Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00109
 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: May 1975
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00109
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The VEGETARIAN Newsletter

May 5, 1975

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: Stephen R. Kostewicz, Extension Vegetable Specialist




Vegetarian Newsletter Mailing List Update
Coanunity Retail Produce Market Brochure
Okra, Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Onion Production Guides
Semi-Mechanical Tomato Harvester Processing Tomatoes
Available Reprints


Water Quality Considerations in Vegetable Production
Leaf Analysis and Florida Vegetable Crops
Bees for Vine Crops--Availability and Cost Problems


A. Some Detrimental Effects of Ethylene


Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Hyacinth Bean

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





A. Vegetarian Newsletter Mailing List Update

We are required by postal regulations to revise our mailing list annually.
If you wish to continue receiving the Vegetarian Newsletter, please fill out the
enclosed form (last page of this issue) and return it to us promptly. If we do
not receive the completed form from you by July 1, 1975, your name will be removed
from our mailing list. Please check to see if we have your correct mailing address.

B. Community Retail Produce Market Brochure

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently released
a brochure entitled "Developing a Community Retail Produce Market". This is timely
information for county extension agents, civic officials and local business leaders
considering this type of business enterprise for their areas. Anyone needing
assistance in starting or operating a community produce market should contact
Doyle Conner, Commissioner, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
State Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32304. Copies of this brochure are available
from the Commissioner's office also.

C. Okra, Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Onion Production Guides Reprinted

These four production guides were reprinted in limited quantities and are
available for distribution to county extension offices. Extension agents wanting a
supply of these should order them now. Remember since the supply is limited, please
order the amount needed for "Commercial Growers Use" only. If you do not receive
as many as needed, write the Vegetable Crops Department for additional copies.
(Montelaro and Kostewicz)

D. Semi-Mechanical Tomato Harvester Processing Tomatoes

Some major modifications have been made on the semi-mechanical tomato har-
vester in an effort to increase its harvesting capacity. The machine will be used
to harvest a 0.7 acre planting of processing tomatoes at ARC, Fort Pierce, some time
during the last week in May or the first week in June. The tomatoes to be harvested
are from one of the promising breeding lines (processing type) developed at the ARC,
Bradenton. The fruit will be processed by one of the Florida tomato canners. Anyone
interested in seeing the harvester and/or a promising line of processing tomatoes
should contact the ARC, Fort Pierce (305-461-6193) between May 22 and May 26 for a
definite date and time.
(Hayslip and Hicks)

E. Reprints of the following publications are available from the Vegetable Crops
Department on a limited basis (single copy) as long as they last:

(1) Fresh Market Tomatoes Harvested Red-Ripe. HortScience cover
story, February, 1975.
(2) Consumer Preferences in Buying Pink and Red-Ripe Tomatoes.
HortScience, February, 1975.
(3) Proceedings Tomato Ouality Workshop.



A. Water Quality Considerations in Vegetable Production

Quality of water
in overall planning for
This was obvious in our
with good quality water
quality water, however,
of some of their crops.

is a factor which is not receiving sufficient consideration
production of vegetables by many of our growers in Florida.
survey of the major production areas this spring. Growers
generally produced satisfactory crops. Those with poor
experienced significant reductions in yields and quality

Water quality is a general term used to rate the value of water for specific
purposes. It is based on the chemical and physical properties of the water. For
agricultural purposes, we are interested, primarily, in (1) the total amount of
"dissolved salts" in the water, and (2) the chemical components of these salts and
other materials in the water.

For simplicity, we use the term total soluble salts (TSS) to designate water
quality in our vegetable extension program. Total soluble salts are determined,
primarily, by measuring electrical conductivity of the water and converting the
measurement to parts per million (ppm). As the TSS increase in concentration,
quality of the water for purposes of irrigation drops correspondingly.

Since the chemical composition (i.e. amount of sodium, chlorides, etc.) of
the TSS in irrigation water also has a significant effect on water quality, it is
not possible to classify water quality with exactness with electrical conductivity
readings alone. In spite of this limitation, a TSS measurement can be a valuable
tool in managing a vegetable production program. Following is a general classification
of water quality which we feel vegetable growers might use with a degree of confidence.

