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: February 1973
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00082
Source Institution: University of Florida
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February 5, 1973






Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


J. F. Kelly
Chairman

J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


James Montelaro
Professor

S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


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

FROM: James Montelaro, Vegetable Crops Specialist owo, "


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 73-2


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Reducing Seedling Loss Under Full-Bed Mulch Culture
B. Urea Versus Natural Organic Nitrogen Sources in
Fertilizer
C. Nozzle Wear in Herbicide Application Equipment
D. 'Chilton' A New Cantaloupe Variety Released by
Auburn University

II. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Using Crop Knowledge to Help Home Gardeners
B. Know Your Vegetables Swiss Chard


NOTE: Anyone is free to use
possible, please give


the information in this newsletter.
credit to the authors.


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND H;EOME ECONOMICS. ETATE OiF: FLORIDA. IFAS, UNIVERSITY
OP FLORIDA, U. 0. DiLPARTMEN.T OF AGRICULTURE, ADNI: BOARDS 01 COUNTY COM'MISSIONI RS. COOPCRAATIN


Whenever


FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION '.: rJI
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL. SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT


Th!; VEG A I Yl.i




-2-

THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Reducing Seedling Loss Under Full-Bed Mulch Culture

Growers of vegetable crops changing over from open-culture to full-
bed mulch culture have been confronted with a serious problem of poor seedling
survival. It is observed most often in the hot weather of late summer and
early fall. However, it can occur at almost anytime during the growing season
in Florida. Seedling loss is most severe on direct-seeded crops, but it can
occur in transplanted crops as well.

Poor seedling survival under full-bed mulch culture can be attributed
to injury resulting from accumulation of high soluble salts in the root zone.
As water is evaporated or transpired by plants, salts are deposited at or near
the surface of the soil exposed where the hole is punched in the mulch cover.

Soluble salt injury to seedlings has been discussed in previous issues
of the Vegetarian Newsletter. These articles included ways and means of com-
bating the problem. Since then, we have realized that even though the cultural
practices recommended are definitely helpful, seedling injury under full-bed
mulch culture can still be a serious problem. A solution to the problem recom-
mended by Mr. Norman Hayslip, Horticulturist at the Agricultural Research Center,
Fort Pierce, is top watering. Mr. Hayslip is the developer of the plug-mix
seeding technique now being used successfully by some growers. After working
with the problem for several years, Mr. Hayslip feels that top watering is
absolutely essential during hot weather.

Top watering can be done with carts or other equipment which will deliver
about 1/3 cup of water per hole. Mr. Hayslip recommends top watering every two
days during hot weather. Top watering should be continued until the plants
become well established and develop a root system extending beyond the zone of
high soluble salts. This may be seven to ten days for containerized transplants
to a period of twenty or more days for direct-seeded crops.
(Montelaro)

B. Urea Versus Natural Organic Nitrogen Sources in Fertilizer

A misunderstanding common among many of our vegetable growers in Florida
is the relative merits of the various sources of the so-called "organic nitrogen."
Growers often point with pride to the fact that their fertilizer contains 30
percent or more organic nitrogen. Upon checking the fertilizer tag, one is apt
to find that the major portion comes from urea (labeled water soluble organic
nitrogen) and the balance, if any from plant residues, treated sewage sludge,
etc. (labeled water insoluble organic nitrogen). Therein lies the difference
between the two.

The pros and cons relative to the use of organic nitrogen have been dis-
cussed in past issues of the Vegetarian Newsletter. The purpose in this issue
is to discuss the relative merits of the two general types of organic nitrogen so
that growers can make a more intelligent decision in the selection of nitrogen
sources for their crops.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Urea nitrogen is actually an organic nitrogen by definition and can
be so stated by law on the label. However, it is labeled as water-soluble
organic nitrogen. It goes into the solution rapidly in the soil, but this
does not mean that the plant will absorb and utilize it as such. On the con-
trary, it must be broken down into ammonia and carbon dioxide before being
absorbed by plants. The conversion can take place in a relatively short time
in the presence of the appropriate microorganisms. From the standpoint of
behavior in the soil, urea reacts more like the inorganic forms of nitrogen
than the natural organic.

The natural organic, on the other hand, are broken down slowly. Depend-
ing on the source, the process may take weeks. It has been estimated that
only about 40 percent of the nitrogen from natural organic are available to
the crop for which it was applied. The natural organic may also (1) supply
some minor elements to the soil, (2) impart good conditioning properties to a
fertilizer mixture, and (3) help to improve the physical, chemical and biological
properties of a soil.

In summary, all so-called organic nitrogens do not necessarily react
alike in a soil and should, therefore, be given different considerations in the
management of the fertilization program.
(Montelaro)

C. Nozzle Wear in Herbicide Application Equipment

Pesticide application equipment should be calibrated prior to its use
and periodically during its operation. Proper calibration of the equipment
is essential for safe, economical and effective pest control.

