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: July 1973
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00087
Source Institution: University of Florida
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IFAS


J. F. Kelly
Chairman

S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


James Montelaro
Professor

J. R. Hicks
Assistant Professor


J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor

R. K. Showalter
Professor


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

FROM: J. M. Stephens, Assistant Vegetable Crops Specialist 2


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 73-7


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Common Mistakes in Use of Pesticides
B. Bed-Shape, Fertilizer Rates and Placement for
Two-Row Peppers Grown with Full-Bed Mulch
C. Dodder

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Packinghouse Sanitation

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Water Culture for the Hobbyist
Know Your Vegetables Rhubarb


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


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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter



July 6, 1973




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


Whenever




S-2-

THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Common Mistakes in Use of Pesticides

In a recent newsletter to State Extension Specialists, Dr. L. C.
Gibbs, Program Leader in Pesticides with the Extension Service of the USDA
in Washington, D. C., outlined ten common mistakes in the use of pesticides.
(1) Failure to read and follow instructions on pesticide labels
(2) Carelessness in storage, handling and mixing pesticides
(3) Inaccurate or infrequent calibration of pesticide applica-
tion equipment and mistake in calculating dosages
(4) Eating, drinking and smoking while handling pesticides
(5) Failure to wear proper protective clothing and safety equipment
(6) Use of more pesticides than needed for a specific job
(7) Use of pesticides as an insurance measure
(8) Applying pesticides when wind velocity is too high and drift
becomes a problem
(9) Failure to keep adequate records of pesticide use
(10) Failure to observe safeguards for protection of the environment--
people, bees, wildlife, water, etc.

Growers should study these carefully, then check their own operation
and make corrections where needed. It would be advisable to post the list
in prominent places such as equipment and storage sheds, offices, etc. The
posted list would serve as a constant reminder of the dangers involved in the
use of pesticides.
Mr. James Brogdon, Extension Entomologist with the University of
Florida, feels that care in the use of pesticides cannot be over-emphasized.
He urges all growers to exert every effort possible toward the development
and maintenance of a safe and sound pesticide management program.
(Montelaro)

B. Bed-Shape, Fertilizer Rates and Placement for Two-Row Peppers Grown with
Full-Bed Mulch

Seedling loss in late summer and early fall is probably the most serious
problem encountered under full-bed mulch culture. This newsletter recently
recommended the use of top-watering based on research conducted by Mr. N. C.
Hayslip at ARC, Ft. Pierce. Experiment Station researchers are continuing
their efforts to solve this problem as demonstrated by an excellent study
reported by Dr. Paul Everett, Soils Chemist at the ARC, Immokalee.

Dr. Everett tested five bed shapes, three fertilizer rates and two
fertilizer placements on two-row peppers with full-bed mulch. The test was
conducted in the fall of 1972 under severe conditions where only 0.75 inch
of rain fell during the first 40 days of the test. Plant beds were 6 feet
on center with a 10-inch in-row spacing. The two pepper rows were 18 inches
apart on each bed. Pepper plants were approximately 9 inches from fertilizer
bands in all treatments. All plots were seep irrigated.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


The treatments are explained together with the results obtained on
seedling loss in the tables presented below.

Table I. Effects of bed shape on stem-
girdling of pepper.


Bed Girdled
shape no. Bed shape plants-%
1 N. side higher than S. side 8
2 Crowned (convexed) center 19
3 Flat 9
4 Depressed concavedd) center 20
5 .S. side higher than N. side 9


Table II. Effects of fertilizer rate on
stem-girdling of pepper.


Fert. 18-0-25 Girdled Total used
rate Ib/A plants-% N-P205-K20

Low 278 9 75-140-110
Medium 1,111 12 225-140-278
High 2,361 17 450-140-630
*Each treatment received 500 Ibs. of 5-8-8-2 +
minor elements and 500 Ibs. of superphosphate broad-
case and disked in prior to preparing the plant beds.
Amount of 18-0-25 banded on the surface is shown in
the table. Total N-P205-K20 is also shown there.

Table III. Effects of fertilizer placement
on stem-girdling of pepper.


Fertilizer Girdled
placement plants-%
1 band 12
3 bands 13

Dr. Everett noted that "stem-girdling" was the major cause of reduc-
tion in plant stand. He stated that "stem-girdling, as used here, is
believed to be caused by high concentrations of soluble salts (mainly
fertilizer salts) which accumulate in the planting hole in full-bed mulch."
His results shown that bed shape and fertilizer rates had a greater effect
on seedling loss than did fertilizer placement. The flat-top bed, now
commonly used, appearsto be one of the best bed shapes.

