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 1974
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00097
Source Institution: University of Florida
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I FAS

TIAiCl Itl i SE l EtXT 1NIO


May 6, 1974




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


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: Stephen R. Kostewicz, Assistant Vegetable Crops Scialist


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 74-5


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


Trickle or Drip Irrigation
Crop Rotation in Vegetable Production
Soil Insect Control in Vegetable Crops


II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Peppers

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Vegetable Gardening Survey in Florida
Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Mustard Collards


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


Whenever


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


I-L,,IL-.)t- UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES IJ

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Trickle or Drip Irrigation

These systems are characterized by the application of a small amount of
water over a long period of time. Because of this and other characteristics,
they are called trickle or drip irrigation systems.

Many growers have already established systems in their operations and
are pleased with their results. As of this date, most of those in Florida have
been in "permanent" type crops with only a limited number in row crops. Trickle
irrigation systems for vegetables are being compared with the standard methods
of furrow and overhead irrigation at various locations in Florida by research
personnel-of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

There are two general types of trickle systems adapted to row crops:
(1) the solid wall types and (2) the porous wall types. Both of these are low
pressure (less than 10 psi) systems that require small capacity pumps to service
relatively large areas of crop land.

The solid wall systems are thin wall polyethylene hoses. Some are single
walled and others are double walled. In the single walled system, holes are
punched at intervals to supply water to the plants. In the double wall system,
there is a "pipe" within a "pipe." The inner "pipe" or tubing is the main
distribution channel which has fairly widely spaced holes that allow water to
flow into the outer "pipe" to supply water to the plants. The rate of water flow
is regulated by the water pressure and the diameter of the holes in the pipe.

The porous wall systems supply water throughout the entire length of the
pipe. The amount of water supplied is regulated by the size of the pores, which
is controlled during the manufacturing process.

In general, the two systems are comparable in supplying water to vegetables.
In both systems, water is supplied from the pump to a solid wall header pipe. The
trickle tubing is attached to the header and aligned as nearly as possible to the
plants in the row. A small amount of water is supplied each day and only to a
limited area of the row with the trickle system. In contrast with conventional
systems a large amount of water is applied over the row area but at less frequent
intervals.

Some points to consider regarding the use of trickle irrigation systems
are as follows:

Positive

(1) Trickle systems use as little as 30 to 50% as much water as
standard irrigation methods.

(2) Much less energy is used to deliver the water to the crop plants
since water is supplied at a relatively low pressure.


(3) Only the crop row area or plants themselves are watered.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(4) The crop foliage is kept dry as compared to overhead irriga-
tion, thus reducing the potential for foliar diseases.

(5) The system can be used to add fertilizer materials as needed
with MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY.

(6) Higher production in some situations.

Negative

(1) Water must be carefully filtered to keep algae and other sub-
stances from plugging the small openings.

(2) Cost of installation can be prohibitive for low value crops.

(3) The header pipes used in some systems may limit access to the
crop for cultivation and/or other cultural practices.

(4) Greater supervision is required to maintain proper operation
since plugging of the system can go unnoticed and cause
fluctuation in the water supply.

IFAS scientists are striving to adapt these systems to Florida conditions.
As information is developed, we anticipate that the use of the method will increase
on vegetable crops.
(Kostewicz*)

*Assistance given by Dr. S. J. Locascio, Professor & Horticulturist, in prepara-
tion of this article is gratefully appreciated.

B. Crop Rotation in Vegetable Production

This is the second in a series of three articles covering old, simple
practices in vegetable production which can be valuable tools when used properly.
Crop rotation can be defined simply as scheduling crops so they are not planted on
the same land season after season. The primary benefit to be derived from a good
crop rotation program is significant reduction in soil pest problems. However,
there are other aspects which, even though less spectacular, can affect vegetable
production in some way. They include changes in pH, balance of nutrient elements,
soil structure and possibly presence or absence of toxic substances. These changes
are not easily identified and would vary considerably depending on crops grown,
soil type, etc.

Although helpful in the control of insects, nematodes and certain weeds, crop
rotation is generally acknowledged to be of greatest benefit in disease control.
Growers have known for many decades that land planted to watermelons becomes
infested with Fusarium wilt and is not fit to produce watermelons the following
year or for that matter, several years. Snap bean growers who try to use the same
land season after season are apt to develop similar problems with soil diseases.
To a lesser degree, but of great importance, is the situation with insects and
nematodes which is quite similar.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

A recent problem observed in vegetable production in Florida is the build
up of selected weed species through the use of herbicides on land planted to the
same crop for two or more seasons. The weeds that develop are usually closely
related to the crop grown and like the crop are tolerant to the herbicides used.
Under these conditions, a field may soon be covered by only one or two weed species.
The herbicide-tolerant weeds often reduce crop yields by competing for plant
nutrients, water and sunlight. Even more serious may be the ability of such weeds
to harbor insects and diseases destructive to the crop. Closely-related weed plants
growing in the field or in border areas can be the primary sources of devastating
outbreaks of virus diseases on many vegetable crops.

