Everglades Experiment Station Mimeo Report EES68-1 July, 1967
SEP 15 1937
HYBRID CABBAGE VARIETY TRIALS, FALL 1966
V. L. Guzmanl .
During the last few years, problems associated with cabbage production in
the organic soils of the Everglades have become increasingly serious. Bacterial
diseases with their complex nature and difficult or impossible control have
created the most serious obstacle to economic production of cabbage. Black rot
is the most destructive disease in the area. There is no means of controlling it
and no resistant varieties can be found. Attempts to reduce the incidence of
black rot by using hot water treated seed did not prevent extensive damage in the
field. It is possible that the pathogen overwinters on wild brassicas or refuse
in the soil. In northern latitudes the organism overwinters in diseased plant
refuse or in the seed and consequently a 3-year rotation is desirable in the
field. Probably the best method to minimize black rot damage is to use hot water
treated seed in a field where no cabbage or other brassicas have been grown for
at least 3 years. Precautions should be taken not to introduce inoculum from
other infected fields with machinery or other vectors. Bacterial black spot is
another serious disease affecting appearance of the cabbage. There are varieties,
however, resistant or perhaps immune to the disease. Black speck, a condition
that manifests itself by a large number of pin-point black specks inside the
head, usually appears in harvested heads after cold storage. It can be reasonably
avoided by the use of varieties that appear to be resistant to this disorder.
This test was designed to obtain information on variety performance and
tolerance to diseases during the fall months, when moderate rainfall and high
temperatures normally prevail.
The growing season was characterized by temperatures with a mean maximum
of 85 F and a mean minimum of 670 during October, when the experiment was
seeded. Temperatures for the remainder of the season were on the decline. Rain-
fall was moderate to low. During October, after planting, about 2.0 inches of
rain fell, during-November 0.21, and in December 1.10. In general, good growth
conditions prevailed and the incidence of diseases was moderate.
No cabbage or other brassicas had been grown in the experimental field for
the last four years. Water table was maintained at about 20 inches. The hybrids
were directly seeded in the field in 28 inch rows and' thinned to 9 inches four
weeks later. Each hybrid was harvested at least twice, and the majority were
cut three or more times. All harvests after the first were classified as second
harvest. The very small unmarketable heads were considered inbreds.
Location, planting and harvest dates
Horticulture experiment 545 was seeded October 4, 1966 at the Everglades
Experiment Station grounds. Harvest began January 18 and ended February 3, 1967.
SHorticulturist, Everglades Experiment Station, Belle Glade, Florida
- 2 -
The experimental field was under cultivation for about 8 years, but during
the last four years was fallow. The soil analysis gave a pH of 5.6 with 7 pounds
of phosphorus and 70 pounds of potassium per acre. A 0-12-16 fertilizer with
1.0% Mn and 0.5% B was broadcast in the amount of 700 pounds to the acre and
Weed, insect and disease control
Immediately after seeding, 4 pounds/A Vegadex was broadcast-sprayed for
preemergence weed control. Control of obnoxious vegetation was excellent and
very few weeds were pulled by hand during the growing period. Only one shallow
cultivation at lay-by was applied. Weekly application of 2.0 pounds of parathion
and 4 pounds of toxaphene controlled insects satisfactorily. Manzate (1.5 lbs.)
and tribasic copper (4 lbs.) were applied weekly. Disease control was adequate;
however, difference in hybrid tolerance to bacterial diseases was quite evident.
No black rot symptoms appeared in the plants.
Varieties and seed sources
Replicated hybrid cabbage performance trials.
1. Badger Market (CheCk) l/ ASG
2. Market Topper 278 JH
3. Market Prize 283 JH
4. Danish W5 JH
5. King Cole FM
6. E4204 FM
7. Exp. Hy. No. 2 FM
8. Exp. Hy. No. 5 FM
9. Exp. Hy. No. 8 FM
10. Exp. Hy. No. 9 FM
11. Exp. Hy. No. 901 NK
Open pollinated check.
Table 1 gives the tabulated data on performance of the hybrids. Badger
Market, the check (open pollinated variety), did not have sufficient stand,
therefore 30-day-old plants were secured from a commercial field and trans-
planted to the plots. The plants made a quick recovery but growth was somewhat
slow, resulting in small size heads. This variety was very susceptible to
bacterial black spot. In order to make U.S. No. 1 grade, it was necessary to
peel the outermost leaves of the upper cabbage head. The heads were then
considered as U.S. No. 1 grade.
