Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: August 1971
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00066
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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i


NEF1SLETTER


Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


George A. Marlowe, Jr.
Chai rnan


James Montelaro
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


T. G. Hart
Assistant Professor


J. R. Hicks
Assistant Professor


R. K. Showalter
Professor


D. D. Gull
Associate Professor


August 5, 1971



TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA


FROM: James Montelaro


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 71-8

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. Commercial Vegetable Production
A. Production of Quality Eggplant Fruits
B. Loss of Fusarium Wilt Resistance in Jubilee Waterm'elon
C. Plastic Pipe for Replacing Header Ditches
D. Results of County Cultivar Trials
E. Fish Scale or Elephant Hide on Potatoes
II. Harvesting and Handling
A. Postharvest Quality
III. Vegetable Gardening
A. Cover Seed With Vermiculite
B. Ring Around Tomatoes
C. Know Your Vegetables


NOTE: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
possible, please give credit to the authors.






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-2-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. Commercial Vegetable Production

A. Production of Quality Eggplant Fruits

We have had to work closely over the past two seasons with growers
in Madison County in an attempt to help them solve problems with eggplants.
A survey of the area last year revealed several problems associated with
fruit quality. The most serious was internal darkening of eggplant tissue.
In addition, many fruits were rough, misshapened and severely blemished.

A program outlined by the Extension Service for each grower demon-
strated that the problems could be solved. Admittedly, some problems were
observed again this season. However, one grower demonstrated that almost
perfect eggplant fruits can be produced.

Briefly, the following practices are extremely important to the
successful production of quality eggplant fruits.

1. Proper liming (adequate calcium and magnesium).

2. Adequate fertilization to include proper rates, sources, timing,
etc.

3. Good program of rotation and sanitation to help control nematodes,
diseases and insects.

4. Removal of undesirable fruits. If left on the plants, old fruits
will affect subsequent plant growth and fruit quality.

5. Good control of diseases--especially Phomopsis fruit rot by use
of fungicides.

6. Good insect control--Leaf eating or sucking insects and especially
those attacking fruits must be controlled. Two serious insect pests are
flower thrips and red spider.

7. Adequate irrigation--Needed to promote uniform growth.

An eggplant crop to be successful must develop a normal, steady growth
from seedling stage to end of harvest. Anything causing plants to be retarded
in growth is apt to cause a reduction in fruit quality and appearance.
(Montelaro)
B. Loss of Fusarium Wilt Resistance in Jubilee Watermelon

The Jubilee variety of watermelon was released in 1963 by Dr. Crall
of the Leesburg Station. Jubilee quickly gained popularity until today it may
be considered among the more important varieties in Florida. When released,
Dr. Crall noted that Jubilee was not as resistant to wilt as Charleston Gray,
but he felt it had adequate resistance to permit economic production under
Florida conditions.




THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


This past season Jubilee fields heavily infested with Fusarium
wilt were found in many areas in the State. Growers complained that the
variety was losing its wilt resistance. This was confirmed by Dr. Crall
and his staff in some recent work where they tested original (breeder's)
seed against several different lots of commercial seed. On the average,
plants from commercial seed lots exhibited from 4 to 5 more wilt than
those produced from the original lot of seed. Loss of wilt resista-ce is
due to lack of reselection each year under wilt conditions similar to the
wilt stress characteristic of Florida. Seedsmen are not at Fault since
they were not forewarned.

We are now developing a program to return Jubilee to its original
wilt resistance. This is a cooperative effort among several groups includ-
ing the Extension Service, Experiment Stations, Seed Foundation, Florida
Department of Agriculture and Commercial Seed Coimp-nies. The plan simply
is to start again with a limited amount of breeder's seed which will b)-
increased by the Seed Foundation and sold to seed companies for production
of "Registered" seed for Florida growers. Seed sold uiner the "Registered"
label, which will be issued by agencies in the states where it is grown,
should possess wilt resistance equal to Jubilee seed sold shortly after
release of the variety. Growers must realize that production of seed under
this program will be costly and that this type of Jubilee seed will probably
cost him more than the more common western grown seed. However, we feel
that it will be well worth the added cost to growe,-s who want to continue
growing Jubilee. "Registered Seed" for the coiiiiiiercial grower will not be
available until late in 1972.
(Mlon telaro)

C. Plastic Pipe for Replacing Header Ditches

About fifteen vegetable growers in the Hastings area are using
plastic pipes to replace the old header ditches for irrigation of potatoes
and cabbage. They are finding that it has several advantages over the old
system. The closed system with valves properly located for delivery to the
desired location conserves much water which in the past was lost by seepage
and evaporation. One grower reports that water reaches a distant field in
about one hour since installing plastic pipe as compared with eight hours
when he used open ditches. The savings in time, fuel or electricity, tear
and wear on the pump, etc., will pay for the cost of installation in a very
few years. Where water conservation is a must, the value of the system
increases immeasurably.

