INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
\V-elable Crops Department 1255 HISPP Gaineville. FL 32611 Telephone 392-213
November 8, 1983
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
Hunter Johnson Visiting the Department
In-Service Training and Planning
Allied Industry Workshop
II. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Methamidophos (Monitor 4) on Chinese Cabbage,
iI escarole, endive and parsley.
3 B. Permethrin on Fresh Market Tomatoes
III. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. Soil Fertility Management under Plastic Mulch
B. Soil Fertility Management for Tomatoes Using
Seep Irrigation and Plastic Mulch
IV. HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Vegetable Gardening Calender for South Florida
t .." .',:
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I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Course Offering
Production technology of the major vegetable
crops in Southwest Florida will be offered at
Bradenton AREC in the spring semester. It will be
held on Wednesdays 4:30-7:30 p.m. beginning on
January 4. Contact George Marlowe for details.
B. Hunter Johnson Visiting the Department
Hunter Johnson-Extension Vegetable Specialist,
University of California, Riverside is spending a
sabbatical leave with the Vegetable Crops
Department in Gainesville for 6 months.
Hunter is interested in Greenhouse vegetable
production, cucurbit production and general
production, especially mulch culture in the state.
He is planning on traveling to the various
vegetable production areas in the state during his
stay. We welcome him to Florida.
C. In-Service Training and Planning
Commercial Vegetable Extension In-Service
Training and Planning. Manatee County Extension
Office, 1303-17th St. Palmetto, FL Nov. 28-30,
1983 (Contact S. P. Kovach, Bradenton AREC, for
D. Allied Industry Workshop
The 6th Allied Industry workshop will be held
at Manatee County Extension Office, Palmetto
Florida December 15,1983. The workshop is
designed for farm service and supply and
extension personnel. The program this year will
be a thorough coverage of disease diagnosis of
vegetables and will run from 8:30 to 3:00 p.m.
For more information contact Dr. Phyllis
Gilreath, Extension Agent-Vegetables 813-732-4524.
II. Pesticide Update
A. Methamidophos (Monitor 4) on Chinese cabbage,
escarole, endive and parsley.
A section 18 specific exemption has been granted
for the use of Monitor 4 to control aphids, lepidop-
terous larvae and leafminers on Chinese cabbage,
escarole, endive, and parsley. This exemption expires
June 30, 1984 and is limited to 13,443 acres in
Martin, Seminole, Brevard, DeSoto, Lake, Palm Beach,
Sarasota, Orange and Charlotte counties. A maximum
rate of 1 1/2 pt. (0.75 lb a.i.) per acre per appli-
cation, with 4 pts. maximum per crop is specified.
For more information and specific restrictions, read
B. Permethrin on Fresh Market Tomatoes.
A section 18 specific exemption has been granted
for the use of permethrin (Ambush, Pounce) on Fresh
Market Tomatoes in Florida. Tomatoes treated with
this product may not be used for processing. The
products may not be used on small fruited varieties
less than one inch in diameter, such as 'Small Fry' or
'Red Cherry'. Consult the labels for changes from
last years section 18 exemption.
III. Commercial Vegetable Production
A. Soil Fertility Management under Plastic
Three presentations on soil fertility management
were given at the 1983 Florida Tomato Institute. The
articles from these presentations are published in
Vegetable Crops Extension Report VEC 83-3. The
information is presented on tomatoes, but can be
applied to other crops grown under the mulch system.
One of the reports for fertility management using
seep irrigation is reprinted this month. The overhead
irrigation article will be in next months'Vegetarian.
B. Soil Fertility Management for Tomatoes
Using Seep Irrigation And Plastic Mulch
When discussing fertilizer management the
following factors must be considered; (a) fertilizer
rates, placements and sources, and (b) water
control. When using the full-bed plastic mulch
system most of the above factors as well as the
management required are magnified because each factor
must be managed as a part of the overall system and
not as individual components. Management decisions
on most, if not all, of the factors must be made
prior to planting. Once the crop and system are
established it is difficult to change any of the
components. In the following discussion comments
will be made on the various components or factors and
their relationship to the overall system.
Fertilizer Rates: In general, basing the total
amount of fertilizer on the number of expected
harvests is a good rule-of-thumb. The number of
harvests can vary according to cultural practice
(stake or ground culture), season (spring, fall, or
winter), marketing overlap with competing areas,
etc. A nitrogen (N) fertilization guideline for
single crop tomatoes based on 7,200 linear bed feet/A
(a) 1 or 2 harvests 180-220 lb N/A
(b) 3 or 4 harvests 240-275 lb N/A
In a double cropping sequence, increasing these
N rates by 30% seldom improves production of first
crop, but it can increase yields of the second crop.
