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: May 1973
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00085
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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May 8, 1973




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


J. F. Kelly
Ch ai rman
J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


James Montelaro
Professor
S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


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


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

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 73-5


IN THIS ISSUE:
I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


Minor Element "Prescription Mixes"
Seed Corn Maggot Injury on Watermelons
Sweet Potato Weevil Control
Research with Repeat Low-Dosage Postemergence
Herbicide Treatments


II. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Weed Control in the Home Garden
Spacing Summer Squash
Know Your Vegetables Wax Gourd


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


~";t;;*s




-t-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Minor Element "Prescription Mixes"

The use of "prescription-mixed" or "pre-mixed" materials as sources of
minor elements has increased significantly in Florida vegetable production
over the past few years. Growers apparently like to order the required minor
elements for their fertilizer by specifying a certain number of pounds of a
prescription-mixed material rather than remembering cumbersome percentage
fractions for each of the minor elements. For example, a grower planning to
apply 1,000 pounds of fertilizer per acre and wishing to apply a pre-mixed
material at the rate of 20 pounds per acre simply specifies addition of 40
pounds of the pre-mixed material per ton of fertilizer. Ordered individually,
a grower's request for the same minor elements might read: 0.3% CuO, 0.5% MnO,
0.5% Fe203, 0.3% ZnO, 0.2% B203 (numbers used as examples and are not recom-
mendations).

The minor elements in pre-mixed forms are suggested for use as a "shotgun
treatment" in the absence of more specific information or where no extreme
minor element deficiencies or excesses are recognized. In the latter cases,
it is best to specify the exact amount of each element required. The most
commonly used pre-mixed formula for general treatment contains the following
amounts of minor elements:

Oxide of the Elements

B203 9.65%
CuO 3.75%
Fe203 25.73%
MnO 9.68%
ZnO 8.71%
MoO3 0.30%

The above formula can be purchased under the trade names of: (1) TEM
300 and (2) FTE 503. Other pre-mixed formulas for specific soil and crop require-
ments are also available from the manufacturers.

Growers are urged to study their minor element needs carefully. The
safety margin between two little and too much is quite narrow and a mistake of
this type can be disastrous to a crop. To successfully manage the minor element
program, consideration must be given to crop, soil type and past history, pH,
soil analyses, fungicide programs, sources and rates of minor elements, etc.
(Montelaro)

B. Seed Corn Maggot Injury on Young Watermelons

The seed corn maggot, Hyleiya platura (Meigen), is a co'-ilion insect pest
of corn and inany other crops in the midwest. It had never been observed as a
pest of cojmiinrcial crops in Florida until this spring when it was found in a
twenty-acre watermelon field in Jackson County. The planting, a total loss,
was disked under and reseeded. The seed corn maggot is about one-fourth inch





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


long when it is full grown. It is legless, pointed at the head and blunt at
the tail. After hatching from eggs laid by adult flies in the soil, the maggot
migrates to the seed, eats the germ out or enters roots and stems. Injury is
usually most severe in cold seasons and in soils high in organic matter.

The seed corn maggot could pose a serious problem to growers in Florida
if it becomes a regular pest. The reason for this according to Freddie Johnson,
Assistant Extension Entomologist of the University of Florida, is that once a
crop is attacked, it is almost impossible to combat effectively with the chemicals
available now. In other words, growers would have to use preplant treatments.

Since this insect is new and a potentially dangerous pest for Florida
crops, we are asking county agents, industry representatives and growers to be
on the lookout for it. If seed corn maggot is suspected, we would like to be
informed immediately so that we can get insect specimens and survey crop damage.
Remember it attacks many crops--beans, peas, cabbage, beets, radish, potatoes,
melons and other crops as well as corn.

(Montelaro)

C. Sweet Potato Weevil Control

The sweet potato weevil is a real problem to production in the State.
Growers must know as much as they can about the insect in order to carry out an
effective control program.

The adult insect is a beetle about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long. The middle
part of the body and the legs of the adult are red while the remainder is blue-
black. Most of the damage done by the weevil, however, is caused by the larvae
which burrow and feed in the sweet potato root.

The weevil has four stages in its life cycle--the egg, the larva, the
pupa and the adult. The cycle from egg to adult takes about 4 to 6 weeks under
favorable conditions. The adult can live for extended periods of time, often as
long as 8 months. The adult female punctures the stem of the plant near the
soil surface and deposits its eggs. The eggs hatch and the larvae burrow down-
ward into the root.

