Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00098
 Material Information
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: June 1974
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00098
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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June 5, 1974

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

J. F. Kelly

S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor

James Montelaro

J. R. Hicks
Assistant Professor

J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor

R. K. Showalter


FROM: Stephen R. Kostewicz, Assistant Vegetable Crops S ecia ist




Dolomite as a Source of Magnesium
Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Operations
Weed Control Between the Seasons
Florida State Horticultural Society


Shipping Containers
Water Chlorination


A. Timely Gardening Topics
B. Know Your Vegetables TAMU Tex Sel

NOTE: Anyone is

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





A. Dolomite as a Source of Magnesium

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) has been used in large quantities in
Florida to supply magnesium in fertilizer mixes and for foliar application to
vegetable crops. As any grower or fertilizer representative knows, magnesium
sulfate is in extremely short supply this season. The severe shortage is apt to
continue into next season also.

The shortage of magnesium sulfate need not create undue problems. We
have an adequate supply and inexpensive source of magnesium in dolomite. The
dolomite mined and sold in Florida averages 36% magnesium carbonate (MgC03) with
the balance being calcium carbonate (CaC03). Dolomite, if properly used, can
supply all the magnesium that is needed for most of our crops. "Properly used"
means that dolomite, a liming material, must be applied before planting.

The following "rules of thumb" are given to assist growers in using
dolomite to supply magnesium and to increase soil pH.

(1) Have soil tested at least three months before planting.

(2) From the pH soil test, determine how much lime is needed.

(a) Use about 200 Ibs. of lime for each 0.1 unit increase
in pH level desired for sandy soils. Use proportionately
more in soils like clays and mucks with greater buffer

(b) Take into consideration "Summer pH" or have a KC1 pH
determination made. Simply, a KC1 pH test simulates
the change in pH affected by addition of acid-forming
fertilizer salts. A pH test taken on unfertilized soil
in summer may drop as much as 1.0 pH unit by mid-winter
from addition of acid fertilizers.

(3) From the calcium and magnesium levels shown by the soil test, determine
the type of lime (dolomite or high calcic) needed. Vegetables grow best when
calcium to magnesium ratio is maintained in a range of 4:1 to 8:1.

(a) If Ca/Mg ratio is 3:1 or lower, use high calcic limestone.
When Ca/Mg ratio is 9:1 or higher, use dolomite.

(4) Apply lime two months before planting and disk well into the soil.

In general, dolomite, if used alone, will maintain the pH of most of our
soils at a level of about 6.4 to 6.5. Growers who wish to raise crops at pH
levels higher than 6.5 should use some high calcic limestone from time to time.
However, benefits to be derived from a pH higher than 6.5 may be overshadowed
by problems created in availability of micronutrients.



B. Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Operations

Recent shortages and high cost of fertilizer materials have forced growers
to review their overall production practices in an effort to maintain growing
costs at reasonable levels. Most vegetable growers are making a sincere effort
to conserve energy, fertilizer, pesticides, labor, etc. Some are finding out
that their efforts are paying off quite satisfactorily.

In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed crop rotation, a practice
recommended for decades to vegetable growers as a means of reducing crop losses
from soil pests. Crop rotation, rightfully, should be used in conjunction with
"cover cropping," the subject of this article. Cover crops are defined as those
crops which are planted for plowing under. Cover crops can serve to add organic
matter to the soil, conserve fertilizer nutrients in the off-season, help prevent
wind and water erosion and, in the case of legumes, add nitrogen to the soil. The
greatest benefit to be derived from cover cropping is the overall improvement of
soil conditions including aeration, water percolation, buffer capacity, general
tilth, etc.

The selection of a cover crop depends on a number of considerations. For
instance, a green bean grower should not plant a legume as a cover crop for the
simple reason that all legumes encourage the same group of soil pathogens. In view
of this, a bean grower should plant a crop that is not closely related, like oats,
rye, sorghum, etc. The legumes, however, are excellent cover crops to plant in
rotation with all other vegetable crops except the table legumes. Legumes, as
cover crops, not only provide the general soil benefits which can be derived from
the non-legume cover crops, but can add considerable amounts of nitrogen to the
soil. It has been shown that a good crop of soybeans can add as much as 300 pounds
of nitrogen per acre if turned under green. Considering the value of added
nitrogen, possible reduction in soil diseases and general benefits to soil con-
ditioning, legumes certainly are worthwhile cover crops.