This project has been a joint effort between the St. Johns County
ASCS and the Florida Agricultural Extension Service. Anyone needing more
information can contact either of these two agencies.
(Montel aro)
D. Results of County Cultivar Trials

Seeds of Smokylee watermelon and Zipper Cream pea were sent to a
number of county extension agents last March for trial and evaluation on
commercial vegetable farms. Many of the grower/agent evaluations have now
been received by the writer and a summary of the results are reported below.







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Smokylee Watermelon

Counties participating Alachua, Calhoun, Citrus, Hillsborough,
Jackson, 7evy, MRa-dson, a-rion, Pasco, Sumter, Suviannee and Washington.

Unanimous conclusion Sunburned easily. This characteristic may
not be serious in early spring or where vine cover is heavy.

Other conclusions

1. Internal eating quality (sugar and flavor) Most growers felt
that Smokylee rated excellent. One grower claimed that melons were too
watery and their taste was not as good as Charleston Grays grown in the
same field.

2. Internal appearance Most growers were favorably impressed with
the red flesh of-SmokylTee Some growers feel that the white seed is a
disadvantage.

3. Yield and size of melons The results for these measurements
were mixed. About half the growers said Smokylee out yielded Charleston
Gray both in total yield and average individual melon weight, while the rest
of the growers felt the opposite was true.

Zipper Cream Pea

Counties participating Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Dade, Escambia,
Hillsborough, -ackson, Levy, Marion, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Seminole,
Suwannee, Union and Washington.

Favorable conclusions

Generally, most growers praised the Zipper Cream pea and made the
following comments as compared with other varieties.

1. Less curculio damage
2. Greater shell-out percentage
3. Natures later
4. Greater yield
5. More disease resistant
6. Excellent flavor and eating quality
7. Easily shelled from pods

Other conclusions

A few growers expressed some factors which were not as favorable,
viz.
1. Excessive vining.

2. Poor germination (this was definitely not experienced by all
growers). Uneven soil moisture,too low soil moisture or poor seed quality
might have been the primary cause.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


3. Low production (generally, the opposite view was expressed).

4. Difficult to pick with regard to maturity (undoubtedly, this
will be overcome with familiarity and a little practice).

(Hart)
E. Fish Scale or Elephant Hide on Potatoes

A condition sometimes described as fish scale or elephant hide,
depending on its severity, has shown up on some Florida potatoes this year.
Perhaps it should be termed "gator skin" in Florida. Actually, the con-
dition is a potato tuber "skin" defect which closely resembles the typical
inherent russeting or netting of the well known Russet Burbank potato. It
differs though in that manifestations usually occur in a spotty manner rather
than completely covering the potato.

Most likely, the russeting which sometimes occurs on the skins of
potato cultivars, which should not genetically exhibit russeting, is due to
a mild form of the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Additionally, anything that
irritates or injures the skin of developing potatoes such as undecomposed
plant debris may lead to scurfy or scabby or net-like eruptions, which also
resemble corky-like discolorations, and could be called russeting, too. This
external defect, although unappealing in marketing channels, in no way affects
internal eating quality.


(Hart)







-7-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


III. Vegetable Gardening

A. Cover Seed with Vermiculite

John Larsen, Texas Extension Specialist, found a way to plant
vegetable seed in hot, crusty soils and still get good emergence. Because
the technique may be of some practical value to home gardeners with many
types of vegetables, I want to pass his report on to you.
Procedure

One of our growers fabricated a vermiculite spreader unit which
mounts on the tool bar in conjunction with the vegetable seeders. As the
seed is dropped from the planter, vermiculite is metered from a hopper
through flexible tubes and is deposited on top of the seed immediately back
of the furrow opener. For two rows per bed with beds spaced 38 inches on
center, six bags or 24 cubic feet per acre of vermiculite was used to cover
the seed. The vermiculite was deposited in a strip about 3/4 inch in depth
and 3/4 inch in width. The furrow was slightly deeper than 3/4 inch so that
the press wheels on the planter caused a little soil to fall on each side of
the vermiculite strip which resulted in a 3/8- to 1/2-inch band of venniculite
to show on the surface of the bed.
Results

Onions were seeded in August, 1969, with and without 24 cubic feet of
vermiculite per acre covering the seed. The onions were seeded in dry soil
and irrigated several days later. In spite of fairly high winds the vermi-
culite did not blow out of the furrow. The stand of onions obtained from
the use of vermiculite was several times greater than that without vermiculite
and the yield at harvest was directly proportionate to the stand.

Rutabagas were seeded in October, 1969, with and without 24 cubic feet
of vermiculite per acre covering the seed. Heavy rains following planting
compacted the soil so that not only a significantly better stand was obtained
when vermiculite covered the seed, but also emergence of the seedlings were
a full day ahead of that on plain soil. At harvest the vermiculite covered
seed yielded 450 bushels per acre compared to 300 bushels when covered with
soil.

