I 'I >1
f 1 1
October 1, 1971
Prepared by Extension Veqe, Lah' Crons Specialists
G. A. Marlowe, ,Jr. JLiiaes Montelaro J. Stephens
J. R. licks R. K. ShnwPaiter D. D. Gull
TO: COUNTY 1i T1':; ON Dir'CTORS ;.:J' AiGITS ( VEGLTAS!.C.ES AND HORTICULTURE)
p iID OTHERS INiTERlESiD V'GlTA'LL CIOPS Ir FLORIDA
FROM: James Montelaro, V. ,:tabe C-rops Special ist y
IN THIS ISSUE:
I. Cmjinircial Vegetabsl Production
A. rrbhlems Observed in Vegetable Production
2. Soluble Salts
3. Oroanic Matter
1. Fertilize i Sources
5. Disease Control
II. Vegetable Gard.ening
A. D[-L;onstratino Plant Nutrient Deficiencies
B. Know Your Vegetables
III. l harvesting and Handling
A. Recent Develoi,1:i.,:ls in Pollution Control
NOTE: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever
possible, please give credit to the authors.
I. Commercial Vegetable Production
A. Problems Observed in Vegetable Production
At the last South Florida Tomato Institute, the writer presented a
talk entitled "Some Problems Observed in Tomato Production." It could have
been presented to a general vegetable institute since many of these problems
have also been observed in v-. :.-table crops other than tomatoes. The entire
talk, with one exception, is presented here. Minor clhnges in text were made
to make the subjects covered appropriate to vegetable crops in general.
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THE VEtGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
a. Fol low inq3 Gladiolus Some of the severest nematode problems
we have ever encountered in '.,elctable crops were follow i.-i: gladiolus. It
is best to avoid land p'lanlted to a lads. However, if it has to be used,
be sure that it is well fulmgated.
b. Nitrate-l-N D-ficien 6 .' Folloi n Fu .imni na r, Nitri fi cation is
essentially stopped in Tun-,di : si. ) ni i .- f normal ni tri fi cati on
in a soi'l is dependent; on :[i.,i factors, the m ost in9iortantt being re-inocula-
tion with untireated. soii iit ay tali'.v from 3 to 6 weeks in opc, n-culture
vegetable soil, but ca;, last for several months in soil under full-bed plastic
To cuntrl Iar't ithe efects of ifuli gaLtion, increase the proportion
of nitrate--nitroogn I the fertiilizer used at plantirrg and, if possible and
if needed, at sidiedressin'- tinie.
2. Soluble Salts
a. Seedlin Intjury Vegetable crops in the germination and seedling
stages are many times more susceptible to salt injury than at later stages
of growth. F-ertilizor coming in contact with young seedlings from over the
drill or improper bandi placement can kill or injure seedlings. To the casual
observer, salt injury on seedlings may be confused with damping-off symptoms
or poor germination attributed to poor quality seed.
To lessen soluble salt injury to vegetable crop seedlings-.-() Do
not apply any fertilizer over or under the seed drill. If it is felt a small
amount of fertilizer is needed in the seed drill zone, be sure to mix it well
with the soil in that area. (2) in placing fertilizer in bands to the side
of the seed drill, be sure to avoid, (a) drift to the seed drill zone from
flexible boots, wind, dragging chains, and (b) fertilization and seeding opera-
tions not sufficiently coordinated to give precision placement of each, etc.
b. Crop Injury High soluble salts can injure vegetable plants even
in the more advanced stages of growth. Soluble salt injury can be insidious
in that: (1) It is not readily apparent to the observer in the ranges just
beyond safe levels, (2) Soluble salt levels can increase quite rapidly from
fertilizer additions and/or evaporation, and (3) Soluble salt injury, unless
severe enough to cause rout-tip or leaf-margin burn, is often diagnosed as
fertilize deficiency with consequent intensification of the problem by the
addition of more fertilizer salts.
To lessen the danger of possible injury from soluble salts, growers
should consider one or more of the following practices.
(1) Full bed or partial mulch cover over fertilizer or row.
(2) Split total :im!ulint of fertilizer in smaller and more
(3) Keep soil moisture at maximum levels consistent with
good growing conditions.