Marketable yield of pepper for harvests and total marketable yield
are shown in the three following tables. Discussions and summary are taken
from Dr. Everett's reports.







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Table IV.


Effects of bed shape on pepper yield.


Bed Harvests
shape no. 1 2 3 4 5 Total
-----------bushels/acre------------
1 505 149 181 191 144 1170
2 484 124 159 283 195 1245
3 423 170 347 261 93 1294
4 439 193 228 192 165 1217
5 531 136 239 909 164 1297
1See Table I for bed shapes.

The effect of bed shape on total marketable yield was not significant, although
it did have a significant effect on yield of some of the individual harvests.

Table V. Effects of fertilizer rate on pepper yield.


Fert. 18-0-25 Harvests
rate Ib/A 1 2 3 4 5 Total
-----------bushels/acre-----------
Low 278 519 170 200 156 121 1166
Medium 1,111 487 160 255 272 170 1344
High 2,361 424 133 237 254 166 1214


The medium fertilizer rate resulted in the best total yield. There was no
significant difference in total yield between the low and high rates of fer-
tilizer. If only the first three harvests are considered, there was no
significant difference in yield between the low and medium rates, and both of
these were better than the high rate.

Fertilizer rates did not affect fruit size until the 5th harvest when the medium
and high rates had larger fruit than the low rate. However, for the combined
yield from the 5 harvests, the low rate had larger fruit than the high rate.


Table VI.


Effects of fertilizer placement
on pepper yield.


Fertilizer Harvests
placement 1 2 3 4 5 Total
-----------bushels/acre------------
1 band 464 147 218 199 132 1160
3 bands 489 162 243 257 173 1324

Pepper yields were higher with the 3-band placement than with the 1-band place-
ment. The yield differences were significant at the 4th and 5th harvests and
for the total yield.







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Summary: The results from this test, conducted under full-bed mulch
during a dry season with sub-irrigation (no overhead irrigation), indicate
that for a short harvest season (1 to 3 pickings) the low fertilizer rate,
3-band placement and flat bed would be adequate. However, until more
research data are available, it would be advisable to use the medium rate
of fertilizer as shown in Table II.

(Montelaro)
C. Dodder

Several instances of severe dodder infestation have come to our
attention during the past several months. Dodder is a major noxious weed
problem in the United States and in that regard, most state seed laws have
provisions which limit the percentage of dodder seed that can be found in
crop seeds offered for sale. Control measures should begin when the weed is
first noticed to prevent it from becoming a serious problem.

There are 44 species of dodder reported in the United States; of
these, perhaps 6 are the most damaging. Some species are very specific in
terms of what plants they feed on while some have a wide range of host plants
including wild weeds, shrubs and herbs. Thus, control of dodder (used
collectively to refer to any species) in border areas, fence rows, waste
areas, etc., is important to prevent a source of infestation to the cropped
areas.

Dodder is an annual that reproduces by seed. The seed germinates in
the soil and produces a leafless shoot which emerges from the soil. The shoot
then "locates" a host plant and begins to climb and encircle it as it grows.
When the shoot comes into intimate contact with the stem of the host plant,
"suckers" are produced which penetrate the stem and allow the dodder to extract
"food" materials from the host. Once this process is established, the basal
part of the dodder plant may wither and the dodder becomes a parasite surviving
on the host plant itself. The dodder then can grow and become a dense net-
work or mat of leafless shoots.

Flowers are produced under favorable weather conditions from spring
until frost. Under certain conditions, the dodder can overwinter in the
vegetative state if protected from cold; however, the usual overwintering stage
is by seed. The seeds that are produced can germinate shortly after falling
to the ground or they may lie dormant for years.

Infestations of dodder in growing crops cannot be controlled on a
selective basis without damage to the crop to which the dodder is attached.
However, in scattered infestations within the field, spot treatment to destroy
the vegetation in that area (both dodder and affected crop plants) can serve
to prevent a buildup of seed which would be produced by the dodder.

In vegetable fields, dodder has not been a serious problem due to the
use of herbicides, cultivation, and good cultural techniques. The problems
lately encountered have been related primarily to plant beds and outbreaks of
infestations from neighboring areas such as ditch banks, fence rows, etc.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Control in plant-bed operations is relatively easy if good prepara-
tion of the beds is practiced. What this essentially means is to utilize
a multi-purpose soil fumigant to kill the seeds of dodder as well as many
other weeds prior to or during their germination. These materials can serve
to control weeds as well as soil insects. Multi-purpose soil fumigants
were discussed in a previous article in this newsletter (see Vegetarian 72-11).
Using one of these materials in a plant-bed operation will give excellent
control of dodder.

