Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series 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
Horticultural Sciences Department
Publication Date: December 1977
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00130
Source Institution: University of Florida
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INSTITUTE OF FOOO AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES COOPERATIVE
:- : IFA- UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA EXTENSION SERVICE


_____A VOTARIANb NE^1EfLETT1!E.^


December 1, 1977

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist

J. F. Kelly
Chairman


James Montelaro
Professor

G. A. Marlowe, Jr.
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

R. D. William
Assistant Professor


TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA

FP?.0.: James Montelaro, Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist '-

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 77-12

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Abstracts for Papers Presented at the 1977 FSHS Meetings
B. Commercial Production Guides
C. Plant Science In-Service Training for County Agents

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. How Big is This Tomato?
B. A Greenhouse Vegetable Enterprise? Some Points to Consider
C. Sweet Potato Root Cracking Problems
D. Weed Control for Full-Bed Mulched Vegetables

III. VEGETABLE GAPDE[IN[TG
A. Seaweed in the Vegetable Garden
B. Know Your Vegetables Celtuce

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

wsc

I I;sti:ut-e of Food and Agricl Iurdl Science is ian Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Emp'oyecr iulthorized to provide ret'"arch,
iuj ic rnal inforfmation r-id otli;r service only to individuals snd institution; that fun;t:iort W:hou: re.pri to rnac, color, sex, nr naticial oriiAn.




-2-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


I. NOTES OF INTEREST


A. Abstracts for Papers Presented at the 1977 FSHS Meetings

There were 30 papers presented in the Vegetable Section during the
Florida State Horticultural Society meetings held November 1-4, 1977,
at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Anyone wanting a single copy of the ab-
stracts of the papers presented can get one by writing this office.

(Montelaro)


B. Commercial Production Guides

Production Guides on Okra (Circular No. 175E) and Tomato (Circular)
98D) were revised recently. Only 3,000 copies of each guide were printed.
County Extension offices will receive a small, but adequate supply of each
guide for county needs. Agents are asked to use sound judgement in distri-
buting these guides. Because commercial production guides contain infor-
mation that home gardeners cannot possibly use, distribution should be re-
stricted to commercial growers. Agents needing a few extra copies of any
guides can obtain them from a limited supply retained by the IFAS, Publica-
tion and Distribution Center, Building 664.

(Montelaro)


C. Plant Science In-Service Training for County Agents

The program for the Plant Science In-Service Training Session to be
held in mid-February (week of the 13th) is being finalized now. The Friday
morning session has been dropped. The Vegetable Crops Department is plan-
ning for a three-day session on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Part of
the program will be planned jointly with the Agronomy Department. Check
the final program for exact dates and topics to be discussed.

(Montelaro)


II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


A. How Big is This Tomato?

The metric system provides a much needed improvement in the size
classification of vegetables. The new size categories of tomatoes (very
small, small, medium, large, and extra large) have replaced the old 5 x 6,
6 x 6, etc., classes. A medium tomato can be expressed in fractions of an
inch, decimal portions of an inch, or in the metric system as centimeters.
(The inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters).






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


The following conversion table has been prepared for your reading
interest and reference use. The approximate distribution of Florida
tomatoes as reflected in state pack-out figures for the past few years
has been: very small 0.1%, small 10.7%, medium 36.1%, large 30.9% and
extra large 22.2%.


Some Conversion Factors Related to the
New Tomato Size-Weight Categories


Designation
Weight
Name Fractional Decimal Metric Average
Used (inches) (inches) (cm) (Gram) (Oz.)*

Very Small 1 7/8 2 1/8 1.87 2.12 4.76 5.40 75 2.6
Small 2 1/8 2 9/32 2.12 2.28 5.40 5.79 93 3.3
Medium 2 9/32 2 17/32 2.28 2.53 5.79 6.43 120 4.2
Large 2 17/32 2 28/32 2.53 2.87 6.43 7.30 143 5.0
Extra Large 2 28/32 3 15/32 2.87 3.47 7.30 9.84 177 6.2


* Oz. = Ounces


(Marlowe)



B. A Greenhouse Vegetable Enterprise? Some Points to Consider.

Interest in greenhouse vegetable production has increased markedly in
the southeasternUnited States during the past five years. Some growers
desire to extend their harvest season to retain market outlets. Others wis]
to have more control over the growth of high value crops. The most common
reason, however, is to receive the high prices usually associated with out-
of-season production.

