Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00136
 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 1978
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00136
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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May 5, 1978

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

J. F. Kelly

R. D. William
Assistant Professor

J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

G. A. Marlowe, Jr.

M. E. Marvel

James Montelaro



FROM: M. E. Marvel, Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist `/ -e a -u



A. Commercial Production Guides

A. Fertilizer Placement for Watermelons in North Florida
B. Pollination by Insects in Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper
C. The Tiger, The Tapeworm and IPM

A. Temperatures for Handling Hatermelons

A. Potato Problem -- Blind Tubers
B. Know Your Vegetables -- Tree Onion

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

Whenever possible,

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. Commercial Production Guides

A significant portion of our printing budget continues to be used up in the
premature reprinting of commercial production guides which are printed in quantities
sufficient to last for several years. For some crops enough copies are printed to
supply every commercial grower with several hundred copies, if needed. It is apparent
that these publications are being used for general distribution to the public. Besides
being wasteful, this exposes amateurs to pesticide recommendations which are not
appropriate to their needs or capabilities. Furthermore, the dollars used to reprint
these publications are taken from priority new publications -- especially in the home
gardening area. Many counties have removed commercial guides from their distribution
racks and have been able to maintain their supplies. We encourage others to follow
suit. For those who have depleted their supplies of Circulars 97 (Sweet Potato),
98 (Tomato), 99 (Sweet Corn), 100 (Bean), 101 (Cucumber), 102 (Pepper), 118 (Potato),
175 (Okra), 176 (Onion), it may be necessary to do some publication trading with
other counties. We have no more in Gainesville.

Circular 104 and the Gardening Fact Sheets should meet the needs of home gardeners
even without the availability of specific crop coverage. Specific coverage is
available on cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes.



A. Fertilizer Placement for Watermelons in North Florida

Correct placement of fertilizer can reduce root injury of young vegetable
seedlings caused by excess soluble salts. Watermelon seedlings grow best when
fertilizer salts are maintained between 1000 and 1500 ppm. After the plant is
established, soluble salt concentrations can be increased to 2500 3500 ppm when
grown under optimum and relatively uniform soil moisture.1 Based on numerous
research results and extension/grower experiences, preplant fertilizer should be
broadcast in a 4 to 5 foot wide band before forming beds.

As a part of our north Florida watermelon program we are monitoring soluble
salt concentrations and other production components in six demonstration plots.
Jefferson County Extension Director Larry Halsey is comparing fertilizer placement
as a modified broadcast treatment versus a broad band 6 to 8 inches wide under the

1Extension Vegetable Crops Production Guide. Note: Soils Department Extension
Mimeo #1-12-69 entitled, "The 'Intensity and Balance' Method of Soil Testing in


seed. Note in the table, the soluble salt ranges of 4250 4810 ppm in the
banded treatments versus 890 1720 ppm in the broadcast plots. Poor germination
or slow growing plants were observed where the fertilizer band was located directly
under the drill row.


Row number and Fertilizer Application Method
sample location Banded (6 to 8 in under seed) Modified Broadcast
- - - ppm - - -

1-Center a/ 690
2-Center 4810 920
3-Center 4250 Mean 970 Mean
4-Center 4470 4510 1720~4 T08
Shoulder 125 450

aFertilizer was applied in this plot several days prior to the others and was
leached by rainfall.

Plot is located on a clay knoll. Therefore, movement of fertilizer salts may
be restricted.

In Jackson County, Extension Agent Charles Brasher is monitoring four
demonstration plots where moderate to high amounts of fertilizer were side-banded
3 5 inches to the side of the drill row and one plot where the fertilizer was
applied near the seed with a bumper applicator. Soluble salts in the drill row
ranged from 125 250 ppm when the fertilizer was banded to each side of the drill
row. However, 3500 ppm was measured 3 inches to either side. Watermelon yields
from research plots have been greater where the fertilizer was banded to the side
of the drill row rather than placed under the seed. However, consistently high
yields have been measured with modified broadcast applications of fertilizer.
In Washington County, Agents Lenzy Scott and Red Davis are measuring pH after liming
the field. So far, limed fields have a pH of 6.2 6.3, whereas an unlimed field
has a pH of 5.7.

Based on these results and previous information, growers should consider
broadcasting a fertilizer containing a third to half of the required nitrogen
and potassium, all the phosphorus, and adequate micronutrients in a 4 5 foot
wide swath over the row before bedding. Future observations pertaining to
irrigation, subsoiling, quality and economic implications will be summarized in
the Vegetarian.



