Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00101
 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: September 1974
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00101
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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September 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
Associate Professor

R. K. Showalter


FROM: Ja es M. Stephens, tension Vegetable Crops Specialist




A. Foliar Fertilization of Vegetables
B. Fertilizer Use on Muck Soils
C. Wettable Powder Formulated Herbicides


A. Machine Harvesting and Vegetable Quality


Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Salsify
Common Sense Needed in Distribution of Vegetable Crops

NOTE: Anyone is

Of" I' L- iE A

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


i :1J'A;'Tt1i,rT OF" A' C ICUL-TUMI!, AND iB AIRD CO Ofo`'U H t C'(C A4 i'II.



WG .TARQA ws,,.te



A. Foliar Fertilization of Vegetables

Vegetable growers facing increased costs for fuel, fertilizer, seed,
etc., must examine all production costs carefully to effect savings wherever
possible. This newsletter, over the past year, has attempted to assist growers
in doing this by pointing orut practices which might be modified to reduce
production costs, how,.,er -rirall. This is another in the series which deals
with the use of soluble fertilizers for foliar feeding of vegetable crops.

Many vegetable growers continue to use considerable amounts of N-P-K
foliar fertilizers in spite of the fact that research at experiment stations
throughout Florida and elsewhere has shown that there are no significant
economic benefits to be derived from their use over the standard methods of
application to the soil. Following are some quotes made by workers who con-
ducted research at several locations on this subject.

Geraldson -

Montelaro -

Bradenton, 1951 "Extensive trials on the Station
Farm in Eiadenton and on the farm of a "grower"
at Ruskin indicate that crops with high fertility
requirements, such as the tomato, showed little or
no res:on-.,e to foliar feeding as far as the major
elements were cJoncerned."

Gainesville, 1951 "Pesults indicate that no benefit
was derived fr-Jm foliar applications of urea nitrogen,
whether r alone or in combination with soil nitrogen,
when cr:,iipared with equal amounts of nitrogen applied
to the soil."
In a second test 'Ic, significant differences were
foiiid between the two sources (sodium nitrate as
sidedrc-i,,sinq on the soil and urea N as a spray) in
total yield in.- nmiiber of fruits harvested."

Forsee & Ft. Pierce, 1952 "Yield trends were in favor of
Hayslip the nutritional sprays in that the average total yields
for n,' of the ;pray treatments were slightly higher
than the check unsprayedd). However, these yield
trends were not statistically significant."
('Ji-: Check plot was unsprayed and therefore
received less total nitrogen than
spra,,.d plots.)

Geraldson Bradenton, 1953 "This indicates that root feeding is
preferable and that foliar feeding should be regarded
only as an ~i.i-rlienc' measure. Tomatoes and cucumbers
did not respond to nutritional sprays or to extra

Malcolm Homestead, I'-3 "Although some differences in yields
were fo.ir in the fertilizer spray test (on tomatoes)
none of these was sufficiently large or consistent
to be reliable."


McCubbin Hastings, 1953 Testing foliar nitrogen sprays versus
sidedress nitrogen on cabbage "There were no
significant differences among treatments."
On potatoes "The sidedressed and sprayed plots out-
yielded the check plots, but the difference in yields
was not significant." (NOTE: Check plots received
no supplemental nitrogen.)

If the above information is not convincing enough, consider the total
amount of N-P-K found in a fully-grown vegetable crop and how many foliar appli-
cations would be needed to supply these large amounts at rates of 2 to 5 Ibs.
per application. Analyses at Bradenton showed that a fully-grown crop (including
fruit) of tomatoes contained 320 Ibs of N, 139 Ibs. of P205 and 528 lbs. of
K20. As many as ten foliar applications at the usual rates of 2 to 5 Ibs. each
would supply only a small part of the total fertilizer needed.

There are other considerations which strengthen the argument against foliar
feeding. If applied separately from pesticides, the added fuel, machinery and
labor use would increase production costs significantly. Applied with pesticides,
foliar fertilizers may react in the tank in such a way as to reduce effectiveness
of one or more of the pesticides or to cause foliar injury to the crop.

Cost comparisons between most foliar fertilizers and the standard types
applied to the soil generally show that the foliar materials are much more
expensive. In many cases, response to foliar fertilizer noted by growers may not
be directly from leaf absorption but from root absorption following rains that
washed the fertilizer from the leaves to the ground.