In 1970, onions were seeded about the middle of July with the modified
vermiculite spreader and furrow openers and the amount of vermiculite used
was reduced to three bags or 12 cubic feet for a cost of $6.00 per acre. At
harvest in October, 1970, the yield of onions with vermiculite was 80 percent
of that calculated for a perfect stand compared to 10 percent without vermiculite.

In July, 1970, the first planting of rutabagas was made with a precision
seeder and Planet Jr. seeder, both with and without 12 cubic feet of vermiculite
covering the seed. An excellent stand resulted from both planters with vermi-
culite covering the seed and little hand thinning was required from the pre-
cision planter compared to that from the Planet Jr. Without the use of vermi-
nllitp thpe tand of rutabagas with the Planet Jr. seeder was erratic and








THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


required some hand thinning. There was not a sufficient stand obtained
with the precision planter when vermiculite was not used so that replant-
ing was required.

A side effect not expected from the use of vermiculite was that of
apparent decrease of soluble salt damage on the young rutabaga seedlings.
The water used to irrigate comes from the Concho River which carries
considerable salts during the summer. The soluble salts in the soil have
built up to a fairly high level so that injury to rutabaga seedlings some-
times occurs. The July planting of rutabagas without vermiculite showed
some die-back and leaf burn on the young seedlings when the first true leaves
were developing whereas none was apparent on the seedlings where vermiculite
was used. By the time the plants were developing their second and third
true leaves, salt injury also appeared where vermiculite was used. Apparently,
the vermiculite absorbs sufficient salts from the soil in the area of the
germinating seed to prevent soluble salt damage during the early growth of
the seedling.

Summary

The demonstrations using vermiculite to cover onion and rutabaga seed
showed that:

1. Good stand of onions and rutabagas can be obtained from summer
plantings.

2. Vermiculite prevents crusting of the soil that inhibits seedling
emergence.

3. Vermiculite prevents high temperature soil from direct contact
with stems of tender seedlings.

4. Vermiculite prevents soluble salt damage during early growth of
seedlings.

5. It appears that vermiculite prevents high temperature build up
in area of the germinating seed.

6. The use of vermiculite on seedlings of other vegetables should be
equally effective as that with onions and rutabagas where similar problems
of obtaining a stand are encountered.
(Stephens)

B. Ring Around Tomatoes

You may have read or heard of the ring method of tomato culture.
For those who have not, here is a style of ring culture being pushed by
Southern Garden Centers, and reportedly with good success.








THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

"Japanese-Style Planting Pays Off In Fruit--Eddie Jones' Method"

The following supplies are needed:

1. A piece of wire fence five feet high and 15 feet long.
2. At least two pounds of all-purpose garden fertilizer.
3. Two wheelbarrow loads of good soil.
4. A small bottle of nematode killer.

Choose a sunny location on the south side of the house, if possible,
and in full sun. Break up the soil to a depth of a few inches. Treat it
with nematode killer, according to directions on the container. Place the
circle of wire in the center of the broken ground. Put a layer of mulch six
inches deep in the bottom of the wire ring. Add a layer of soil, then
another layer of mulch and a second layer of soil. Add a pound of fertilizer,
or about two heaping handful. Now treat the mulch and soil with the
nematode killer. Make the top of the pile somewhat dish-shaped so it will
hold water. Wait a week. Plant. Set three or four plants equally spaced
around the outside of the wire, and fertilize them very lightly to get them
started.

As the young plants grow, they will develop roots in the mulch and
soil, and after that growth becomes very rapid. Tie the plants to the wire
as they grow. Spray weekly with a fungicide to ward off blight, and if you
see signs of insects, spray. Should you see signs of slugs scatter an anti-
slug bait over the mulch and about the area outside the wire.

When production becomes heavy, put five pounds of fertilizer on top
of the mulch and soil and water it in.

There can be many variations of this method of growing tomatoes,
commonly called a Japanese tomato ring.
(Stephens)
C. Know Your Vegetables

This item will appear each month, discussing a little known vegetable.

Tree Tomato (Cyphomandra betecea) Articles appear quite often adver-
tising the tree tomato. It is not a true tomato, but is a perennial shrub 6
to 10 feet high, having large, five-inch long, heart shaped, pubescent leaves.
The fruit are two to three inches long, oval in shape, smooth and many seeded,
borne on a long stem. Fruit resembles a tomato in appearance.

It is grown in Florida only in gardens or around the house, and only
in frost-free locations. It is grown widely in South America, especially
Peru and Brazil.






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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


It begins bearing at two years from seed and is usually finished
at 5 or 6 years. Its season, from bloom to mature fruit, is about three
months duration. It is easily propagated from seed, but also may be
started from cuttings.

Private citizens advertise seed for sale in the Florida Market
Bulletin, and it is listed by Lakeland Nurseries, Hanover, Pennsylvania.
There may be other seed sources for this vegetable in addition to these
mentioned, but these two may be helpful for gardeners seeking a trial in
the near future.

(Stephens)




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