• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Copyright
 Introduction
 Methods and materials
 Results and discussion
 Conclusion
 References














Group Title: AREC-H research report - Agricultural Research and Education Center-Homestead ; SB-73-7
Title: Plug-mix seeding of tomatoes on Rockdale soils
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067833/00001
 Material Information
Title: Plug-mix seeding of tomatoes on Rockdale soils
Series Title: Homestead AREC research report
Physical Description: 4 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bryan, H. H
Hayslip, Norman C ( Norman Calvin ), 1916-
Agricultural Research and Education Center, Homestead
Publisher: University of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Homestead Fla.
Publication Date: 1973
 Subjects
Subject: Tomatoes -- Seeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaf 4).
Statement of Responsibility: H.H. Bryan and N.C Hayslip.
General Note: "September 10, 1973"
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067833
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 72444048

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Methods and materials
        Page 1
    Results and discussion
        Page 1
    Conclusion
        Page 2
        Page 3
    References
        Page 4
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






Homestead AREC Research Report SB73-7 September 10, 1973

PLUG-MIX SEEDING OF TOMATOES ON ROCKDALE SOILS / 7, :,


H. H. Bryan and N. C. Hayslip- 3 -9

INTRODUCTION itvr Of

Large soil particle size, high percolation rate, low fertility, insects, soil-borne
diseases, and extremes of moisture and temperature during planting in south Florida
offer less than ideal conditions for seed germination and emergence and growth of
young seedlings.

Plug-mix seeding involves incorporation of seed and water into a growing medium which
is placed in the soil at the rate of 1/8 to 1/4 cup of loose mixture per hill (2,3).
The principal growing medium which has been used is Cornell Peat-Lite Mix (Developed
by J. W. Boodly and R. Sheldrake, Jr., Cornell Univ.) which contains shredded peat
moss and horticultural vermiculite with nutrients added. Commercial formuintions are
available.

Plug-mix seeding, whether done by hand or automatic plug-mix planter, provides a uni-
form microenvironment close to the seed that is conducive to rapid germination and
vigorous development of young seedlings ().

It is important to settle the plug-mix shortly after planting with top watering by
overhead irrigation or the automatic watering attachment on the planter. If the
medium is not settled into the ground, germination may occur and a heavy rain may was!
* the medium away from seedlings, leaving roots exposed to the sun. This would result
in desiccation and death of the young seedlings. Watering every 2 to 3 days for 7
to 10 days after plantings is essential to prevent the medium from drying out.

Plug-mix planting on beds through plastic or paper mulch offers protection from excesE
rainfall, therefore plantings subject to heavy rains in the fall have much better
stands when planted this way than when direct-seeded on level land.


METHODS AND MATERIALS

Plug-mix was planted by hand or by an automatic plug-mix planter in one- or two-row-
beds on 6-foot centers with or without plastic mulch. 'Florida MH-l' was used in all
tests and treatments were replicated 4 times. Plant stands, vigor ratings and yields
were taken from plots 20 feet long. Fruits were harvested by hand and separated into
large (6x6 and larger) and small (7x7 and 6x7) sizes. Fruits of marketable size were
graded according to quality as US No. 1, US No. 2 and unmarketable.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Test 1 was designed to evaluate plug-mix seeding without mulch in a commercial plant-
ing in the Spring 1972. Plug-mix-seeded plants emerged 4 days before direct-seeded
plants. Throughout the growth of the crop, plug-mix-seeded plants were 1-2 inches
taller, had greener foliage and had 30% more large fruit than direct-seeded plants.
Early and total yields from plug-mix plots were significantly greater than those from
S direct-seeded plots (Fig. 1).


/ Associate Horticulturist, AREC-Homestead and Entomologist ARC-Ft. Pierce, Universit
of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.






Homestead AREC Research Report SB73-7 September 10, 1973

PLUG-MIX SEEDING OF TOMATOES ON ROCKDALE SOILS / 7, :,


H. H. Bryan and N. C. Hayslip- 3 -9

INTRODUCTION itvr Of

Large soil particle size, high percolation rate, low fertility, insects, soil-borne
diseases, and extremes of moisture and temperature during planting in south Florida
offer less than ideal conditions for seed germination and emergence and growth of
young seedlings.

Plug-mix seeding involves incorporation of seed and water into a growing medium which
is placed in the soil at the rate of 1/8 to 1/4 cup of loose mixture per hill (2,3).
The principal growing medium which has been used is Cornell Peat-Lite Mix (Developed
by J. W. Boodly and R. Sheldrake, Jr., Cornell Univ.) which contains shredded peat
moss and horticultural vermiculite with nutrients added. Commercial formuintions are
available.