The benefits, if any, to be derived from the use of foliar fertilizer are
far outweighed by the added costs and problems which may result from their use.
It must be pointed out, however, that foliar feeding can and should be used to
correct certain deficiencies in growing crops, particularly micronutrient

B. Fertilizer Use on Muck Soils

During the present period of fertilizer shortages and high prices, vege-
table growers on the mucklands of Florida could, in many cases, reduce rates of
application of fertilizer without reducing yields. Depending on the area,
soil analysis, etc., reduction in fertilizer usage may entail savings in use
of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and minor elements. Last month, this news-
letter reported research results obtained at Belle Glade to support the fact
that during the present fertilizer crisis, phosphorus rates could be reduced
significantly if properly placed, without reducing crop yields or quality. Work
conducted by Dr. R. B. Forbes at Zellwood further strengthens the feeling that
fertilizer usage on vegetable crops on the muck soils can be reduced without
serious consequences. At a vegetable field day in May at Zellwood, he reported
findings of a fertilizer rate study for cabbage on muck soils. Prior to addition
of fertilizer, the soil tested as follows: pH 7.1, P205 73 Ibs./A and K20 -
168 Ibs./A. He concluded that "There was no yield increase from any of the treat-
ments. The quality factor (width of head), a measure of head firmness, was


influenced only very slightly. Added nitrogen gave a poorer quality,
toward more puffy heads. The best treatment supplied no nitrogen, 80
120 Ibs. K20 and 80 Ibs. MgO/acre."

a tendency
lbs. P205,

A test completed on sweet corn in late spring showed similar results.
Forbes found no statistically significant differences in yield when he tested 16
combinations of N, P205, K20 and MgO. The results are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Treatments and Yields on the Sweet Corn Fertilizer Trial

Treatment, Ib/acre Average yield
N P205 K20 MgO cwt/acre
1. 0 0 0 0 148.1
2. 0 0 0 80 142.3
3. 0 0 100 80 124.9
a. 0 50 100 80 136.4
5. 0 50 0 0 139.4
6. 0 50 100 0 137.9
7. 0 50 0 80 136.4
8. 0 0 100 0 122.0
9. 40 0 0 0 139.4
10. 40 0 0 80 140.8
11. 40 0 100 80 130.7
12. 40 50 100 80 136.4
13. 40 50 0 0 111.8
14. 40 50 100 0 136.4
15. 40 50 0 80 153.9
16. 40 0 100 0 151.0
LSD .05 no signi-

Vegetable growers on the muck soils of Belle Glade use very little nitrogen.
However, it is a common practice to apply nitrogen in the Zellwood area. Some
nitrogen may be needed during periods of cool weather when nitrification is slow,
but certainly not in the warm periods of fall and spring. Growers should have
soil tested for phosphorus, potassium and magnesium and should adjust rates of
these elements according to the residual levels shown in the soil test.

C. Wettable Powder Formulated Herbicides

Some herbicides are not soluble in water and may or may not be soluble in
organic solvents. In these cases, the wettable powder formulation is frequently
used as the retail unit. A wettable powder is made by placing the active
ingredient chemical on an inert carrier chemical and then finely grinding the
resulting combination.

The wettable powder does not form a solution when added to water. The
particles must be dispersed in the spray water by agitation. If the mixed spray
is allowed to stand without agitation, the particles settle to the bottom of


the tank. Such a condition would lead to a varying rate of application due
to the difference in concentration between the top and the bottom of the tank.

To prevent this situation from occurring, agitation is a requirement
in the spray tank with wettable powders. There are several methods of agitation
used from the simple by-pass jet agitator to mechanical agitation with paddles
mounted inside the tank. Most herbicide workers feel that mechanical agitation
is the best means to insure thorough mixing of the spray solution. This method,
however, usually is expensive and requires periodic maintenance.

When using wettable powder herbicides:

(1) Make certain adequate agitation is provided for in the spray tank.

(2) When adding the powder to the spray tank:

(a) Have a moderate amount of water already in the tank.
(b) Mix powder into a small quantity of water in a bucket
to form a slurry.
(c) Pass slurry through a screen when adding it to the
spray tank (removes lumps, etc.).
(d) Fill tank and agitate spray solution before beginning
(e) Use nozzle screens.
(f) Check and calibrate frequently. Wettable powder sprays
are abrasive and will enlarge the nozzle openings after
a period of time.


A. Machine Harvesting and Vegetable Quality

Mechanical harvesting of Florida vegetables has made big strides in recent
years. Most of the labor required for vegetables comes in harvesting and handling
the crop. When this labor became less available and much more expensive,
machines were used instead of people. Harvesters for potatoes, radishes and
carrots were the first to be utilized. At present, most snap beans and a large
portion of the celery and sweet corn crops are machine harvested. Other major
vegetable crops will probably be machine harvested when present harvesting systems
are no longer feasible and when suitable mechanical means are available.