(4) Use low-salt index materials in fertilizer mixes and in
THE VEGETARIAN HIEUSLETTER
(5) Use placement techniques that tend to lessen salt
p robl ems.
(6) Maintain good drainage.
(7) M-any others including overhead sprinklers, row-
3. Organic Matter
The small amount of organic matter found in sandy soils is extrcinmely
important to the success of a crop. Summer fallowing for two or more years
can help to control nematodes and other soil pests, but quickly destroys
the remaining organic matter.
4. Fertilizer Sources
a. iii y Ammoni ated Superphosphate The use of this material as
the only source of phosphorus can result in a severe deficiency of this
element. As little as 30% of the total phosphorus can be available to the
crop to which it is applied.
Two suggestions can be made: (1) Use a less highly ammoniated
material in the order of 3 to 4 and (2) Use some plain super or triple super
in the mix.
b. Potash The muriate sources can be used to supply part of the
potash needs. In addition to the sulfate, we can add the nitrate form to the
sources which can be used to supply part of the potash needs.
c. Nitro -Nli :-troien Even when the soil has not been fumigated, a
nitrate-i deficiency can develop and cause serious problems. Nitrate-N is
known to affect calcium uptake. It is important to maintain a good nitrate-N
level in the soil from emergence thru harvest.
d. Foliar Fertilizers It is surprising to see how much foliar feeding
is still used in vegetable production. Except for the minor elements and
emergency situations, there are no real economic benefits in the use of
nutritional sprays. The use of N-P-K materials on a regular basis together
with pesticide is to be strongly discouraged. Calcium sprays should be used
only in the more critical situations.
5. Disease Control
a. Coverage Failure to control late blight, in one instance, was being
attributed to failure of recommended fungicides. A test in progress at the
same time at the experiment station being conducted by Dr. R. A. Conover proved
otherwise. It was simply a case of poor coverage and timing. During periods of
severe disease infestations, the true value of good coverage and timing can be
b. Tank Mixes Probably, the most common problem observed in the field
today is that of too many materials being put into the spray tank each time.
THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
It is not uncommon to find as many as 4 to 8 trade name materials in a
spray tank. The reactions that can take place in such a situation are
beyond the comprehension of the best chemists.
A rule of thumb we have suggested over the years is to use only
those materials that are absolutely necessary. Generally, that means one
insecticide and one fungicide. There are times when two of one or the
other may be needed. Dut, definitely leave out the materials which are
being used on the long-shot gamble that "they may help the crop."
a. Residues U'- have seen serious cases of injury from herbicide
residue to some vegcLab'le crops over the past fe; years. These have developed
where an herbicide dwas tus;e in the fall or spring and followvce by a susceptible
crop in the spring or fall', respectively. Although we can't be exactly sure,
we think that cold weather and reduced rainfall limit breakdown of these
On land to be used over and over again, growers should pay close
attention to herbicide usage, rates, timing, etc., and their potential effects
on subsequent crops.
b. Effects on Heed Ecology Fields used for the same crop for two or
more seasons in a row are apt to develop heavy populations of weeds not killed
by the herbicide used for the crop.
Solution to this problem is not easy. The use of crop rotation,
crop residue and weed destruction, preplant fumigation with material having
weedicidal properties, some fallow cultivation, etc., would tend to lessen the
seriousness of the problem.
a. Stakes and ELuinmjiont Recent research has demonstrated the value of
sterilizing stakes to prevent spread of Fusarium race II from field to field.
There is every reason to believe that this same type of care would also help to
control other soil pests as well. Treatment of equipment to be moved from field
to field would, no doubt, offer some benefits as well.
b. CGron Residues, Ditchbanks, etc. An old vegetable field is a
reservoir for the maintenance and spread of diseases and insects. They should
be plowed under as soon as possible after harvest. Ditchbanks and turnways
are in the same category. They should, also, be kept as clean as possible.
THE VEGTiTARIA! NEWSLETTER
II. Vegetable Gardening
A. Demoni.traLin ; Plant: Nut ri en Defi ciencies
Extension ,.Ljt:-is are called upon from time to time to advise 4-fH
Club members on Ihew to Ldemons I.tr.ite plant nutrient deficiency symptoms
for school science- fair and I i.Lior projects.