Greenhouse production, one of the most challenging, and demanding type!
vegetable growing, should be examined closely before a grower commits himse:
and his valuable resources to this endeavor.

This specialist, working with greenhouse vegetable production since 19!
has seen many successful operations as well as many failures. The different
between these two extremes can be expressed in three little words: Attentiol
to details. The most frequent specific cause for complete failure is plant
disease. A missed spray, poor sanitation, excess humidity due to poor vent:
nation can all contribute to disease development. In the future, energy co:
may become prohibitive.





-4-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


The properly operated greenhouse provides "reasonable control" of
temperature, soil moisture, humidity, nutrition, spacing, CO2 level, and
many other factors except sunlight. The "ideal" conditions one tries to
provide the tomato, cucumber, or lettuce also provides an excellent enviro-
ment for plant diseases, insects, and nematodes. Many new techniques have
been devised to by-pass potential soil-borne pests. Growing crops in sterile
vermiculite-peat media, hydroponics (solution, sand, or gravel) and the tube
method or nutrient film technique are examples. Each method has advantages
and disadvantages. A well fumigated sandy loam soil, for example, will buf-
fer an error in fertilizer application much more than a similar mistake in
hydroponics.

Specific points to consider for the potential greenhouse operator are
realistic yields, market outlets (time and quantity), cost/price relation-
ships, technology, and attitude.

A. Yield

A great deal of legend often surrounds greenhouse yields. Exceptional
greenhouse tomato, cucumber, pole bean, and lettuce yields do exist, but
beginners should consider "average yields" of experienced growers as targets
rather than yields quoted from demonstration or research trials. Greenhouse
tomato growers usually consider 12 to 15 pounds of tomatoes per plant for a
spring crop and 6 to 9 pounds for the fall crop as average and respectable
yields.

B. Market Potential

1. Time. Is there a unique period in the tomato marketing sequence ir
which greenhouse production fits? A brief look at the major, fresh market
tomato producing sources may be of interest.



Table 1. Usual Harvest Dates and Production of Fresh Market Tomatoes
Prod.
1000
State CNT Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Fla. 7387 XXX XXX XXX XX XXX XXX XX XXX XXX
Cal. 6885 XX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
S.C. 555 X XXX XXX XXX
N.J. 556 XXX XXX XXX XXX
Ala. 518 XXX XXX XXX XX
Tex. 422 X XXX XX XX XXX XX
Mich. 422 X XXX XXX XXX
Ark. 350 XXX XXX XXX XX
N.Y. 349 XX XXX XXX XXX
Ohio 192 X XXX XX XX XXX XX
Mex. 6709 XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XX

From USDA Agricultural Handbook 507, 1977.




-5-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


These figures show that target periods may exist for additional pro-
duction and that much depends on weather conditions in field growing areas.

2. Quantity. How many pounds of tomatoes do Americans eat? According
to USDA report in 1976, the average American consumed 33 pounds of tomatoes
about 12 pounds fresh and 21 pounds in the processed form.

The following text-table shows that only 81% of the potential consump-
tion is being supplied in the listed sources. How much of the missing 19%
is being supplied by home garden production? Does this indicate a place fo)
more high quality tomatoes possibly from greenhouse production?



Fresh Market Tomato Production and Consumption
Florida, Other U.S., and Mexican Importation


Fla Other US Mexico Total
Prod. Million Lbs. 720 630 690 2040
U.S. Consumption, million pounds.. . . . 2520
Percent Supplied 29 25 27 81

From Florida Tomato Committee Yearbook, 1976.



