotes are attacked by the same enemies as other cucurbits,
and the methods of control are the same. For leaf-eating insects,
such as the cucumber beetles and the squash lady-bug, arsenate
of lead is used. Soft-bodied insects, like the melon and pickle
worms and the aphids, may be destroyed by a nicotine spray.
Root-knot is one of the more serious diseases to which the
chayote is subject. This can be mitigated by avoiding the lightest
and driest soils, by mulching to conserve moisture and prevent
over-heating of the soil, and by keeping the plant well nourished.
MARKETING
Chayotes for market should reach practically full size, as the
skin otherwise will be too tender and the fruit more likely to be
bruised and to become shriveled if not sold and used quickly.
They must be handled carefully at all times, to avoid bruising.
Sprouting of mature fruits on the vine may occur. While this
does not affect the edibility, except perhaps to result in tough-
ening of the seed coat, it is not advisable to send sprouted cha-
yotes to market. For distant markets, chayotes should be
wrapped and shipped in vegetable crates of small or medium size.
STORAGE
In storing for seed purposes, chayotes may be kept in clean
dry sand, in a cool place. When kept for table use, they may
be stored in the same way or wrapped in porous paper and packed
in crates. The storage temperature should not rise above 60 F.
or remain long below 450 F.

CUCUMBERS
Cucumbers are grown as a market crop in most of the trucking
areas of Florida. The earliest crops are planted during late fall
and protected against cold in winter by cloth covers or green-
houses. These cucumbers are usually consumed locally or within
the state. The largest acreage is marketed from April to June.
These are grown under field conditions and shipped in carload
lots to Northern markets.
SOILS
For cucumbers select a fine, well-drained, sandy loam with
preferably a southern slope. Flat land with an adequate supply







Florida Cooperative Extension


of moisture is favorable, providing it has sufficient drainage. Flat
pinewoods land with a hardpan soil and subject to overflows is
usually not suitable for cucumbers. Such soils may be improved
by draining, liming and plowing under considerable quantities of
vegetation. The best crops are grown on the best grades of
pine land.
SOIL PREPARATION
To prepare soil for cucumbers, plow it 5 to 6 inches deep and
pulverize the surface. All vegetation should be turned under two
months before planting time in order to have it thoroughly incor-
porated in the soil.
.PLANTING CUCUMBERS
When ready to plant, plow the land, preferably in five-foot beds,
and plant the seeds two feet apart on the beds, or plants may be
left two feet apart and two plants to the hill. It is best to check
off the field and work a part of the fertilizer into the hills 10 days
before planting. To fertilize one day and plant the next will
probably injure the small plants, unless the fertilizer is thoroughly
incorporated in the soil.
The time for planting will depend on the locality and market
intended. Planting should be done just as early as danger of frost
is over. It requires from 75 to 90 days from the time the seeds
are planted until the first cucumbers are picked.
Successive plantings should be made; if one crop is killed by
chance frost, other plants will be coming on. Spraying with
Bordeaux should begin when three or four leaves are showing.
For small areas the plants may be started in pots in the seed-
bed and later transplanted to the field. This requires much labor
and is not a general practice where the acreage is large. When
the seeds are planted directly in the field, eight or ten should be
dropped in each hill. This will insure sufficient plants for a good
stand. After the plants are well established, thin to about three
or four to the hill.
Some growers prefer to lay the rows off four feet apart, al-
though five foot rows give more room for picking and spraying.
Five or six seeds may be planted in hills about three feet apart.
Later when a stand is insured they may be thinned. This will
require about two pounds of seed to plant one acre. Other grow-
ers prefer to sow more seed, drilling it almost solid and then thin
the plants to a stand. This will require about four or five pounds
per acre.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


Either of these methods will supply sufficient plants for the
entire field, and should there be missing hills these can be filled
in by transplanting from thick places, using a spade so that plenty
of earth can be carried with the roots.
PROTECTION AGAINST COLD
Cold protection is often provided by making V-shaped troughs
of 12-inch boards. The rows are set east and west in the field
and the troughs are laid immediately to the north of the plants
with one side up. This gives protection from the cold during
spring, assists in germinating the seed through reflection of sun
rays from the back boards and prevents the plants from being
whipped around by wind. In case of a frost, these troughs can
be turned over the plants to protect them.
FERTILIZATION AND CULTIVATION
Cucumbers require liberal fertilization. About 1,600 to 2,000
pounds to the acre of commercial fertilizer, analyzing 5 percent
ammonia, 7 percent phosphoric acid and 5 or 6 percent potash,
should be sufficient. Half of this should be applied 10 days before
the seeds are sown, and the remainder 10 days before the first
blooms are likely to appear. The fertilizer applied as a side-
dressing should not come in contact with the plants. It may be
worked well into the soil with a sweep. Unless the fertilizer is
incorporated in the soil, it will usually be slow in providing plant


I I I I


[1l I I, JUL.


Fig. 10.-Cucumbers with overhead irrigation.







Florida Cooperative Extension


food to the vines, inasmuch as rainfall is usually deficient during
April and May.
Should the crop indicate lack of growth, 100 to 150 pounds of
nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia to the acre may be applied
in two top-dressings. One-half of this amount should be applied
and then the other half about 10 days later. A heavier applica-
tion at one time is likely to cause shedding of the bloom and young
fruit. Care should be used not to let the fertilizer fall on the
plants, as it will have a tendency to burn the leaves. The purpose
of this application of ammonia is to stimulate growth and produce
more bearing surface.
As soon as the plants are large enough they should be given
shallow cultivation, principally to control weeds. Cultivation
should be continued until the vines begin to run.


IRRIGATION


Fig. 11.-A crate of cucumbers.


It is often profitable to
provide irrigation for cu-
cumbers, as the season of
ripening usually extends
through dry weather. While
cucumbers will withstand
considerable drought, the
yield will be light unless they
have sufficient moisture.
Overhead irrigation is gen-
erally used, although it may
have a tendency to stimulate
diseases and thus lower
yield. Cucumber growers
usually prefer surface or
sub-irrigation systems. It
is the practice of the best
growers to use water only
when needed to keep the
plants in a growing and pro-
ducing condition.