Rating of Irrigation Water for Vegetable Crops Based
on Total Soluble Salt Content

ppm TSS

Ratings and Remarks*

0- 500



Excellent--may be used without reservations.
Good--may be used safely with few reservations.
Fair--may cause plant injury under certain conditions.
Poor--may cause serious plant injury under certain environmental
Very Poor--may cause very serious plant injury except for occasional
Substandard--may cause severe plant injury even with occasional use.
Unacceptable--not recommended for use--source should be abandoned.

*NOTE: Composition should be checked to determine if toxic chemicals are present
which can be harmful to plant even in irrigation water low in TSS.

Armed with good information on water quality, growers should be in a better
position to manage their total vegetable production program. In the following months,
we will discuss in more detail water quality as it affects crop response, fertiliza-
tion practices, frequency and method of irrigation, alternate water sources, etc.
(Montelaro and Locascio)


B. Leaf Analysis and Florida Vegetable Crops

Soil testing for nutrient elements has been used for many years as a means
of evaluating a growing media capability of supporting crop growth. In conjunction
with this determination and considering a particular crop's nutrient requirement,
a grower plans his lime and fertilizer program for the production season. Soil
testing has thus become a basic production tool used by growers across the wide
range of crops grown today.

Specialized testing techniques have been developed for particular commodity
areas or situations which attempt to give the grower additional information upon
which to base his program. Some of these add to the accuracy of the determinations
and some may be more rapid or easier to obtain. An example of one of these special-
ized techniques in Florida is the Intensity and Balance (I & B) method which many
vegetable growers utilize. The local county extension person is able to rapidly
obtain one part of the test with a minimum of equipment with this test. This
method has been discussed in previous articles in this newsletter.

Tissue analysis for nutrient elements has received much attention in some
areas as "the" method for precise determination of the plant's nutrient status. It
is not the purpose of this article to reflect on the value of this method but to
cover briefly its theory and advantages and disadvantages as it relates to Florida

Tissue analysis varies very basically from the concept of soil testing. Soil
testing tells us what the levels of nutrient elements are in the soil, and we assume
that provided there are no soil interactions, fixations, antagonisms, etc., that a
certain portion of these elements is available to the crop. A great deal of research
and experience with our soil types and other aspects affecting vegetable production
in Florida permits accurate interpretation of soil test results. This is based on
past correlations and crop responses to a given set of conditions. Tissue analysis
approaches the situation from a different viewpoint. This method determines the
actual levels in the plant tissue. It does not indicate why, but only that the level
in the plant is at a specific point. Based on the same sort of requirements of
research, experience, etc., as those for soil test, these values have to be inter-
preted and recommendations for corrective measures, if any, made.


(1) Gives an accurate determination of what actually is in the plant regard-
less of levels in the growing media.

(2) In conjunction with soil testing, it can help determine soil interaction
problems, etc.

(3) If done on a schedule during the crop season, it can give trends in
levels which may indicate incipient problems developing and allow changes to be made.


(1) It is a very expensive test to run from the analytical standpoint. A
great deal of preparation and instrumentation is required.

(2) Precise sampling of the leaves (usual sample technique) is required.
The size, location and age of the leaves are critical. The natural distribution of
the elements in the plant and their movement within the plant are different and


unless the proper sample is taken, the results may be misleading. Different crops
may require different sampling techniques.

(3) The time it takes between sampling and receiving the results can be a
problem. Most vegetable crops are relatively short term crops (less than 100 days)
so that when a problem is noted, and a sample taken, the crop may be beyond help
when the analysis returns.

(4) Interpretation of results requires a high degree of proficiency and
knowledge of the background of the crop the sample is from.