C. Cost/Price Relationships

The price the grower needs to receive for his vegetables is directly
related to his investment, production, and marketing costs. Many field
tomato growers in Florida feel that their break-even cost per pound is
approximately 16-18 cents; whereas, an Indiana study showed that greenhouse
growers must get yields of at least 50 tons per acre and receive prices in
excess of 27 cents per pound in order to wear a happy smile.

A Tennessee study comparing two of the more "modern" greenhouse produc-
tion methods shows that annual yields of 11 tons per house per year require(
prices in the 50 cent range to allow significant returns to original invest-
ment.





-6-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER



Comparison of Two Greenhouse Production Systems
(Brooker, J. R., 1975. TVA Greenhouse Veg. Workshop)

Growing Space: 3276 sq. ft., 992 plts.
Factors Hydroponics Media Method

Initial Investment, $ 22,781 14,613
Annual Oper. Cost, $ 8,647 9,525
Yield, Spring 13,094 12,301
Fall 9,424 8,732
Total 22,518 21,033
Return above cash
operating costs @ 40C 9,007 8,413
at price per lb @ 50 11,259 10,516



D. Technology

Knowledgeable greenhouse operation is the result of continued observa-
tion, learning, reading, listening, sharing, and testing of new procedures
in a cautious, methodical way. Professional greenhouse vegetable growers in
Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan attend frequent short courses, participate in
research projects, and -try to secure (and study) the most important green-
house publications available.

E. Attitude

A successful greenhouse enterprise represents a serious commitment of
time, resources, and energy. The determination to look after every necessary
detail when it should be dealt with and in the right way is the priority
approach of the professional. Tomato flowers must be vibrated daily,
European cucumber male flowers must be removed when they develop and the prc
per fungicide must be applied when needed. As one old timer put it, green-
house success is 50% resources; 50% hard work, 50% luck, and 50% staying on
top of things!

(Marlowe)


C. Sweeet Potato Root Cracking Problems

Vegetable extension specialists in Florida have noted more than usual
root cracking problems in sweet potatoes this fall. Cracking may affect
rost roots in a planting, but is most severe on the larger ones. Severely
cracked roots must be discarded or sold at minimal prices as culls.




-7-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Solution of the problem is not an easy one. We called on the
knowledge and expertise of extension specialist in Georgia in our quest
for an answer. They, too, have observed this problem on a number of occa-
sions in Georgia. Their observation agreed with ours to a large extent.
Root cracking can be attributed to: (1) variety, (2) uneven growth patterns
and (3) soil pests.

Research and extension workers in Georgia have noted a difference in
cracking among varieties. Georgia Jet, a variety popular in that state until
two or three years ago, is much more susceptible to the disorder than its
replacement, Red Jewel. This observation has been verified in field plant-
ings over the state and in test plots in Gainesville.

Uneven growth patterns can result from fluctuations in moisture supply
during the growth period. The problem is most serious during root enlarge-
ment. Retarded root growth apparently result in a physical change in root
tissue. Upon resumption of growth, such roots are subject to severe crack-
ing. This was confirmed in field observations last summer where irrigated
sweet potato crops showed considerably less cracking than unirrigated plant-
ings.

Soil pests, especially heavy populations of rootknot nematodes, are
known to cause severe cracking. It is possible that certain root-feeding,
soil-borne insects can contribute to root cracking in sweet potato, also.
Two or more of the three factors discussed above may interact to increase
the severity of cracking.

In summary, growers should use every tool at their command to reduce
or even eliminate cracking in sweet potatoes. This can be done by (1)
planting crack-resistant varieties like Red Jewel, Centennial, etc., (2)
using irrigation during drought periods to avoid uneven growth patterns,
and (3) applying an insecticide broadcast and mixed into the soil followed
by fumigation for insect and nematode control before planting. Recommenda-
tions on materials and rates can be obtained from the local county agricul-
tural extension agent.
(Montelaro)


D. Weed Control for Full-Bed Mulched Vegetables

Vegetable production using full-bed plastic mulch continues to increase
in Florida. Presently, most tomato production and increasing acreages of
pepper and eggplant are being produced with plastic mulch. In addition to
providing a uniformly controlled soil environment, the black (or white on
black) plastic mulch prevents germination or growth of many weeds. However
weeds can grow through the plant hole and between mulched beds in the water
or tractor furrow. Also, nutsedge can pierce and grow through the plastic.
The following information is intended to assist growers in perfecting their
entire weed management system when producing vegetables with full-bed plast:
mulch.





