Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
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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: December 1975
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FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter


December 8, 1975




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


J. F. Kelly
Chairman


James Montelaro
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor


S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


J. R. Hicks
Assistant Professor


R. K. Showalter
Professor


G. A. Marlowe, Jr.
Professor


TO:


COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS VEGETABLESS AND HORTICULTURE) AND
OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA


FROM: James Montelaro, Extension Vegetable Specialist


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 75-12


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Results, NJHA Horticultural Contest, November 1-4, 1975
B. Vegetable Judging Contest Undergoes Major Changes in 1976

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Watermelon Production Checklist for Advance Planning
B. Herbicide Recommendations for Potatoes on Florida's Sandy Soils
C. Remote Sensing as a Vegetable Crop Management Tool


III. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Uniform Grade Names for Fresh Produce

IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Arrowroot


NOTE: Anyone
please


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


Whenever possible,


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


B"""





S THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Results, NJHA Horticultural Contest, November 1-4, 1975

Florida produced four national winners at the recently held National Junior
Horticultural Association (NJHA) Convention, Biloxi, Mississippi, November 1-4, 1975.
All the 4-H members representing Florida were from St. Johns County. Kay Parker and
Sandy Brubaker were national winners in the Use Demonstrations; Keith Fuller was grand
national winner in the Production Demonstrations; Pam Frawley and Linda Cooksey were
national winners in the Artistic Arrangements category. For Horticulture J~udgine,
Keith Fuller was national winner in the open division; the 4-H team of David Dinkins,
Greg Griner, Lisa Wolfe, and Dina Thomas placed 13th. Fredda Thomas also placed well
in the open division. Paul Dinkins, Nettie R. Brown, and Jim Stephens accompanied
the group to Biloxi. Next year's convention site is King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
(Stephens)

B. Vegetable Judging Contest Undergoes Major Changes in 1976

The Florida Vegetable Judging Contest will be expanded to include fruits and
ornamentals. It will be called the Horticulture Identification and Judging Contest.
Co-leaders of this contest are Jim Stephens (VC), Julian Sauls (FC), and Bob Black
(CH). New materials for study will be out shortly.
(Stephens)

II. COfNERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Watermelon Production Checklist for Advance Planning

Each season we see problems in watermelon production which could have been
avoided by careful planning and a check of information in the County Extension Office.
A little planning in advance can mean the difference between success and failure.
Following is a checklist of ten important items with brief comments. Growers should
check these items before planting to be sure that well-organized plans are made to
produce a good crop of watermelons.

(1) Land selection Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne disease which can live
for many years in a soil after it becomes infested. Land never planted to watermelons
in the past is the most desirable. In the absence of new land, try to find land that
has been out of watermelon production for ten to twelve years. Land that has had
watermelons in the recent past should be avoided. However, if old land has to be used,
seed at a heavier rate, thin plants to final stand in steps--delaying final thiinnin:
until just before plants fall over and vines start to run.

(2) Variety selection Standard varieties--'Charleston Gray', 'Crinrron
Sweet' and 'Jubilee'. (Note 'Jubilee' has lost practically all Fusarium wilt
resistance over the years. Try to get "Registered" or "Special Stock" seed of this
variety). Other varieties--'Allsweet', 'Smokylee'.

(3) Liming and pH Take a soil sample as soon as the land has been selected.
Land not in cultivation with a pl- of 5.7 to 5.8 may show a 0.5 to 1.0 pH unit drop
when it is put into cultivation and adequately fertilized. We recommend a ratio of
calcium/magnesium of 5:1. Choose dolomite or high calcic limestone based on soil
test information. A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is recommended for watermelons.

(4) Fertilization

A. Basic (initial) fertilizer application






THIE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(7) Irrigation High levels of fertilization make timely irrigation extremely
important. Irrigate before plants begin to wilt in dry weather.

(8) Pollination

A. Need for honeybees The cucurbit crops, including watermelons, must
have bees working the flowers for good pollination. Use one or more hives of bees
for every five acres. Distribution of hives should be such that bees do not have to
travel long distances to work flowers.

B. Insecticide use Bees work actively] in warm weather until mid or
late afternoon. Apply insecticides in very late afternoon to reduce injury to bees.

(9) Disease Control

A. Viruses The mosaic diseases are not seed-borne. Control is
practically impossible as they are spread by aphids from other cucurbits and wild
hosts. Destruction of host plants may help reduce severity of mosaic viruses.