One aspect of herbicide application equipment frequently overlooked is
that of nozzle wear. Nozzle selection is usually made on the basis of desired
pattern, delivery volume and pressure used. Calibration is necessary to keep
track of how much material is being applied, and to determine if adjustments
are needed. With any given material, nozzle wear causes the most significant
change in volume of solution delivered by a sprayer. Herbicides are usually
applied in low gallonages at low pressures. Delivery volume is thus very
important or excessive herbicide may be applied. One would suppose that for
any given material, nozzle wear would be the same over all the nozzles being
used. This may or may not be true, depending on the system used. A frequent
finding is that one nozzle in the system is delivering a great deal more spray
material than others. This often can be traced to the method used to unplug
stopped nozzles. Wires, nails, screwdrivers, etc., are not recommended as
devices to open plugged nozzles. They tend to enlarge the opening slightly,
thus altering the delivery volume. Air pressure or soft items like a toothpick
should be used instead.

Wettable powders generally will cause more wear on the nozzles than true
solution-forming materials or emulsifiable concentrates. There is also a
difference in the wear resistance of the materials used to make nozzles, i.e.,
brass versus stainless steel. An excellent illustration of this was given in a






THE VEGETARIAI1 NEWSLETTER


previous Vegetarian (No. 91) and is worthy of consideration. A good practice
is to replace nozzle tips and screens frequently to prevent potential mis-
application. This may also prove economical from the standpoint of reducing
quantities of material used.
(Kostewicz)

D. 'Chilton' A New Cantaloupe Variety Released by Auburn University

New cantaloupe varieties adapted to the Southeastern United States are
of great interest to Florida growers. We recently have been informed that a
variety developed by Dr. J. D. Norton of Auburn University has been released
and is available commercially. An exclusive release of the seed was made to
a national company for seed increase and sale to wholesale seedsmen. We have
not evaluated the variety under Florida conditions, but growers may want to
obtain a small quantity of seed for their own observational trials.

The release leaflet describes the variety as having a high degree of
tolerance to gummy stem blight, and tolerance to powdery and downy mildew. The
fruit is mostly round, 5 to 6 inches in diameter with an average weight of 2
pounds. It is slightly ribbed, well covered with a medium net, and matures in
70-75 days. The flesh is thick, deep orange in color and of excellent flavor
and aroma, and has a small seed cavity. The fruit is very firm and will soften
to an excellent dessert quality in 3 to 4 days. Yields compare favorably with
established varieties. It is excellent for shipping and has good eating quality.

A copy of the release leaflet and/or names of seed sources can be obtained
by writing the Vegetable Crops Department.


(Kostewicz)







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

II. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Using Crop Knowledge to Help Home Gardeners

Working between the field on the one hand and the home garden on the
other, one is surprised at the similarity of the principles involved. Follow-
ing are a few points which might help in dealing with persons desiring to grow
vegetables in gardens.

Adapt field (commercial information to the garden)- Most technical
information is developed as a result of research on crops grown on a large
commercial scale. It is our job to determine which of this information can be
utilized by the home gardener.

Basically, there are several differences along with the similarities of
recommendations for the home vegetable gardener as compared with the commercial
producer. Because of these differences, we strongly urge that commercial recom-
mendations (and publications containing them) not be given to home gardeners.

The main difference lies in the area of safety. The average gardener is
not accustomed to dealing with chemicals which may be dangerous to himself and
his neighbors. It may appear to be inconsistent, but we are not willing to give
him as good control of his pests as we might since we can't afford to sacrifice
safety. Secondly, changes are necessary due to the relatively small plots
involved.

Since most gardens are small compared with commercial fields, many pro-
duction practices can be carried out in the garden that could never be attempted
in the field; for example, hand picking of insects and composting.

Promotion of gardens Another consideration is that we need to promote
gardening as a way to supplement incomes, improve nutrition, and to provide a
more enjoyable life.

Gardeners more novices Since gardeners are in general not as well informed
about crops and their production as are farmers, we need to be detailed in infor-
mation we give them, yet keeping in mind our limited time. For example, most
farmers know what we mean by the term sidedresss," but such a terml must be
explained to the gardener.

1. Crop Arrangement (spacing of rows and plants, etc.)

While a commercial grower may have only one crop to plan for in his
growing area, the gardener must arrange an assorted array of crops in a limited
space.

A. Arrangement Consider tall growing, slow maturing, etc.

B. Spacing Space plants and rows to provide maximum use of
small plot; fewer machinery considerations than for large
farm; just enough room for plants and for caring for them.
Refer to Circular 104 for correct spacing.







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


C. Planting date Suggest time of planting best for satis-
factory growth no need to consider market angle in
most cases. (Circular 104).

2. Varieties

Most varieties suitable for commercial production in Florida are usually
suitable for suggesting in the home garden, except for the problem that often
such seed is not generally available in garden supply stores in small packets.
On the other hand, many varieties may be suggested for the garden that have no
place in a commercial operation. Examples Big Boy tomato, Smith's Perfect
cantaloupe.

