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: March 1975
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00107
Source Institution: University of Florida
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March 6, 1975






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
Associate Professor

R. K. Showalter
Professor


TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIA .
( / "'3': Z "f^t- e >Io
FROM: James Montelaro, Extension Vegetable Specialist /'-'' '/ -


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 75-3


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Circular 196 Revised
B. Five Vegetable Field Days Planned

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


"Mouse-ear" A Disorder of Unknown
Phosphorus Use Update
Weed Control in Florida Watermelons
Strawberry Nurseries in Florida


Origin in Potatoes


III. HARVESTING AND 1HANTDIING

A. Cooling Vegetables Before and During Shipment

IV. VEGITABRE GARDENING


Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Globe Artichokes


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


Whenever





THIE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Circular 196 Revised

The "Chmnical Weed Control Guide for Vegetables" was revised recently and
released for distribution. Shortage of printing funds limited us to 4,000 copies.
Presently, about one-fourth of these remain for future use. We are asking County
Agents to conserve their supply of this publication through careful distribution.
Do not give it to anyone but those who are involved in some way in commercial
vegetable production. Additional copies can be obtained from the limited reserve
supply by letter explaining need.
0(ontelaro)


B. Five Vegetable Field Days Planned

Center Directors at five branch stations have set dates for the Vegetable
Field Days. They are as follows:

(1) ARC, Hastings April 10, 1975
(2) AREC, Belle Glade May 8, 1975
(3) AREC, Bradenton May 21, 1975
(4) Main Station, Gainesville June 3, 1975
(5) ARC, Leesburg June 4, 1975

Those interested in attending Vegetable Field Days should place these dates
on their calendar now. Announcements and press releases with more details will be
sent our prior to each field day.
(Montelaro)

II. CONMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. "Mouse-ear" A Disorder of Unknown Origin in Potatoes

A disorder referred to as 'mouse-ear" is of rather common occurrence on
potatoes growing in the Hastings area this season. This disorder is not new. It
was seen by growers occasionally a decade or so ago. However, the disorder seems
to be appearing more frequently and with more alarming symptoms with each passing
year.

The research staff at the Hastings ARC has kept a close surveillance of the
disorder. Presently, they are of the opinion that the condition has not reduced
yields of potatoes in the area. However, some growers, especially those whose
crops are most severely affected, feel that they may suffer yield losses this season.

The term mouse-ear describes the general appearance of leaves perfectly.
Developing leaves in the bud of affected sterns are much smaller than normal. In
addition, affected leaves may show a broi.'nil or darkening of the margins. Affected
buds exhibit an overall appearance which may be described as "rosetting." Bud
leaves do not develop nonrally. They may develop a downward cropping and never
attain full size.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Researchers at the Hastings ARC having checked and eliminated numerous leads
are now looking into the possibility that mouse-ear may be caused by a nutritional
unbalance. Presently, there is little cause for growers to become alarmed when
mouse-ear is found in their potato crops. IFAS Research and Extension personnel
will continue studying this problem in an attempt to determine (1) if the con-
dition is a potentially serious problem which could reduce potato yields, (2) the
nature and cause of the disorder, and (3) methods of preventing and/or correcting
the problem.
(Montelaro)

B. Phosphorus Use Update

Faced with fertilizer shortages and high prices for two seasons, some vege-
table growers have made adjustments which are helping them to keep costs down some-
what. The most important of these is the reduction in the total amount of phosphorus
applied for vegetable crops. This is especially true on the sandy soils and some
mucks heavily fertilized with phosphate materials in past years. Such soils, when
analyzed, may show levels of 600 to 800 lbs. total phosphorus. Available phosphorus,
by most methods used, is usually also in the high to very high range.

In our travels throughout Florida over the past two seasons, we checked with
vegetable growers, county extension agents and fertilizer salesmen in an attempt to
evaluate changes in fertilizer use. We were surprised to find many growers actually
using soil test data to determine phosphorus needs for their crops. No grower
reported poor plant response or yield loss from elimrin;tion or reduction in use of
phosphorus.

Extension specialists are satisfied that the trend toward reduction in use
of phosphorus will continue to expand. Growers, however, must not proceed reck-
lessly. They must continue to monitor residual phosphorus in their soils, check
the rate of drop in phosphate levels from year to year and to add it when it becomes
necessary to do so. One other point of caution to growers is the possibility of
temporary, but damaging, phosphorus deficiency in seedlings during cool periods even
in soils showing high levels of available phosphates. Any crop, direct-seeded in
late fall, winter and early spring, should receive a small amount of readily avail-
able phosphorus in the seed drill. One hundred pounds of plain superphosphate is
more than ample provided it is placed in close proximity to the seed or transplant
roots.