Potassium (K20) can be applied at 1.5 to 2.0
times the amount of N. There is evidence that the 1
to 2 ratio of N to K20 is beneficial when using
tomato varieties that are inclined toward graywall,
yellow shoulder, and/or blotchy ripening. On land
that has been farmed for several seasons and where
soil tests indicate medium to high levels of
available phosphorus, this element can be supplied
by the addition of 50-100 lb P205/A. The micro-
nutrient requirement of a tomato crop can be met in
most cases, by applying 0.5-1.0 lb/A of B and Cu;
1.5-2.0 lb/A Mn and Zn; 3.0-5.0 lb/A Fe and 0.01-
0.02 lb/A Mo. These can be in the form of oxides,
frits and/or sulfates.
Fertilizer Placement: This component of the
overall system is very closely associated with
fertilizer salt injury and leaching. There are
two distinct fertilizer placements when using the
plastic mulch-seep irrigation system. One placement
is for the starter fertilizer and one is for the
main part of the fertilizer that is needed to carry
the crop to maturity.
There are several terms used in the industry to
identify the starter fertilizer. Some of these are
cold mix, bottom fertilizer, in-bed fertilizer,
etc. Regardless of the term, it should refer to a
small amount of fertilizer applied to get the
seedling off to a good start. Three placements of
starter fertilizer currently being used are describ-
(a) Surface applied- Starter fertilizer (N and
K) is spread in a 20" 24" wide band on the
surface of the finished bed. Bed surface at
time of application must be moist and as smooth
as possible. If the surface is dry, benefit
from the starter is reduced or in some cases
eliminated.If the surface is rough the fertil-
izer will concentrate in depressions. If these
depressions coincide with the planting hole,
salt injury is likely to occur.
(b) Wide Band Method-Starter fertilizer (N-P-K)
is spread in a 24" 30" wide band either on the
flat or a low pre-bed and then bedded-over.
This method keeps the fertilizer in good contact
with moist soil, but increases the risk of salt
injury if application rates are too high.
(c) Broadcast- Starter fertilizer (N-P-K)
is spread uniformily over the entire area prior
to bedding. During the bedding operation the
fertilizer is incorporated throughout the bed.
Advantages and disadvantages with this placement
are similar to the wide band method.
Regardless of the placement used, only about 10-15%
of the total N and K20 should be applied as a
starter. With the surface placement, all of the
P205 and micronutrients should be applied and
incorporated during bedding, because phosphate
materials are relatively insoluble and surface
application is not feasible. With either of the
other two placements P205 and micronutrients should
be applied as part of the starter fertilizer.
The remaining 85-90% of the N and K20 is placed
in narrow bands 9-10 inches to each side of the
plant row. These bands can be placed directly on
the bed surface or in shallow (1"-1 1/2") furrows.
Surface placement, as with the starter fertilizer,
requires that good moisture be maintained at the bed
surface at all times. If the soil surface becomes
dry, capillarity is broken and there is no way to
move soluble plant nutrients from the fertilizer
bands into the root zone. When this happens the
plants will gradually appear as if they are "running
out" of fertilizer. This problem is often
attributed to insufficient fertilizer, when in
reality it is caused by improper water control.
The in-furrow method is more commonly used,
because it gives better contact between fertilizer
and moist soil, and allows more flexibility with
regards to water control. The furrow depth should
be no deeper than 1 1/2". Any deeper, the banded
fertilizer will be more exposed to leaching by
vertical movement of water in the bed. With current
technology, it is extremely risky, because of
possible salt injury and leaching, to place all
of the fertilizer in the plant bed.
Fertilizer Sources: Nutrient sources for the
starter fertilizer will depend on the placement
used. If the starter is incorporated into the bed
some water insoluble N, either slow release or
natural organic, may be used. However, it is
usually best to limit these to about 25% of the
total N in the starter fertilizer. If the starter
is placed on the bed surface only water soluble
sources should be used.
In the fertilizer (85-90% of total N and K)
that is banded on or near the bed surface only water
soluble sources should be used. A fertilizer that
has proven successful is a mixture of potassium
nitrate and ammonium nitrate to give a ratio of
about 70% nitrate-N and 30% ammoniacal N. Since
excess ammonium can contribute to blossom-end rot of
tomatoes, the ratio of nitrate to ammoniacal nit-
rogen in the total fertilize (starter + top-band)
should be given careful consideration when planning
a fertilizer program. In calculating this ratio,
sources such as urea, slow release N materials
containing urea and natural organic must be consid-
ered as ammoniacal-N, because these materials
are converted to ammonia when added to the soil.
