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: September 1972
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00077
Source Institution: University of Florida
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IAS


September 1, 1972




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


V. F. Nettles
Acting Chairman

J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


James Montelaro
Professor

S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


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

FROM: S. R. Kostewicz, assistant Vegetable Crops Specialist

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 72-9


HORTICULTURE)


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


Bacterial Leaf Blight of Sweet Corn
Potato Seed-Piece Treatment and Handling
Planning Before Planting Vegetable Crops
Vegetable Transplants: Soil Mixes and Containers


II. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Minigardens
Know Your Vegetables Sword Bean


NOTE: Anyone is
possible,


free to use the information in this newsletter.
please give credit to the authors.


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS. STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS, UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, COOPERATING


FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EX X I lNlIUr-.l fIt-RVIL.bm
UNIVERSITY C'- FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter


Whenever







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. Bacterial Leaf Blight of Sweet Corn

One of the most serious outbreaks of a "basal ear rot" of sweet corn
ever seen in the state developed in the central Florida area late last
spring. Some growers graded out as much as 10 to 15 percent of the sweet
corn ears in order to make grade. The disease hurts the grower by reducing
pack-out and increasing the cost of handling.

The disease is commonly referred to as bacterial leaf blight. Basal
ear rot is one manifestation of the disease; the other is the development of
stripes and dead spots on the leaves. A good description and pictures of
bacterial leaf blight can be found in Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin
714, pages 32-34.

The disease has been studied over a period of years by Dr. C. Wehlburg
at the Belle Glade Station. He and Dr. John Miller of the Department of Plant
Industry identified and made an in-depth study of the recent outbreak of the
disease. They feel that the disease organism is not soil-borne. However, they
did find that some of the grasses are susceptible to the disease. So far, they
have found it on only one species, but fully expect to find it on others.

According to Dr. R. S. Mullin, we have no chemical controls that can be
considered of economic value. Based on the findings of Wehlburg and Miller,
it might be advisable to stress (1) better grass control within the sweet corn
field, and (2) control of grasses in ditchbanks, alleys and border areas of
sweet corn plantings.

There are indications that sweet corn hybrids differ in susceptibility
to bacterial blight of sweet corn. Growers conducting their own variety
testing program should check these carefully for susceptibility to this disease.
Presently, we have no reason to believe that the disease will develop every
season as seriously as it did last season.

(Montelaro)
B. Potato Seed-Piece Treatment and Handling

The May 4, 1972 issue of the Vegetarian Newsletter carried an article
entitled "Potato Seed-Piece Treatment." The article discussed research con-
ducted at Hastings and materials recommended for seed-piece treatment. Most
growers in Florida are treating potato seeds regularly. Treatment is inexpensive
and quite beneficial in most seasons.

Potato seed-piece treatment can create problems under certain conditions.
Our recommendations are to cut, treat and plant. When treated seed-pieces are
not planted shortly after cutting and treating, they are likely to start decay-
ing rapidly. The reason for this is that the treatment materials, which are in
a dust form, can disrupt the normal process of "wound-healing" under certain
storage conditions. If the cut surface does not heal-over properly, it is
easily invaded by soft-rot organisms which can cause complete loss of all potato






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

seed-pieces stored in bags, boxes or piles. The wound-healing process is
a natural development in a potato whereby a corky layer of tissue is formed
over the cut surface. This layer of tissue is quite resistant to pene-
tration by soft-rot organisms. Wound-healing proceeds best at temperatures
of 650 to 700 F. and 85 to 95% relative humidity.

Growers should not continue to cut and treat if the seed cannot be
planted within a few hours. Where the planting operation is stopped by
change in weather, equipment breakdown, etc., the cutting and treating opera-
tion should be stopped, also. Potato seed-pieces left unplanted should be
placed under temperature and humidity conditions described above. They should,
also, be stacked in such a fashion as to permit good air circulation around
the seed-pieces. This may mean loose stacking, turning seed-pieces often, etc.
More often than not, potato seed-pieces which have started to rot will continue
to rot after planting to the field.

(Montelaro)
C. Planning Before Planting Vegetable Crops

Another vegetable production season in Florida is underway. Growers
are busy cleaning, preparing, treating and seeding vegetable fields in many
parts of the State. -low many mistakes have been, are being and will be made on
vegetable farms in Florida during the 1972-73 season? The exact number will
never be known, but from past experiences, it is safe to say that many will be
made. The truth of the matter is that many of the mistakes being made each
year in vegetable production can be completely avoided or, at least, minimized
in severity by careful planning well in advance of the planting season. Such
planning starts with the selection of crops, land, varieties, cultural methods,
etc., and carries through to harvest and the final disposition of crop residues.
One mistake made somewhere in between can mean partial to complete crop failure.

