Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00159
 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: April 1980
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00159
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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April 10, 19P.0

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

D.N. Maynard
Chai rman

R.F. Kasmire
Visiting Professor

J.M. Stephens
Associate Professor

R.K. Showalter

James flontelaro


FROli: James M. Stephens, Extension Vegetable Sciali




A. Vegetable Field Day at Belle Glade Last Announcement


A. Developments in Starting Vegetable Crops Sowing of Pregerminated Seed
B. Transportation Costs and Changing Patterns in Vegetable Production
and flarketinco


A. Identifying Causes of Decay on Fruits and Vegetables


Foiling Blight with Aluminum Foil
Know Your Minor Vegetables Chili Pepper

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


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. Vegetable Field Day at Belle Glade Last Announcement

Plans are being finalized for another Vegetable Field Day according to Dr. Joe
Good, Director and the Committee Chairman, Dr. Subramanya of the Agricultural Research
and Education Center, Belle Glade. A final program of topics to be discussed at the
field day will be issued later. In the meantime, place the following information on
your calendar and make plans now to attend.


Thursday, May 8, 1980
8:30 am (Registration)
Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, Florida


A. Developments in Starting Vegetable Crops Sowing of Pregerminated Seed

During the 1970's English researchers improved upon an old practice, sowing
of pregerminated seed. One of the major drawbacks to this practice was the problem
of drilling the seed without damaging the emerged radicle (root). This has been
overcome by use of gels that suspend the seed in a fluid media which then can be
pumped (drilled) from a planter into the soil.

The advantages of this technique to vegetable growers are numerous. Firstly,
seeds are germinated under more or less ideal conditions. This means that if they
are sown under adverse environmental conditions of unfavorable temperature, lack of
light, mild water stress, etc. they will still emerge from the soil since they are
already germinated. Thus, problems of seed dormancy are overcome. Secondly, emergence
under all conditions is more rapid and uniform leading to earlier peak harvests.
Thirdly, water usage at planting time may be reduced since the seed is already imbibed
and the radicle has emerged. This can be especially important with subsurface and drip
irrigation systems. Lastly, additives such as fungicides, insecticides or nutrients
may be incorporated with gel, giving the new seedling extra protection during early
growth stages.

Any newly adapted system is not without its problems. In this case, separation
of non-germinated seeds from the germinated seeds can be a problem. Furthermore,
seed separation and subsequent singulation during planting have not been adequately
achieved. Storage of pregerminated seed can also pose some problems with certain
types of seed. Specialized planting equipment and supplies are costly and require
considerable expertise to manage. These problems are being researched to find
effective solutions at the present time.


system works quite simply, even on a large production scale. The procedure
of: 1) pregerminating or hittingn" a quantity of seed at a specific tem-
to radicle lengths of specified length, 2) mixing seed with gel and 3) planting.

Seeds are usually germinted in aerated water, at room temperature (210C) in the
light or dark, depending on the.requirements of the seed. Equipment for doing this can
range from elaborate and costly set-ups to 'homemade' effective and inexpensive systems.


An example of the latter would be a plastic pail filled with water and aerated by a
$15 aquarium pump and bubbler. The length of time that germination will take depends
upon the temperature and species in question. Once pregerminated the seed must not
be allowed to dry out. For best results the seed should be planted immediately, but
it can be stored if conditions become unfavorable for planting. Most seeds can be
stored for only a few days. The seeds can be placed on moist paper or cloth during
storage and held at a temperature of about 5C (410F).

The gel must be mixed with water before the seeds can be added. For best results
the gel should be added slowly, as the water is being added to a container of predetermined
volume. Seeds should not be stored in gel because of an inadequate supply of oxygen.

The seed, once suspended in the gel, can then be planted by a variety of equipment
including a planter which adds the gel to plug-mix and plants through plastic mulch.
At the present time, none of the equipment developed can singulate each seed at

Anyone wanting a list of manufacturers of fluid-drilling equipment may obtain one
from our office.

(Cantliffe and Montelaro)

NOTE: This is the last of three articles on seed germination to be presented
this season. The first and second were published in the May, 1979 and the
March, 1980 issues of this newsletter. Dr. D.J. Cantliffe is an Associate
Professor in our department doing research in seed physiology.

B. Transportation Costs and Changing Patterns in Vegetable Production and Marketing

Spiralling transportation costs are definitely going to change future production
and marketing patterns for many vegetables, according to people in the know. What
these changes will be is anybody's guess at the present time.

The opposite situation existed three or four decades ago with the development
of extensive transportation systems using plentiful and inexpensive fuel. Many of the
"market garden" operations located near population centers gave way to large,
sophisticated units thousands of miles away where production was more efficient.
California captured the processed tomato and fresh lettuce markets. Similarly, Florida
and Mexico produce most of the warm season crops consumed in the north during winter
and early spring.