Water Control: This component of the seep
irrigation-plastic mulch system is of prime
importance in its relationship to fertilizer
management. There are several concepts that should
be remembered when using seep irrigation:
(a) Water is supplied by capillarity from
a perched water table and the direction of
water movement (except when draining) is
upward. When high rates of fertilizer
are mixed in the beds, water soluble fert-
ilizer salts can cause salt damage by
moving into the root zone or around the
plant stem. This is why it is suggested
that only a small amount of starter fert-
ilizer be mixed in the bed.
(b) Maintain the water table at a constant
level (usually 15"-18") below the bed sur-
face. Avoid, as much as possible, fluct-
uating the water table. Moving the water
table up and down increases the leaching
of fertilizer. In-bed fertilizer is more
exposed to this type of leaching than
surface applied fertilizer.
(c) Avoid over-draining. Drain until the
water table has been lowered back to the
15"-18" level. Lowering the watertable
past this point increases pumping
cost and waste water. If drainage is
excessive the soil near the bed surface
may become so dry that nutrients from the
top-banded fertilizer can no longer be
used by the plant.
IV. Home Vegetable Gardening
A. Vegetable Gardening Calender for South Florida
The following is an outline of the most
frequently occurring activities happening in most
vegetable gardens throughout warm South Florida.
Some individual gardeners may be doing all of these
at any one time, while other gardeners will be
doing only part of them in that particular month.
The calendar begins with the fall garden in
September and ends in August. Gardeners should
consult the "Planting Guide for Vegetable Gardens"
for specific crop information.
(1) Layout garden according to your plan.
Establish boundaries and rows, mark with
(2) Make basic application of fertilizer, then
construct beds for planting.
(3) Apply black plastic mulch, then whitewash top
to cool the soil.
(4) Sow warm season vegetables such as beans,
southern peas, squash, cucumbers, and sweet
corn. Sow cool season radishes, turnips, and
mustard. Use plants to start collard greens
(5) Set out such warm season vegetables as tomato,
pepper, eggplant. Potatoes can be planted
(6) Place cutworm shields around transplants.
Place organic mulch such as hay, straw, or
chips around the transplants.
(7) Set up irrigation system, and establish proper
drainage pattern for excess rainfall. Order
strawberry plants from nursery.
(8) Thin young seedlings to proper stand, replant
skips or use thinnings for transplanting
(9) Start seedbed or sow into transplant contain-
ers the following vegetables: bulbing onions,
cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauli-
flower, collard and lettuce.
(1) Construct more beds or rows for the planting
of additional vegetables.
(2) Sow seeds of the following: edible podded
peas, rutabagas, carrots, beets, and spinach,
along with others according to your planting
(3) Set out plants of vegetables not planted in
(4) Plant green onion sets; set out bulbing onion
plants. Mulch with straw or hay.
(5) Set out strawberry plants on mulched beds.
(6) Check plants for signs of insect and disease
injury and treat as needed.
(7) Hoe or pull weeds emerging in the beds and
rows established in previous month.
(8) Make sidedress applications of fertilizer to
growing vegetables planted earlier.
(9) Stake or trellis tomatoes and pole beans.
Prune and tie staked tomatoes.
(10) Harvest radishes, turnips, mustard, and leaf
lettuce. Harvest sweet potatoes and cocoyams.
(1) Big harvest month-enjoy your produce.
(2) Continue to water, weed, and feed your growing
(3) Clean gourds and pumpkins, store in a cool dry
place such as airy, open garage or shed.
(4) Plant vegetables not planted earlier, or
replant rows already harvested. Last months
to set out strawberry plants and bulbing
(5) Add compost or other forms of organic material
to fallow areas in garden in preparation for
(6) Get soil testing instructions from county
agricultural extension agent, then sample soil
for testing for spring garden.
(1) Continue harvesting and enjoying your fall and
(2) Continue to water, weed, and feed your growing
(3) Set out cool season vegetable plants, and sow
seeds of others as needed.
(4) Cleanse and scrape gourds, paint, shellac, and
decorate them when properly prepared.
(5) Order seed company catalogs. Make plan for
spring garden, then order seeds accordingly.
(6) Check all tools and equipment; clean, repair
and replace as needed.
(7) Check condition of compost pile; continue to
add to it.