The weevil can live and be a problem in sweet potato plants in the field,
in storage and in plant beds. An effective control program must consider all
these facets. One factor contributing to the problem of controlling this insect
is the ability of the weevil to live and survive in wild morning glory species
which are common to our area. Thus, this "wild" population can potentially serve
as a reservoir for infestation of a crop.

Some pointers for establishing an effective control program are as follows.

1. Purchase and use only weevil free bedding stock or plants. Most
states have a certification program for growers supplying sweet
potatoes for these purposes.


2. Where the grower beds roots for his own plant production:





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


a. Dust beds with 1/4 pound of 2% dieldrin per 80 square
feet of bed when scattered plants show color in the
stems.

b. Repeat application when all plants are up and after
each pulling.

3. Where purchased plants are used or when own plants are set in the
production field:

a. The use of dieldrin is limited to 75 pounds of 2% dust
per acre.

b. A suggested practice may be the use of 35 pounds of the
dust within a week of setting followed by 40 pounds of
the dust shortly before the vines begin to meet in the
middle.

4. Storage and general sanitation.

The storage and surrounding areas should be kept free of
trash and old crop residue. The remains of the crop in the
field should be thoroughly disked to permit rapid decomposition.
Eliminate all harboring places where the insect can overwinter
and serve to infest future crops.

5. Where possible, control populations of wild morning glory. For
example, along fence rows, abandoned fields, etc.

It is important to remember that when using the dust material that it
should be applied to the soil. The adult is active in depositing her eggs in
the stem at the soil surface and this must be the target area for the dust
application.
(Kostewicz)

D. Research with Repeat Low-Dosage Postemergence Herbicide Treatments

Dr. W. T. Scudder of the AREC Sanford recently participated in the Field
Day at the ARC Hastings. He presented a summary and description of weed control
work he has been doing in direct-seeded and transplanted cabbage at Sanford.
He described one usage of herbicides, still experimental, which holds potential
for the future-- "Repeat low-dosage postemergence treatments."

Several herbicides may be used postemergence or posttransplant on cabbage.
Of these, only nitrofen (Tok) is very active postemergence to weeds less thin
3/4 to 1 inch tall at the time of application. However, some weeds such as rag-
weed and certain grasses are very resistant to nitrofen and may not be controlled.

Frequently, with many herbicides, poor weed control can be traced back to
factors other than the material itself. For example, too much rain following
application can leach the material out of the desired action area or too little





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


moisture can result in inactivity of the material. Timing is another critical
factor. Many herbicides act by preventing or hindering germination of weed
seeds. If there is a delay between the planting of the crop and application of
such a material, many weed seeds could have germinated and be unaffected by
the herbicide subsequently applied. Considering these two facets, it appears
that repeat low-dosage application might be effective in controlling weeds which
were not controlled previously for one reason or another over a span of time.
One might further project that there could be a decreased hazard to the crop
because of lowered rates used.

Dr. Scudder stated, "This procedure, using nitrofen at approximately 1/2
pound a.i. per acre at weekly intervals, appears very promising for chemical
weed control in both direct-seeded and transplanted cabbage. In several trials,
good weed control has been obtained provided the treatments are started no later
than one week after planting. Results using this method frequently have been
superior to the use of a greater total quantity of the herbicide applied at
one time preemergence or early postemergence to the weeds."

We emphasize the point that this is not a recommendation at this time.
The manufacturing company is pursuing a label clearance for such a use. Hopefully,
we will be able to utilize this procedure in the near future.


(Kostewicz)





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


II. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Weed Control in the Home Garden

Weeds are a problem in home gardens, just as they are in large fields,
because they compete with desirable plants for water, soil nutrients, sunlight,
and air. They also harbor insects and diseases and provide a hiding place
for snakes.

Hand-hoeing is still the best answer for the average gardener. It is
inexpensive, quite selective, accurate, effective, and for some even enjoyable.
A great deal of emotional satisfaction can come from leaning on a hoe handle
while viewing a clean, freshly-hoed row where weeds stood only minutes before.
While hoeing, a fair amount of hand pulling is usually necessary close about
the base of the plants. A fair amount of damage may occur to vegetables if weeds
are allowed to get big before being pulled. Other alternatives are mulching
and using herbicides.