There are no set rules to follow in setting up a good crop rotation program.
There are many factors to be taken into consideration such as crops that are grown,
amount of land available, specific problems, etc. Generally speaking, the longer
the interval before a crop is replanted on the same land, the better the chance of
succeeding with that crop. Crops in a rotation plan should not be closely related.
For example, watermelons should not be followed by cantaloupes, cukes and squash,
but can be followed by corn, the table legumes and other crops not related to the
vine-crop family.

The grower, knowing his operation best, is the only person who can determine
the most efficient crop rotation system for his farm. Wisely used, crop rotation
can pay handsome dividends over the years to vegetable growers in Florida.
(Montelaro)

C. Soil Insect Control in Vegetable Crops

Any vegetable crop planted in the State of Florida is subject to attack
from soil-inhabiting insects. Damage may range from the obvious uprooting or cutting
of young seedlings by mole crickets and cutworms, respectively, to less obvious
injury to roots, stems, tubers, etc. Growers of root and tuber crops are all too
familiar with the problem of grade-outs resulting from attack by wireworms and some
of the other soil inhabiting insects. Readily recognized is the damage inflicted
to young seedlings by mole crickets and cutworms. However, injury to plant roots
is not readily evident to the casual observer. The crop, in such cases, may lack
uniformity in plant size and may show a slower-than-desired rate of growth.

Even if a grower takes prompt measures to control mole crickets and cutworms
after the initial damage to seedlings is noted, the full potential of the crop may
not be realized. It is next to impossible to control some of the other soil insects
after seedlings have emerged. On occasions, injury may be severe enough to warrant
plowing the crop up and replanting.

Protection against the destructive attack of soil insects can be prevented
or reduced in severity by a good, preplant application of a soil insecticide
according to Mr. F. A. Johnson, Assistant Extension Entomologist of the University
of Florida. He suggests use of a broad spectrum insecticide for general soil
insect control. The broad spectrum insecticides approved for many vegetable crops
are aldrin, parathion, chlordane and diazinon. Others are approved for specific
insect problems on certain crops. Growers are advised to always check the label for
information on rates, timing, methods of application, crops approved, etc.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Mr. Johnson does not recommend indiscriminate use of pesticides. He has
proposed the following criteria in an effort to assist growers in making the
decision to treat or not to treat:

(1) A crop of high monetary value is to be planted;

(2) If the crop is one that cannot tolerate reasonable damage and
grow out of it;
(3) If there has been a history of multiple soil insect attacks in
the area at a given time; and

(4) If the grower has examined the area and established the fact
that he has found several of the expected pests in anticipated
planting areas.

Preplant treatment of soil with a good insecticide for insect control is
not very expensive or overly time-consuming to carry out. It can be considered as
inexpensive insurance against partial or total crop failure.
(Montelaro)

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Peppers

Peppers should be harvested when they are best marketable size and color
for highest yield and market preference. Sweet pepper varieties are usually sized
before packing and larger sizes grade higher than smaller sizes. The U. S. Fancy
grade requires that each pepper shall be a minimum of 3 inches in diameter and
green in color. A similar grade, U. S. Fancy Red, is established for peppers
which meet all the requirements of the green pods except that 90 percent of the
pods must be red.
Losses during marketing of Florida peppers in New York City were recently
found to result mostly from mechanical injuries, soft rot and water loss. They
should be handled carefully during harvesting and cleaning with water or revolving
brushes to avoid bruising and skin breaks. If peppers are washed, water should
be chlorinated and sprayed over the pods to prevent entry into the pepper cavity.
Field scars, abrasions and punctures increase moisture loss and allow easy access
for disease organisms. Lined crates or cartons, not overfilled, are suitable
shipping containers, whereas much mechanical damage results from packing in bushel
baskets. Baskets are not well adapted to palletized handling and unitized shipments.
Protective packaging and high relative humidity (90 to 95 percent) should be used
to retard water loss and severe softening of peppers during marketing.
Removal of field heat and suitable refrigeration during marketing are
practices which will help to maintain quality. Peppers can be precooled by forced
air or placing the packed containers in a refrigerated room with adequate air
movement. Temperatures above 500 F result in increased decay and ripening, and
temperatures below 450 cause chilling injury. Peppers may be seriously injured at
nonfreezing temperatures, either before or after harvest, by chilling. This injury
is cumulative and characterized by water-soaked spots, pitting and increased




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

susceptibility to decay, particularly Alternaria. Chilling injury occurs primarily
during winter months and during warm weather when peppers in mixed loads are top-
iced. Peppers should not be mixed with produce requiring lower temperatures and
top-icing during shipping.

(Showalter)

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Vegetable Gardening Survey in Florida

A "Sources of Food for Home Consumption" survey in the form of a questionnaire
was sent to Florida County Extension workers in the spring of 1974. The vegetable
gardening results of that survey are summarized here.