-8-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Control perennial weeds before bedding -- The best time to control
most perennial weeds in vegetable fields is during the fallow season.
Aggressive management systems and non-selective control measures can be
aimed specifically at reducing infestations of perennial weeds during the
summer fallow when most weeds are growing rapidly. Additional information
relating to control of nutsedge and perennial grasses in vegetables was
published in the Vegetarian Newsletter issues 77-4, 77-5, and 77-9.


Multi-purpose soil fumigants and weed control The proper application
of multi-purpose soil fumigants under plastic mulch will reduce weed growth
through the plant hole and nutsedge infestations in the bed. The key to
effective pest control using multi-purpose soil fumigants is proper soil
moisture. All too often, the soil is too dry (or too wet) and control is
erratic.

Multi-purpose soil fumigants move throughout the soil as a gas. Effec-
tiveness under plastic is enhanced because lethal amounts of the gas can
concentrate at the soil or bed surface under the plastic. However, if the
soil is too wet, the gas cannot move throughout the soil. Although the gas
can move rapidly in dry soils, the weed seeds and nutsedge tubers may be
partially dormant. Effective control depends on fully imbibed seeds or
tubers. Therefore, soils should be at or slightly below field capacity for
maximum results.


Herbicidal suppression of nutsedge at bedding For tomatoes, pebulate
(Tillam) can be applied over the false shoulder before the complete bed is
shaped. Because pebulate is volatile, form the remainder of the bed imme-
diately and coverwith plastic mulch. Suppression of nutsedge and suscep-
tible weeds will continue for 4 to 8 weeks under normal planting conditions
in Florida. However, do not apply pebulate to tomatoes planted near pepper
or eggplant fields.


Weed control in plant holes Weed seeds sometimes germinate and grow
through the plant hole in the plastic. Proper application of most multi-
purpose soil fumigants will reduce growth of most weeds at the plant hole.
Otherwise, the following herbicides may be applied on the bed surface before
laying the plastic mulch:



Herbicide Tomato Pepper Eggplant

Diphenamid (Enide) Yes Yes No
Trifluralin (Treflan) Yes Yes No
Pebulate (Tillam) Yes No No
DCPA* (Dacthal) No No Yes

Apply towards base of plant after transplanting. (Use on a trial
basis).




-9-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Weed control between mulched beds In soils containing some clay such
as in Quincy, cultivation between beds should be considered to break the
crust on the soil surface and enhance water infiltration rather than promote
run-off. Otherwise, most growers prefer herbicides because the risk of tea
ing the plastic mulch is reduced.

Two types of herbicides can be applied to control weeds between mulche
beds. First, several residual, soil-applied herbicides are registered for
use in tomato, pepper and eggplant. These herbicides must be applied before
the weeds begin to germinate, or control will be poor to erratic.


Herbicide Tomato Pepper Eggplant

Diphenamid (Enide) Yes Yes No
Chloramben (Amiben) Yes Yes No
Pebulate* (Tillam) Yes No No


* Apply to soil near shoulder and "bed-over" or cover with untreated soil
from tractor furrow to suppress weeds along the mulch edge.


The second herbicide group consists of postemergence, contact-type,
herbicides. Paraquat is the only herbicide in this group registered for
use between full-bed mulched tomatoes and peppers, but not eggplant. The
chemical should be applied with a nonionic surfactant such as X-77, surfact
ant WK, Triton X-100, Tween 20 and many others to help wet the weed foliage
Use a shielded boom to avoid drift of Paraquat to the crop. Apply when wee
are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) tall. Poor control will always result if wee
are sprayed when 4 inches (10 cm) or taller. In some cases, paraquat can t
tank-mixed with residual herbicides such as Chloramben. However, be sure
to check the label before tank-mixing herbicides for application to vege-
tables.
(William)


III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Seaweed in the Vegetable Garden

In some parts of Florida, particularly in the keys and other coastal
areas, gardeners have relied for many years on shoreline deposits of sea-
weed to improve sandy or shelly soils. Liberal additions of the decayed
seaweed have always given good results. The lack of available topsoil in
the keys has made that area almost completely dependent on seaweed as a so:
base for growing vegetables in gardens.