B. Fungus diseases Anthracnose, gummy stem and downy mildew can all
be controlled with complete coverage with any one of several recommended fungicides.
These include all formulations of the manebs, difolatan and Bravo. Benlate controls
anthracnose and gummy stem, but not downy mildew. Most important is good coverage
and tightening of schedule when conditions are ideal for disease development (high
humidity).

C. Bacterial spot Common in South Florida. Use 3 Ibs./acre of copper
C48-53%). CAUTION: Excess copper can stunt small plants.

Disease Control Watermelons

Min. Days
Disease Spray To Harvest
Anthracnose Maneb 80%, 1-2 Ibs., or 5
Downy Mildew Dithane M-45 80%, 1-3 Ibs., or 5
Gummy Stem Blight Manzate 200 80%, 1-3 Ibs., or 5
Cercospora Leaf Spot Difolatan 4 flowable, 2 pts., or NTL
Alternaria Leaf Spot Bravo 75%, 1-2 Ibs., or NTL
Benlate, Ibs./A NTL
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bacterial Leaf Spot Copper (48-53%) 3 Ibs./A NTL


(10) Insect Control Leafminers, aphids, cutworms and rindwrms can cause
trouble.






THE VEGETAPTAN NEWS LETTER

1. Amount Use about 2,000 lbs. of 6-8-8 in general for irri-
gated soil. Reduce by 25% on unirrigated soil. Adjust amount up or down depending
on soil tests for phosphorus and potassium and use of cover crops.

2. Sources of fertilizer nutrients

a. Organics are not necessarily needed, but can be used
to an advantage in some cases. Organic nitrogen may prove superior to chemical
nitrogen during seasons of leaching rains, but in most seasons, it will show no
added benefits over chemical nitrogen. Organic nitrogen may be considered as partial
insurance against temporary nitrogen deficiency during periods of heavy rains. Urea
nitrogen reacts more like inorganic than organic nitrogen in the soil.

b. Be sure to include one to two units of nitrate-nitrogeni
in the regular fertilizer to be used at planting.

c. Check phosphorus sources. Heavy applications of di-
ammonium phosphate may cause a copper deficiency. Heavily ammoniated superphosphate
may not supply adequate phosphorus. Suggestion: Obtain a fertilizer that contains
some phosphorus from superphosphate or triple superphosphate in addition to that
supplied by diammonium phosphate or ammoniated superphosphate. The latter (ammioniated
superphosphate) should be ammoniated only to the extent of 3 to 4% instead of 7% or
above.

B. Micronutrients (minor elements)

1. Some of the micronutrients (zinc, manganese and copper) can
be supplied, in part, by the fungicides used for disease control. This will not
supply adequate amounts of these materials; therefore, the minimum amounts recommended
below should be used in the basic fertilizer.

2. Supply micronutrients in the basic fertilizer application.
The highly acid, flatwood soils are apt to be deficient in copper. Good insurance for
watermelons is an application of 20 to 30 lbs./acre of FTE 503 or equivalent from
a mix of the salts with the regular fertilizer.

(5) Placement and timing of fertilizer

A. About one week before seeding, apply one-third broadcast in a 36-
inch band over row center and work well into soil.

B. About three weeks later, apply additional one-third of fertilizer
in 18-inch bands to each side of original 36-inch band and work into soil.

C. Three weeks later, apply remainder in 18-inch bancds at the c.fc' of
row and work into soil.

D. An alternative is to split the fertilizer into 2 applications.

(6) Sidedressing

A. Make one or more applications of 150 to 300 lbs. of (1) 10-0-10,
(2) 15-0-14 or (3) 100 to 200 lbs. of 23-0-22 (made up to equal amounts of ammonium
nitrate and potassium nitrate), or (4) alternate ammonium nitrate (NH14!0'3) and
potassium nitrate (KN03).

