Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00127
 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 1977
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00127
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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September 6, 1977

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

J. F. Kelly

James Montelaro

G. A. Marlowe, Jr.

J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

R. D. William
Assistant Professor



dc ^ ^---

R. D. William Extension Vegetable Specialist




A. Vegetarian Newsletter Mailing List Update


A. Magnetic Seed Treatment

B. Perennial Grass Control in Vegetables

C. The Yield Potential of the Walter Tomato Variety

D. New Vegetable Crop Ventures


A. Timely Gardening Topics

B. Know Your Vegetables Ginger

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research,
educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.






A. Vegetarian Newsletter Mailing List Update

We are required by law to revise our mailing list annually. The Editorial
Department sent postcards to each person on the mailing list in May, 1977, The post-
cards were to be returned if the person wished to continue receiving the Vegetarian
Newsletter. However, because a few agents have indicated they are no longer receiving
the newsletter, we ask that each County Extension Director please check with staff
members who are primarily responsible for either commercial or home garden vegetable
production to verify that they are receiving the newsletter. Send additional names of
staff to our office.



A. Magnetic Seed Treatment

Florida vegetable growers are repeatedly offered new methods of obtaining better
yields. Often the products or services being offered have not been tested under con-
trolled conditions. This past spring Dr. Dan Cantliffe, the Vegetable Crops Department
Seed Physiologist, evaluated vegetable seeds which had been magnetically treated by a
company which had made some rather startling claims about seed magnetization.

Seeds of sweet corn, summer squash and bush bean were treated (we were not permitted
to observe the equipment or the process) three hours prior to planting. Untreated seed
from the same lot were also planted. Both lots were subjected to germination tests.

Rate of emergence was not affected by treatment in any of the crops. In sweet corn,
seedling root length and fresh weight were slightly higher in the treated seeds, but
total dry weight was lower. In squash and beans, the root length and seedling weights
were not affected by treatment. For all three crops, the yields were lower as a result
of the magnetizing treatment. In corn, the difference was slight and due only to larger
ears in the check plots. In beans, the checks yielded 17% more and in squash 31% more.


B. Perennial Grass Control in Vegetables

Perennial grasses such as bermudagrass, torpedograss, johnsongrass, maidencane
and others are serious weed pests in many vegetable production regions of Florida.
Modern and intensive production practices used during the growing season and abandon-
ment of fields during the fallow season tend to encourage the growth and distribution
of these perennial weeds. The following information is intended to assist growers in
perfecting their weed management system for year-round control of perennial grasses in

The first step toward successful control of perennial grasses is prevention.
Planting clean seed, transplants, or propagating materials and cleaning all cultivation
or planting equipment when moving from one field to another will reduce the occurrence
of new infestations. Also, when irrigation water is moved from the pump to the field
in open ditches, growers should consider which weeds might be continually reinfesting
the field. Remember, there are approximately 1.5 to 2.0 million bermudagrass seeds per
pound; each seed being a potential source of reinfestation.

Because perennial grasses are anchored in the soil with thick or wiry rhizomes
and many roots, most cultivation equipment simply cultivates around the perennial weed.
A thorough plowing during a dry season will substantially reduce infestations of these
perennial grasses by dessication of the vegetative plant. However, weed seeds may still
be a source for reinfestation during the cropping season.

Historically, most herbicides registered for use in general vegetable production
rarely controlled established perennial grasses and only a few prevented the germination
and development of perennial grass seeds. One exception is the use of dalapon (Dowpon
M) applied to fallow land prior to planting many vegetable crops. In this case, dalapon
should be applied to actively growing foliage of the perennial grasses. Because dalapon
is readily decomposed in the soil by microorganisms within 3 to 5 weeks, the chemical
should be applied at least 2 months prior to planting most vegetable crops. Shorter
waiting periods are registered for use in field, kidney, lima and snap beans and potatoes.
However, slower degradation may be expected when soils are cold, dry, or contain little
or no organic matter.

If residual quantities of dalapon or other herbicides are suspected of remaining
in the soil at planting time, the grower is advised to collect several samples of soil
from the treated fields and plant a few seeds of the intended crop. Always include
a control sample obtained from a non-treated field having similar soil characteristics.
If abnormal plants emerge from the previously treated soil samples, a residual quantity
of herbicide may be present and the grower should delay planting to avoid injury to
the entire crop.