Transportation costs are apt to continue their upward trend for years to come.
This indicates to many that major changes in vegetable production and distribution
patterns are inevitable. Some predict that processing may move nearer to the big
markets of high population centers.

Rising transportation costs can have a significant effect on vegetable production
in Florida. We have always had a slight freight-cost advantage in the Eastern
markets over Mexico. This difference may widen to Florida's advantage.

An interesting question is how Florida will fare in competition with California
in the Eastern markets with the cool-season crops like lettuce, celery, cauliflower,
and broccoli. Again, rising transportation costs may favor Florida growers. We feel


that there is opportunity for the production of additional crops that are not grown
extensively at present. If nothing else, Florida and neighboring states offer a
significant market. We have seen much interest in cauliflower production. Unofficially,
cauliflower acreage is estimated to be about 2500 acres this year. Further increase
is anticipated but growers would be well advised to do so with caution.

There are other vegetables which should receive careful consideration by Florida
growers as potentially profitable. These include broccoli, sweet potatoes, baking
potatoes, dried onion, green onions, garlic, fresh spinach and rutabaga. Certainly,
some of these may prove not to be profitable. On the other hand, there are probably
others that have not been listed. This is especially true of certain vegetables
like honeydew melons which were not listed for the simple reason that suitable
cultivars are not now available for Florida's climate.

In summary, rising transportation cost, in all probability, will have significant
effects on vegetable production and distribution patterns in the future. Exactly what
these changes may be cannot be determined accurately by anyone at the moment. From a
competitive standpoint, they may offer some advantages over distant producing areas.
No doubt, there will be many minuses, also. It will be an interesting period in
which the astute vegetable grower will emerge with greater success than ever before.



A. Identifying Causes of Decay on Fruits and Vegetables

Decayed fruits and vegetables result in extensive marketing losses. Postharvest
decay is commonly considered by itself as a cause of marketing losses. Such is
rarely the case. Three factors are needed for decay to get established the host
fruit or vegetable, the pathogen (decay causing organism) and the proper environment
that will enable the pathogen to infect the host. These seem so obvious that one
might wonder why they are mentioned. The reason is that we don't adequately recognize
their respective role in causing decay. We in Cooperative Extension can help fruit and
vegetable shippers reduce decay-caused losses by helping them to understand these
factors and their relationships.

Host fruits or vegetables may already be innoculated with a pathogen at time of
harvest. Already infected produce always has a potential for being packed and shipped
to market, whether the decay is not visible to the naked eye or whether it is so
common that the chances are greatly reduced for culling all decaying produce in packing-
house operations. Even a very small amount of innoculum can cause subsequent spread of
decay to other produce units in field picking containers, in dump-tanks and on product
contact surfaces in packinghouses (tables, conveyor belts, waxers, brushes, packing bins,
etc.) in packed shipping containers, and in retail market displays.

When growers or shippers receive complaints about their products arriving at
markets with extensive decay, one of the first things to do is to look for produce with
visible decay in packed shipping containers before loading at the farm or the packing-
house. If decayed products are readily detected, then more careful sorting to prevent
packing decayed products will reduce the problem. If decayed products are not
detected then we need to consider the pathogen and the environment.


Pathogens causing most common types of decay are everywhere around fruits and
vegetables in the soil, on plants, in ditch and pond water, on fruits and vegetables
in the field, in picking containers, on surfaces of packinghouse equipment, in dumptank
and hydrocooler water, in transportation equipment, and in wholesale and retail
marketing channels, and even in our homes. However, most decay that causes marketing
losses gets started in the field or in harvesting and packinghouse operations, and
has the entire transportation, distribution, and marketing time to develop to harmful

Environment: This is the variable and complex factor that enables most pathogens
to cause losses. It is also a factor over which some decay control is possible. The
environment includes ambient climatic conditions (dew or rain, temperature, sunlight,
wind) from time of harvest through retailing; handling operations; physical facilities;
sanitation (or lack of) measures used; and time. We in Cooperative Extension can best
help the fruit and vegetable industry to reduce decay caused marketing
losses by helping to improve the environmental factors involved.