In addition to the potential benefits to be derived from a cover crop,
growers should consider undesirable side effects such as nematode susceptibility,
hard seed germinating over a period of years creating new weed pests, slow break-
down of plant residue which might interfere with subsequent vegetable production
operations, etc.

Some of the cover crops that have been grown in Florida with success

(1) Legumes: Cowpeas (southern peas), soybeans, pigeon pea,
hairy indigo, vetch, several clovers, crotalaria

(2) Grasses: Oats, barley, rye, sorghums

Cover cropping is an old, proven practice which can return many benefits
to the grower of vegetables on most of our mineral soils. Although not easily
measured in increased yields and net returns, growers can rest assured that the
benefits which may be derived from cover cropping can be quite significant.




C. Weed Control Between the Seasons

The Florida vegetable season is nearing an end in South and Central
Florida and many growers are thinking of next season's plans. Included in the
planning should be a program to control problem or noxious weed species during
the fast approaching "off-season" months. Some of the areas to consider are:
(1) ditchbanks, (2) fence rows and border areas, (3) patches of hard-to-control
perennial weeds in cropping areas, (4) around buildings and equipment storage
areas, and (5) the cropping area to prevent a build-up of weed seeds in the
soil. Each of these areas was touched on in previous articles in this newsletter.

Dealing with the problem areas mentioned is usually put off during the
production year because of more pressing chores of the time. Certainly, some
practices utilized by growers during the off-season help to control weed problems
in the cropping area--flooding, cover crops, cultivation, etc. Other areas such
as border areas or fence rows have been recently characterized as the most poorly
managed areas on the farm in regards to weed control. These areas have become
sources or pools of weed seeds for infesting the cropland. During the less hectic
off-season, an effort to keep weeds down in these areas can reduce weed pressures
in the cropping season.

Wide spectrum contact herbicides or in some instances "brush killer" hormone
type herbicides can be used if done with care and judicious application. The
misuse of these types of materials can result in injury to non-target plants by
drift or misdirected spraying. To avoid this problem, the use of spray additives
(foaming materials, thickening agents, etc.) and/or the use of appropriate nozzle
tips (foam, large particle-forming, or flood jet tips) should be used in addition
to proper application technique.

The use of cultural techniques in addition to herbicides can increase the
effectiveness of the weed control program if combined properly. For example, if
a broad-leaved perennial were a problem in a particular section of the field,
the following approach could be taken. Apply a "hormonal" type herbicide that
would be carried by the normal plant processes down into the roots of the weed.
After sufficient time to allow this movement to occur has elapsed, the area could
be plowed, disked, or mowed to stimulate a regrowth of the weeds. This would
serve to drain the supply of stored foods in the roots of the weed. After the
regrowth has reached a stage prior to maturity, a second cycle can be applied to
further drain the reserves of the population. Eventually, the perennial weed will
be killed so that no regrowth occurs.

In many instances, merely maintaining areas by mowing can reduce the potential
weed problems. Mowing existing weeds frequently enough to prevent seed production
accounts for the reduced potential. Occasional hand hoeing of problem spots can
also lead to a reduction in the seriousness of the problem.

In summary, the grower is urqed to consider the upcoming off-season as an
excellent time to deal with some of his lingering trouble spots of weeds. By
analyzing what and where the problems are and evaluating what combinations of
methods he has at his disposal, he can get a headstart on a weed control program
for next season's crop.



D. Florida State Horticultural Society

The 87th Annual Meeting of the Florida State Horticultural Society will
be held November 5-8, 1974 at the Carillon Hotel in Miami Beach.

The Society encompasses activities in vegetables, citrus, garden and
landscape, handling and processing, krome memorial and ornamental horticulture.
More than 100 authoritative papers will be presented at the meeting. All
presentations are made available in journal form--Proceedings of the Florida
State Horticultural Society.