According to agents, home vegetable gardens are on the increase over years
past. This confirms reports from seed companies who have indicated sales of garden
seeds far beyond any expectations, resulting in seed shortages. Agents estimated
a low of 200 gardens in sparsely populated Dixie County to a high of 70,000 in Duval.
As anticipated, the trend seems to be that the more populated counties have more
home gardens.

At present, most home gardens are individual family plots rather than group
or community projects. Agents in general were not too enthusiastic about the
prospects for community gardening projects; however, in some few retirement oriented
counties, this approach to raising a home food supply was reported as promising.

With the increase in gardening activity throughout Florida, agents were asked
if county staffs had sufficient resources to provide the necessary educational
guidance and respond to the increasing demand for gardening information. The survey
showed most counties do have adequately trained staff to handle inquiries and to
conduct programs on vegetable production in gardens. But, they also felt that
further additions to their arsenal of resources were needed in the way of gardening
publications and training aids for use with large audiences.

Publications expressly called for by a vast majority of agents could be
characterized as follows: (a) simply written, (b) concise, (c) free to the user,
(d) up-to-date, (e) in abundant supply, (f) assortment of subjects, ranging from
individual crops (as "Tomatoes in the Home Garden") to insect control, disease con-
trol, harvesting tips, etc. Many agents expressed a need for a more detailed
booklet (including pictures, charts, and graphs) on vegetable gardening, similar
to the Florida Department of Agriculture "Vegetable Gardening in Florida."

Suggested training aids for conducting group presentations were slide loan
sets and films on gardening. Printed material for use in newspaper gardening
columns, radio and television was listed as needed by agents for county programs.

In summary, Florida County Extension Agents are feeling a new pressure on
their time and resources. It comes from an ever-increasing number of home vegetable
gardeners trying to do something about the ever-rising cost of living. To meet this
demand for their assistance, agents are calling upon State Extension Specialists to
provide the printed literature and training aids in abundance and in a form most
usable by home gardeners.
(Stephens)




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


B. Timely Gardening Topics

These questions and answers may be useful as material for weekly newspaper
or radio shorts. They are based on letters of inquiry from gardeners around the
State.

(1) Timely Topic for week of May 12-18.

Question

My tomato plants are dark green, vigorous and healthy; however, the flowers
are not forming any fruits. What is the reason?

Reply -

Several conditions can cause such a problem. Too much nitrogen fertilizer,
high (over 700 F) nighttime temperatures, low (below 500 F) nighttime temperatures,
irregular watering, and insects such as flower thrips are the more common causes.
Any one of these by itself could cause poor fruit-set, but combinations are even
more damaging. Also, be sure you have planted a variety adapted to Florida's
climatic conditions.

(2) Timely Topic for week of May 19-25.

Question

I have planted several varieties of squash in my garden. Do I need to worry
about cross-pollination and resulting off-type squash?

Reply

Not unless you save seed from the fruits. Crossing may occur between
closely-related squash varieties, but the results of this crossing will not show
up until the seeds from the fruit are planted.

(3) Timely Topic for week of May 26-June 1.

Question

I have noticed squash flowers with tiny, miniature squash fruits attached
to the petals, and some flowers without. Should I pinch off the unproductive
flowers to allow the little squash fruits to grow better?

Reply

Squash has both male and female flowers on each plant. The so-called
"unproductive" flowers are male flowers which are essential for pollination, so do
not remove them. Each female flower has what looks like a tiny squash attached
to the petals. It will enlarge into a squash only if pollination and fertilization
have taken place.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

(4) Timely Topic for week of June 2-8.

Question

My neighbor advised me to prune my tomato plants. What is pruning, should
I do it, and if so, how?

Reply

Pruning a tomato plant means to remove each "sucker" (small leaf-like branch)
that arises in the junction of each leaf and the main stem. Whether you should
remove them or not depends on the type of tomato plant you have. Tall growing
indeterminate staking varieties should be pruned. Removing "suckers" reduces the
number of fruits per plant, enabling remaining fruits to become larger and of
better quality. To prune, merely pinch, snip or cut out all "suckers" when they
are less than 2 inches long. Leave one or two of the lower suckers on the plant to
provide additional foliage and fruit.

(5) Timely Topic for week of June 9-15.

Question
What could be causing my radish roots to fail to enlarge properly?

Reply

First, make sure you plant a variety adapted to Florida's climate. Radish
varieties respond differently to temperature. Some produce large tops and small
roots in the warmer months. Second, too much nitrogen fertilizer can cause spindly
roots. Other contributing causes are too much shade, and too close spacing of the
plants.
(Stephens)

C. Know Your Vegetables Mustard Collards

Mustard collards (Brassica carinata) is a green leafy (somewhat stemy)
vegetable which, as the name implies, is a near relative of collards and mustard.
The flavor of the cooked, canned or frozen greens is somewhat milder than collards
and without the pungency of mustard greens. It is under observation in the U. S.
as a possible new garden and farm vegetable.

The plant was imported in 1957 from Ethiopia where it is grown in small
fields near villages. The seed is not commonly available in Florida and the U. S.
as yet. In Europe, it is sold under the trade name of Ethiopian rapeseed.
(Stephens)




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