1. Climatic conditions of free moisture from rain or dew helps pathogens to grow,
spread, and to innoculate host products. In areas of relatively high dew points, such
as Florida, growers often delay harvesting until surface dew on products has evaporated.
When this is not practical it is necessary to dry products in packinghouse operations
prior to packing. Both high and low ambient temperatures can damage surface cells (of
products) enough to enable otherwise weak pathogens to invade products. High tempera-
tures and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight (e.g. in top layers of picking
containers, bins, or gondolas) can damage surface cells. Cold temperatures can cause
chilling injury, which weakens surface cells and makes them vulnerable to even weak

2. Handling operations: This includes both the operations and their quality.
Every handling of a product has a potential for causing surface injury through which
pathogens can invade and cause decay. Rough handling in each and all operations
increases decay-caused marketing losses. Product handling steps in all operations
should be kept to a minimum and conducted as carefully as possible to reduce the
potential for injury related decay.

3. Sanitation: Field picking containers are generally dirty and are excellent
sources of decay initation. Picking containers should be thoroughly cleaned after each

Water used in receiving dump tanks, washing, rinsing, and hydrocooling is part
of the environment that can influence product postharvest decay. The effect of dump
tank water temperature on tomato decay incidence was thoroughly covered in the article
by Showalter and Bartz in the October, 1979 issue of the Vegetarian.

All dump tanks and hydrocoolers should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned daily.
The few hours required provides cheap insurance against potential marketing losses.
Washing and rinsing showers should use only fresh water or adequately chlorinated
water. Water in hydrocoolers is always recirculated and should be chlorinated
sufficiently to control organisms in the water but not so excessively as to damage
products being cooled. Damaged tissues are easily invaded by decay causing pathogens.
All product contact surfaces on packinghouse equipment should be thoroughly cleaned
prior to each season and periodically during the season, if possible. Cleaning of all
facilities and surfaces can be done with a warm detergent solution applied with a high


pressure sprayer and followed by rinsing. These sanitation measures suggested may seem
excessive, and even fanatic, to some readers. They require additional management,
labor, and expense. However, they cost much less than the possible marketing losses
(claims and adjustments) and loss of receiver confidence from decayed products.

4. Time is also part of the environment that can influence postharvest decay
losses. All harvested products deteriorate with time, even under optimum handling
and storage conditions, and will ultimately become susceptible to pathogens in their
ambient environment. Long delays, long transit periods, and prolonged storage while
awaiting for favorable product demand can only increase the risk from decay caused
marketing losses.


A. Foiling Blight with Aluminum Foil

The disease known as southern blight is a sometimes serious pest of many
vegetables in Florida vegetable gardens. It is caused by a soil-borne fungus,
Sclerotium rolfsii, which invades stems at or near the soil line. The foliage
symptoms of this warm-season disease consist of yellowing, defoliation, and usually
sudden permanent wilt. On the stem, there is slight discoloration and water soaking
near the soil line. Soon a collar of fan-like white fungal mycelium threads attached
to the stem at the soil line and surrounding the stem one or two inches appears.
The matted threads soon develop an abundance of distinctive, brown sclerotia about
the size of mustard seeds. These sclerotia can later germinate and form fungal
threads which live on organic material in the soil. On crops having pods or fruits
touching the infected ground, similar rapid growth of the fungal threads and subsequent
rotting occurs on these pods and fruits.

The problem becomes worse in older Florida gardens that have lots of organic
material in the soil on which the fungus can thrive and spread. Control with chemicals
has never been too successful, although terraclor 75% wettable powder in the transplant
water has been suggested. Best control measures have been cultural, with rotation and
deep plowing the most effective methods. Mulching, which provides a clean barrier
between the infected soil and the pods or fruits of the plant, helps in preventing pod
and fruit rot.

Georgia pathologist Johnny Dan Gay has come up with a simple home-remedy for
preventing the fungus from invading the stems of tomatoes at the soil line. He
utilizied aluminum foil and found it to be almost 100% effective. For each tomato plant
at transplanting time, he suggests wrapping a 4 inch by 6 inch piece of aluminum foil
around the stem. Start at the top of the roots, and wrap upward so that the stem is
wrapped two inches above the soil line and two inches below the soil line. After
transplanting, be sure not to throw any soil up over the aluminum foil onto the
unprotected stem. The soil thus becomes a physical barrier to prevent southern
blight damage and injury from cut worms. Gardeners might wish to try this with other
barerooted transplanted crops such as peppers and eggplants.



B. Know Your Minor Vegetables Chili Pepper

Early voyagers to the Americas, including Central America, Mexico, Peru, and
Chile, found many forms of peppers, among them the hot ones. In Spain the hot peppers
are called chili, from Chile, and in India peppers in general are called chilliess".
In the U.S., only some of the hot peppers are called chili peppers.

Most of the varieties of pepper referred to as chili peppers belong to Capsicum
annuum L. However, some varieties with "chili" included in their name are actually
Capsicum frutescens L. Precise categorizations of this particular type of pepper is
made even more difficult by the already highly difficult task of classification of
all cultivated pepper varieties due to the great number, the transitory nature of some
of them, and the constant creation of new ones due to hybridization. Forms sold or
grown under one designation in one area of the county may not be the same as those
grown elsewhere under the same name.