Recently, a new herbicide named glyphosate (Roundup) has been registered for
control of many perennial grasses and other perennial weeds. The chemical should be
applied to actively growing weed foliage, either in a non-cropland situation or prior
to emergence of barley, field or sweet corn, oats, sorghum, soybean, or wheat. However,
growers who wish to plant other crops not listed on the label must presently wait one
year after application. Where serious infestations of perennial grasses occur, major
vegetable growers may wish to consider rotating their land with a series of agronomic
crops in conjunction with glyphosate application.

When using pesticides or choosing an herbicide to suppress or control perennial
grasses, read the entire label carefully. Specific information such as herbicide
rates, application directions, limitations, and precautions are stated on each herbicide

In summary, growers are best advised to consider a year-round weed management
program, whereby every potential source of perennial weed infestation should be
eliminated and existing infestations should be reduced to manageable levels. To
accomplish these goals, every management factor that either influences the growth and
productivity of perennial grasses or shifts the competitive advantage toward the crops
must be considered and implemented in the entire crop management system.



C. The Yield Potential of the Walter Tomato Variety

The Walter tomato variety is currently used for more than 90% of the commercial
acreage in Florida. The yield potential of this variety is seldom realized because
of the skewed market preference for large and extra large tomatoes. It may be of
interest to take a close look at the number and size of fruits this excellent variety
is capable of producing in relation to the quantity of fruit a grower actually sells.

In cooperation with Manatee County Extension Agent R. T. Montgomery, actual fruit
counts were made on plantsimmediately after the final harvest. The total fruit pro-
duced per plant on the wide row, full bed mulch culture ranged from 100 to 143 with a
mean of 120. The number of fruit harvested of marketable size ranged from 53 to 80
per plant with a mean of 68, which represented 57% of the total yield.

The size distribution of fruit remaining in the field exhibited a somewhat left-
sided bell-shaped curve. Average size groups were as follows:

Total Fruit Produced by Final Harvest
Spring Crop, Southwest Florida

Small Medium Large Extra Large
2 1/8 to 2 9/32 to 2 17/32 to 2 28/32 to
Disposition Undersized 2 9/32 2 17/32 2 28/32 3 15/32 Total
Left in field 22 7 15 4 4 52
Hauled to shed -- 10 17 31 10 61
Total number 22 17 32 35 14 120
Percent 18.3 14.1 26.7 29.2 11.7 100.0

An average of 68 fruit per plant was taken into the packing house for grading, sizing,
and packing. Of this 57% hauled in, growers in the Manatee-Ruskin area frequently grade
out 15% in the extra large category, 45% large, 25% medium sizes, and 15% small sizes.

Unless the market demand is quite strong, the smaller sizes are discarded. The
largest sizes command the premium prices. In 1976, the largest sizes sold for approxi-
mately $6.00 per 30 lb. carton; whereas, the medium sizes sold for $4.80 and the smalls
for $3.55.

The largest sizes represent about 67% of the packout and are worth about 20% more
than the medium sizes. The greatest return, however, comes from only about 31% of the
total potential (large, extra large) fruit produced.

In the Manatee-Ruskin area, growers set approximately 3,000 plants to the "net"
acre. The net acre concept considers a row of plastic as 6 feet wide x 7,260 feet long.
Actually the wide row spacings commit only 36% of the gross acre to the plant row, 52%
to between bed spacing, and 12% to irrigation and drainage ditches. The wide row
system evolved out of a need for more rapid drainage during heavy rains and greater
maneuverability of equipment.

One might wonder how the grower could get more of this potential yield to the
consumer. The sale of tomatoes by weight would be a giant step forward. A great
deal might be achieved by maximization of plant spacing either in the row and/or
between rows. Another approach might be to modify the fruit sizing relationship
in ways that would discourage the development of numbers of fruit in favor of fewer
larger fruit. As tomato production increases in expenses and complexity, greater
attention must be given to these cost-benefit relationships.


D. New Vegetable Crop Ventures

The question of what vegetables to grow for profit is asked often of extension
agents working with these crops in Florida. It is asked by novices as well as
veteran vegetable growers looking for new sources of income in their farming enter-
prises. The extension agent who has to answer such a question is "put on the spot."
There is no simple answer. In the end, the question must be answered by the grower.
All an extension agent can do is to advise and guide him so that an intelligent
decision can be made.