Plug-mix seeding, whether done by hand or automatic plug-mix planter, provides a uni-
form microenvironment close to the seed that is conducive to rapid germination and
vigorous development of young seedlings ().

It is important to settle the plug-mix shortly after planting with top watering by
overhead irrigation or the automatic watering attachment on the planter. If the
medium is not settled into the ground, germination may occur and a heavy rain may was!
* the medium away from seedlings, leaving roots exposed to the sun. This would result
in desiccation and death of the young seedlings. Watering every 2 to 3 days for 7
to 10 days after plantings is essential to prevent the medium from drying out.

Plug-mix planting on beds through plastic or paper mulch offers protection from excesE
rainfall, therefore plantings subject to heavy rains in the fall have much better
stands when planted this way than when direct-seeded on level land.


METHODS AND MATERIALS

Plug-mix was planted by hand or by an automatic plug-mix planter in one- or two-row-
beds on 6-foot centers with or without plastic mulch. 'Florida MH-l' was used in all
tests and treatments were replicated 4 times. Plant stands, vigor ratings and yields
were taken from plots 20 feet long. Fruits were harvested by hand and separated into
large (6x6 and larger) and small (7x7 and 6x7) sizes. Fruits of marketable size were
graded according to quality as US No. 1, US No. 2 and unmarketable.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Test 1 was designed to evaluate plug-mix seeding without mulch in a commercial plant-
ing in the Spring 1972. Plug-mix-seeded plants emerged 4 days before direct-seeded
plants. Throughout the growth of the crop, plug-mix-seeded plants were 1-2 inches
taller, had greener foliage and had 30% more large fruit than direct-seeded plants.
Early and total yields from plug-mix plots were significantly greater than those from
S direct-seeded plots (Fig. 1).


/ Associate Horticulturist, AREC-Homestead and Entomologist ARC-Ft. Pierce, Universit
of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.






Homestead AREC Research Report SB73-7 September 10, 1973

PLUG-MIX SEEDING OF TOMATOES ON ROCKDALE SOILS / 7, :,


H. H. Bryan and N. C. Hayslip- 3 -9

INTRODUCTION itvr Of

Large soil particle size, high percolation rate, low fertility, insects, soil-borne
diseases, and extremes of moisture and temperature during planting in south Florida
offer less than ideal conditions for seed germination and emergence and growth of
young seedlings.

Plug-mix seeding involves incorporation of seed and water into a growing medium which
is placed in the soil at the rate of 1/8 to 1/4 cup of loose mixture per hill (2,3).
The principal growing medium which has been used is Cornell Peat-Lite Mix (Developed
by J. W. Boodly and R. Sheldrake, Jr., Cornell Univ.) which contains shredded peat
moss and horticultural vermiculite with nutrients added. Commercial formuintions are
available.

Plug-mix seeding, whether done by hand or automatic plug-mix planter, provides a uni-
form microenvironment close to the seed that is conducive to rapid germination and
vigorous development of young seedlings ().

It is important to settle the plug-mix shortly after planting with top watering by
overhead irrigation or the automatic watering attachment on the planter. If the
medium is not settled into the ground, germination may occur and a heavy rain may was!
* the medium away from seedlings, leaving roots exposed to the sun. This would result
in desiccation and death of the young seedlings. Watering every 2 to 3 days for 7
to 10 days after plantings is essential to prevent the medium from drying out.

Plug-mix planting on beds through plastic or paper mulch offers protection from excesE
rainfall, therefore plantings subject to heavy rains in the fall have much better
stands when planted this way than when direct-seeded on level land.


METHODS AND MATERIALS

Plug-mix was planted by hand or by an automatic plug-mix planter in one- or two-row-
beds on 6-foot centers with or without plastic mulch. 'Florida MH-l' was used in all
tests and treatments were replicated 4 times. Plant stands, vigor ratings and yields
were taken from plots 20 feet long. Fruits were harvested by hand and separated into
large (6x6 and larger) and small (7x7 and 6x7) sizes. Fruits of marketable size were
graded according to quality as US No. 1, US No. 2 and unmarketable.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Test 1 was designed to evaluate plug-mix seeding without mulch in a commercial plant-
ing in the Spring 1972. Plug-mix-seeded plants emerged 4 days before direct-seeded
plants. Throughout the growth of the crop, plug-mix-seeded plants were 1-2 inches
taller, had greener foliage and had 30% more large fruit than direct-seeded plants.
Early and total yields from plug-mix plots were significantly greater than those from
S direct-seeded plots (Fig. 1).