B. Pollination by Insects in Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper

Eggplant, tomato and pepper are generally considered to be self-pollinated.
Wind vibration of flowers normally causes adequate pollen to fall onto the stigma
for good fruit set. Do insects play a significant role in the pollination on
these crops? The question is asked most often in seasons when fruit set problems
are common. The 1977-78 season was such a season. The weather was too hot in
early fall and too cold and wet in winter and early spring. Fruits that did
develop were small and malformed, especially in eggplant.

The answer to this question is not a simple one. A review of the literature
might lead to any one of the three conclusions. They would be (1) yes, (2) no
and (3) maybe. The third, which says "maybe," is probably the only conclusion
one can make from the information available at the present time.

The literature on this subject is summarized in an excellent U. S. Department
of Agriculture publication entitled "Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crops and
Plants" (Ag. Handbook 496 by S. E. McGregor). Relative to eggplant, he states,
"Workers dealing with this crop have tended to overlook the insect visitors, but
the amount of crossing recorded by different ones indicates that insect visitation
occurs in relative abundance." One researcher reported 0.7 to 15 percent crossing
on the same plant (which is effectively selfing).

Cross-pollination has been studied in greater detail in tomato than either
eggplant or pepper. Plant breeders, searching for inexpensive methods of producing
hybrids, have made sufficient observations to conclude that cross-pollination by
insects is definitely possible. C. M. Rick, in a study ("Rates of Natural Cross-
pollination of Tomatoes in Various Localities in California as Measured by the
Fruits and Seed Set on Male Sterile Plants," Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., Proc. 54:237-252),
reported, "In proportion of flowers that set fruit, the observed values fluctuated
3.1 to 30.3 percent (in self-sterile plants); in terms of fertile-plant yield,
from 5.9 to 65 percent." He attributed cross pollination to several species of
solitary bees, especially Anthophora urbana Cressm. and a species of bumblebee.

Most growers of eggplant, tomato and pepper agree that under normal conditions
fruit set in these crops is adequate. In fact, some complain on occasions that
fruit set may be too heavy for best fruit size. Under less than ideal conditions
of cold, wet weather which prevailed for weeks on end during the winter of 1977-78,
insects might have had "some effect" on fruit-set. The amount and economic
significance are not known. Therefore, the answer to the question asked earlier
must remain "maybe" until more is learned. Growers are advised not to use bees
in eggplant, tomato and pepper crops on a regular basis as it is felt to be
uneconomical at the present time.



C. The Tiger, the Tapeworm, and IPM

Integrated pest management (IPM) is receiving a great deal of attention
in the farm press. Some approaches reflect a defensive attitude, others go
on the offense, and many just show an incomplete understanding of what IPM is
and is not.

Most of us would agree that a hungry tiger could make things rapidly
uncomfortable for it's host. The tapeworm demands less of his host than the
tiger and thus enjoys a more sustained relationship. One of the biggest differences
between the pest control practices of 1950-1975 and the integrated pest management
of today is one of effect-time and degree of elimination of pests.

IPM is not a new concept. IPM does not advocate the elimination of all
pesticide use. IPM does not rely only on biological control or resistant varieties,
or cultural control. IPM is not just a gimmick to please environmentalists.

IPM is designed to utilize all known pest control and crop management (thus
the more appropriate use of the term Integrated Crop Management) procedures in the
most effective, economically sound manner with the least damage to man and his
environment. IPM, unlike the old style chemical control (which attempted to
eliminate pests for as long as possible) allows for a tolerable number of pests
to be present, if they are below the economic threshold for the crop. IPM does
require continual and close appraisal of the pest situation in the field. IPM
does advocate using chemicals only when needed.

Why is IPM inevitable? The following reasons have hastened the consideration
of this integrated approach:

1. Many pests have developed resistance to pesticides.

2. Many pesticides are hazardous to humans, livestock, wildlife, and
contaminate the environment.

3. Pesticide costs have increased.

4. There is a possibility that there will be only a limited number of pesticides
available in the future due to regulations and the high cost of research and develop-
ment of new materials.

The components of IPM are listed briefly. Methods of operation of an IPM
system will be described in a future issue of the Vegetarian.

Physical and Cultural Control

Definition: Direct or indirect measures taken to create a less favorable
environment for the pest or to reduce level of damage to the crop.


Examples: Production of crop before or after normal peak pest period (pest
free period).

Destruction of alternate hosts (often weeds).

Rotation to non-host crops (starvation).

Skip or fallow culture (some pests migrate downward as soil dries).

Flooding, deep-plowing, destruction of crop remains (removal or elimination
of pest or food supply).

Sticky traps, light traps or chemical attractant traps (primarily insects).

Advantages: These methods cause very few unfavorable side effects to the
environment, they are generally low cost practices, and they may reduce pest
levels but seldom eradicate the pests.