There are many kinds and varieties that a person can grow in his garden
for his own use that he could not readily sell. Example Kohlrabi.

We have tried to accumulate a list of kinds and varieties in Circular
104 that include the key commercial varieties generally available, plus others
not of commercial use, but which may be popular with home gardeners. We try
to keep in mind availability of seed, popularity, quality, productivity, and
pest resistance.

3. Organic Matter

While the farmer can do little to improve the organic matter in his soil,
and does quite well without such improvements, the gardener has the time and
means to do so. And, it is often quite advantageous to the gardener. Composting
is one of the best ways to build up valuable organic matter in soils.

4. Liming

We may be too general here, but what we try to do is give the gardener
one pH range to shoot at for all his crops in the same plot. In general where
the soil pH is a little low (pH 5.5 to 5.8), 2-3 pounds of dolomite will be
sufficient. On very acid soils (below 5.0), more lime is needed up to 10 or 12
pounds per 100 square feet.

5. Fertilizing

I'm sure we are too general here for best results with all crops; however,
when we suggest 2-5 pounds per 100 square feet, we are considering first, several
vegetables and their needs and second, various soil types having different previous
fertilizer practices.

In general, if a soil test is adequate in potash and phosphorus, I would
still suggest the rate of 2-5 pounds of 6-8-8 per 100 square feet. This is
equivalent to only about 1/2 to 1 ton per acre. It might not be needed, but
economy is not always a main consideration with gardeners as it is with the
commercial grower. Although we suggest 6-8-8, any common analysis such as 4-7-5,
6-6-6, 6-8-8, 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 may be used in the garden. Liquid fertilizers
containing the major elements are suitable for soil application, but in general,
the cost per unit of plant food is higher with solutions.







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


6. Weed Control

We are presently suggesting mostly conventional methods of weed control
in the garden. Most plots are small enough that weeds can be controlled by
cultivation with hoes, wheelhoes, power cultivators, hand pulling or mulching.

We have not suggested the use of chemical weed control for several
reasons. (We suggest fallow treatments for problem 'reeds such as nutgrass.)

A. Conventional means usually satisfactory.

B. Several types of vegetables growing in plot to be treated
and no herbicide works on all crops.

C. Gardener probably not skilled enough to apply herbicide.

D. Damage to vegetables and other plants possible if misused.

7. Insect Control

Of course, this is the area where we have to be most cautious in making
suggestions. Here, I would like to caution anyone who gives out commercial
material to a home gardener, for it may not be safe for the average gardener
to use.

A garden insecticide should be general as possible (controlling several
pests and usable on several crops at once), and safe as possible to applicator
and consumer.

In Circular 104, we have listed most of the insects commonly found in
home gardens, and the materials to control them.

In the interest of a clean environment, I think all of us should emphasize
the restrained use of insecticides (to be used only when needed).

8. Fungicides

Most fungicides suggested for commercial use may be suggested also for
the home gardener. Formulations may be the same or different, but suggest a
measurement such as tablespoons per 1 gallon of water instead of pounds per 100
gallons.

In most cases, zineb, maneb, captain, or copper dusts or sprays are general
and sufficient enough for a wide range of vegetables, if used on a preventive
basis.

Farmers usually know the disease on their crop, but gardeners usually do
not. We need to help gardeners learn to distinguish between diseases so they
will not expect easy control of these such as viruses.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


9. Nematodes

Since cost is not as great a factor with many gardeners as with farmers,
we should encourage gardeners to fumigate their soil prior to starting their
garden each season. In-the-row fumigation with D-D, EDB, Nemagon, Vapam, or
Vorlex may be suggested for most crops. Methyl bromide is no longer cleared
for use by home gardeners.

Explanation of Practices We must be ready to explain such things as
mulching, composting, pruning, staking, pollination, blossom-drop, physiological
disorders, etc. Gardeners are inquisitive and generally demand more explanation
than most farmers.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Swiss Chard

Swiss chard belongs to the Goosefoot family--Chenopodiaceae. It is Beta
vulgaris var. cicla. Swiss chard, also known as chard, leaf beet, or spinach
beet, lacks the fleshy root of the garden beet. Its large, glossy, dark-green
leaves are borne on white, fleshy leaf stalks. Chard is commonly found in
gardens throughout Florida both as a winter vegetable, since it is a cool-season
crop, and as a summer cooking green, since it tolerates heat very well also.

Chard may be seeded directly in the garden or transplanted from a seedbed
or from one point in the row to another. Plants are spaced about 6 to 12 inches
apart. It is easy to grow. Some even grow it as a border plant around build-
ings.

The succulent, dark-green leaves, which are usually crinkled or savoyed,
are eaten as cooking greens. Sometimes, the fleshy white leaf midribs are
separated from the leaf blade and prepared much like celery or asparagus. Chard
is ready to eat about 60 days or less from seeding.

Favorite varieties are Lucullus, Fordhook Giant, and the red-leaved variety
Rhubarb Swiss Chard.
(Stephens)




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