HARVESTING
Cucumbers are as a rule ready to pick when the fruit attains a
length of five to eight inches and the blossom end is rounded out
well. They must be sufficiently mature to get a maximum yield.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


However, if allowed to become overripe they are not salable. They
should be picked before the seeds harden. They are gathered in
field baskets, taken to a packing shed and placed in standard
cucumber crates for shipment. In the early part of the season it
will be necessary generally to pick over the field at least twice a
week; but after the season advances and the fruit matures more
rapidly, three pickings a week will be necessary in order to pre-
vent some fruit becoming too mature. All ill-shaped, wormy and
unmarketable fruits should be pulled from the vines when pick-
ing, as these draw on soil fertility and moisture and are usually
worthless for marketing.
VARIETIES
Some important commercial varieties raised under field con-
ditions are the Improved White Spine, Davis Perfect, Early For-
tune and Kirby Staygreen. These varieties are good shippers and
produce well under average conditions.
Other varieties, such as the Early Russian or Early Cluster,
are grown for home use, especially where early fruit is desired.
THE DASHEEN*
The dasheen (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott), while not a
major crop, is of importance in a few localities in the South,
notably in Nassau County, Fla. It is a Chinese variety of the
taro-an important root crop of warm countries-first introduced
from the island of Trinidad about 1905, though not grown here
commercially until 1913. The shipments to Northern markets
from Nassau County now aggregate several carloads each season.
The dasheen is similar to the potato in composition but con-
tains much less water. It has about 50 percent more of protein
and of starch than the potato and is assumed to be about one-
half higher in food value. The flavor is suggestive of chestnuts.
Dasheens are baked and otherwise cooked (but not boiled and
mashed) much like potatoes, but because of being drier, a little
modification of method is necessary. They cook in somewhat
less time than potatoes.
The dasheen plant resembles the elephant-ear, to which it is
related. Each hill produces one or more large central corms
(solid "bulbs") and a number of lateral "tubers". Both corms
and tubers are edible, though if grown in poorly drained soil the
corms are not a suitable quality for the table. There is a prej-
*Information on the dasheen supplied by R. A. Young, Bureau of Seed
and Plant Introduction, U. S. D. A. See Farmers' Bulletin 1396, U. S. D. A.,
for fuller treatment on this subject, including detailed cooking directions.







Florida Cooperative Extension


udice against the corms because of their large size (up to sev-
eral pounds each), and for this reason, as well as because corms
of poor quality have at times been shipped, the market much pre-
fers the tubers.
The present market demand, mainly among the oriental popu-
lations of our large cities, is supplied by the acreage of da-
sheens regularly grown. A further demand can be developed if
growers make a habit of using the vegetable on their own tables
and induce local dealers to put it on sale with instructions for use.
VARIETIES
The Trinidad dasheen is the variety generally grown. When
well grown it yields heavily-up to 350 bushels an acre-and
is of excellent quality. The Sacramento variety produces fewer
lateral tubers but they tend to become larger and usually are of
more uniform shape than those of the Trinidad; and they are
less dry. The corms of the Sacramento usually are not of good
table quality.
PLANTING AND CULTIVATION
For best development, the dasheen requires a rather deep and
very rich sandy loam soil, moist, but well drained. An abun-
dance of humus is
i essential. The
plants will endure
occasional flood-
ing for short pe-
riods, but this is
undesirable. Good
hammock land is
especially suited
to the crop. While
dasheens grown
in properly drain-
ed muck soils of-
ten yield well and
are of fair to good
quality, unfavor-
able weather con-
ditions frequently
Fig. 12.-First grade dasheen tubers, cleaned for lower the quality
market. (Reduced) of the crop.
Planting may be done as early as weather conditions permit,
during February or March; the farther south, the earlier. Large







Vegetable Crops of Florida


pieces of corms or whole tubers weighing 2 to 5 ounces each are
best for planting, though smaller tubers may be used. Fertility
of soil largely compensates for smallness of tuber. Plant singly


Fig. 13.-View in Florida dasheen field near the end of October. The
rows were ridged by drawing soil toward them during the late summer.
(Courtesy U. S. D. A.)
two to three inches deep, in flat ground or slightly raised beds.
The rows should be four to five feet apart and the hills 2 to 21/2
feet apart in the row. Ridge the rows gradually in cultivation
during the summer.
Cultivation should be shallow after the plants are well started.
It pays to keep weeds and grass down throughout the season.
Use rotted stable manure when available and supplement with
a potato fertilizer, high in potash, in late spring at the rate of







Florida Cooperative Extension


800 pounds per acre. A second application may be given in July
or August. The dasheen is one of the heaviest feeders among
all crops. It must be grown in rotation and steps should be taken
to renew the humus content of the soil. The crop matures in
October or November, depending upon the time of planting and
the season. Dasheens may be dug for home use early in Sep-
tember.
HARVESTING
The plants may be turned over with a large turning plow
or dug with long-handled shovels. The use of potato forks re-
sults in the spoiling of many of the best tubers. When practi-
cable, the dasheen leaves should be allowed to die down before
harvest. The tops remaining, and the feeding roots, are broken
off by hand, and this is done more easily if the clumps of da-
sheens are first separated and allowed to lie on the ground for a
day. The crop will be somewhat larger and better matured if
not harvested for some time after the tops have died down or
have been killed by frost.
MARKETING
Dasheens for market should be well cleaned of soil and re-
movable fiber and carefully graded. Only tubers of good shape
and from the size of a large egg upward should go to market.
Corms will sometimes be taken but only by previous arrange-
ment. Corms and cull tubers may be utilized for stock feed or
seed. Corms of good quality should be used for the home table
when not sold. Dasheens for market are usually shipped in sacks
of 100 or 125 pounds each.
STORAGE
Dasheen corms do not keep so well as the tubers and it is
advisable to dispose of them as early as practicable after har-
vest. The tubers will keep for many months at temperatures
between 45 and 55 degrees F. They can usually be kept until
April or May under a house. They have also been kept with
little sprouting in "banks", covered with dry grass or similar
material but no earth, until April.
ENEMIES
The principal disease of the dasheen is the common root-knot.
In cases of severe infection, and especially in light dry soils, the
fibrous feeding roots may be practically destroyed, and many of
the tubers distorted by the disease. The tops may also die down
prematurely. In richer soils the plant can better keep ahead of







Vegetable Crops of Florida


the disease. Tubers for planting should be taken from plants
selected at harvest time in the fall for their freedom of all evi-
dence of root-knot.
Dasheens stored in sheds before having dried sufficiently are
likely to be attacked by certain storage rots. Careful handling,
adequate curing in the open air, and proper temperature and
ventilation in the storage place are the means of preventing
serious loss from these causes.
Only one insect threatens to become a serious pest. This is a
smooth, boring caterpillar, the larva of a moth (Sphida obliqua).
It usually works only in the corms, but it ruins them for sale.
The brown cocoons, three-quarters of an inch long, will be found
in infested fields at digging time when harvesting is delayed, and
these and the larvae should be destroyed whenever found. No
other method of combating the pest has yet been suggested.