B. At least 50% of nitrogen in mixed goods for sidedressing should be
in nitrate form.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Insect Control Watermelons


Insecticides and Amounts Min. Days
Insect TFonrulations Per Acre To Harvest
Leaf Miners Dimethoate (Cygon, De-Fend) 2.67E 3/4-1 pt. 3
Azinphosmethyl (Guthion) 2E 1 qt. 1
Aphids Dimethoate (Cygon, De-Fend) 2.67E 3/4-1 pt. 3
Parathion 4E 4 pt. 7
Mlevinphos (Phosdrin) 2E 1 pt. 1
Endosulfan (Thiodan) 2E 1 qt. 1NTL
Cucumber Beetles, Lindane 25% WP 1 lb. 1
Melonworm, Parathion 4E 4 pt. 7
Pickleworm, Mevinphos (Phosdrin) 2E 1 pt. 1
Squashbug Carha nyl (Sevin) 80% WP 14 lbs. NTL
Endosulfan (Thiodan) 2E 2 qts. NTL
Rindworms on Bacillus thuringiensis NTL
Watermelon Guthion (Azinphosmethyl) 2E 1 qt. 1
Methomyl (Lannate, Nudrin) 90% SP 1 lb. 3
Mevinphos (Phosdrin) 2E 1-2 pts. 1
Endosulfan (Thiodan) 2E 1 qt. NTL
Cutworms Chlordane
Mole Crickets Aldrin, Chlordane, or Diazinon

(NOTE: For complete information on insect and disease control, see University
of FloriaTExtension Circular 193H entitled "Commercial Vegetable Insect & Disease
Control Guide.")

There are qther items which have not been covered but are just as important.
Harvesting and handling should receive careful attention. Watermelons should be
harvested fully mature and handled with care.
(Montelaro)

B. Herbicide Recommendations for Potatoes on Florida's Sandy Soils

Several herbicides have been labeled for use on potatoes during the past year.
The purpose of this article is to point out research experiences with these materials
under Florida conditions and to review the recommended materials for Florida.

The herbicides referred to are metribuzin (Sencor and Lexone) and alachlor
(Lasso). These materials have been added to our recommended list for use on a trial
basis. It is suggested that with these, as with any "new" material a grower uses for
the first time, a limited acreage be treated initially to allow the grower to determine
how to handle the material and how effective it is under his growing situation.

Dr. Jim Shumaker, Associate Horticulturist at the Hastings Agricultural Research
Center, has tested these materials in his potato herbicide evaluation program since
1970. He has provided the following list of important points to be emphasized based
on his work.

Metribuzin (Sencor, Lexone)


(after emergence of potatoes) applications have caused
Only preemergence (prior to emergence of potato plant)
for trial purposes at the rate of 0.5 lb. ai/acre."


(1) "Postemergence
reduction in potato yield.
applications are suggested





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(2) "Avoid applications to non-target areas--cabbage is extremely sensitive
to metribuzin. Aircraft application of metribuzin is not recommended in Hastings unless
potatoes are isolated from cabbage and other sensitive crops--check the labels."

(3) Emerged weeds can be controlled provided they are less than 1" high.

(4) Do not incorporate.

(5) "Do not plant treated area to crops other than potatoes for one year after
treatment. Sensitive crops (cabbage, other cole crops, onions, lettuce and cucurbits)
should not be planted during the next growing season following applications of metri-
buzin as injury may occur."

(6) "If a major change in growing practice is made (such as a change in variety
or fumigation practice), the grower should determine tolerance of metribuzin by
applying it only on a limited scale without jeopardizing a large part of the crop."

Alachlor (Lasso)

(1) "Caution should be used when considering use on early-maturing potato
varieties." The label carries the precaution "Lasso may delay maturity and/or reduce
yield of 'Superior' and other early-maturing potato varieties if cold wet soil con-
ditions occur after treatment."

(2) Note that Lasso is labeled for use on white-skinned potatoes only.

(3) Alachlor is not effective on emerged weeds thus, it is critical to apply
the material prior to weed emergence.

A grower should always read the entire label of the materials he uses in his
operation. In many instances, problems can be avoided by heeding the usage and pre-
cautionary statements placed on the label for that very reason.