Disadvantages: These practices usually provide temporary but important
contributions to a total pest management program.

Biological Control

Definition: Biological control involves the reduction of the pest level
by the action of parasites or predators on the pest complex (diseases, nematodes,
insects, or weeds). Nearly every pest of cultivated crops has natural enemies.
Biological control is one of the oldest, most successful methods known.

Examples: Contributions to the biological control of aphids by the braconid
wasp, of tomato leaf miner by the earwigs, of the celery leaf miner by small wasps
and of various lepidopterous larvae by Bacillus thuringiensis are well known.
Nematode-trapping fungi and living organisms which destroy fungi, bacteria, and
viruses are less well known. Knowledge is very scant in many areas of this complex

Advantages: Biological control is relatively permanent once established. It
causes little or no hazard to other crops, to man, or to the environment. The cost
of natural enemy control is much less than the imported enemy method or the method
of rearing and releasing natural enemies.

Disadvantages: As yet biological control (by itself) has not provided adequate
protection for large scale commercial vegetable production. At present this method
is generally considered supplementary, but in the future greater reliance on
biological control may be in order as our understanding of its dynamics widens.


Resistant Varieties

Definition: Plants inherently less damaged by such factors as diseases,
insects, nematodes, or drought than others under the same conditions are said
to be resistant. The resistance may be due to tolerance, non-preference, or
immunity, but immunity is quite rare. Some wild plants may show varying degrees
of resistance but lack desirable horticultural characteristics.

Examples: Breeding for resistance to the various plant diseases has received
far greater attention than breeding vegetables for resistance to insects, nematodes,
or drought. Many vegetable varieties have multiple disease resistance. The Walter
tomato for example is resistant to fusarium wilt (Races 1 and 2), leaf mold, and
gray leaf spot.

Advantages: Resistant varieties may provide specific relief from a pest
condition. The results may be fairly permanent and the effect may help to reduce
the pest presence in a cumulative way with continual use of resistant varieties.
The change to resistant varieties is usually not costly. Damage to the environment,
hazard to the applicator, and the problem of toxic residues are essentially

Disadvantages: The development of resistant varieties with desirable
horticultural characteristics is an expensive, slow process.

Chemical Control

Definition: The immediate and temporary reduction or prevention of certain
diseases, insects, nematodes, and weeds by the application of chemicals is well

Examples: The application of natural materials such as the pyrethrins,
inorganic materials such as copper, and organic chemicals such as the carbamates
to control vegetable crop pests have become integral parts of modern day pest

Advantages: Chemicals have become the first line of defense in world-wide
pest management of food crops. They are generally highly effective, relatively
inexpensive and can be quickly applied. One or more pests may be controlled
with a single chemical.


Disadvantages: A great deal of publicity (favorable and unfavorable) has
been given to the chemicals used in pest control. Many of the chemicals are
hazardous to humans; do leave toxic residues; do create undesirable side effects
on wildlife; and do encourage the development of resistant strains of pests.
In spite of these "legitimate" disadvantages, it would be irresponsible to propose
the elimination of all chemical pesticides in large scale food production systems.

Another serious disadvantage is the damage to non-target organisms which may
play a vital, supplementary role in total pest management programs. Sometimes
the high-percentage kill of the target pest starves the natural enemies, further
aggravating the imbalance in the system. After the pesticide influence has worn-
off, the target pest can quickly recover, unregulated by it's natural enemies.

In summary, IPM (or ICM) utilizes the best features of each control method to
assist in pest management strategies. IPM is basically an information technology.
The careful use of pesticides is advocated on the basis of demonstrated need in
relation to the total crop system rather than on regular intervals regardless of
pest densities.



A. Temperatures for Handling Watermelons

Just because watermelons are good to eat when served ice-cold do not assume
they should be held at low temperatures during shipping and marketing. Several
vegetables, including watermelons and others of tropical origin, develop adverse
reactions to temperatures between 32 and 50F which is known as chilling injury.
This is quite different from freezing injury which is seldom a problem with
harvested watermelons.

Watermelons should be consumed within 2 to 3 weeks after harvest because of
rapid changes in quality. At high temperatures they are subject to decay and
breakdown in flesh texture from overmaturity. At temperatures between 32 and 50,
watermelons develop pits in the rind, they decrease in pigment content and redness,
the flesh loses its crisp texture, juice is lost after slicing and an objectionable
flavor develops. Internal color will improve after harvest in melons that are
harvested pink or pale red if they are held without refrigeration. IFAS research
has shown much increase in red pigment at temperatures of 70-900F. This increase
in redness is particularly beneficial in watermelons harvested before they are
fully ripe so they can be shipped to distant U.S. and foreign markets.