There are many factors involved in changing a harvesting system and ideally
the ultimate system should be satisfactory to all concerned, from grower to con-
sumer. The goal in mechanical harvesting is to maximize economic returns by
maximizing yield and quality. The change from hand to once-over machine harvesting
of certain vegetables, including those mentioned above, has been accomplished
without changing varieties. For others, varietal changes were required. Varieties
better adapted to mechanization and with better consumer qualities can be developed
and should be included in the research objectives for new varieties. Quality
factors related to machine harvesting are the physical attributes such as maturity,
mechanical damage and trash.



The effects of machine harvesting on quality vary considerably among the
different vegetables.

(1) Maturity The carrots and radishes grown in Florida are much better
adapted to machine harvest than the snap beans. Small carrots and radishes are
removed by sizing machines before packaging, mainly to achieve uniformity rather
than because of their lack of eating quality. Our snap bean varieties that were
developed for multiple pickings still have blossoms along with mature pods when
machine harvested. The pods less than 1/4 inch in diameter lose moisture rapidly
during marketing and if they are not sorted out at the shipping point, the wilted
pods reduce the marketability of the entire harvest. Celery and potatoes have a
wide range in maturity and size when machine harvested, but there is a demand
for these sizes when they are packaged separately. In contrast, sweet corn has
a very narrow maturity range when the ears have good eating quality. Small ears
with immature kernels (usually the second ear on the stalk) should not be marketed.

(2) Mechanical damage Among the root vegetables, bruising during har-
vesting is a much more serious problem for potatoes than for carrots and radishes.
Proper cushioning on potato harvesters greatly reduces bruising and the occurrence
of tuber diseases that start as a result of mechanical damage. Along with
mechanical harvesting the type of handling has changed from containers to bulk
loads throughout the mechanized handling and preparation for market.

The handling systems following machine harvest of celery, sweet corn
and snap beans are still being developed. The few celery petioles that are bruised
or broken by the harvesters are on the outside of the stalk, are easily visible
and are removed during hand stripping. Severe crushing of sweet corn kernels by
the harvesters can be seen on the outside of the husk, and.these ears may be
discarded by the packers. However, pressure sufficient to break 5 to 15 kernels
often goes unnoticed by the packers, and the hidden damage becomes apparent when
ears are prepared for retail sale or cooking. Machine harvesting has had the
greatest detrimental effect on snap beans in the form of broken pods which dis-
color and may decay in fresh market channels. Mechanical broken bean eliminators
greatly improve the quality, but will continue to reduce yields until improved
varieties or harvesters are available.

(3) Trash Machine harvesting of potatoes results in varying amounts of
vines, weeds, soil and clods being delivered to the packinghouse. Special pieces
of equipment such as a clod eliminator in the water flume, have been developed
to remove extraneous materials from potatoes, and the remainder must be sorted
out by hand. Machine-harvested snap beans may differ from hand-picked beans
in the amount of stems, leaves, weeds, rocl~s, etc., that are picked with the pods.
Mechanical equipment can remove these unwanted materials except for clusters of
hard-pulling pods which must be separated from their stems by hand labor. An
important problem associated with sweet corn harvesters is elimination of stalk
sections, leaves and shanks at the base of the ear. Suitable equipment is not
yet available to prepare machine-harvested ears for packing; therefore, more hand
labor is needed than for hand-harvested sweet corn.

Harvesters uniformly top carrots, radishes and celery in the field.
After washing, these vegetables have a better, more uniform appearance than hand-
harvested lots. In order to market high-quality produce from various mechanical
harvesting systems, adequate sorting to remove unnecessary materials and grading
into various quality levels are very important.




A. Timely Gardening Topics

These questions and answers are suggested for your use in developing
periodic (weekly) radio or newspaper briefs. They are based on letters of inquiry
from Florida gardeners.

(1) Timely Topic for week of September 15-21.


Having just moved to Florida, I would like to know which, if any, vegetables
I can plant in my garden in the fall for winter production.


Fortunately for Florida gardeners, our mild winters allow us to plant a
wide assortment of kinds and varieties of vegetables at this time of year. Keep
in mind, however, that most areas of the State experience frost or freezing
temperatures during the period of November through February. In these areas, such
warm-season crops as cucumbers, beans and tomatoes must be sequenced into production
between such plant damaging cold and the hazards of the hot humid summer months.
In sections of South Florida, where frostsrarely occur, these warm-season crops
may be planted from now on through the winter. On the other hand, it is becoming
seasonal throughout the State for the cold hardy vegetables such as cabbage,
radishes and strawberries. For the best times to plant, get a copy of Extension
Circular 104, "Vegetable Gardening Guide."