In non-crop areas, the problem spots can be handled by using a knock-
down material to top-kill all the vegetation in the affected spot and thereby
eliminate plants which host the dodder. In certain cases, this treatment can
be followed by a material which can be active on the "new crop" of germinating
seeds. Many non-herbicide materials and methods can be tried in this type of
situation; for example (1) cutting and burning the vegetation in the area,
and (2) flame weeding the area. Chemical materials which could be tried are
(1) aromatic oils, (2) dinitro compounds, and (3) paraquat, and other materials
which will give a quick "chemical mowing" of the vegetation. Use practices
to prevent drift and observe label cautions as to soil types, rates and
environmental conditions.

In sodded areas or in some crop conditions, a preemergence herbicide
such as DCPA (dacthal) can be utilized to help prevent germination of the
dodder seeds. CDEC (Vegadex) and CIPC (Furloe-CIPC) are also reported to give
a preemergence control of dodder. However, these materials should be utilized
in accordance with the label. CIPC is a sprout-inhibiting material and for
that reason should not be used in or around potato fields.

(Kostewicz)





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Packinghouse Sanitation

A large portion of Florida's vegetables is transported for rather
long distances before they are offered for retail sales to the consuming
public. There are local instances where a particular commodity may show
undue deterioration and decay during transit, even though transit con-
ditions may be adequate. These instances are usually associated with
climatic (or other) conditions which cause field infestations of certain
microorganisms. When a fruit or vegetable is contaminated with rot
organisms in the field, there is little that can be done at the packing-
house except to prevent spread of the decay organism to healthy fruits and
vegetables. Since rotten produce is culled during the grading operation,
it is often the contamination which occurs during harvesting and packing
that produces the problems found after storage and/or transport. There are
a number of things which will reduce the spread of decay and should be
practiced routinely. Although most of these sanitation practices can be
initiated in existing packinghouses, they will be more efficient if used in
a facility designed or modified for these particular operations.

1. Field culling As much culling as possible should be done in
the field. With machine-harvested crops, this would be impractical if not
impossible. However, where crops are harvested by hand, an effort should be
made to eliminate rotten fruit before going to the packinghouse. Grading at
the packinghouse should be done as soon in the operation as possible to pre-
vent contamination of belts, rollers, etc., and thus decrease the chance
of spreading the decay organisms.

2. Prompt and proper disposal of all culls, trimmings, etc., from
the packinghouse If this material is left on floors, in corners, under
pallets and in machinery, it will provide an excellent breeding media for rot
organisms. Material on the floor can create a hazard for workers, and decay-
ing produce will certainly contribute to unpleasant working conditions.
Cleanup of spilled and discarded produce should be practiced outside the
packinghouse as well as inside.

3. Periodic and thorough cleanup (with suitable disinfectant) of all
facilities This is particularly important for grading belts, rollers, sizers
and any surface which has direct contact with the produce during harvesting
and packing operations. Field containers including picking buckets, bins,
boxes, trucks and trailers are often neglected during cleanup operations and
can provide excellent sources for inoculation.

4. Water treatment All water which comes into direct contact with
the produce should be chlorinated to prevent the water from carrying rot
organisms to healthy fruits and vegetables. Even where water may be used only
once--as in some washing operations--chlorine treatment can be helpful in pre-
venting spread through wet belts, etc. If the water is to be recirculated or
reused as in a number of wash operations, dump tanks and hydrocoolers, it is
essential that the water be chlorinated. Even when chlorine is added to the
water, it is necessary to change water and clean out the tanks periodically.
This will remove organic matter which can tie-up and reduce the effectiveness
of chlorine, and it will often result in a cleaner commodity.


(Hicks and Showalter)







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

II. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Water Culture for the Hobbyist

For various reasons, there are those who wish to grow vegetables
by the water culture method. This method is particularly popular with the
science fair crowd and adult hobbyists.

In a water culture method, the vegetable plant is grown in a con-
tainer of nutrient solution. The stem and upper parts of the plant are held
above the solution while the roots are growing down in the solution.

There are at least two main considerations with this system. First,
a way must be found to suspend the plant above the water and keep it anchored
upright. And next, an air (oxygen) supply must be provided the roots of
the plant in the water.