Although the effects of improper temperature may require some time before
they are apparent, sunburn develops rapidly particularly with dark colored rinds
and exposure of the bottom side to the hot sun. Melons should be moved from the
sun to the shade as soon as possible after cutting from the vine. Since watermelons
are hauled from the field and usually trucked to market in bulk loads, air circulation


among the melons is important in maintaining temperature control. Although
prevention of bruising requires padding beneath the load, straw or other
cushioning material should never be placed between the layers of melons, because
it blocks air circulation.

Many vegetables are precooled before shipping to shorten the period of rapid
quality deterioration at high temperatures. However, watermelon precooling is
not recommended because their size would make cooling extremely slow, and the
temperatures of properly harvested melons are usually not far from optimum.
Watermelons have been held for several months and even a year at room temperatures
with little external evidence of internal deterioration. Last year a terminal
market receiver stored a load of melons at 420F to wait for higher prices and
lost the whole load because of chilling injury. He concluded that melons can be
stored for a maximum of two weeks even though they continue to look good on the

The U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends transit temperatures of
55-70F with ventilation for watermelons, although refrigeration is not required
for normal transit periods. In actual practice most watermelons are transported
from Florida in many types of open and closed trucks and trailers that have no
refrigeration equipment. Although refrigerated trucks and van containers are more
costly to own and operate, there are times when their use for watermelons is very
justified. During periods of peak production and shipping, shortages of transportation
occur when any available trucks are sought. Truckers hauling refrigerated foods into
Florida may want back-haul loads of watermelons. If these refrigerated trucks can
set their thermostats for the desired temperature range for watermelons and circulate
air throughoutthe load, they provide very adequate transportation.

Refrigerated van containers carried aboard ships are normally used to transport
perishables overseas. Recent U.S.D.A. research has shown that using sea air as
a cooling medium rather than mechanical refrigeration could save up to 35% in
shipping costs. The cooling system that pulls cool sea air across the cargo has
been used to ship watermelons and other produce to European markets. Tests indicate
that the system keeps produce at satisfactory temperatures.

The importance of internal quality of watermelons is very important in the
market place, and the influence of temperature in maintaining this quality too
often is neglected.



A. Potato Problem -- Blind Tubers

A Florida gardener planted Irish potato seed pieces early in the spring as
directed. After several discouraging days of seeing no visible signs of plant
emergence, he scratched into the soil and examined the seed pieces. The seed
pieces had sprouted, but at the end of the short, 2 to 3-inch long sprouts were
small, young tubers. There was no leafy top growth, just these smooth round small
tubers which would never reach useful size.


This problem probably occurs quite often in home gardens around the state.
The condition is called sprout tubers, blind tubers, or potatoes without tops.
It is a non-parasitic trouble which apparently is due to an abnormally high
concentration of cell sap in the seed piece.

The unusual amount of cell sap is brought on by storing seed potatoes in
a warm dark place, accompanied by removal of sprouts. When seed pieces stored
and treated in such a manner are planted in a cool dry soil, the blind tuber
condition results.

Once the condition is noticed, there is little if anything the gardener
can do short of replanting to improve the situation.

Seed potatoes should be stored in a cool dark place to prevent sprout
development. However, if sprouting does occur due to higher than desired tempera-
tures, the sprouts should not be removed. Then, of course, the seedpieces should
be planted in warm, moist soil.

Similar symptoms of blind tuber development results from planting potato
tubers that were treated with a sprout inhibitor. Gardeners who purchase table
stock potatoes from the grocery shelf to plant in the garden may run into this


B. Know Your Vegetables -- Tree Onion

Tree onion (Allium cepa bulfiferum) is also known as Egyptian onion,
Egyptian tree, top onion or perennial onion. A variety grown in Florida is
sold in the seed catalog as Red Egyptian Topset.

As the names imply, the top bears the bulb, or bulblets, instead of flowers
and seeds. No bulb forms but several offsets are produced at the base of the
stem. The tree onion plant is similar to a green onion plant, or more closely
to a shallot.

The plants are best grown as annuals. Best results will be obtained if
started in the fall, but winter and spring planting give fair results.

Space rows 1 foot apart and plants 3 to 6 inches apart within each row.

Start the plants using either the top bulblets or the lower offsets. The
lower offsets are used most often. Prepare the soil and plant the sets just
as for regular onions. Just cover the tops of the sets with soil.

Both the base of the stem and the top bulblets can be used. The plant can
be pulled and the base of the stem used before the bulb forms. The top bulb
may be used as soon as it develops to an edible stage. Top bulblets are
most often pickled, but may be used as green scallions.

Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $119.28 or
22 per copy, for the purpose of communicating current technical and
educational material to extension, research and industry personnel."

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