The following table contains the recommended
sandy soils in Florida.


herbicides for potatoes grown on


Potato Herbicides


Time of Lbs./Acre(1)
Application (Active Ingredients)
Herbicides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks 2)
Dalapon Preplanting 7.4 For control of perennial grasses.
(Dowpon, Apply to weed foliage and then plow
Basfapon) under 2 weeks later. Do not apply
to red-skinned varieties.
Alachlor Preemergence (2) White-skinned potatoes only. Lasso
(Lasso) may delay maturity and/or reduce
yields of some varieties under cer-
tain conditions. Refer to label.
DCPA Preemergence 10.5
(Dacthal)
Dinoseb Preemergence 3 to 6 Apply at least one day before crop
(Premerge, emerges.
Sinox PE)





lTE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Potato Herbicides (Cont'd)


Time of Lbs./Acre(l)
Application (Active Ingredients)
Herbicides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks(2)
Diphenamid Preemergence 4 to 6
(Dymid, Enide)
Metribuzin Preemergenc D(-) Do not incorporate. Check label
(Sencor, for sensitive crops and subsequent
Lexone) plantings.
Dalapon Postemergence (3.7) Apply after last cultivation where
(Dowpon, perennial grasses are a problem.
Basfapon) Apply directionally to base of
crop plants. Do not apply to red-
skinned varieties.
EPTC Po- temergence 3 Incorporate immediately after
(Eptam) application. Apply after last
cultivation or not later than 45
days before harvest. Suggested for
marl soils, also.
(1) Rates given in parentheses are suggested for trial purposes only.
(2) Also refer to label for additional comments or restrictions.

The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimina-
tion is intended and no endorsement by the Florida Extension Service is implied.

(Kos tewicz)
C. Remote Sensing as a Vegetable Crop Management Tool

Several months ago one map maker, using information from an earth resources
satellite, constructed in one week a map of all of the lakes, ponds, and reservoirs
larger than 5 acres in size in the entire state of Georgia! To map these 35,!)(t)
bodies of water by ground methods would have cost the State over $1,000,000 and required
several yesrs work by many technicians. This is merely one example of remote sensing
and how it can serve agriculture.

Remote sensing is defined as the detection and interpretation of the features
of a surface without direct contact with that surface. Remote sensing may detect
surface features by use of light and heat reflection, radar, sonar, or by measurement
of beta, gamma and X-ray radiation. Surface characteristics which may be detected are
texture, structure, shape, color, composition and temperature.

It is possible to detect small changes in light reflectance of leaves due to
some stress; the relative moisture in a soil; the degree of water purity of a lake
or river; and the presence of toxic gases in the air. Remote sensing had its big start
in military and police reconnaissance. It now serves a wide variety of uses in
chemistry, medicine, engineering and geology.

In agriculture much of the remote sensing now in use involves the recording of
reflected light or heat on special types of photographic film. The detection is often
achieved by aerial photography using fixed wing airplanes, helicopters and satellites.
The film method provides an accurate, objective and permanent record of a very large
area in a very short time. A photograph taken from 200 feet covers a smaller area
more intensively, of course, than a photograph taken at 3,500 feet which may cover as
much as 500 acres. The method used would depend on the management need.





THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

The human eye and standard color film can detect reflected radiant energy only
within a small portion of the total electromagnetic spectrum. The human eye can
detect reflected light from the short wavelengths in the violet range all the way up
to the longer wavelengths of red. Below the violet range, the germicidal ultraviolet
and X-rays occur, and beyond the long red rays of human perception the infrared, heat-
ing, and radio waves exist. Special films are available which can record reflected
radiation beyond these limits of human vision.

Most of us are familiar with film sensitive to X-rays used in medical diagnosis.
In remote sensing for agriculture, film sensitive to infrared radiation is of importance.
Black and white film sensitive to infrared energy records images in shades of black,
white and gray; whereas, color reversal film sensitive to infrared records images in
"false colors". The images of false color IR film are very unusual; healthy green
leaves appear red, clear water appears black, and leaves of crops under stress may
show purple, blue or white.

In normal vision, a green leaf appears green to humans because green wave-
lengths are reflected back to the eye, whereas red and blue are absorbed by the leaf.
The red and blue wavelengths are the most important zones of radiant energy used in
photosynthesis.

Infrared radiation is greatly reflected from the surface of a healthy leaf or
it may he transmitted through the leaf. Highway.reflectors operate on a similar
principle as they return the headlight beam back in the direction of the light source.
It is believed that if plants did not have this reflective capability that they would
not be able to survive the intense heat rays of sunlight.

As the plant leaf loses its ability to reflect infrared energy due to stress,
the infrared sensitive film exhibits dramatic changes in color and density. Healthy
leaves reflect great amounts of infrared, giving the intense red color on the IR film;
but as the stress intensifies and reflecting ability is reduced the leaves express
color changes from light to red to magenta, to purple, or to greenish blue on the film.