If the question were "what vegetable crop can I grow," the answer would be simple.
Florida produces about 25 "major" vegetables on large acreages. In addition, there
are another 30 or 40 "minor" vegetables being produced on lesser acreages. There
are but a few vegetable crops that cannot be grown to some extent in this state. The
problem, therefore, is not so much lack of production resources and technology, but
being able to find an acceptable market.

The best advice that can be given to a person considering a new vegetable production
enterprise is not to plant anything until a suitable market outlet is found. There is
no "set of rules" to guide a person in this task. It can be a frustrating undertaking
and may require considerable time, travel, patience and determination.

Most growers, looking for new vegetable growing enterprises, think first of the
more commonly produced vegetable crops which are marketed through conventional channels.
Although a distinct possibility, this approach may not be the most rewarding for the
grower looking for new crops to grow.

More often than not, "other crops" and "other marketing methods" may prove to be
best. Other crops may include: (1) crops, such as sweet potatoes, onions, garlic,
broccoli, cauliflower, etc., that are not produced in adequate supply within the state
for local markets; (2) crops that are selected, grown or harvested in a special way
for a special market. These may include red-ripe tomatoes, fresh shelled southern
peas, lima beans and horticultural beans, seedless watermelons, etc.; and (3) exotic
or novelty crops generally used in limited quantities for special culinary purposes
or by certain ethnic groups. To illustrate but a few possibilities in this large group,
consider such crops as Cuban sweet potatoes, Chinese mustard, snow peas, various types
of pungent peppers, chives, dill, leeks, shallots, etc.



As stated previously, "other" or alternate market methods may be the most
rewarding to the vegetable grower looking for new crops to grow. This has been
demonstrated over the years by some vegetable growers. A sizable number of vegetable
growers operate profitably year after year with specialty crops and market.

The ingenuity demonstrated by some growers in searching out markets is nothing
short of amazing. There are many individual success stories which cannot be divulged
here. However, a discussion of a few of the more common alternate marketing methods
are worthy of note. Many have succeeded in roadside and u-pick marketing operations.
Others have found it profitable to produce specialty crops for local markets, super-
market chains, specialty food processors and certain ethnic groups.

Specialty crop production and marketing is not for everyone. However, it does
offer considerable potential for some. Success or failure, as with any enterprise
undertaken, depends on the initiative and good management of the individual grower.



A. Timely Gardening Topics

Four timely topics on vegetable gardening are offered each month to assist
Extension Agents in developing periodic (weekly) radio or newspaper shorts.

1. Spring Leftovers

Most vegetables planted in the spring garden are long gone by now. However,
it is not uncommon to see growing in fine style such holdovers as bell peppers, hot
peppers, eggplant, pumpkins, okra, and sweet potatoes. Perhaps due to the unusually
cold winter followed by an exceptionally dry spring, there are some gardens around
the state which have spring holdovers. Carrots are still there, along with cucumbers
and summer squash. Such longevity is not common, for cucumbers and squash usually
mature first fruits in 45 to 60 days, bear their last in about 90 days then succumb
to disease, insects, environmental stress and neglect. To remain green and growing
for over 5 months is noteworthy. Second and third plantings of southern peasare
yielding right along in some of these gardens also.

2. Fall Gardens

September is to the Fall as March is to Spring, being in both cases the month
to plant most vegetables in the garden. Many warm season vegetables can be planted in
September, even in north Florida where winter arrives early. But one must hurry to
get seeds in the ground in order to beat Jack Frost to the harvest. Most vegetables
require at least 60 days to mature first fruits for picking in the fall, due to shorter
cooler days which become progressively shorter as maturity of the vegetables approaches.
The season for those warm season crops planted in September is necessarily short, even
if harvest should begin in early November, for all but south Florida areas. However,
many gardeners are able to extend the life of their garden vegetables by protecting
them from early frosts and light freezes of short duration. Others bet on the
occurrence of an unusually warm fall during which no real threat from cold comes until
around Christmas.


Even for those who play the averages, several cool season vegetables offer
much fall activity in the garden. Children can still have fun with radishes and the
more experienced old timers in the family can continue in their efforts to master the
art of growing good cauliflower. Cabbage, collards, lettuce, and all those cool
season goodies take skill, but it is an art to grow those nice, big, snow white heads
of cauliflower under Florida conditions. Of course, strawberries in Florida are started
by setting plants in the garden in the fall months of September and October, certainly
no later than mid-November. With all the cool-season vegetables that can and should
be planted starting in September, fall gardening time in Florida can be a busy season.