Growers should look at high levels of phosphorus accumulated in their soils
as they would a bank savings account. Properly managed, it can last for years with
only minimal outlays for phosphorus to compensate for temporary deficiencies which
might develop in cold seasons.
CMontolaro)

C. VWecJ Control in Florida Watermelons

According to the Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service during the
1972-73 season, 54,700 acres were planted and in 1973-74 about 50,000 acres were
planted, making it the second vegetable, by acreage, in the state. WV'toniielons
are the most geographically widespread commercial vegetable crop in Florida. Pro-
duction areas range from the early season melons of the Immokalec-South Florida
area to the later marketed melons grown in the panhandle section of the state.





THE VEGETARIAN NBWSLE ITER


Weeds can be a serious problem in this crop with differences in the problem
weeds varying widely by location. Many growers look to herbicides with the feeling
that using one of these materials will totally eliminate weed problems. This is
far from reality. Herbicides are only a single tool which can be used with others
in the overall weed control program.

Nationally, six different materials are labeled for use on watermelons.
However, an examination of the materials recommended in Florida (Extension Circular
196D) reveals only two materials. Why so few? There are several IFAS researchers
that evaluate herbicides for watermelons in Florida and our recommendations are
based on their research. They have shown that the other materials have exhibited
crop damage when certain conditions common for Florida occur. While indeed the
recommended materials can be crop toxic under certain conditions, they exhibit a
greater margin of safety to the crop than some of the others. In addition, the
weed control with these materials, while not perfect, is adequate. Some of the
others have been poor.

The recommended materials are naptalam (Alanap, NPA) and bensulide (Prefar).

Herbicides*

Bensulide Preplanting 5 to 6** pounds active ingredient per acre. Incorporate
(Prefar) 1 to 1 inches deep in moist soil. Plant immediately.
The irrigation or rainfall method of incorporation with
this material has not given adequate weed control.

Naptalam Preemergence 3 to 4** pounds active ingredient per acre. Preplant
(Alanap, NPA) incorporation of this material has given crop damage under
conditions of leaching rainfall.

lThe common name of the herbicide is followed by the trade name in parenthesis.
NOTE: The use of product trade names does not constitute a guarantee or warranty
of the products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.

**Rates are given on a broadcast basis. For band treatments, the rate will be reduce
proportionately.

We suggest a banded, over-the-row application of either of these materials
and use of cultivation to control weeds between the bands. Once the plants have
established a good root system and begin to develop a canopy of foliage to shade out
weeds, they are able to compete successfully with weeds that may be present there-
after.
(Kostewicz)

D. Strawberry Nurseries in Florida

Strawberry acreage in Florida has dwindled over the years to the present fairly
stable acreage. A number of factors have contributed to this decline. One of these
problems is the need for source of high-quality plant' to set in the fruiting field.

Historically, growers have produced their own plants in spring and summer
nurseries. Because of production problans, more and more growers are purchasing theil





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


plants from local and out-of-state specialized strawberry nurseries. During
recent years, the number of Florida plant growers has decreased because of pro-
duction and labor problems. Currently, only a few of these commercial strawberry
plant nurseries remain.

The production problems seriously limiting strawberry plant production are
probably disease susceptibility and poor runner production by those varieties
currently recommended. Control of diseases, especially anthracnose, during the
hot, rainy and humid weather during the summer is difficult with most fungicides.
Development of strawberry varieties for Florida to overcome the disease problem
has been underway for several years. Recently, the variety 'Florida Belle' was
released from this program. This variety has shown the ability to produce abundant
plants in spring and summer nurseries with a minimum of disease problems. We feel
that commercial producers should grow this variety on a trial basis to determine if
they can successfully produce their own plants. The supply of plants will be
limited for a while until enough of them are produced to satisfy demands.

For growers who would like to attempt a small nursery, a limited supply of
the plants can be obtained from the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, 213 Rolfs
Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611. The following production
guidelines should be followed:

(1) Select a clean well-drained site for the nursery.

(2) Treat the area with the recommended rate of a multi-purpose soil fumi-
gant. These are discussed in Extension Circular 193, "Commercial Vegetable Insect,
Disease and Nematode Control Guide."

(3) Following the proper waiting or aeration period for the fumigant, plant
the beds. The beds must be unmulched so that the runner plants can establish root
systems. Generally, a 5 to 6 foot bed can be used with one row per bed and an in-
the-row plant spacing of 12 inches.

(4) Prepare the site and fertilize the beds at the rate of 500 to 600 pounds
of 6-8-8 per acre. Sidedressing will be needed during the season especially after
heavy rainfall. The sidedressing fertilizer applications should be in the range
of about 15 Ibs. of N and 15 lbs. of K20 per acre.