There are many kinds of containers that might be used, such as a cement
or wooden trough, glass jars, earthenware crocks, or metal containers. Of
course, they all must be leak-proof. Glass containers should be painted dark
to prevent buildup of algae. Leave a narrow strip down the side unpainted
so the level of the solution can be checked. Metal containers should be well-
painted on the inside with an asphalt-base paint to avoid corrosion.

Containers should be fairly shallow, about six inches deep, and narrow,
less than three feet wide.

A "platform" will be needed for planting into and supporting the plants
as they grow. This is sometimes called a "litter bearer." It is made up of
a chicken wire or hardware cloth base on which is placed about three inches
of wood shavings, excelsior, or similar material called litter. The metal
wire should be painted with asphalt-base paint. It should completely cover
the container.

Plant roots must have oxygen to live, so a way must be provided to
supply it. One way is to leave enough air space between the platform and the
solution with an opening from this space to the outside air. Propping up
the platform a little to let air in usually works. This may not be enough
air for some plants particularly as they become large, so an aquarium air
pump should be employed. After selecting the containers and locating them in
a sunny or well-lighted place, fill them with nutrient solution. Use either
a purchased, ready-mixed solution (follow the label directions), or one made
with available chemicals and fertilizers (see Vegetarian 71-10 for a sample
solution).

Place the litter on the platform and keep it moistened. Transplanting
into the litter is the best way to get plants started. Work the roots through
the support netting into the nutrient solution. Then, build up the litter
around it for support. Such plants as tomatoes and lettuce transplant easily,
and are suggested to try the first time.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Seeds also may be planted in the litter. Cucumbers may be started
in this way. When the little plants start to grow, keep the nutrient solution
close enough to the platform so that the roots can reach it, yet still leave
a small air space.

Empty the tanks every two weeks and renew the solution. While doing
this, do not let the roots dry out.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Rhubarb

Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) is a perennial plant which forms large
fleshy rhizomes and large leaves. The thick succulent leaf stalks petioless)
having attractive red color are the edible parts. The rhizomes and crown
persist for many years in areas where rhubarb can be grown. Leaf blades are
up to a foot or more in width and length. Petioles are up to 18 inches long,
one to two inches in diameter, and generally somewhat hemispherical in cross
section.

Rhubarb, the "pie plant," is a very successfully-grown and popular
perennial vegetable in many parts of the country, but is not well adapted to
Florida. It has been said that it does not thrive and is rarely grown where
the summer mean temperature is much above 750 F. and the winter mean is much
above 400 F. Thus, Florida gardeners should not expect much luck with this
crop as a perennial, as both our summers and winters are warmer than this.

In Florida, we have no periods cool enough to send the crowns into a
rest period; therefore, the plant continues to grow through the winter to a
certain extent. Upon the arrival of spring when we would expect an abundant
flourish of leafstalks, we find only a continuance of the old growth.

Seeds are easier to obtain than crowns, but plants arising from them
show a great deal of variation in color and form. However, it is possible to
sow seed in a seedbed or seed flat and select the most uniform and desirable
plants to set in the garden. It is questionable whether or not sufficient
growth can be obtained in one year following planting for this method to be
practical.

Victoria is an old variety that produces large but poorly-colored stems
(deep pink to red is desired). Burgess' Colossal is also large but produces
pale green stalks. Canada Red, MacDonald, and Ruby are popular red-stalked
varieties. It is not certain which varieties are best adapted to Florida.

It is suggested that rhubarb be grown in Florida as an annual, either
from seed or from crowns. If from crowns, there is a possibility of three
methods: (1) Crowns may be purchased from northern seed companies as early
in the spring as is possible to obtain crowns whose rest periods have been
broken. (2) Crowns may be obtained from the north in late summer, placed in
cold storage (freeze them solid for 6 weeks) to fulfill rest requirements,
and planted in the fall or early winter. (3) Winter forcing is a third method
using crowns. It is a common commercial practice in the north, and may be of
some value to home gardeners in Florida. Roots which are 2 to 3 years old
and which have had a rest period are placed under more or less artificial
conditions where they will sprout and produce stalks.




-10-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


In south Florida, where temperatures seldom drop below 320 F.
(rhubarb will withstand temperatures down to this), seed might be planted
in September in a seed flat, transplanted in the garden in October, and
harvest begun by about February. In a trial at Zellwood, on muck soil,
seeds planted December 12 produced marketable petioles by May 26.

(Stephens)




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