Tissue testing for vegetables in Florida is not being routinely used because
of the disadvantages stated above. Research workers have used this method in
same projects and extension has used this technique to a limited degree. However,
the use of this technique as a routine diagnostic extension tool is not encouraged
at the present time. Sufficient precise standards and background information upon
which to base interpretation and recommendations have not been developed for Florida
conditions. Presently, the use of the normal soil test in combination with the
I & B method offers the extension worker the most valuable tools to cope with
nutritional problems that occur with vegetables in the state.

C. Bees for Vine Crops--Availability and Cost Problems

Vine crop growers in Florida have reported a significant increase in rental
cost for bees used during pollination period. Not only did rental costs rise, but
the supply of beehives was not adequate to meet demands for this crop in a few
instances. Honey producers, according to Extension Entomologist Fred Johnson, are
reluctant to rent out their bees because (1) high honey prices over the past two
years made rental less attractive than in the past, and (2) the harmful effects of
low nectar and insecticide lower the general condition and productivity of the bees.
In addition, we have noted a significant increase in the use of bees in vine crop
fields. Growers have learned that bees are absolutely necessary for large yields
of well-shaped watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes and squash.

The problem may become more serious with each passing year. Alternatives
to use of rental bees may have to be found by some vine crop growers in the future.
One large cucumber grower decided to buy his own beehives last fall. He feels that
initial cost of the hives was amortized by the end of the second crop.

Ownership of bees by vine crop growers poses many problems. It means that
they will have to (1) develop a miminal expertise in beekeeping, or (2) find a pro-
fessional beekeeper who will maintain his hives for a fee, for the honey produced,
or for some other sort of compensation.

The bee shortage and increased rental cost add a new dimension for vine crop
growers to consider for future crops. They would be wise to contract now for bee-
hives for the next season. By doing so, they may avert a critical situation during
the pollination period when little can be done on short notice.



A. Some Detrimental Effects of Ethylene

The use of ethylene gas in tomato ripening rooms has received considerable
publicity in recent years. Although ethylene is a natural product of metabolism,
fruits and vegetables vary greatly in the amount of ethylene they produce and also
in their reaction to this volatile gas. As a general rule, fruits and melons
(apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupes, honeydews, etc.) which undergo rather
dramatic changes during ripening are the most prolific producers of ethylene. In
fact, ripening is actually induced by the gas whether it is produced naturally or
is applied in ripening rooms.

Increased ethylene production is also a wound response. In most cases when
a fruit or vegetable is damaged either mechanically or by pathogens, there is an
immediate increase in ethylene production. Quite often a tomato (particularly an
immature fruit that is not ready to ripen) will develop red color in a bruised or
damaged area prior to any color development on the blossom end. Some pathogens pro-
duce relatively large amounts of ethylene on their own. In addition, ethylene is
produced by internal combustion engines (fork-lifts, cars, etc.) and is often present
in the atmosphere--particularly in metropolitan areas.

One reaction triggered by ethylene is the degradation of chlorophyll--which
is the basis for commercial degreening of citrus. While this is a beneficial reaction
in fruits which are to be ripened (including tomatoes), it can have damaging effects
on commodities where the retention of green color is desirable. Some examples of
detrimental effects of ethylene are:

(1) Loss of green color cucumbers (and other green vegetables) exposed to
ethylene may lose chlorophyll and become yellow.

(2) Undesirable taste ethylene acts as a catalyst for the production of a
bitter tasting compound (isocounarin) in carrots.

(3) Physiological disorders ethylene may cause russet spotting of lettuce.

Ethylene may be beneficial or detrimental depending on the particular
commodity involved. In order to avoid detrimental effects on sensitive commodities,
care should be exercised in grading and packing to avoid damage to the produce,
and care should be taken to avoid storing (or shipping) high ethylene-producing
items with those that are sensitive.


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 May 18-24.
I would like to grow some cucumbers especially for pickling. How are they
grown compared with regular cucumbers?



If you have experienced good luck growing our slicing types under Florida
conditions, you should be able to grow picklers. The main difference is not in
cultural techniques, but in variety selection. Many homeowners make excellent
pickles utilizing the slicing varieties harvested either immature or mature as
desired. Since the smaller sizes of fruit less than 1 1/2 inches in diameter are
often desired, special pickling varieties give best results.