EGGPLANTS
Eggplants are grown in all sections of Florida suitable to
vegetable production. In most parts of the state they are grown
as late fall and early spring crops. South Florida, however,
raises them as a winter crop. While eggplants are produced
under conditions similar to those of tomatoes, they are not as
easily grown and require more intensive cultivation. The plants
are delicate when raised in the seedbed and have to be trans-
planted with care. They are more subject to disease than toma-
toes, so that seedbed management is important in getting the
crop started right.
Eggplants require careful attention and should be planted on
soil fertilized well. The plant is a deep feeder with quite an
extensive root system, so that it is capable of using liberal
amounts of fertilizer.
SOILS
The most suitable soil for eggplants is a sandy loam, having
a fair supply of vegetable matter. A constant supply of moisture
is required, especially until the plants become firmly rooted.
They will not thrive well on loose, coarse sand where the soil is
dry and thirsty; nor will they do well on poorly drained, flat land,
but they make good crops on well-drained hammock lands.
PLANTING
Eggplants will mature in about 120 days from the time the
plants are set in the field. The seedbeds should be planted about







Florida Cooperative Extension


four weeks in advance of transplanting so as to have good, strong
plants.
Approximately six ounces of seed will plant an acre, and about
3,000 plants will set an acre.
Eggplants are usually set in five-foot rows, one plant to every
36 inches. In setting them out more care must be exercised than


Fig. 14.-A field of eggplants.
with tomatoes. They are easily wilted and, if set out during
warm weather, should be shaded for a few days. This is particu-
larly true with fall plantings. Many growers place palmetto
fans close to the plants, so as to protect them from the sun.
VARIETIES
The most profitable varieties of eggplants for Florida are Flor-
ida Highbush, New Orleans Market, New York Improved Purple
Spineless and Black Beauty.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


FERTILIZATION AND CULTIVATION
From one to two tons of commercial fertilizer, analyzing 5
percent ammonia, 7 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent potash,
should be applied to the acre. Fertilize at least twice, applying
half the given amount two weeks before setting the plants and
the remainder three or four weeks later. Some growers make a
third application when the blooms start opening. The ammonia
in the third application should be from an inorganic source.
Shallow cultivation to keep weeds in check is sufficient.

HARVESTING
Eggplants are usually ready to pick when the fruits become
deep purple in color and firm in texture. If allowed to become
over-ripe, they will not carry. If picked too green, they lack in
flavor and will wilt before reaching market.
The fruit of the eggplant is easily bruised and must be handled
with exceptional care. It should be cut, not pulled, with a stem
about half an inch long. It should be cut also when dry and be
handled just as little as possible. In packing wrap each fruit in
paper.
PACKING
Florida eggplants are packed in the standard pepper and egg-
plant crate, 111/4x14x22 inches. From 350 to 400 crates make
a carload.

ENDIVE
Endive (Cichorium endivia) is cultivated in the United States
to a limited extent. (For the past few years our market demand
has greatly exceeded the crop and large quantities have been
imported from European countries, mainly Belgium.) It is
grown as a market-garden or truck crop and is used as a salad
and to a lesser extent, as a pot herb.
Field culture, fertilization and packing of endive are the same
as for lettuce, but the plants are somewhat slower growing. In
the Sanford area, endive is not always grown in rows like lettuce,
but the land is leveled and the plants are set 12 inches apart each
way. The green leaves are more bitter than are the blanched,
therefore, the inner leaves are blanched by tying up the outer
leaves or by covering when they are to be used as salad.
There are two types of endive, the curled and the broad-leaved
varieties. White Curled, Green Curled, and Moss Curled are







Florida Cooperative Extension


Fig. 15.-Harvesting endive.
examples of the former type, while Broad-leaved Batavian
(Escarolle) is an example of the latter type.
Three pounds of seed will sow one acre.
LETTUCE
The soil best suited to lettuce growing is a moist, rich compact,
sandy loam that can be irrigated and thoroughly drained. As
lettuce must be grown in Florida during the cool months, in
order to prevent seeding and to produce solid heads, the soil must
be warm, well-supplied with decayed vegetable matter and be
sufficiently drained that the water will run off quickly after heavy
rains. If the drainage is at all uncertain, the crop should be set
on beds between which are water furrows leading into an open
ditch.
In order to produce rapid growth the soil must be thoroughly
pulverized, made sweet and put in good physical condition.
After the soil has been prepared by plowing and cultivating
the surface thoroughly, the rows should be checked off in squares
of from 12 to 15 inches, according to the variety.
Plants are taken from the seedbed, when four leaves have
formed, and set in the checks, after the soil has been moistened
by irrigation. The soil must be settled firmly around the roots
by hand and a small amount of water poured from a dipper.
CULTIVATION
Shallow cultivation should begin as soon as the plants begin
growing. As the plants are set close together all cultivation must







Vegetable Crops of Florida


Fig. 16.-A field of lettuce.







Florida Cooperative Extension


be done by hand weeders and cultivators. Cultivation should be
practiced mainly to keep down weed growth, but in case the soil
becomes water-soaked by heavy rains, more frequent cultivation
may be advisable.
IRRIGATION
Lettuce should be planted where the soil can be irrigated and,
while it does not require as much soil moisture as celery to insure
a good crop, the soil must be kept constantly moist.
Great care should be exercised in irrigating lettuce, for the
crop is easily ruined by over-watering.
VARIETIES
The chief shipping variety of lettuce for Florida is Big Boston,
but both Cream Butter and Paris White Cos or Romaine are
grown for shipment.
FERTILIZATION
Liberal plant food must be provided in order to produce a tender
and marketable product.
According to the richness of the soil, from one and a half to
two and a half tons commercial fertilizer to the acre, analyzing
5 percent ammonia, 5 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent
potash, are used in two applications. Half the fertilizer should
be thoroughly worked into the soil two weeks before setting the
plants and the remainder two weeks after the plants are set. On
lands that are flat with a tendency to stoniness an application of
700 to 1,200 pounds of hardwood ashes per acre should be made
10 days before the first application of fertilizer.
CUTTING AND PACKING
Lettuce should be cut for shipping as soon as it becomes well
headed, and packed in the standard lettuce crate 71/2x18x22
inches, or in the standard bushel hamper.
From 350 to 400 packages of lettuce make a carload and all
car-lots should be shipped under refrigeration.
ROMAINE
Romaine is a variety of lettuce and requires similar cultivation
and fertilization as other varieties. It grows successfully where
other varieties of lettuce are grown. There is a limited demand
for it and acreage is much less than with other varieties.

MUSKMELONS AND CANTALOUPES
Muskmelons, often called cantaloupes, should be planted on
the better grades of sandy loam soils. They also grow well on







Vegetable Crops of Florida


clay land. They are planted and cultivated very much as cucum-
bers and handled on about the same soil conditions.

PLANTING AND FERTILIZATION
Muskmelons are produced as a spring crop, and usually ripen
in May and June. The seeds are planted as soon as danger from
cold injury is past, usually about March 1 in northern Florida
and earlier in central and southern Florida.