-10-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Florida is not unique in the use of seaweed for soil improvement.
It has been used successfully in many countries of the world. Scientists
in such countries as Japan, Norway, France, and Russia have studied and
analyzed the chemical composition of seaweed. Since there are several
species of seaweed, and since composition varies among species, locations
and even time of year, it is difficult to generalize the contents of seaweed
However, all of the studies show that most seaweeds are very similar to cow
manure in the content of the major plant nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and
potassium. Seaweed contains on the average about .5 to 1.5% nitrogen and
4 to 10% potassium, but only .1% phosphorus. In addition, seaweed may con-
tain as much as 2% calcium and 4% magnesium. It is rich in trace elements
such as boron, copper, iron, manganese, molydenum, and zinc, which are
essential for plant growth.

On the other hand, seaweed also contains such salts as sodium chloride
which may be harmful in large quantities to plants. Most of the salt may
be washed away by leaching rainfall or by drenching with a hose.

One should keep in mind that the nutrients contained in seaweed are
slowly available to plants. The seaweed must be well rotted or shredded
before it is applied to the soil.

In summary, seaweed as found along the coast of Florida appears to
be an available form of fertilizer and soil conditioner for Florida gardens.
If used properly it can furnish plants with most of the nutrients needed
for good growth. It is a fair source of nitrogen, a good source of potas-
sium, and an excellent source of trace elements. However, it is very low
in phosphorus.

To use it, one should first wash it thoroughly to leach out the salt,
then dry and shred the material before composting it or applying it to the
garden plot. Allow a month or longer for the organic material to decompose
sufficiently to release its chemicals in a form the vegetable plants can
use. Like other organic materials such as cow manure, liberal quantities
(25 to 50 # per 100 square feet of soil) should be applied. Then, the
amended soil may be watered and fertilized as need to make vegetables grow
where otherwise impossible or very difficult.
(Stephens)


B. Know Your Vegetables Celtuce

Celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina) is known also as stem lettuce
celery lettuce, and asparagus lettuce. It looks like a cross between celer
and lettuce. This type of lettuce is grown for the edible enlarged seed
stalk. The outer leaves resemble loose leaf lettuce, but are a lighter gre
These leaves may be eaten in salads at a young tender stage. However, they
become bitter and unpalatable rather quickly due to the formation of a milk
sap.




-11-


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Soon after the development of the outer leaves, a central stalk bearing
-iny leaves at the top starts to elongate. Allowed to grow, this flower
stalk will reach 4 to 5 feet in height. It acts very much like regular let-
tuce bolting to seed. The outer edges of the round stem contain the bitter
milky sap.

When the stem is about 12-18 inches long, it should be cut off down in-
to the leafy portion of the plant, being sure to peel the outer skin, remove-
ing the portion containing the bitter sap. The soft, translucent green
central core is the edible part. It may be eaten fresh, either sliced or
diced into a salad. The flavor is somewhat like a cucumber, yet different.
In China, where it is grown in commerical quantities, the fleshy stem is cut
into sections and cooked by boiling or stewing.

Celtuce is rarely grown in Florida gardens, but should do well whenever
and wherever leaf lettuce is grown successfully. Since it is a cool weather
crop, it should be planted from seed in the fall, winter, and early spring,
spaced at about 8 inches in the row, and treated about like regular lettuce.
Many seed catalogs advertise seed for sale.

(Stephens)

























S-tat:e-it: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $ 157.92 ,or
i p per copy, for the purpose of communicating current technical and
duc oJ o~i~al material to extension, research and industry personnel".




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