Her is ;' brief outline of the basic consi durations for accolmp]lishing
such denionstratiios. The pr .c dures are explained in great ter detail in
MassachusLett Fxl-te, si: n ,t rvicer Pub. No. 41, January, 1970.
st. I i.h; demo.'- trati on
A few ;iDile ciride! ines should be followed:
a. iise the sanm. kind and age of pi lant.
b. Make sure everything is similar for ail plants, such
ais container, culture medium, s1: oution, li.iht, water,
c. Ialve at least two subjects (plants) for each treat--
m:;int (in separate containers).
d. iJave, some "check" plants (those grown normally) to
contpare Vi th
e. Keep records and notes on observations.
2. Plailts to be used
Bush beans ciu .u'lr, squash, tomato or corn.
3. T ye fJ culture
a. A;.i'i.All .t. cill!.ure Use something like a small plastic
flower pot filled with pure sand,washed gravel: perlite, or
vermiculite. The nutrient solution is "slopped" onto the sur-
face at the rate of 1/2 pint per day per plant. Allow excess
to drain thronuth to ground,
b. Water culture Containers similar to widemouth, capped
polyethylene pint or quart bottles are suitable. Paint clear
bottles with aluminum to discourage algae growth. Fill weekly
with nutrient solution. An air supply tube run from a small
aquarium pump is necessary to aerate the solution. A su.-onge
stopper is good for holding the plant in position above the
4. Germinating the seed
Seed first should be sprouted in a pan of moist vermiculite.
When the seedlings have reached about the first true leaf stage,
-thl.', should be selected and transplanted into the containers.
THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
5. Preparing thc- stock solution
It is easier to prepare a quantity of concentrated stock
solution which can be diluted as needed rather than preparing
final concentrations each time. A macronutrient stock solution
for each salt is needed, whereas one stock solution containing
all the minors (except iron) is sufficient.
a. Containers Use any clean, well-stoppered bottle (one
for each of the macronutrient salts) that will hold at least 1
liter (2.113 pints).
b. Water for solution Use distilled or demineralized water.
c. Macronutrient stock solution Prepare a 0.5 molar (0.5M)
solution for each of the following salts.
_ _- ,_ ^ .^ -j l- i t e r
Salt of 0.5M stock solution
Calcium nitrate Ca(N03)2 4H20 118 grams
Calcium chloride CaC12 2H20 73 grams
Potassium nitrate KN03 51 grams
Potassium chloride KC1 37 grams
Potassium phosphate KH2PO4 68 grains
Magnesium sulfate MgSO4 N 7120 123 grams
Sodium nitrate NaNO3 42 grams
Ammonium phosphate flH4H2PO4 58 grams
d. Micronutrient (minors) stock solution (mix all together)
Compound of water
Boric acid 13BO3 2.86
Manganese chloride MnC12 4H20 1.81
Zinc sulfate ZnSO4 7H20 0.22
Copper sulfate CuSO4 5H20 0.08
Molybdic acid H2Mo04 H20 0.02
e. Iron stock solution A solution of iron (Fe) should be pre-
pared separate from the other minor stock solution. Mix 8.33 grams
of (NaFe EDTA, 12% Fe) in 1 liter of water.
6. Using the stocks to demonstrate desired deficiencies
The following solutions may be prepared to demonstrate desired
deficiencies. You may want to make up a gallon or more of each
since about a gallon per week will be needed for two plants.