/ Associate Horticulturist, AREC-Homestead and Entomologist ARC-Ft. Pierce, Universit
of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.









Test 2. Early emergence of plug-mix-seeded tomatoes on mulch resulted in cricket
damage and 80% replants compared to 0% replants in direct-seeded plots. The direct-
seeded plots emerged later, after crickets were controlled. In unmulched plots, early
and total marketable yields from plug-mix seeding were 295 and 77% greater, respec-
tively, than from direct seeding (Fig. 2). First harvest yields from plug-mix plots
were equivalent to total yields from direct-seeded plots.
Test 3. Plug-mix-seeded and direct-seeded tomatoes were compared on mulched and un-
mulched beds in late spring 1973. Four weeks after planting fewer replants were re-
quired in plug-mix plots than in direct-seeded plots (Table 1). Six weeks after
planting, plug-mix-seeded plants had more height than direct-seeded plants. Yields
of pink fruit were 2 to 3 times greater in plug-mix than in direct-seeded plots, thus,
early yields were improved by plug-mix (Fig. 3). Greater yields of large, US No. 1
and marketable fruit were obtained from plug-mix plots than from direct-seeded plots.

Yields were not affected by mulch in direct-seeded plots; but, yields of large and
marketable fruit were greater in mulched plots than in unmulched plots when tomatoes
were plug-mix seeded.


Table 1. Effects of seeding method and mulch on
'Fla. MH-1' replants and plant height Spring
1972.

% replants Plant ht.
Seeding method 4 wks. (cm) 6 wks.

Direct
No Mulch 37 b/ 19 b
Full Mulch 44 b 19 b

Plug-Mix
No Mulch la 24a
Full Mulch 6a 26a


/ Numbers in columns followed by the same letter
are not significantly different at the 1% level.


Plug-mix seeding has been rapidly accepted and it is apparent that plug-mix seeding
has many advantages on Rockdale soils. Commercial tomato acreage planted with plug-
mix and plastic mulch in Dade County went from 0 acres in 1972 to over 2000 acres in
1973 and acreage is expected to expand.


CONCLUSIONS

Plug-mix seeding resulted in earlier germination, more rapid growth, better fruit
quality and larger yields and fruit size than direct-seeding. Full mulch increased
yields with plug-mix seeding but yields were not affected by mulch when tomatoes were
direct-seeded. There are many advantages of plug-mix planting on mulched or unmulchec
SRockdale soils and the practice is recommended for planting small-seeded row crops
grown in south Florida.





4 V


SSeed Method
Direct Plug
2
SEJLSB


600-



0)

^ 400.
0
O



a 200-


1 1+2
HARVEST
Fig. 1. Effects of seeding methods
on marketable tomato yield in
April 1972. (Columns with the
same letters are not signifi-
cantly different at the 1%
level).


a







51

.A .o,


NONE


b


I I- I


b







7-
/


ab

$- :i;-i.-.




' i'N!


FULL


MULCH
Fig. 2. Effects of seeding and mulch
methods on early and total marketable
yield of tomatoes in January 1972.
(Columns with the same letters are not
significantly different at the 1% level)


0 M
PINK


0 M
(6x6;)


O M 0 M
US No. 1 MARKETABLE


GRADE
Fig. 3. Effects of seeding and mulch methods on yields of tomatoes
from a single harvest in June 1973.

E/ Within each grade, columns with the same letters are not signifi-
cantly different at the 1% level.
1 Mulch: 0 no mulch; M black plastic mulch


I





"S -


-4-


REFERENCES

1. Bryan, H. H., N. C. Hayslip, P. H. Everett and W. W. Deen, Jr. 1973. Effect of

plug mix seeding and mulch methods on yield and quality of tomatoes grown

on calcareous soils. Proc. Trop. Reg. Am. Soc. for Hort. Sci. 17:(In Press).

2. Hayslip, N. C. 1970. Future vegetable growers may "plug in" optimum seed

environment. Sunshine State Agr. Res. Report Vol. 15 No. 4/5 pp. 13-15.

3. 1972. A "plug-mix" seeding method for field planting tomatoes

and other small-seeded hill crops. Mimeo Report RL--1972-2:5 pages.




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