Fig. 17.-Well netted Rocky Ford cantaloupes.
In planting, the rows are laid off about six feet apart and hills
are planted about every three feet. Some prefer to check the
land 4x6 feet and plant in the checks.
About six seeds are planted in each check, requiring about
two pounds of seed per acre. When the plants begin to run, they
should be thinned to one or two plants to the hill. The cultiva-
tion should be shallow.
Fertilization should be at the rate of about 1,500 pounds per
acre, using a mixture analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 6 to 8 percent
phosphoric acid and 8 percent potash.

VARIETIES
The Rocky Ford variety is usually planted when growing for
shipment to Northern markets. For local markets the Georgia
Muskmelon and Gem are good varieties. The Honey Dew melon
is a smooth cream colored variety, but not as popular as other
varieties.
Cantaloupes are ready to pick when the stem will separate
from the melon under moderate pressure of the thumb and the
stalks begin to crack. If pulled when green, the fruit does not
ripen and is of poor quality. When the Rocky Ford variety is







Florida Cooperative Extension


ripe the netting is fully developed while on immature melons the
netting is flat. Muskmelons shipped to Northern markets should
be packed in standard crates 12x12x22 inches holding 45 melons.

OKRA
Okra is planted quite generally throughout Florida. In some
sections it is an important commercial crop. Okra is a warm
weather plant and in Florida should be grown as a summer crop.
Plant between February and September. It will not do well
unless the ground is fairly warm. It can be planted on a variety
of soils, but does best on a sandy loam where there are fair
amounts of fertility and moisture.
PLANTING
The rows should be about three feet apart. The seeds are
small and, therefore, must be covered shallowly. It requires six
to eight pounds of seed per acre. When the plants are well-
established thin to one every 12 inches. However, on exception-
ally moist and rich soils the plants may be thicker. It requires
about the same cultivation as corn. It is one of the easiest crops
to grow, and bears for several months.
HARVESTING AND MARKETING
Okra should be cut every two or three days. If this is not
done, the pods become hard, unsuitable for table use. Then, too,
if not cut regularly, the plants stop bearing.
When okra is shipped to market, it is packed in six-basket to-
mato carriers. There is usually a fair demand for it, and gen-
erally at prices which warrant shipping by express.
Okra is shipped in the standard bushel hamper.
FERTILIZATION
Fertilize for okra about the same as for sweet corn, applying
from 600 to 800 pounds to the acre on thin land. If stable manure
is abundantly available, okra may be grown without commercial
fertilizer.
VARIETIES
The best varieties for Florida are Perkins Mammoth Podded,
Long Green and White Velvet. Perkins Mammoth Podded is
especially recommended for shipping. This variety has deep
green, long pods. Long Green and White Velvet are particularly
good for home use, as well as being good shippers.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


ONIONS
Onions are generally grown as a garden crop, but not exten-
sively as a market crop. Under favorable conditions they are
one of the easiest vegetable crops to produce. However, the
soil must be rich, moist and in good cultural condition to produce
a satisfactory crop.
SOIL
Onions grow best on a dark, sandy loam soil well filled with
organic matter and having a clay or compact subsoil to insure
a constant supply of moisture; also on decomposed muck soil.
Onions are shallow rooted, and are affected quickly by excessive
drouth or rain. This requires good cultural conditions and ample
drainage, especially on flat land. Pine flatwoods with a compara-
tively heavy sandy loam, a good grade of muck soil with some
sand in it, or hammock land of good quality, are quite suitable for
this crop. They must have a plentiful supply of ammonia, readily
available to the plants all the time, in order to grow off rapidly
and produce large, well-shaped onions.

PLANTING
After the soil has been thoroughly plowed and pulverized and
put in shape for planting, the rows are laid off from 12 to 14
inches apart and the plants set by hand 2 inches deep and from
4 to 6 inches apart in the rows. While the onion will withstand
considerable drought on account of its large bulb, it will not grow
off readily without plenty of moisture.
It will require about 90,000 onion plants to set an acre.
Onions are also grown from sets, but better crops are usually
produced from plants. Sets have not been grown in Florida.
They are produced usually in Texas and may be purchased from
dealers. It requires 8 to 12 bushels of sets to plant one acre.
These sets are planted from four to six inches apart in 12 to
15-inch rows.
During dry weather the sets will be slow to sprout, unless the
plot can be irrigated. Therefore, irrigation is usually necessary
to insure a good stand and a uniform crop.

CULTIVATION
Onions require constant care and cultivation during the growing
period. This cultivation must be shallow. The roots do not pene-
trate deeply into the soil and must not be disturbed in cultivating.
Cultivation is necessary to keep down weeds.







Florida Cooperative Extension


FERTILIZATION
Onions require liberal fertilization. From 1,800 to 2,000 pounds
fertilizer is not excessive. In addition to this, it will be advisable
to apply from 4 to 10 two-horse loads of well rotted stable
manure to the acre. This manure should be thoroughly worked
into the soil before the seeds or plants are set, in order not to
interfere with cultivation after the plants are started. This
organic matter may be obtained by turning under a cover crop.
The commercial fertilizer should be given in two or three ap-
plications, the first a few days before setting and later applica-
tions before the crop is half mature. This fertilizer should
analyze high in ammonia, the following formula being good: 6
percent ammonia, 5 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent potash.
The source of ammonia should be principally cottonseed meal,
tankage or fish scrap. Later, when the crop is half grown, an
additional application of 200 pounds to the acre of nitrate of soda
or sulphate of ammonia, scattered broadcast between the rows
and worked in with hand tools, will increase the size of the onions
and give them renewed growth.
Poultry manure is especially valuable in producing an onion
crop. This can be worked in between the rows with good results
after the plants are well started.
WHEN TO HARVEST
When onions are to be shipped they must be harvested during
dry weather and handled carefully. Slight bruises, especially
during moist weather, are likely to cause rotting. After being
pulled, onions should not be subjected to even heavy dews. If to
remain in the open over night, they should be covered with sacks
to keep off the moisture. In twisting off the tops care must be
taken that the tops are not broken too close to the bulbs. This,
too, will cause the onion to rot. On account of the moist climate
of Florida and the difficulty of getting the product to market in
as good condition as those grown in drier climates, onions have
not become an important commercial crop here.
Onions may be cured in a drying shed or if there is sufficient
quantity to justify, it may be advisable to install a dry kiln. The
local market is best for Florida onions as they can be supplied
fresh.
VARIETIES AND YIELDS
The principal varieties recommended for Florida are Crystal
Wax, White Bermuda, Red Bermuda and Australian Brown. Care