Today's better pickling varieties are called "gynoecious" due to their habit
of producing mostly finale flowers. Such varieties have a pollinating variety
included with the seed. Gardeners might try the varieties 'Southern Cross', 'Premier'
and 'Carolina', along with such standard pickling varieties as 'Pixie' and 'Wisconsin
SMR 18'.

(2) Timely Topic for week of May 25-31.


I have heard of electroculture, and am wondering what effects it might have
on growing vegetables in my garden.


Simply put, electroculture is the use of electricity to stimulate plant
growth. The controlled application of electromagnetic energy has been claimed to
produce larger harvests and increased plant growth. Such treatments include secur-
ing wire netting over a planting bed, inserting metal objects in the soil around
growing plants, and sinking tin cans into the soil along the row. The idea seems
to be to attract atmospheric electricity through these metal conductors to the
vicinity of the plants.

While efforts to stimulate plant growth with some form of electricity have
resulted in some observable effects by amateur experimenters, strictly scientific
tests have not been too successful to date.

(3) Timely Topic for week of June 1-7.


Some of my potato plants have fruits that look like small tomatoes. Are these
"topatoes" as I have heard?


Keep in mind that the potato, like the tomato, is a member of the solanum or
nightshade family. The edible part is the swollen underground stem called a tuber.
The top produces flowers and forms a small green fruit just as other members of
the family. These fruits should not be eaten due to a relatively high content of
a toxic substance called solanine.

(4) Timely Topic for week of June 8-14.

According to my neighbor, my vegetable garden plot is infested with nmnatodes.
What can I do to rid the soil of them without using poison chemicals?



Keep in mind that all control measures should take place before planting
rather than while the garden is growing. Although the use of a chemical nematicide
is the most satisfactory means of control, there are several cultural practices
which can help with the nematode problem if used properly.

Some of these are (1) flooding, (2) fallowing, (3) rotation, (4) cover-cropping,
(5) mulching, and (6) using tolerant varieties.

Flooding is not generally practical in most home gardens, as the soil surface
must be completely covered with water for a period of several weeks, or alternately
covered for two weeks wet, two weeks dry, then two weeks wet.

Fallowing means leaving the garden soil clean with no growth for a period of
6 to 8 weeks. This can be effective, but does not help to improve soil condition.
Thus, cover-cropping with nematode resistant plants such as marigolds and Crotalaria
spectabilis is more beneficial, for these plants can be turned under to improve the
soil while at the same time reducing nematode population. If the plot is badly
infested with rootknot, planting with pangolagrass for a year for control has been

Mulching does not kill the nematodes, but improves the growing conditions in
the root zone to such an extent that the plants can better tolerate the nematode
injury. Finally, some varieties of vegetables seem to tolerate nematodes better than
others. Where such varieties can be identified, these should be planted in infested

B. Know Your Vegetables Hyacinth Bean

The Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab L.) is also called Lablab, Bonavist,
Chinese Flowering, Egyptian, Pharao, Shink, Val and Wild Field.

It is not much cultivated in Florida, nor in the rest of the U. S. Where it
is grown in Florida, it is mainly for ornamental purposes. It some areas of the
U. S., it has been used as a forage crop. It is widely grown in Southern Asia and
Africa where the ripe seeds and the green pods are used for food. The hyacinth
bean is similar to the southern pea, but the vines are longer and tougher. When the
plant is supported, it often has a vine 20 to 25 feet long. Leaves are broad, oval
and pointed. The pods are small, 2 to 3 inches long, flat smooth, and slightly
sickle shaped. The 4 to 6-inch long sweet scented flowers vary in color, being
white, pink or purple.

Those wishing to try the bean should use similar cultural techniques to the
pole bean. The ripe seeds are less nutritious than the southern pea and they produce
a somewhat disagreeable odor upon cooking.


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Dr. James Montelaro
Professor (Extension Vegetable Spec.)
3026 McCarty Hall
University of Florida, IFAS
Gainesville, Florida 32611

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