The Society has led in the advancement of Florida horticulture and will
continue to do so. It serves as an open forum for growers, processors, salesmen,
research workers, County Agricultural Agents and all others interested in
horticulture to discuss and resolve problems of mutual concern. If you are not
a member, we urge you to consider joining the Society. Annual membership dues
are $6.00. Student membership dues are $3.00. Send your check to:

Florida State Horticultural Society
Office of the Secretary
P. 0. Box 552
Lake Alfred, Florida 33850
(S. J. Locascio, Professor
and Horticulturist)


A. Shipping Containers

The September, 1973 Vegetarian contained an article on unit handling of
produce or palletization. The complexity of this problem is brought into focus
by Marketing Research Report No. 991 by Drs. Donald R. Stokes and Glenn W.
Woodley. (Available from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Print-
ing Office, Washington, D. C., 20402 Stock Number 0100-02837, price $1.45.)
This publication reports on the number of different containers for fresh fruits
and vegetables found in two terminal markets. As an example, there were 35
different size containers for tomatoes, 27 for lettuce, 13 for peppers, 11 for
potatoes, 11 for cucumbers, etc. The total number of different size containers
was 371. Very few (17%) of the containers could be stacked to utilize as much as
90% of the space on a standard 48" x 40" pallet. The problem becomes much greater
when several commodities are being stacked on the same pallet as is often done
when making up loads at a warehouse for store delivery.

Europe has developed recommended dimensions for containers of perishable
products involved in international trade. The container sizes recommended by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are 40 x 30, 50 x 30, 50 x
40, and 60 x 40 cm (which would be 15 3/4 x 11 3/4, 19 3/4 x 11 3/4, 19 3/4 x
15 3/4, and 23 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches). All of these containers fit the 48 x 40 inch
pallet (or the 120 x 100 cm pallet) with over 96% of the surface area utilized.
As Drs. Stokes and Woodley point out, if the European recommendations gain widespread
acceptance, it could create real problems with any export shipments that are in
"odd size" containers.


It is also pointed out that restricting the size and type of containers
too severely might lead to the following difficulties if improper containers
were selected.

"(1) problems in packing and increased packing cost,
(2) poorer product protection and
(3) increased container damage."

However, the possible benefits or proper containers include:

"(I) Economies in manufacture or fabrication of containers.
(2) Economies in packing labor.
(3) Lower inventory investments in packing materials.
(4) Greater utilization of space in transport vehicles
and at all other levels of storage and distribution.
(5) Reduced costs of handling.
(6) Improved product protection.
(7) Reduced container damage."

The produce industry is rapidly approaching the point where it cannot afford
the luxury of manually handling individual containers. The first step in palletiza-
tion should be the adoption of containers which are compatible with the pallet.
The second logical step would be to limit the number of container sizes so that
different commodities would be in compatible size containers.

B. Water Chlorination

The enclosed Fact Sheet on Water Chlorination is available from the
Vegetable Crops Department. Contact us for additional copies.


A. Timely Gardening Topics

These questions and answers are suggested here for your use in developing
periodic (weekly) radio or newspaper shorts. They are based on letters of inquiry
from gardeners around the State.

(1) Timely Topic for week of June 16-22.


Now that my spring garden is just about gone, what vegetables might I plant
for the summer?

Many vegetables will grow quite satisfactorily in the summer in Florida, but
are bothered more than usual by insects, diseases and weeds, along with the seasonal


heat and heavy rains. Most of the cool-season crops such as radish, carrots,
lettuce, English peas and cabbage should not be pl.'nted at this time. Crops
that can be grown with adequate care and fair results are pole beans, lima beans,
southern peas, okra, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, swee& corn,
swiss chard, New Zealand spinach, mustard, collards, peppers, eggplants, and
cherry tomatoes. While these are not all of the crops which can be grown here
at this time, they should provide you with an ample assortment for the summer.

(2) Timely Topic for week of June 23-29.


I have trouble using the fertilizer recommendations given in gardening books,
as they are usually given in pounds per 100 square feet or even larger amounts.
Can you help me convert to smaller amounts of fertilizer for the few plants I have?