Following are some of the factors which should be given careful con-
sideration before a crop is planted. To list every aspect which might need to
be considered and further to discuss the ones listed in detail would be next
to impossible. The checklist is simply intended to serve as a general guide
to be used in advance planning in an effort to avoid the more common mistakes
made in vegetable production in Florida.

Checklist of Items to Consider in Advance Planning

1. Crop Selection Type, variety, marketability, competition,
scheduling plantings, weather hazards, pest hazards, etc.

2. Site Selection '.and adaptability, weather history, water supply,
water quality, etc.

3. Land Preparation Drainage, irrigation, clearing, leveling, liming
and other amendments.

4. Soil Pest Control Nematodes, insects, diseases and weed seeds,
pesticide residues, etc.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


5. Fertilization Land use history, rates, sources, timing, place-
ment, supplemental applications, minor elements.

6. Disease and Insect Control Equipment, pesticides, residues,
scheduling.

7. Weed Control Herbicides, application equipment and methods,
cultivation, residues.
8. Harvest and Handling Scheduling, labor, harvest equipment, grading,
packing, marketing, destruction of crop residues.

9. Analysis of Crop Season Correction of mistakes, cost cutting.

In considering items in the above checklist, use key words to ask your-
self questions. For example, under #1 Crop Selection:

a. Types Should I grow tomatoes? Ground or trellised?
Vine-ripes or mature-greens?

b. Variety What variety should I grow? Is it resistant
to diseases? Does it have good market acceptance?

Growers will probably have other items to add to the list. Planning
decisions should be written out for reference during the growing season. This
type of exercise can lead to good record keeping and, also, to budgeting for
future crops.
(Montelaro)

D. Vegetable Transplants: Soil Mixes and Containers

Interest in the use of containerized transplants has again increased
recently in many areas. While most growers have relied on buying their trans-
plants from others, a few have attempted to grow their own. The basic technology
of producing container grown transplants has been available for a number of
years. However, in view of some problems that growers have had in producing
their own container transplants, a review of a couple of factors seems to be
in order. These factors are soil substitutes and peat pots.

Soil substitutes offer the advantages of being relatively inert and
"sterile," generally uniform, readily available, lightweight, and low cost.
Generally, several of these soil substitutes are combined to arrive at the final
"soil mix" for placement into the growing containers. Some of the substitutes
used are vermiculite, perlite, calcinated clay, various types and sources of
peat, sand, and occasionally wood shavings and bark. The soil mixes can be mixed
according to several popular "recipes." The University of California Soil Mix
and the Cornell modification of the mix are two that are widely used. (Informa-
tion on these mixes can be obtained by writing the author.) Commercially mixed
formulations are readily available in most areas and are sold under various




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

names and brands. The "recipes" usually call for the addition of nutrient
sources and pH adjusting materials, as well as the soil substitutes them-
selves in the mix. Often, growers modify the "recipes" to fit their own
preferences or particular needs of their operation.

When transplants are grown in individual containers or holders, the
outlet for the transplant will often determine what type of container is
used. Transplants grown for use in commercial vegetable production are usually
in containers which can withstand some handling but are capable of decomposing
or losing their integrity when placed in the soil. Most frequently, this
means that they are some sort of pressed peat or soil composition. A new
approach has been to grow the plants in such a manner that the transplant set
in the field is without a container. (Not to be confused with "bare rooted"
transplants.) The soil mix the plant is grown in is retained by the roots
which have permeated it, thus, forming a "container" the shape of which having
been determined by the container originally holding the mix.

The peat or soil pots are planted together with the plant. In this
manner, "transplanting shock" often observed in "bare rooted" transplants is
virtually eliminated. Properly managed, the walls of the container offer little
resistance to the penetration of the roots of the plant. The key to the correct
management practices is moisture. Peat pots should be kept moist continuously.
Alternating wet and dry conditions renders the peat leathery in texture which
hinders root penetration. This same type of hardening of the walls can occur
if the pots are set in the field when the soil is extremely dry and provisions
for adding moisture are not used.

The grower's combination of soil mix and type of container is based upon
availability, cost, experience, and results. Differences in plant management
techniques (watering, fertilizer application, etc.) account for most of the errors
encountered by growers when changing mixes or containers. Thus, once a system
is "mastered" very little should be changed. That is not to say that one should
not try new ideas or items, but one should not institute changes into the entire
system at once. Small scale trials can yield many differences, without
jeopardizing the entire crop.


(Kostewicz)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

II. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Minigardens

1. Introduction Those not having enough space for a larger garden
should consider miniigardening the technique of growing vegetables in
containers. To have a minigarden, about all the space needed is a sunny
spot on a balcony, patio, porch, walkway, windowsill, doorstep, or lawn.