(8) Refer to August calendar of events, repeat or
perform for spring garden as for fall.
(1) Locate top soil if needed.
(2) Gardens to be fumigated for soil problems may
be treated now.
(3) Time to establish spring garden. Follow steps
outlined for September for garden layout,
fertilizing, bed formation, seeding, and
planting. Follow planting guide for vegetables
(4) Purchase seeds and plants not ordered from
(5) Use mulch, both natural organic and black
plastic. Do not white wash black since soils
now need to be warm.
(6) Harvest strawberries and other vegetables.
Protect tender vegetables from severe cold
(7) Cultivate (weed, water, and feed) all growing
vegetables planted earlier.
(8) Still time to make applications of organic
materials and slow release natural fertilizer
to garden soil if not done in December. Wait 3
weeks before planting. Last chance to get soil
tested for spring garden benefit.
(9) Fumigate infested soils if not done in
(10) Establish irrigation system, and make
allowances for good drainage.
(1) Planting month for warm season vegetables.
Make second planting of vegetables planted in
January of some items to prolong season where
(2) Establish spring garden if not done so in
January. Follow guidelines for January. Most
herbs may be planted now.
(3) Continue to harvest cool season and other
(4) Be prepared to protect tender vegetables from
(5) Stake and trellis viny vegetables planted in
January as needed.
(6) Check and tie cauliflower heads to whiten.
(7) If garden soil needs liming, last chance to do
so for spring garden benefit.
(I) Still time to plant the spring vegetable
garden. Follow steps outlined for January and
February if garden is just being established.
(2) Replant skips in rows planted earlier. Thin
out excess plants to obtain proper stand
(3) Continue to harvest strawberries and other
items coming or continuing into production.
(4) Insect and disease problems increasing;
continue to watch for them and to treat for
them as necessary.
(5) Weed, water, and care for all established
(6) Check progress of bulbing onions. Keep soil
pulled up around roots to prevent greening.
(7) Stake, trellis, and tie tomatoes, pole beans,
and edible podded peas.
(1) Major harvest month for most all warm season
items and some cool season. Peak harvest for
(2) Still time to plant southern peas, summer
squash, okra, eggplant, radish, turnips,
collards, mustard, cucumbers, sweet potatoes,
coco-yams, and peanuts.
(3) Care for all growing plants; watch for
problems and solve accordingly.
(4) Continue to maintain compost pile.
(1) Continue harvesting spring garden. Yields and
quality decline toward end of month in a
(2) Keep compost pile maintained.
(3) Grade out potatoes and onions, discarding
rotten and spoiled.
(1) Seasonal decline brings end to most garden
production during June during onset of warm
and rainy season.
(2) Remove old plant debris and place in compost
pile. Destroy plants if heavily diseased.
Great month to start a compost pile.
(3) Spade or plow garden, then seed with a cover
crop such as cowpeas.
(4) Clean up, check for repairs, and properly
store all tools, equipment and left-over
(5) While still fresh on your mind, write down
major problems encountered for later
researching. Read gardening articles and
(6) If summer garden is desired, plant sweet
potatoes, southernpeas, and okra.
(1) Off-season month for most vegetable gardeners,
from a stand-point of production.
(2) Clean-up and repair fencing, tools and
(3) Order seeds for fall garden.
(4) Start plants of tomato, eggplants, and peppers
for early planting. Prepare beds and set out
these plants in late July for early fall
(5) Begin preparations for fall garden.
(6) Test soil, and apply lime if needed.
(1) Select site for fall garden, and make
(2) Build boxbeds and fill with topsoil.
(3) Apply organic (manure, compost, and plant
(4) Continue to turn and add to compost pile in
(5) Apply slow fertilizers such as rock potash.
(6) Apply lime if needed.
(7) Test soil if not done earlier and if not done
in past 3 years.
(8) Spade under weeds and vegetative growth.
(9) Check and repair tools and equipment, replace
wornout parts and purchase needed ones.
(10) Make fall garden plan.
(11) Order seeds from seed catalogs.
(12) Treat soil with vapam if needed.
(13) Start seedbeds or seed into containers for
(14) Prepare for the fall garden.
(15) Check wooden borders for detioration; remove
weeds grown up over summer along borders.
(16) Design irrigation systems and purchase pails.
(Stephens veg. 11-83)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
D.N. Maynard S.P. Kovach
Chairman Assistant Professor
G.A. Marlowe S.M. Olson
Professor Assistant Professor
M. Sherman W.M. Stall
Associate Professor Assistant Professor
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