Vegetable Crops of Florida


should be exercised in procuring pure seed. If one gets mixed
he is liable to get some of the multiplier onions which do not
develop and are not suitable for most markets.
The yield of onions in this state ranges from 400 to 500 bushels
to the acre. On some of the richer soils as high as 700 bushels
to the acre have been reported.
CURING, PACKING AND SHIPPING
Before onions can be packed they must be cured. After the
crop is pulled and allowed to dry in the field, the bulbs should be
spread in a curing shed or on a roof, if they can be covered or
handled in case of heavy rain. After the onions have dried, the
tops are removed and the outer leaves stripped off. As soon as
sufficiently cured they are placed in crates for marketing.
Florida onions are usually packed in bushel hampers.
The crop should be harvested and shipped during April and
May for best prices.
ENGLISH PEAS
English peas require a richer soil than beans. If liberal quan-
tities of stable manure can be placed in the bottom of the rows
before the seeds are planted, a good crop will be insured. If the
soil is poor and lacks humus, the plants will be weak and spin-
dling and the crop light. It is necessary to have considerable vines
and leaves in order to get a good yield of peas.
English peas need a fairly moist soil. But they will not make
satisfactory growth on wet, sour land or on new muck land. The
pea is a legume and requires nitrogen-fixing bacteria in order to
produce a good yield. The best pea soils are the better grades
of hammock, where drainage is good.
PLANTING
English peas should be sown fairly thick in rows about four
feet apart. There should be one seed to the inch in the drill.
This will require about two bushels to the acre. If the soil is
dry, the seeds should be planted deep. Cultivation should be
done with horse cultivators, just as long as it is possible to pass
between the rows.
FERTILIZATION
English peas should receive from 500 to 800 pounds to the acre
of a commercial fertilizer analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 8 percent
phosphoric acid, 3 percent potash; and in addition, a good supply
of stable manure, if it is available. Where the growth shows a







Florida Cooperative Extension


lack of ammonia, 100 pounds nitrate of soda may be added as a
top-dressing when the crop is beginning to show the first fruit.
This will prolong the bearing period, as it causes an extra amount
of vegetative growth.
IRRIGATION
Irrigation will not be necessary, if the land is naturally moist.
But on high, thirsty land, it will be profitable to apply moisture
when the crop shows need of it.
PICKING AND MARKETING
Under favorable conditions, there should be some peas suffi-
ciently mature to pick in 60 days after planting. The bearing
period is likely to be distributed over 30 or 40 days. Therefore,
several pickings are necessary. For local use the peas can be
gathered when fairly green; never allow them to dry or harden.
For distant shipments they can be a little more mature, as they
will carry better.
Under favorable conditions a crop of English peas is one of the
easiest crops to grow, but they are light yielders, unless careful
attention is given to the details of production.
The crop is shipped in bushel hampers.
VARIETIES
The best varieties for Florida are Alaska Extra Early, Florida
McNeil, Nott's Excelsior, John L. Extra Early and Laxtonian
Gradus for Northern shipments.

PEPPERS
Peppers are commonly grown in Florida. It is one of the
longest-lived vegetables of this state, sometimes bearing more
than six or eight months. In some sections it is one of the most
profitable crops. This is particularly true in South Florida, where
it is less subjected to freezing temperature. The two varieties
principally grown are Ruby King and World Beater or Ruby
Giant.
SOIL
Peppers require a moist, fairly compact, sandy loam soil. A
good type of flatwoods is superior to rolling pine, hammock or
muck land; although the plant can be grown on any of these soils,
if properly fertilized and managed.
PLANTING
After the soil has been plowed from 5 to 7 inches deep and
pulverized thoroughly, single plants are set 20 inches apart in 36







Vegetable Crops of Florida


Fig. 18.-Pepper, protected by troughs.
inch rows. As pepper plants are less hardy than tomatoes, more
care must be exercised in setting them. Weak, spindling plants
are difficult to transplant.
It will require about 9,000 plants to set an acre. Cultivation
should be shallow in order not to destroy roots. For the early
crop the seedbed should be sown in July and August and shaded
by slats or cloth.
FERTILIZATION
From one to two and a half tons of commercial fertilizer,
analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 7 percent phosphoric acid and 5
percent potash, should be used to the acre, according to the length
of the crop season. In addition, light applications of nitrate of
soda (100 pounds to the acre) may be profitably made each month
during the bearing period.
PACKING
Peppers are graded and packed in the standard pepper crate,
111/4x14x24 inches. From 350 to 400 crates make a carload.
They should be packed in standard bushel hampers and should
be shipped under refrigeration.
RADISHES
Radishes grow readily and the early varieties mature in 20 to
30 days after seeding.
They should be planted principally for home or local use.
Market gardeners usually find them profitable as they are easily
produced and sell readily if they are crisp and tender. Unless







Florida Cooperative Extension


they are pulled at the proper stage of growth they become strong
and pithy and are worthless as a garden crop.
SOWING AND FERTILIZATION
A sandy loam or muck soil produces a quick growth. The fer-
tilizer should be applied at the rate of 1,200 to 2,000 pounds per
acre and should analyze 4 percent ammonia, 6 percent phosphoric
acid, and 6 to 9 percent potash on sandy land. On muck soil good
crops are grown without fertilizer, although some tests have been
made that indicate the advisability of applying it. The fertilizer
must be mixed with the soil 10 days before the seed is sown,
then the soil kept moist.
Often it is not necessary to thin radishes unless sown too thick.
The larger varieties should be thinned to about 6 plants per foot.
MARKETING
Radishes should be tied in bunches of 6 to 12. They should be
washed clean and displayed with a fresh, clean appearance. Rad-
ishes may be shipped in standard bushel hampers or bushel bas-
kets. They should always be iced.
VARIETIES
There are several varieties about equally satisfactory. Of
these the Long Scarlet and Long White Icicle, White Summer and
Yellow Summer and Scarlet Turnid are among the best. Some
prefer a mixture of several varieties.
About three to five pounds of seed are needed for one acre, or
one ounce for 50 feet of drill.
SPINACH
Spinach has not been an important commercial crop in Florida.
It is grown for home use and local marketing in many sections,
and is an excellent vegetable to be used as greens.
A sandy loam soil or decomposed muck soil produces good
yields, as the growth should be quick. The soil should be well
cultivated and made fertile. Open sandy soil or poorly drained
soggy land should be avoided.
PLANTING AND FERTILIZATION
The seeds should be planted between September 15 and Decem-
ber 1. Place the rows 24 to 30 inches apart, just wide enough to
permit cultivation. It will require about one ounce of seed for
each 100 feet of row.
Cover the seed one inch deep. Later the plants should be
thinned to about 6 inches. Spinach seed becomes hard and dry







Vegetable Crops of Florida


if held in stock for several weeks, often causing an irregular
stand. It should be soaked about three days before planting.
However, care should be taken when soaked seeds have been
planted to keep the beds moist but not wet. This will insure an
even stand.
The fertilizer for sandy lands should analyze 5 percent am-
monia, 7 percent phosphoric acid and 5 percent potash. It
should be applied at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 pounds per acre
and should be put in the rows a few days before the seeds are
planted. When the crop is grown for local use, light applications
of nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia applied as a top-dressing
between the rows will hasten growth.
VARIETIES
The Improved Curled Savoy is the principal variety grown.
MARKETING
Spinach should be dry when packed for shipment. It is packed
in baskets, barrels or standard bushel hampers, and if carefully
handled can be shipped to Southern markets, or even farther
with good shipping facilities.
When packing see that the dead leaves are taken off. The
plant should be cut with very little of the root attached and
should be free from dirt.
When loading, ice may be placed in the baskets, then the basket
may be covered with cracked ice.