3. Should You Use Nemagon ?

Ridding the soil of those pesky nematodes has long been a worthwhile chore
for most Florida vegetable gardeners. The buildup of these soil borne plant parasites
eventually causes a general decline in the productivity of most all garden plots in
the state. Thus, many thousands of gardeners have become familiar with DBCP soil
fumigant, better known as Nemagon, Fumazone, or OXY-BBC. This liquid or granular
material poured into the center of the plant bed prior to planting provides plant
protection for at least a season.

Recent reports, however, have cast some doubt on the safety features of the
chemical while being manufactured. Since there have never been any ill-effects re-
sulting from its proper usage, gardeners are advised to continue to use it as long
as supplies last. As usual, due care should be used to follow label directions and
safety precautions. Other nematacides which can be used are Vapam, Fume V, Vidden D,
D-D, Telone, EDB, and Vorlex.

4. Harvesting and Curing Herbs

The seeds, leaves, flowering tops, and sometimes the roots of herbs are used
for flavoring purposes. The flavor, which is usually due to a volatile oil, is kept
longer if the herb is harvested, cured, and stored properly.

The young tender leaves can be gathered and used fresh at any time during the
season, but for winter use they should be harvested when the plants begin to flower.
Leaves should be dried rapidly in a well-ventilated, darkened room. Dusty, gritty
leaves need to be washed and drained first.

Tender-leaved herbs such as basil, costmary, tarragon, lemon balm, and the
mints have a high moisture content, so must be dried rapidly away from the sunlight
to keep their green color. Slow drying causes them to turn dark and moldy. The less
succulent herbs, such as sage, rosemary, thyme, and summer savory can be partially
dried in the sun without affecting their color.

Harvest seeds when mature, then thoroughly dry and cure in an airy room for
several days. After curing, place them in the sunlight for a couple of days before
storing. For storing all dried parts, use tight-closing containers such as jars,
boxes, or cans. Either paint the jars or store them in a dark room to prevent
bleaching of green leaves by sunlight.



B. Know Your Vegetables Ginger

Ginger, Zingiber officinale R.,.is a perennial plant, the underground rhizomes
of which are used as a flavoring agent in cooking. It has been grown for centuries
on the Caribbean Islands and in China where it is used locally for medicine and as
well as in cooking. It is marketed in U.S. mostly in a powdered and candied state.
Ginger was grown experimentally at Homestead and at Gainesville in 1944. It produced
a heavy crop of rhizomes (roots) at Homestead; from each piece planted, thirty were
produced. At Gainesville, it persisted for two years, coming up each spring with
return of warm weather. Thus, it appears it can be grown throughout Florida in home
gardens for home use.


True ginger is often confused with close relatives grown as ornamentals in
Florida. Plants of the genus Alpinia growing throughout the state are probably
mistaken for ginger more than any other group. There is even a slight ginger aroma
to the freshly cut rhizomes of the Alpinias, and the stalks and leaves are very similar
to the true ginger when viewed from a short distance. Ginger can be easily distinguished
by its shorter stalks. When grown in open sun, it grows poorly and develops brown-
tipped leaves. Ginger has narrow leaf blades, yellow-green flowers with purple lips
growing in dense spikes, and produces plump, strongly-aromatic rhizomes.


Location -- Ginger does best in partial to complete shade; in full sun, the leaves
are brown-tipped and the plants grow poorly.

Soil -- Most good garden soils, including sands, if sufficiently supplied with
nutrients and moisture, are adequate for growing ginger. On the rockland at Homestead,
a special box for growing ginger was constructed. It was eight inches deep and contained
a mixture of sand, clay, and cow manure.

Seed -- Ginger is started from rhizome (root) cuttings rather than seed. It seems
best to cut the rhizomes into pieces 1 to 1 inches long, each containing at least one
eye. Cut the rhizome pieces a few days ahead of planting to allow the cut surfaces to
dry, reducing chances of rotting.

Planting -- In a well-prepared bed, insert each piece and cover with about one
inch of soil. Space them fifteen inches in the row and fifteen inches between the
rows. Early in the spring is best time to plant.


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