Mulching controls weeds by keeping light away from seedlings and providing
a mechanical barrier to emergence. It works best against weeds that come up
from seed each year. Weeds that do come through the mulch are easily spotted
for removal and are easily pulled from the moist soil.
Good mulching materials include straw, leaves, hay, sawdust, wood shavings,
bark, paper and plastic sheeting. One and one-half mil black polyethylene film
is the most popular synthetic material in present use. Clear plastic is unsatis-
factory since it allows light to enter which encourages weed growth.

Care should be taken with all mulches, and particularly with plastic
sheeting, to have the soil moist before applying. While straw and leaves may be
raked back in order to feed and water the plants, plastic sheeting is more or less
permanent once applied. Usually, it is best to apply most of the fertilizer
required by the plants before the mulch is applied. Some gardeners do roll back
the plastic from the edge of the beds toward the row center in order to supply
additional fertilizer and water.

Raw, unrotted sawdust has a tendency to cause nitrogen deficiency in plants
growing through it. Microorganisms involved in the process of decaying the saw-
dust utilize soil nitrogen, thus reducing the amount available to nearby plants,
although the rate of decay of mulched sawdust is less than that for incorporated
sawdust. Applications of additional nitrogen fertilizer can help overcome this
problem when utilizing sawdust as a mulch and subsequent soil conditioner. In
general, sawdust is not toxic to plants.

Mulching material may either be removed or incorporated into the soil for
conditioning benefits.

At present, herbicides have limited value in home vegetable gardens. While
such chemicals work well in single-crop situations, it is more difficult to employ
them where a wide assortment of vegetables is occupying a small space. Perhaps
the best use of an herbicide would be a preplanting treatment with such all-
purpose chemicals as vapam and vorlex. These can be safely applied to rid soils





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

of nematodes and fungi, as well as some weeds. These two chemicals are usually
most effective when covered with a plastic sheeting soon after application. A
waiting period of about two weeks is usually necessary from time of application
to time of planting.

Herbicides applied at time of planting or after vegetables have emerged
are more difficult to employ, and probably should not be suggested for the average
home gardener. Such herbicides may work well with some crops, but may damage
more sensitive ones. Application methods must be followed carefully, and only
the correct amounts should be used. Although it is possible to utilize herbicides
in the garden by grouping vegetables for tolerance to certain chemicals, and
diligently following all label precautions, chemical weed control for gardens is
still perhaps too sophisticated for the average vegetable gardener to safely use.

(Stephens)
B. Spacing Summer Squash (Stephens)

Recent investigations at the University of Florida, Vegetable Crops Department
have shown that yields per given area of yellow crookneck summer squash were about
the same when spaced closely as when widely spaced. Yields were acceptable, with-
out reducing quality or grade, when the squash was spaced in the row as close as
6 inches or as far as 42 inches. At the closer spacings, bush vegetation became
entangled making harvest slower and more complicated. Probably the best spacing
for summer squash would be 12 inches to 24 inches in the row, with 36 inches allowed
between rows. This closer spacing between rows would allow the gardener to con-
serve space while still getting a good return from his plants.
(Stephens)
C. Know Your Vegetables Wax Gourd

The wax gourd, Benincasa hispida, has been reported on by Julia Morton
(FSHS Proceedings, Volume 84, 1971). This is a brief summary of that report.

Wax gourd is also known as white gourd, white pumpkin, tallow gourd, ash
gourd, gourd melon, winter melon, Chinese watermelon, or Chinese preserving melon.

Description The pumpkin-like annual vine has thick furrowed stems with
coarse hairs, tendrils, and roughly triangular, irregularly lobed leaves up to 10
inches long. Flowers are golden-yellow, 2 to 3 inches wide. Female flowers are
borne on 3/4 to 1 inch-long hairy stalks, while stalks bearing male flowers are
2 to 6 inches long.

Fruits, hairy when young, range from oblong to round and may reach 4 feet
in length and 2 feet in diameter (30-40 pounds). The thin, tough, green skin is
coated with a layer of white chalky wax. In some varieties, pale gray, minute hairs
are present even on full-grown fruit. The thick flesh is white, crisp, juicy and
mild. Seeds are oval, flat, light brown, to 1/2 inch long.

Culture Grown like watermelons. Seeds may be planted to produce three
crops annually in south Florida (seeded in July, December and March) or two crops
rest of Florida (planted March and July).

Use Much preferred as cooked vegetable, either boiled alone, with meot:,
or in a variety of dishes. Also used raw like sliced cucumbers. Wax gourds keep
for 2 to 6 months or more if stored cool and dry.
(Stephenl';)




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