Vegetables grown in this manner offer not only fresh, nutritious
produce, but also may be quite ornamental.

2. Containers Almost any container holding enough soil mix to support
the plant when fully grown may be used. Examples of containers are plastic or
clay pots, a plastic bucket, an old pail, a bushel basket, a wooden box, an
old bath tub, or even a plastic bag.

The size and number of containers can vary with the space available
and the number of plants wanted. Six-inch pots are satisfactory for chives
and herbs. Ten-inch pots are better for radishes, green onions, miniature
tomatoes, ornamental peppers, and strawberries. Where sufficient space is
available, 5-gallon plastic trash cans are suitable, since they are easy to
handle, yet large enough for larger vegetables such as tomatoes. Half-bushel
or bushel baskets make good, light-weight containers. Larger containers in
the twenty to thirty gallon range are excellent, but are somewhat difficult
to :ve about if necessary. Large drums and barrels are popular for growing
strawber;'es in holes or slits along the sides. Plastic laundry baskets are
attractive and can be modified by lining with plastic sheeting.

3. Scil Soil taken from the yard or garden may be used, but soil
substitutes ofer certain advantages. A ready-to-use soil substitute, or
sy-the.'c soil, prepared from a mixture of horticultural vermiculite, peat
mo;s, a:d fertilizer, is sold at garden supply stores. For minigardening, it
has several z.vartages over soil. It is free )f plant disease organisms and
weed .e:ds, it hulds moi0tre and plant nutrients well, and it is very light-
weight and portable.

The ingredients for preparing a soil substitute might be:

a) Horticultural grade vermiculite (1 b-.'ael)
b) Peat ialoss (1 bushel)
c) Liment:ne or dolomite (1 pound)
d) Superphosphate (1/4 Dound)
(e) Fertilizer (1/2 pound)

Add a little water to reduce the dust during mixing, and mix
thoroughly.

4. Starting from Seed Plants may be started in each minigarden by
using seeds or transplants.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Rather than in rows,vegetables might be seeded, or transplants
set, solidly over the entire soil area of the container. Allow sufficient
space for the plants to develop. Therefore, a container might hold several
plants of radishes spaced an inch apart, but only one tomato plant.

5. Fertilizing To keep plants growing rapidly and producing well,
apply additional fertilizer about 3 weeks after the plants have reached the
two-leaf stage and again every three weeks. A complete garden fertilizer such
as 6-6-6 or 5-10-5 should be used, both for preparing the soil mix and for
later applications. It can be applied dry or mixed with water. In either
case, apply one level teaspoonful per cubic foot of soil. Mix the fertilizer
into the top 1/2 inch of soil and water thoroughly.

6. Watering Water each time the soil becomes dry down to a depth of
1/8 to 1/4 inch. Overwatering will slowly kill your plants due to lack of
oxygen. Prepare the container to allow for proper drainage.

7. Light All vegetables grow better in full sunlight than in the
shade. If a choice is available, locate the vegetable fruiting plants (tomatoes,
for example), where they will get the most sun, and place your leafy and root
vegetables in the shadier areas.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Sword Bean

The Jack Bean (Canavalia ensiformis) and the Sword Bean (Canavalia
gladiata) are very similar beans which are occasionally grown in some home gar-
dens around the State. Other names for them are: Chickasaw Lima Bean,
Brazilian Broad Bean, Coffee Bean, Ensiform Bean, Horse Bean, Mole Bean,
Go-Ta-Ki, Overlook Bean, Pearson Bean, Watanka, and Raba de burro.

In both species, pods reach a length of 10 to 14 inches, and a width
of 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Seeds are large, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and nearly as
broad. The two species differ mainly in the length of the seed hilum (scar).
The hilum of sword bean (C. ladiata) is more than one-half the length of the
seed, whereas that of the Jack Bean (C. ensiformis) is only about one-third as
long as the seed.

There probably are many varietal and environmental variations in the growth
habit of the plant; however, it appears that the jack bean plant is bushy in
comparison with the vining nature of the sword bean plant. One north Florida
gardener noted that one sword bean plant covered his entire garden of 400 square
feet.

Neither bean has commercial importance in this country. Both are reported
to be edible in the young tender immature stage by slicing and boiling the tender
pods, or peeling and using the seeds as broad beans. However, reports have also
indicated the possibility of mild toxicity if beans are eaten in large quantities.
In fact, the boiling water should be drained off to remove any poisonous sub-
stances which might exude from the beans. Pharmaceutical companies have shown
some interest in the beans as a possible source of the enzyme urease.
(Stephens)




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