A brief comparison of true color and IR false color images may be of interest.

True Color IR False Color True Color IR False Color
Healthy green leaf Red Very wet soil Black
Stressed leaf Magenta-blue Dolomitic limestone Gray-brown
Seriously stressed Yellow-white Rocks Blue-gray
leaf Clear water Black
Dry soil White Muddy water Gray-blue
Mod. wet soil Blue

Dr. Carlos Blazquez, Plant Pathologist, ARC-IFAS, Immokalee, has been doing
research in remote sensing on vegetable crops for the past 5-6 years. His research
has shown that infrared photographs can detect plant stresses which were later
diagnosed as late blight on tomatoes and potatoes, downy mildew on cucumbers and
watermelons, target spot on cucumbers, and mosaic on celery as much as 5-7 days before
their appearance was visually obvious. With this advanced warning, the grower could
use the aerial photograph to pinpoint the trouble spot on the ground which needs
intensive investigation.

Dr. Blazquez feels that remote sensing could be used: to make needed changes
in spray programs in order to increase effectiveness and timing and improve the cost-
benefit relationship; to determine soil type areas; to assess elevations for low and
high areas; to spot rock outcroppings; to plan for drainage needs; to aid plant irri-
gation programs; and to detect weed advances, changes in soil moisture, stresses in
crops due to disease or other factors.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

In summary, remote sensing is an additional tool available to vegetable growers
to help them make wise decisions in the shortest time at the least cost and labor. It
is estimated that this aerial reconnaissance system may cost as little as one dollar
per acre on volume contracts in the future.

Remote sensing may someday be as commonplace as the farm map, soil survey and
planting plan in vegetable crop management. Growers may be glad to have their crops
in the "red" so their ledgers can show more figures in the black.
(Marlowe)

III. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Uniform Grade Names for Fresh Produce

In a report to Congress earlier this year, the Secretary of Agriculture was
requested to "make grade designations uniform and easier for consumers and industry to
understand." The USDA published their proposed uniform grade nomenclature for fresh
fruits, vegetables and nuts in the Federal Register on October 6, 1975. The proposed
Federal regulation would permit only the following four grades: U. S. Fancy = premium
quality, U. S. No. 1 = the chief trading grade representing good quality and the bulk
of the quality range produced, U. S. No. 2 = intermediate quality, and U. S. No. 3 =
the lowest merchantable quality practical to pack under normal conditions. All persons
who desire to submit comments, either for or against, are requested to send them to
the Hearing Clerk, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Room 112, Administration Building,
Washington, D. C., 20250, before February 15, 1976.

The USDA grade standards for produce started with potatoes in 1917, and at
present there are 152 standards for 82 different fresh fruits and vegetables. Although
grade standards for each commodity were developed independently, the original purpose
was basically to aid in marketing by providing a common language for wholesale trading
and a means of measuring values or establishing prices. Grading is a process of
classifying units of a commodity into groups that have significance in determining the
degree of acceptability of that unit to the buyer. In general, consumer interests in
grades and standards have received much less attention than commercial operational
considerations. This is understandable, because the linkage between the commercial
vegetable industry and the consumer is a comparatively remote one. Without direct
access to consumers, growers and shippers receive little specific information to assist
them in meeting consumer demands.

In the present U. S. Standards, there are at least four terms used to describe
the top grade: U. S. Extra No. 1, U. S. Extra Fancy, U. S. Fancy and U. S. No. 1.
Various state and commodity organizations have added their local standards to the
grading nomenclature. Some commodities are naturally more variable than others, so
more grades were developed to classify the entire range of values. Criteria for grade
standards refer to the relative usefulness, desirability and value of a commodity or
its marketability. Grading normally is not justified unless an economic basis for it
exists.

Fresh produce standards are based on color, shape, maturity, size and number
and severity of defects. Since grade is determined almost entirely by visible, physical
factors, the judgment of individuals is involved. The use of Federal-State Inspectors
to designate the grades of Florida vegetables has declined markedly in recent years.
With buying and selling concentrated among fewer and larger organizations, these organi-
zations often find it more feasible to have their own personnel make the grade-price
decisions. This change may also indicate that industry is not satisfied with present
grading procedures.