SQUASH
The squash is one of the easiest of truck crops to produce as
it can be grown on almost any good farming soil. It can be grown
alone or with corn. The chief objection to planting it with corn
is the difficulty in properly cultivating the corn when cultivation
is most needed.
Squash also makes heavy yields on muck or flat lands, but the
fruit from such lands usually does not ship as well as from higher
soils, nor is it of as good quality.
VARIETIES
The early varieties are the only ones suitable for shipping.
These varieties are the Cocozelle, White Bush or Patty Pan
Squash, Early Crook Neck, Early Yellow Bush and Mammoth
White Bush. These produce fruit 45 to 60 days after planting.
The later varieties, recommended for home use, are principally
Hubbard, Giant Summer and Crook Neck Boston Marrow.







Florida Cooperative Extension


FERTILIZATION
Where no manure or compost is available, from 800 to 1,200
pounds commercial fertilizer analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 8 per-
cent phosphoric acid, and 4 percent potash to the acre should be
used for squash. All of this can be applied before planting. On
thin, sandy land, however, it is better to apply half before planting
and the remainder when the plants are about a month old. As


Fig. 19.-Squash, protected from frost and wind by board troughs.

squash requires liberal quantities of organic fertilizer, it is wise
to work stable manure or decomposed vegetable matter into the
soil before planting. With this organic material one should ap-
ply from 600 to 1,000 pounds commercial fertilizer to the acre.
This is needed to supply the plants with a more available form
of ammonia, which will cause them to grow and fruit as early
as possible.
PLANTING
The earlier varieties of squash can be planted in checks, 4x4
feet, but the later, running varieties should be planted in checks,
6x8 feet. The seeds are planted four or five to each hill. This
will require about two pounds of seed to the acre. The seeds will







Vegetable Crops of Florida


sprout in a few days, and when two or three inches high should
be thinned to about three plants to the hill. If the weather is
warm, the crop will grow rapidly and cultivation should be con-
tinued as long as it is possible to work between the rows.
Squash plants can be easily transplanted; but, unless one is
near an excellent market, it would hardly pay to go to the extra
expense involved in transplanting.
The squash is a surface feeder, and as the vines grow close to
the ground, care must be taken in cultivating not to bruise them;
just enough cultivation to check weed growth is sufficient.
PACKING AND MARKETING
Squashes are packed in bushel hampers and in standard cab-
bage crates.
There is a market for southern grown squashes, if shipped
early in the season when they usually bring a fair price, com-
pared with the cost of production. There is also a market in
Southern towns, usually, for a limited quantity. They should be
handled with some care to avoid rotting in transit, but there
should be no difficulty in shipping to Eastern markets, if ordinary
care is exercised in picking and packing.
As ripe fruit can be gathered in late fall when some vegetables
are not growing, and since it is easily grown, both as a fall and
spring crop, the squash is one of the most satisfactory truck crops
for home use in Florida.
STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are quite generally grown throughout Florida.
The principal market crops are produced in Hillsborough, DeSoto,
Manatee, Dade, Polk, Hardee and Bradford counties, Hills-
borough leading in acreage.
SOIL AND ITS PREPARATION
The best soil for strawberries is the better grades of flatwoods.
This soil is dark in color, sandy and level. The more decomposed
organic matter it contains the better.
Strawberries require a warm soil, as the crop is harvested
between January 1 and April 20. If the soil is cold and wet, few
berries will ripen during winter when prices are usually highest.
Soil intended for strawberries will be benefited by having a
heavy crop of cowpeas or beggarweeds plowed under 30 days
before the plants are to be set. The soil should be thoroughly
plowed and pulverized by disking, in order that it might be in the
best condition possible before the plants are set.







Florida Cooperative Extension


PLANTING
Two systems are generally adopted for planting in Florida.
If the land is drained well and there is no danger from flooding
after heavy rains, the plants should be set in 30- to 36-inch single
rows, or rows wide enough apart that a horse cultivator can be
used. Set the plants about 14 inches apart in the rows.
Where the soil is subject to overflow, the two- or three-row
system is advisable; that is, make narrow beds, about 40 inches
wide with a water furrow between, and set the plants 12 inches
apart in 12-inch rows. This insures the crop's not being drowned
out. The system will require hand cultivation except in the water
furrow, which may be kept open by horse cultivators.
Strawberry plants are usually set during September and
October. They require three to four months to come into full
bearing. In exceptional cases a good supply of fruit may be pro-
duced in 10 weeks from the time the plants are set. It will require
approximately 12,000 to 15,000 plants to the acre. The best
crops are made where the plants are set every year. It is seldom
advisable to carry plants over two years.
For intensive culture, especially on expensive land and near
good markets, or in small garden plots, the plants can be set much
closer than under ordinary conditions. This will involve much
more hand labor, but will produce larger crops, if given propor-
tionately heavier fertilization and irrigation. Irrigation is espe-
cially valuable in commercial berry growing, as the bearing sea-
son can be prolonged and larger berries produced.
FERTILIZATION
As suggested above, strawberries require liberal organic ferti-
lization; five to ten tons stable manure to the acre, thoroughly
mixed with the soil before planting, is highly desirable. In ad-
dition, they should be given from 1,500 to 1,800 pounds com-
mercial fertilizer analyzing 5 percent ammonia, 8 percent phos-
phoric acid, and 5 percent potash. This should be applied in two
or three applications, a third before the plants are set, a third six
weeks after plants are set and the remainder when the first crop
is setting. In addition 100 pounds nitrate of soda or sulphate of
ammonia, should be applied with this third application. If the
berries are small, this nitrogenous material will increase their
size and prolong the bearing period.
CULTIVATING AND MULCHING
Good cultivation should be kept up throughout the growing and
bearing season.