Chili constitutes one of the three main commercial types of hot-fleshed (pungent)
peppers. The other two are cayenne and tabasco. The most popular chili varieties
range from 3 to 7 inches long and have maximum diameters of 1 to 1 1/2 inch. Strains
of Mexican chili, which have been grown in the southwestern U.S. for many years,
are gradually being replaced by somewhat milder varieties with large smooth fruits easily
peeled for canning. Other varieties of chili peppers range from cherry size to
conical forms.

Some of the more common varieties of chili are as follows:

'Anaheim Chili' Fruits about 7 inches long, 1 1/2 inches in diameter, slightly
tapered, stem end usually without pronounced shoulder but often wrinkled or folded.
Flavor mildly pungent as compared with other chili varieties. About 115 days to green
mature and 150 days to red ripe. Also called 'California Chili'.

'College No. 9 Chili' Fruits about 5 inches long, 1 3/4 inches in diameter,
tapered and pointed, shoulders sloping and usually smooth. Less pungent than 'Mexican
Chili', but slightly more pungent than 'Anaheim'. About same maturity period as for
'Aneheim'. Also called 'New Mexico 9'.

Mexican, or "Native" chili Fruits about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches, somewhat
conical, tapering to a blunt point. Pods generally have a deep shoulder at the stem
and are often furrowed and wrinkled. Most pungent of the large-fruited chilis.

Strains of Mexican chili are widely grown in the Southwest, particularly in central
and northern New Mexico, where they are preferred for earliness.

'Chili No. 6' Released by the New Mexico A.E.S. in 1950, this variety is reported
to be superior in yield and pod shape to older native varieties, as are the other
New Mexico releases.

Red Chili Has 2 1/2 inch long, 1/2 inch diameter pods which are green, turning
to red at maturity.

Other varieties of Chili Chili Chiltepin, Chili Manzana, Chili Piquin. C.
frutescens chili varieties: Rat chili, "common chili" and 'Christmas Bell'. The latter
"Christmas Bell" was introduced from the Netherlands. It is a tall, thick-canopied green
plant bearing large bell-blossom-ended, fluted fruits that are green turning to red.
'Christmas Bell' is fairly mild in pungency.


Growing Conditions Chili peppers require about the same growing conditions as
bell peppers in Florida. They are a warm season crop and require a fairly long warm
growing season for top production. Plant in early spring after danger of frost in
cold areas, and September March in south Florida.

Start chili peppers from seeds or transplants. Most gardeners will have to direct
seed since few transplants are available at the time needed. Best temperatures for
seed germination are 700to 850F. Fruit set is hampered by cool night (below 600F)
which often occur in the winter season of south Florida.

Most gardeners will find that only a very few plants, perhaps one or two, are
needed of each variety desired. These need to be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. Should
several rows be required, space them 30 to 36 inches apart (row center to row center).
Planting two or three plants in a single hill is also acceptable.

Chili peppers are well adapted to growing in containers, for each plant is highly
prolific, colorful, and generally attractive. Keep in mind, however, that the pods
are very hot, resulting in possible danger for childern with average curiosity.
Therefore, hot peppers in containers should not be placed along patios, near doorways,
or in other areas accessible to small children.

Keep the plants fertilized and watered as for the other vegetables in the garden.
Chilis are not without their pest problems, bot most gardeners will find spraying is
not necessary.

Use Due to their extreme pungency, chili pepper pods are not eaten by themselves
but are used for flavoring other foods. They may be picked red ripe and dehydrated
(dried), or picked green (or red) for fresh use (cooking or canning). Drying can be
accomplished by sunlight or in one of the many home dehydrating units on the market.
Also, they are quite often pickled. A mixture of chopped meat and beans, highly
flavored with chili peppers, is called "chili con caree, meaning "chili with meat".

Nutritional Composition Fresh Green Chili (1 medium): 43 calories; 86% water; 2%
Protein; 1.5% fat; 5.9% carbohydrates; 245 mg. Vitamin C; other vitamins and minerals.
Fresh Red Chili (1 medium): 46 calories; 84% water; 2% protein; 2% fat; 5.8% carbohydrate
240 mg. Vitamin C; other vitamins and minerals.

Seed Availability Many of the U.S. seed company catalogs carry listings of the
major varieties of chili peppers. Local seed display racks often provide a variety
or two of chili pepper seeds.

Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $1~ _.) or _J(L
per copy, for the purpose of communicating current technical and educational material
to extension, research and industry personnel.

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