-10-


THE \F.GETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Changes in freshness and composition are not defined by the U. S. grades.
Standards for processed fruits and vegetables are based on criteria such as tenderness,
flavor and maturity. We often use the terms quality and grade interchangeably, but
quality is a much broader term than grade. Consumers think of quality in terms of
eating satisfaction that we don't know enough about to establish standards of measure-
ment. It has often been stated that eating quality and shipping quality are more or
less opposed. Wlhy do we have this conflict in objectives and what changes can be made?

Much has been written about consumer reactions to poor-quality vegetables in
the supermarket and the lack of labeling that would assist them in shopping for better
quality. Most of the produce in retail store displays is not identified by a whole-
sale grade, even if the shipping container was labeled. There is seldom more than one
grade of most produce items on display in an individual store at any one time, and if
the wholesale grade was indicated, shoppers would have difficulty understanding its
meaning. It is important to have a simplified grade nomenclature that not only the
shippers understand, but also the employees in the retail store produce departments
and the shoppers. With the use of understandable grades and labeling, consumers may be
able to force growers and marketing agencies to offer more than one grade of produce
for sale in individual stores. When this is done, consumers that want to purchase
better eating quality and are willing to pay extra for it, will have the opportunity.

Since communications between the consumer and the grower were broken by the
self-service supermarket, many marketing programs for both fruits and vegetables have
emphasized minimum grade standards for the stated purpose of improving eating quality
by keeping "junk" off the markets. Actually, the minimum grade often dominated the
market supplies and although appearance was satisfactory, eating quality dropped far
below optimum. Consumers now have an opportunity to influence adoption of more mean-
ingful grade names. Although these standards are not synonymous with eating quality
and their use by the industry is voluntary, this may be a stimulus for some improve-
ment in consumer quality at the retail store.
(Showalter)

IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Timely Gardening Topics

These questions and answers are suggested for agents' 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 December 14-20.

Question

As an organic gardener, what are some "natural" materials I can use to treat
my acid soil?

Reply
If a soil test should indicate a need for a liming material, any one of the
following materials may be used and are generally considered "natural" enough for
organic gardener usage:
1. Ground limestone 4. Ground shell marl
2. Ground dolomite 5. Finely ground oyster shells
3. Finely ground clam shells 6. Wood ashes




-11-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Since many of these materials are slow to react in the soil, they should be
finely pulverized and applied and worked into the soil months ahead of planting.
For example, apply in the fall for the spring garden.

(2) Timely Topic for week of December 21-27.

Question

My garden yields a lot of vegetables, but they tend to all come at once. How
can I extend the utilization period?

Reply

There are quite a few techniques you can use to make your garden yield longer
and the produce from it go further. First, make periodic plantings every two weeks
for those crops you enjoy most. However, such staggered plantings do not always
result in different dates of harvest. Sometimes, weather conditions are such that the
later planted crop will mature early along with the crop that was planted first.
Second, plant early-maturing varieties alongside late-maturing ones. Third, store
vegetables under proper conditions to make them useful for many months. Be sure to
grade out the cull vegetables before storing, and periodically re-grade those in
storage. Also some vegetables can be harvested before they reach full maturity, often
yielding very high-quality produce weeks earlier than if all the planting were allowed
to mature in a short period (e.g. small, not-too-firm cabbages make an excellent cooked
or raw vegetable).

Last, canning or freezing provides for use of garden surplus year around.
Proper freezing retains the color, flavor and food value of most vegetables better
than canning, whereas, some vegetables such as beets and tomatoes are more suitable
to canning.

(3) Timely Topic for week of December 28-January 3

Question

One of my "gardening expert" friends said some of my garden problems last year wel
due to my plants needing boron. Is this possible?

Reply

On soils which are neutral or alkaline in reaction--pH 7.0 or higher--borax
is likely to be needed for turnips, beets, cauliflower, spinach, celery, cabbage,
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce and rutabagas. The most noticeable symptoms of
boron deficiency are black corky areas in the flesh of turnips, rutabagas, and beets;
rough cankers on the outside of beets; blackened small center leaves in the case of
head lettuce; internal stem browning of cabbage and cauliflower; small deformed center
leaves on spinach; brown discoloration of cauliflower and broccoli heads; and cracking
of celery stems. When the above-mentioned disorders have been observed, arrange the
garden so the above-mentioned crops are in one section. Apply common borax at the
rate of 4 ounces per 1,000 square feet of soil or use a fertilizer which includes a
mixture of boron and other minor elements. Some crops such as beans and peas are
sensitive to borax, so apply only the correct amount.