Vegetable Crops of Florida


When the crop is about ready to pick, it is advisable to mulch
with grass or pine straw. This prevents the soil from drying
out and keeps the berries off the ground, making them cleaner
and it is easier to have a clean pack. This also prevents the ber-
ries being beaten into the ground during a heavy rain.
PICKING AND PACKING
Strawberries are picked in field baskets, taken to a packing
shed, and there sorted and packed in pint or quart baskets. These
baskets are packed into ventilated crates, if to be shipped to local
markets, or into pony refrigerator boxes which hold from 60 to
80 quarts, if to be shipped to distant markets. These refrigerator
boxes contain trays for ice.
VARIETIES
The varieties generally grown, especially for shipment, are
Missionary and Klondyke. Brandywine, Excelsior and Lady
Thompson are grown for early local markets.

SWEET CORN
Sweet corn can be grown on average vegetable land, and does
well in all sections of Florida; but, like other vegetable crops, it
does best on rich, moist soil. The land should be prepared about
the same as for vegetable crops. It will make poor growth on
dry, thin, sandy land and will not do well on wet, undrained,
new land.
VARIETIES
Snow Flake, Trucker's Favorite and Country Gentleman are the
favorite varieties for Florida. These will be ready to pick about
70 days after planting. They are fairly prolific and on well-culti-
vated land will give two or more ears to the stalk.
Other varieties to be recommended are Long Island Beauty,
Stowells' Evergreen, which matures in about 75 days, and Early
Adams, which matures in about 60 days.
PLANTING
On account of the probability of being attacked by the ear
worm, sweet corn should be planted just as early as weather con-
ditions will permit. In order to have a succession of sweet corn,
it is necessary to make several plantings about a week apart.
This lengthens the picking season and prevents the entire crop's
maturing at one time.
Sweet corn should be planted much closer than field varieties.
On good vegetable soil it may be planted in three-foot rows, one
stalk every 12 inches. However, if the soil is dry, wider plant-







Florida Cooperative Extension


ing is better. Sweet corn will produce the best filled out ears
when planted fairly closely, because of the better distribution of
pollen. It should not be planted too thickly, however, particularly
on thin land, or it will suffer for moisture when most needing it.
This will mean small ears of poor quality. It will require about
one peck of seed per acre.
CULTIVATION AND FERTILIZATION
The cultivation of sweet corn is the same as for field corn.
Commercial fertilizer analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 8 percent
phosphoric acid and 4 percent potash should be applied at the
rate of 600 to 800 pounds to the acre. It should be worked into
the soil before planting. When the crop is about two feet high,
broadcast about 100 pounds nitrate of soda or sulphate of am-
monia on each acre and work it into the soil with a shallow-work-
ing tool.
MARKETING
For marketing the ears should be gathered when the kernels
are in the milk stage. Ears of different sizes should be packed
together; but do not place a variety of sizes in the same crate.
There is always a demand for early sweet corn, and at good
prices. Where conditions are at all favorable, it will be profitable
for the average trucker to follow celery and lettuce with sweet
corn.
Sweet corn is packed in 10-inch celery crates, 350 of which
make a carload.
Sweet corn should be planted in every home garden.
TOMATOES
The tomato is one of the most widely grown vegetables of
Florida. It is produced as a home garden crop in practically
every community, being one of the easiest and most satisfactory
vegetables grown. In many sections it is also one of the most
profitable truck crops for shipping.
Tomatoes are grown in Florida during the warmest periods of
the trucking season. If set out in July or August and shaded
until strong, a fall crop can be produced in North Florida. They
can also be set in South Florida during late fall for an early
winter crop.
Most Florida tomatoes are grown during late winter and spring.
The earliest shipments of importance are grown on the flat lands
of South Florida. These tomatoes are planted from November
to March and the largest part of the crop is marketed between







Vegetable Crops of Florida


March and April. The next crop is produced on the lower West
Coast. These plants are set in the field in February and March
and the crop is shipped during May and June. North of these
sections planting continues until April 15 and even up to June 1
for home use.
SOILS AND SOIL PREPARATION
Tomatoes are planted in Florida on a variety of soils. The
largest acreage is planted on well drained, sandy land; also a large


Fig. 20.-Staked tomatoes.
acreage is planted on the marl and muck lands. The warmer types
of soils of any section usually produce the earliest maturing crops.
The soil is prepared in the usual way by plowing and thorough
cultivation. The rows are laid off every four feet and the plants
set 15 inches apart in the rows. This requires about 8,500 plants
per acre, which will require about 1/2 pound of seed for each acre
to be planted. In setting the plants they should be set much
deeper than they were in the seedbed.
On the sandy lands of the East Coast the growers start their
first seedbeds about September 15. When preparing to set the
plants, the rows are made 4 to 6 feet apart and the plants spaced
22 inches apart. This requires about 4,500 plants per acre.
Growers apply a handful of wet manure or peat moss. Most







Florida Cooperative Extension


growers prefer the peat moss on the more sandy soils. It requires
about 11/2 bales to the acre or two tons of manure. On the marl
lands of the East Coast the plants are set in the field beginning
about December 1. The rows are laid off 6 to 8 feet apart and the
plants set 24 to 30 inches in the row. A handful of stable manure
or peat moss is dropped directly over the plants followed with a
handful of fertilizer (4-8-8) dropped in the furrow directly behind
the manure. Also an application of 50 pounds manganese sul-
phate to the acre is mixed with the regular fertilizer or it may be
applied separately.
Tomatoes are among the easiest plants to transplant, and, if
the plants are stocky, the soil moist, and conditions of growth
favorable, there is little difficulty in getting a good stand.
Tomatoes are cultivated principally with a one-horse culti-
vator, cultivation is kept up as long as it is possible to pass be-
tween the rows. Care must be exercised not to cut the roots after
the plants begin to bloom, or the bloom and early fruit may be
shed.
Pruning to a single stem, tying to a five-foot stake and thinning
the fruit to four or five hands or clusters, will produce the finest
fruit. Labor so expended in home gardens and on small areas
will be well-spent.
FERTILIZATION
An acre of tomatoes should receive upward of a ton of fertilizer,
analyzing 4 percent ammonia, 8 percent phosphoric acid and 8
percent potash. If the soil is rich in humus and organic matter,
1,200 to 1,500 pounds may be sufficient. Too much ammonia is
likely to cause soft tomatoes, liable to bruises and decay in ship-
ping. However, sufficient ammonia is needed to give them good
growth.
On loose, thin soil two applications of fertilizer are preferable
to one. The first application should be given immediately before,
or soon after, the plants are set, and the second when the first
bloom is noticeable. In working this second application into the
soil care must be exercised not to break the roots during culti-
vation or the fruit will shed. At this stage, additional cultivation
will give additional vegetative growth and may cause shedding
of the bloom. The first crop may be lost thereby.
PICKING THE CROP
As the earliest tomatoes usually bring the highest prices it is
necessary to pick over the crop several times. When a fruit is
nearly mature in size and begins shading from dark green to a







Vegetable Crops of Florida


light green, it is ready to pick and ship. In this condition the
fruit is too green for local markets and should be allowed to ripen
a little more, as the flavor is improved. Picking is done in ordi-
nary market baskets. The fruit is taken to the packinghouse,
sorted, wrapped and packed in six-basket vegetable crates or in
three-basket tomato crates, the better fruit being selected for the
higher classes. Usually the culls are disposed of locally or
dumped.
VARIETIES
The principal varieties of tomatoes for Florida are Marglobe,
Livingston's Globe (purple red) and Stone (scarlet). All of these
mature early, stand shipment well, are of good size, are smooth,
and when ripe have a fine color. For home gardens several other
varieties may be grown satisfactorily. Ponderosa, which grows
much larger but less uniformly, produces a satisfactory yield and
is quite suitable for home consumption. June Pink and Earliana
for early crops are also used for home gardens.