Market Topper, Market Prize, and Danish W5 produced hard heads of good
appearance but slightly large for the fresh market. However, by mixing small
and medium size heads, a 16-head crate could be packed. The two first hybrids
were quite tolerant to bacterial black spot but were very susceptible to black
speck. Danish W5 was still more tolerant to bacterial black spot than the other
two hybrids and resistant to black speck. This variety was grayish-green, slightly
flattened, almost round, with relatively large hollow spaces inside the head, but
produced hard heads. The outside appearance of Danish W5 was good.
Hybrid King Cole produced the nighest yields. but the heads were too large
-for fresh market. This hybrid was quite susceptible to bacterial black spot,
but to a lesser degree than Badger Market. After three weeks of cold storage,
King Cole showed light incidence of black speck. It is not adapted for fresh-
'market production in organic soils because of its large heads.
Experimental Hybrids: E4204 and No. 5 produced heads of good quality, but
too large for fresh market. The most promising hybrids from Ferry Morse, in
descending rank were: Experimental hybrid no. 9, no. 8, and no. 2. The color
of these hybrids was bluish-green, and they produced hard heads almost round
in shape, resistant or perhaps immune to bacterial black spot and to internal
black speck. The size of the heads was slightly larger than desired, but
hybrid no. 9 made an 18-head crate. The eating quality of these hybrids was good.
Hybrid 901 produced large, round, slightly pointed heads on a long stem.
Whether the long stem would facilitate mechanical harvest was not determined.
The tendency of the heads was to lean to the side, which may not be ideal for
mechanical harvest. This hybrid was quite susceptible to bacterial black spot.
Hybrid 901 gave one of the highest percentages of first cutting.
Contrary to results of past experiments, the majority of the hybrids showed
more variation in color, head size, shape, and number of in-breeds. Although
the percentage of first cutting was higher with the hybrids than with Badger
Market, this percentage was inferior to that obtained in the past. All hybrids,
as well as Badger Market, had long cores and inner hollow spaces near the basal
end of the heads.
It should be reiterated that high yields correspond to those hybrids with
large heads, since yields were estimated from plot mean weight. This, however,
should be interpreted in most cases as detrimental, since only 14 or fewer heads
could be packed per crate. The most desirable number of heads for fresh market
trade is around 20 to the crate. A mean head weight of slightly less than 3.0
pounds is the best.
Key to hybrid cabbage tables
Source of seed: Name of company or individual supplying the seed. ASG-Asgrow
Seed Co., Milford, Conn.; FM-Ferry Morse Seed Co., Salinas, Cal.; JH-Joseph
Harris Seed Co., Rochester, N.Y.; NK-Northrup King & Co., Minneapolis, Minn.
Days to maturity: Number of days from seeding to first cutting.
Total wight: Mean weight in pounds of all heads harvested from plot in 4 replication
Marketable weight: Mean weight in pounds of U.S. No. 1 heads per plot.
Marketable number: Mean number of marketable heads per plot.
Weight of head Pounds of marketable heads
Weight o head:Number of marketable heads
Percentage of first cutting: Weight percentage of first cutting in relation to
weight of all cuttings of marketable heads.
Color: Visual appreciation of color: PG=pale green; MG=medium green; DG=dark
green; BG=bluish green; GG=greyish green.
Bacterial black spot: This refers to black spots produced by bacteria at the
top of the heads. They are relatively large and numerous.
Black speck: This appears inside the heads, usually after cold storage, from
unknown causes. The malady appears as a large number of pinpoint marks that
sometimes affect large areas of most of the inside leaves.
Mean plant stand: Average number of plants per 30 foot plot of four replications.
Crates per acre: Estimated on the basis of mean weight of heads per plot. These are
reported as number of 50-pound-crates per acre.
Table 1.--Cabbage Replicated Variety Trials. E
January 19 to February 3, 1967, Belle
experiment 545. Seeded October 5, 1966 and harvested
<"~~I p. Ss C 3 '
!4 0 H U)
c0 i t H c c
(2 p p-- k p.
g ^ S- a, k S I
o H C) C) ii C) s g
Variety 0 0 H
-n -l -_ -r -- --
Blager Market (Check)
Market Topper 278
Market Prize 283
King Cole (YR)
Exp. Hybrid E4204
Exp. Hybrid #2
Exp. Hybrid Cabbage #5
Exp. Hybrid #8
Exp. Hybrid #9
Exp. Hybrid i901
83.5 83.3 27
100.8 86.o 23
21.6 21.9 6