(4) Timely Topic for week of January 4-10
eQuest ion
What is the leafy green vci!etable pl-nt I sometimes see around houses growing
on long spindly stalks sometimes 10-12 feet high?




-12-


nHE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Reply

It sounds like you are describing collards that have been "cropped" for a
long time, leaving the base stems with a few leaves near the top. The collard plant
is an esteemed cooking green here in the South. It is essentially a cabbage that
forms only a large rosette of leaves instead of a solid head. It is more resistant
to heat than cabbage and is hardy to cold, so it can survive over several seasons.
Collard is a biennial vegetable which needs exposure to cool weather (1 month or more
at 45F or less) to produce a seedstalk. Unless it goes to seed, it may continue
to grow. Collards may be harvested any time after the plants are large enough by
either cutting of the entire rosette of leaves or picking the older leaves as they
mature, leaving the younger upper ones to develop. When harvested in this latter
fashion, the stem grows tall and often crooked much like a cabbage palm.

(5) Timely Topic for week of January 11-17.

Question

Do you have any guidelines as to which vegetables I can transplant and those
that I cannot?

Reply

Certain vegetables may be transplanted with ease, others require more care,
and some may not be transplanted except in containers. Here is a brief grouping
of some of the vegetables as a guide. Those that easily survive transplanting are:
beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collards, endive,
lettuce, tomato and sweet potato. Those that transplant well with care are: carrot,
celery, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, leek, onion, pepper and salsify. Those that are
difficult to transplant are: bean, sweet corn, cucumber, cantaloupe, mustard, English
peas, southern peas, squash, turnips, watermelons.

In general plants survive best and grow off the fastest when roots are not
disturbed. Therefore, even for those crops that transplant easily, transplanting
in containers will enhance liveability and insure greater success.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Arrowroot

Arrowroot seems to be an all inclusive term applying to several species of
plants which are either eaten fresh or from which flour is made. It is open to
speculation whether the name comes from the pointed shape of the root or the belief
that they cured arrow injuries. The term arrowroot applies both to the flour and
the plant.

The main arrowroot of commerce is West Indian, reed, or Bermuda arrowroot
(Maranta arundinacea). As usual, there are several varieties, distinguished as red
and white, of which the former is most esteemed. The plant is of South American
and West Indian origin. Purple arrowroot (Canna edulis) has been grown in Queensland
with yields of 5 to 10 tons of tubers per acre. There seem to be many species of the
genus Canna whose tubers can be eaten or from which starch is extracted. These include
brick canna (C. discolor); Inca arrowroot (C. languinosa); Andean canna (C. paniculata);
broad-leaved canna (C. latifolia); iris canna (C. iridiflora); and Mexican canna
(C. glouca).






THE V'1E.TAXRIAN NIVSL-.TTER


Similar arrowroot substances are derived from a member of the ginger family,
the genus Curcuma. East Indian arrowroot, also called Tibur starch, comes from
Curcuma angustifolia; another source is C. leucorrhiza; false arrowroot (C. pierreana)
is cultivated in Indochina; the Indonesian one is C. xanthorrhiza; south sea arrowroot
is product of the salep plant (Tacca pinnatifida) which is poisonous until cooked;
finally, Hawaii arrowroot is derved from Tacca hawaiiensis.

Many of these plants in the arrowroot group are somewhat similar in appearance.
They have underground rhizomes or tubers, from which arise reed-like, erect stems.
Flat, beaded, long-pointed leaves are attached in a sheath-like fashion up and down
the upright stems in typical canna or ginger-like fashion.

The starchy rhizomes of true arrowroot, Maranta arundinacea, are long, pointed
and enclosed with bracts. It is propagated by tubers or suckers planted 6 inches
deep and spaced 15 inches in furrows 30 inches apart. Arrowroot should be planted at
a time when it will have 10 to 11 months of hot moist climate to mature. Under these
conditions, yields of 4 to 6 tons per acre might be expected. Tubers are reported to
contain 12% dry arrowroot (flour).

Although arrowroot is grown to a very limited extent in South Florida, very
little information has been gathered concerning this crop's growth responses and
possibilities in Florida.
(Stephens)




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