TURNIPS AND RUTABAGAS
Turnips and rutabagas are grown principally for home use.
They are also shipped in car-lots but should be carefully packed
and iced. The tops must be tender and green and shipped early.
A well cultivated sandy loam will produce good quality if it is
well fertilized.
Turnips can be planted with satisfactory results any time
between October 1 and June 1, although they do best during the
cooler months. Turnips grown during hot weather often have
a strong taste.
PLANTING TURNIPS
The seed should be sown in rows two feet apart, using about
two pounds of seed per acre. If large turnips are wanted they
should be thinned to 6 to 10 inches apart. Often for local use they
are left thick in the row, producing small turnips that can be sold
in bunches with the tops attached.
Turnips grown for distant markets requiring several days in
transit, should be shipped in barrels and iced. For shorter hauls
they can be shipped in vegetable hampers.
VARIETIES
Early Flat Dutch, Purple-Top Globe, Early White Egg turnips,
and Purple Top rutabagas are good varieties. About 21/2 pounds
seed per acre should be sown.









PLANTING CHART.


Beans (snap)
(Green)


Beans, Wax

Beans, Bush
(Lima), Pole


Beets



Broccoli


Cabbage


Cabbage (Chinese)

Cauliflower

Caritaloupe


Carrots


Variety

Bountiful
Giant Stringless
Black Valentine
Kentucky Wonder


Davis White Wax
Wardell Kidney Wax
Fordhook bush
Seiva


Eclipse
Detroit Dark Red
Crosley's Egyptian
Edmands Early Turnip
Purple Cape
Mammoth White
Italian Green Sprouting
Charleston Wakefield
Long Island
Premium Flat Dutch
Copenhagen Market



Early Snowball
Erfurt
Rocky Ford
Georgia Muskmelon
Danvers Half-long
Early Scarlet Horn
Oxheart
Chantenay


Seeds or plants
per acre

% peck





60 pounds
30 pounds


4 lbs. seed
100,000 plants


4 oz. seed


12 oz. seed


8 oz.

16 oz.
9000 plants
3 pounds


2 lbs. seed


Date to plant Days to
maturity

Sept.-Oct. 45-50
Feb., March

April

April to 80 days
August


October to
March


Nov. to Dec.


Sept. to Jan.


Sept. to Feb.

Oct. to Jan.

Feb. to April


Oct. to March


50 to 70



80 to 90


60 to 80


60 to 70

70 to 90

120 days


40 to 60 12 feet


Width of
Rows

3 feet





2 to 3 feet


12 inches to
15 inches


3 feet


3 feet


2/2 feet

3 feet

6 feet


Page


6


7

8 F


8



15 "


9


12


13

34


12


I- -'


'---~--------' --~-~- '----------'~---


,


I






PLANTING CHART-Continued.


Variety Seeds or plants
per acre


Golden Self-blanching
Specials
Green Top
Easy Blanching


Improved White Spine
Davis Perfect
Early Fortune
Kirby Staygreen

Trinidad
Sacramento
Black Beauty
Florida Highbush
Purple Spineless
New Orleans Market


Big Boston

Perkins Mammoth Podded
Long Green
White Velvet
Crystal Wax
White Bermuda
Red Bermuda
Australian Brown


Celery


8 pounds

8 to 12 bu. sets
9000 plants
5 lbs. seed


Date to plant Days to
maturity


Early

Late


April to June


Sept. to Nov.


8 oz. seed
60,000 plants




4 lbs. per acre


5 to 6 bu.


6 oz. seed
3000 plants


12 ounces

2 pounds


90 days


150 days


Width of Page
Rows


212 feet 16


12 feet 18

4 to 5 feet 21


4 to 5 feet 25


5 feet 29


Oct. to Feb.


March to June


Sept.-Oct.
Feb.-March


Feb., March,
April

July to Sept.
March to May


Oct. to Feb.

Oct. to March


80 to 100


120 days

70 to 80


150 days


120 days



50 to 60

70 days


2 feet

15 inches

3 feet


12 to 15
inches


31

32

36


37


Chayote

Cucumbers


Dasheen


Eggplants


Endive

Lettuce


Okra


Onions


I


'------'------'------










PLANTING CHART-Continued.


Variety


Seeds or plants
per acre


Alaska Extra Early
Peas (English) Thomas Laxton 2 bushels
Laxtonia
Telephone

Peppers Ruby King 12 oz.
World Beater (Ruby Giant) 9000 plants
Long Scarlet
Radishes Long White Icicle 5 lbs. seed


Scarlet Turnip


Improved Curled Savoy


Cocozelle
Patty Pan
Early Crook Neck
Mammoth White Bush
Missionary
Klondyke
Country Gentleman
Snowflake
Trucker's Favorite
Marglobe
Livingston's Globe
Stone
Early Flat Dutch
Purple Top Globe
Rutabagas


12 oz.

10 lbs. seed


2 pounds


12,000 to
15,000 plants

15 lbs.

1/2 lb. seed
6000 to
9000 plants

21 lbs.


Date to plant Days to
maturity


Sept. to Nov.


Sept. to Nov.
April to June

Oct. to March

Oct. to March

Nov. to Feb.


Sept. to Oct.
Feb. to May

August to
November

Feb. to April


Nov. to April


Sept. to March


60 to 70


70 to 90


30 days

70 days

50 to 70


45 to 60


60 to 90


70 days


50 to 80


40 to 60


Width of Page
Rows

4 feet 39


3 feet

12 to 15
inches

15 to 18
inches

36 inches


planted


planted
in checks
4x4 feet
6x8 feet

30 to 36
inches

3 to 4 feet


4 to 6 feet


2 feet


40


41

34

42

43


45


47


48


51


Romaine

Spinach

Squash


Strawberries


Sweet Corn


Tomatoes


Turnips


---




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