(5) Some provision should be made for controlling weeds in the beds. None
of the currently recommended herbicides provide season-long control. However, a
combination of herbicide plus mechanical weeding could be used. Herbicide recom-
mendations are given in the "Strawberry Production Guide," Extension Circular 142.
The need for control and the severity of the weed problem will depend upon the
effectiveness of the multi-purpose fumigant (if used).

(6) An effective disease and insect control program is a requirement to pro-
duce clean plants. Using the recommended materials listed in Extension Circular 193
is a must even with the new 'Florida Belle' variety developed for Florida conditions.

For maximum production of plants from an initial supply, a spring and summer
nursery is involved. Initially, the plants are set in the spring nursery about
February to March. New runner plants are then reset in the sunmunr nursery in June
or July for production of plants for fruiting field. Using both a spring and summer
nursery, 200 to 400 fold increase can be obtained.
(Kostewicz)






'~E VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


III. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Cooling Vegetables Before and During Shipment

Transit vehicle refrigeration units do not have the capacity for a quick
cool down--which is imperative if quality is to be maintained at a high level.
Practically all the vegetables produced in Florida that require temperatures around
32F are precooled to remove field heat. On the other hand, vegetables which are
sensitive to chilling very seldom receive any type of precooling and quite often
are held at ambient temperatures until shipped. The thermostat on the trailer (or
rail car) is then set for the desired temperature and the vehicle's refrigeration
unit is expected to remove the accumulated heat. Even if the desired commodity
temperature is reached before arrival at destination (quite often it is not), there
are a number of problems which may be intensified by the very slow cooling rate
resulting from such an operating procedure.

(1) Respiration: Although it is a very complex process, postharvest respire
tion of vegetables can be described very simply as aging. Higher temperature means
faster aging and more rapid deterioration of quality. In addition, the closer a
commodity is to senescence (death) the more subject it is to decay and other dis-
orders. There is also a possibility of rapid respiration at high temperature resull
ing in a depletion of oxygen and a buildup of carbon dioxide if ventilation is not
adequate and/or the load is too tight.

(2) Desiccation: Most vegetables are over 90% water. The rate at which
a particular commodity will lose water depends on temperature, humidity, and rate
of air movement. There is a direct relationship between temperature and water-
holding capacity of the air. At the same relative humidity and air movement, vege-
tables stored at 80F and 90% relative humidity will lose 2 to 3 times more water
than if stored at 600F. Refrigeration also has a drying effect on the atmosphere,
particularly if the refrigeration unit is overloaded. Ideal conditions would pre-
vail if there existed no more than 2F difference between the temperature of the
air coming from the refrigeration coils and the product temperature. While this
is ideal, it would be extremely impractical to have that type of refrigeration
capacity in a vehicle. Furthermore, if the commodity is at the proper temperature
when loaded, the difference between air temperature and commodity temperature will
be minimized. The real problems arise when there is a 30 to 40F difference
between the temperature of the vegetables and the thermostat setting. With the
increased heat from respiration at higher temperatures, the problem of temperature
reduction by an overloaded refrigeration unit is compounded. Air movement within
the storage or vehicle is important. After the proper temperature is reached, the
rate of air movement is not as critical, but it should be sufficient to remove the
heat of respiration and circulate air to all parts of the load.

(3) Decay: This is one sign of quality loss which everyone recognizes and
about which there is no question. Temperature control will not substitute for
packinghouse sanitation, but it does have tremendous influence on the growth of
decay organisms. For example, the optimum temperature for bacterial soft rot
development in peppers is 75-85F. This disorder is not completely stopped at
temperatures of 450 to 500F, but the rate of development is greatly curtailed.

Rapid cooling of vegetables is an important part of maintaining quality and
preventing losses during marketing. This is true for ccr-iiiodities which are subject
to chilling and those which are not. Transit vehicles are not precoolers. These





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


vehicles are built to maintain a temperature from shipping point to destination
and this is all they should be expected to do. Shipping temperature (not thermo-
stat setting) is a big factor in arrival condition.
(Hicks)

IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Timely Gardening Topics

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

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

Question

I plan to use dry, bagged fertilizer mixture for my vegetable garden. How
should I apply this for best results?

Reply

A satisfactory garden may result using any of several techniques for applying
fertilizer. One technique is to scatter the fertilizer over the entire plot and
work it into the soil by spading,'chopping, raking, rototilling or plowing. This
is the broadcast method; while effective, it is somewhat wasteful since some fer-
tilizer ends up out of the root zone. Another technique is to broadcast the fer-
tilizer in a swath about 2 feet wide down each row center, and then working the
fertilizer into the soil. A third technique is to place the fertilizer in bands or
furrows located on either side of the seed furrow.