Although mixed fertilizers (10-10-10,
moisture content and texture, they generally
is a little table that may help you.

5-10-5, etc.) will vary some with
weigh about 9/10 that of water. Here

Weight of Mixed Fertilizer -

1000 sa. ft.

45 Pounds
18 "
3/4 "
18 Ounces
5 1

100 sq. ft.

Acre 1000..a. I 100 oI.- f .

4 1
3 3
2 3,
2 1
7 1
3 1





J __ _ _

Volume Measure for 100 sq. ft.

5 Pints
4 "
2 "
1 "

1 Cups
4 Tablespoons
I It

Keep in mind:

i) Acre = 43,560 square feet.
2) Pint = 2 cups, or 32 tablespoons, or

96 teaspoons.

(3) Timely Topic for week of June 30-July 6.


I have a chance to obtain sufficient quantities of chicken manure nearby
to use as fertilizer in my garden. Is it advisable to use it?






Chicken manure is an excellent fertilizer and soil conditioner for Florida
vegetable gardens. While the actual composition of chicken manure varies with
such factors as age of manure, amount and type of litter used, feeding program,
etc., aged chicken manure produced in Florida under various conditions averages
about 2.26% nitrogen, 1.42% phosphorus, and 2.08% potassium (on moisture-free
basis). It also contains many other plant food elements such as calcium, magnesium,
copper, manganese, zinc, chlorine, sulfur and boron.

Since it contains 60 to 80 percent organic matter (again on a moisture-free
basis), it is beneficial to your garden due to improvement of the soil's tilth,
texture, water holding capacity, and nutrient holding ability.

Keep in mind when using chicken manure that it should be worked into the
soil at least one to two weeks before planting in order to prevent injury to
seedlings from ammoniation burn. Ammonia is produced rapidly in the first few
days after manure is added to a warm moist soil. Nitrate production, most beneficial
to crops, is highest about four weeks after the manure is applied. About one-half
the total nitrogen in the manure will become available to the plants in the first
six weeks after application. You can sidedress with manure later on using
moderate amounts as long as you keep it off the plants.

One method for using the manure is to open a furrow six inches deep and four
inches wide the desired length of your row. Place one loosely packed bushel (30
pounds) of manure per 50 feet of row in the furrow and cover with soil. Plant a
row of vegetables 2 to 3 inches to each side of this band of chicken manure.

(4) Timely Topic for week of July 7-13.

This year my cucumbers are bitter. What have I done wrong?


All the reasons for bitterness in cucumbers are not known at this time,
even though tests have been conducted to determine the causes. While bitterness
is genetic and thus can be inherited, it can vary in degree even within a given
variety. This indicates that certain environmental conditions tend to affect it.
Since the bitterness factor is associated with the peel of the cucumber, growing
conditions which tend to thicken and toughen the peel seem to increase bitterness.
However, frequency of irrigation had no effect on bitterness, even though less
frequent irrigations tend to produce fruits with thicker skins. Therefore, about
all that can be said is that bitterness is unpredictable, and varies from year to
year. The bitterness does not penetrate too deeply so bitter cukes are usable
by cutting off more of the peel, especially at the stem end.


B. Know Your Vegetables TAMU Tex Sel

TAMU Tex Sel is the properly designated name for a selection of mustard
collards, Brassica carinata (reported in last month's issue of the "Vegetarian")
released by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in 1972. Since the mustard
collards introduced from Ethiopia was widely variable in plant type, leaf shape,
stem color and dates of bloom, a food type plant was reselected and developed
from this heterogenous population and is now called TAMU Tex Sel.

Tex Sel is a leafy green plant similar in growth characteristics to mustard
and collards. The plants in early growth develop a rosette of leaves from a
very short stem. As the plants mature, a single seed stem develops, ending in
a flower cluster. At full height, the plants are 3 to 5 feet, with many upright
branches. The green oval three to five inches long leaves are smooth with a few
hairs on the ribs, and are borne on slender petioles.

Since Tex Sel grew so well in Southern Texas, it appears to be suited for
production in Florida. It is suggested for trial in the fall, winter and spring.
In Texas, it matured an average of 16.6 tons of greens per acre in 53.5 days.


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