(2) Timely Topic for week of September 22-28.


Why do the parsnips I grow down here taste so flat compared to those I
used to grow up North?


Parsnip roots must be subjected to winter cold near the freezing point to
change the starch to sugar and give it the sweet nut-like flavor for which it is
famous. Seeds take a long time (15-25 days) to germinate and a long time to
mature (100-120 days). Be sure to plant them in time for the roots to mature in
the coldest part of the winter.

(3) Timely Topic for week of September 29-October 5.


I would like to pot some herbs for inside decor. Which ones should I


The better potted herbs for indoor culture are basil, chives, mints, parsley,
sweet marjoram, and rosemary.



(4) Timely Topic for week of October 6-12.


I would like to grow my own mushrooms at home. Is this feasible?


Production requirements for mushrooms are so exacting, requiring strictly
controlled conditions, especially temperature and humidity, that home production
would probably be disappointing. Since mushrooms do not require light for growth,
they are grown in darkness for better control of temperature and humidity. In
addition, production requires especially prepared "spawn" and compost.

There are very small homeowner kits for sale at garden supply centers and
through seed and garden supply catalogs. While such kits introduce you to the
concept of mushroom production, they generally provide too few mushrooms for most
families' needs.

(5) Timely Topic for week of October 13-19.


I have some gourds which I want to prepare for decorating. How should I
go about this?


Wash fruits in warm, mild-soapy water, then rinse and dry. A household
disinfectant added to the clear rinse water can reduce decay organisms. Lay
gourds on several layers of newspaper in a dry, airy place to remove surface
moisture. Do not dry in direct sunlight as they could lose their color. Gourds
should be thoroughly dry before shellac is applied. Immature specimens of some
species may take several months to dry completely. Keeping these cooler than
650 will help retard shriveling during the drying and curing process. Sanding
and scraping the surface of some gourds improve drying and enhance their appearance.
Some gourds could be used without waxing, or shellacing, but such treatment makes
many others more attractive.

B. Know Your Vegetables Salsify

Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) is also known as the oyster plant or
vegetable oyster. It is grown for the edible root which has a flavor like that
of oysters. Salsify is grown only occasionally in Florida home gardens.

The plant is a biennial belonging to the same family of plants as chicory
and dandelion. It is grown as an annual with culture similar to that for
parsnips or carrots. The long, slender, tapering, smooth leaves are about 1
inch in diameter at the crown and are 10 to 12 inches long. Roots are 8 to 12
inches long, cylindrical, an inch or less in diameter and salmon or brown in



Salsify requires a long-growing season of 120 to 150 days from seeding
to harvest. In the northern states, it would be planted in the spring and har-
vested in the fall. In Florida, the best production period would be from October
through March, as it will withstand frost.

The seedlings should be thinned to 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 18 to 24
inches apart. Cover the seed 1/2 inch deep. The variety 'Mammoth Sandwich
Island' is most common.

Salsify is used in soups and stews; it is boiled, but into small pieces
and creamed like asparagus; or it is cut into long strips, boiled, then fried
in butter; or it may be mashed.

C. Common Sense Needed in Distribution of Vegetable Crops Publications

We are asking all County Extension Agricultural Agents working in vege-
table gardening or commercial vegetable production to take a close look at the
way both types of publications are distributed to the public. The reason for
this request is that printing costs have increased tremendously. Funds are
not available to supply the demand for vegetable publications of all types
unless care is taken to eliminate wasteful distribution.

Vegetable publications revised in the future will carry on the front
page the statement "For commercial producers only" or "For vegetable garden use
only" for commercial and vegetable qardeninq publications, respectively. We
suggest that County Extension Agents:

(1) Never give a commercial vegetable guide to a vegetable gardener.
They are too expensive to print and contain recommendations for chemicals which
should not be used by home gardeners.

(2) Stop blanket mailings. Check your mailing lists and mail publications
only to those needing, e.g. don't send the recently revised "Pepper Production
Guide" to a vegetable producer who does not grow or is not interested in growing

(3) To insure that each county gets its "fair share1' of new releases of
commercial vegetable publications in the future, the Vegetable Specialists will
give the Bulletin Room Office a guide list for first mailings. Additional copies
can be ordered from the reserve supply by letter explaining the request.

We feel we can keep County Extension Offices well supplied with commercial
vegetable publications if they cooperate fully with us. The vegetable gardening
publications are being printed as rapidly as funds permit. Here, too, we ask
your cooperation in distributing these with good common sense.

(Kelly, Montelaro)

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