Perhaps the best technique is a combination of broadcasting a portion and
banding the rest at planting time. Either of the two broadcast methods may be used.

As the garden grows, additional fertilizer needs to be applied at approxi-
mately two-week intervals. Such applications are called sidedressings since the
fertilizer is placed to the side of the plants and at the edge of the root zone.

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

Question

One of my neighbors suggested I pile hay around the base of my potato plants
to make harvesting easier. Will this work?

Reply

When hay is placed around the base of a potato plant, tubers are formed not
only in the soil below the hay, but along the stem in the hay. Thus, tubers locatcc
in the hay would tend to be cleaner, somewhat more free from soil-borne disease
blemishes, and a bit easier to dig. Keep in mind that a potato is not a root, but
is a swollen portion of the stem called a tuber. Such tubers, although smaller,
will arise on any part of the stem covered with hay, soil or other similar materials
Those exposed to light will be green.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(3) Timely Topic for week of March 30-April 5.

Question

How long can I expect the garden seeds I have stored in a sealed jar to
remain good?

Reply

The life span of seeds varies from a few weeks to several hundred years,
depending upon the kind of plant and how they are stored. Most vegetable seeds will
last from three to fifteen years if properly stored. Seeds stored in a cool, dry
place will live the longest. Getting seeds wet and warm brings about some changes
in them. They germinate, which means they have started to grow. This growth
requires the use of energy. Likewise, moisture and warmth cause stored seeds to
use up their energy, and they become weak and even die. Vegetable seeds, in general
will last longest if stored at about 500F and fairly dry (50 to 70 percent relative
humidity). Seeds of some vegetables tend to live longer than seeds of other vege-
tables. The following groupings can generally be made.

Group A Group B Group C
(Short-lived) (Medium-lived) (Long-lived)

onion beans cucumbers
corn carrots turnips
okra peas watermelon
parsnip tomato eggplant

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

Question

What could be causing the leaves on many of my garden vegetable plants to
turn brown along the edges?

Reply
Such leaf symptoms usually indicate some form of root injury, quite often
caused by too heavy amounts of fertilizer applied in or near the root zone. This
injury usually results in browning and die-back of the ends and margins of the
leaves. Other possible causes of leaf margin brot.ning are root injury due to nema-
todes, insects, overwatering, or diseases, physical injury to roots due to cultiva-
tion, severe potash deficiency, physical leaf buin due to toxic substances on
leaves, and an unusual leaf spotting disease pattern.

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

Question

I intend to have a small hydroiponic unit for my science fair. How do I
insure the plants are getting enough air for good growth?

Reply

Leave about one inch of air space between the planting litter and the soluti(
for young plants. As plants grow, allow 2 or 3 inches below the litter. Oxygen





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


supply may be further insured by pumping air through the solution with a pump
(an aquarium pump works well for several containers), compressed air, or other
equipment. Bubbles should be spaced 1/2 to 1 inch apart as they rise through the
solution.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Globe Artichokes

The globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is also known as French artichoke and
green artichoke. It should not be confused with the Jerusalem artichoke.
Globe artichokes are perennial, thistle-like plants whose flower buds are
the edible parts. The silvery green plants are 4 to 5 feet tall and spread outward
5 to 6 feet. The flower buds arise on the tcrminnl portion of the main stem and
on lateral stems. Each unopened flower bud resembles a pine cone, being deep green
in color, three to four inches in diameter, round, but slightly elongated. Several
pointed, leathery green bracts fold around a purple-blue flower. The base of each
bract is fleshy, and is the edible portion, along with the young flower and the
fleshy center of the artichoke on which the flower end bracts are borne. Buds that
are left on the plant open to a 6-inch purple blue flower. Sometimes these are dri
and used in floral arrangements.

Almost all of the nation's globe artichokes are grown in a narrow coastal
area in California because of the especially favorable climate. It is not well
adapted to Florida's climate as it does best in a frost-free area with cool, foggy
summers. It will not grow in areas having deep ground freeze. Hot weather causes
the buds to open quickly and destroys the tenderness of the edible parts. However,
some gardeners try their hand at producing them here just for the fun of it.

A variety called 'Green Globe' is usually grown. It is not grown from seed,
as it does not grow true to type from seed and resembles more a thistle plant.
Instead, portions of old plants are planted, usually from either the rootstalk or
root shoots. Early in the spring, the sprouts, or root parts, are set 6 to 8 inch
deep, 6 feet apart in rows 8 feet wide. Fertilize, irrigate and cultivate them
first as you would the other vegetables in your garden.

Finding suitable planting material is one of the reasons Florida gardeners
are unable to try this crop. Again, since it is not well adapted here, not much
success should be expected.


(Stephens)




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