Till VEGETARIAN [IEWSI FTTER
111 StOI~.: ...rltli L nl peI
Deficncy Co_-_ lound liter of nutri ;en t s solution
Ion 'L: Ca ( NO3) 2 10
(Control) In03 10
Ml' g4 4
Hicronutrient solution 1
Irol_ solution 1
Nitrogen CaC 12 10
Micronitri ent sol ution
I roli solution _
Phosphorus Ca(N103)2 10
Mi crorn1tri ent solution 1
Iron olui:ti on
Potassium Ca(Nn03) 12
HI n SO/i a
ficr-onutrient solution 1
_Jront solution 1
Calcium nKN,0 10
no !O-, 10
ii .n ilnnutri ent soluit on
I o': L, ('lrti on 1
M nn'um Ca(. I 10
Mi c, nonutrient, solu tion 1I
_________ Iron !lution ]
THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
B. Know Your Vegetables
This item will appear each month, discussing a little-known
Luffa Gourd Luffa is the genus name of a group of gourds also
known as vegetable sponges, dishcloth gourds, running okra, strainer
vine, Chinese okra, and California okra. The Luffa cylindrica is the
species most commonly grown in this country. It is very ornamental,
and the fruits, which become one to two feet long and strongly ribbed,
have a very well-developed, fibrous interior which has been used like
a cloth or sloringe for cleaning and scrubbing. The immature fruits,
when young and tender, may he eaten as cooked vegetables, very much
like okra or summer squash.
In Florida, Iuiffas are grown mostly in home gardens. Their
culture is much like cucumlbers or squash, except they take longer to
mature, requiring about 3 months or more to reach edible maturity and
longer (140 days) for the dried product.
More complete information on the luffa gourd is included in
Vegetable Crops MR 71-4, available from this office.
THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
III. Harvesting and Handling
A. Recent Developments in Pollution Control
Pollution is by no means anew concept. During the past decade,
we have been bombarded with talk of pollution and more specifically with
talk of pollution control. Last year the State of Florida instigated a
new program to prevent pollution in the future. Vincent D. Patton,
Executive Director, Florida Department of Pollution Control, summed up
the program in three words--abatement, control and planning. "Abatement
of pollution through rigid enforcement of Florida's anti-pollution laws;
control of sources of pollution through permitting and surveillance
activities; and planning for prevention of pollution in the future."
The major portion of the state water pollution program rests on a
permit system which requires any installation which may be a source of
water pollution to obtain a permit to operate. These permits do not allow
dumping refuse at will but contain specific treatments and acceptable
methods of disposal. In addition to the operating permit, any installation
in the above category which is being built or modified, must also have a
construction permit. In order to obtain this permit, adequate plans for
pollution control must be presented to the Florida Department of Pollution
Control. There are a number of rules and regulations pertaining to
application for either of the above permits. These rules are covered in
Chapter 17-4 of the Florida Administrative Code.
According to Mr. Patton's estimate, there are perhaps as many as
1,200 people who should have applied for a permit and have not done so.
These people may be subject to fines.
The actual quality of discharged effluent has been neglected in this
report. There is a long list of criteria for a number of classes of
water covered in Chapter 17-3 of the Administrative Code. The water classes
are determined by usage and include public, shellfish harvesting, recreation,
agricultural-industrial and navigation. A number of criteria are listed
for water in each class. There is also a section on minimum conditions
of all waters (17-3.02), general water quality (17-3.04) and on water quality
standards (17-3.05). The last section presents the maximum allowable levels
of fluorides, chlorides, turbidity, dissolved oxygen (minimum levels), BOD,
temperature, dissolved solids, specific conductance, radioactive substances,
oils, pH, detergents and a number of specific elements and compounds which
are considered toxic.
The Federal counterpart of the Florida Department of Pollution Control
is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This agency has responsibility
in inter-state pollution as well as a cooperative role with Florida in intra-
state pollution control. The Refuse Act of 1899 will probably have more
bearing on the industries within the State of Florida than any of the other
tools of EPA. This act is aimed strictly at industrial wastes which according
to the Corp of Engineers, includes all waste except doiiestic. As with the
THE VEGETARIAN IFR'SI I-TTER
Florida system, a permit is required. An application for a permit is
made to the Corp of niiJineers who in turn check with EPA to ascertain
if federal pollution requirements are being met. If EPA is satisfied,
they check with the state so as not to issue a permit when Florida's
standards are not being met.
As mentioned earlier, pollution is not new. However, most of
the abatement programs are very new--even the Refuse Act of 1899 has
recently taken on new meaning. As with most new programs, there is a
considerable amount of confusion. If there is any question as to whether
or not a permit is required, inquiries should be directed to the District
Office of the Corp of Engineers and/or the nearest office of the Florida
Department of Pollution Control. A letter or phone call may save you a
rather stiff fine.
(Hlicks, Showal ter and Gull)