INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
Vegetable Crops Department *1255 IISPP Gaincsville, FL
32611 Telepholne 392-2134
May 08, 1984
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. New Publications
B. Vegetable Crops Calendar
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
A. Partial Listing of Commercial Vegetable
Seedling Growers Southwest Florida
B. Selecting an Irrigation System for a Vegetable
Crop in Florida: Part 2. Soil and Climatic
III. HOME GARDENING
A. Collard varieties for North Florida
Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
Whenever possible, please give credit to the authors.
The use of trade names in this publication is solely for
the purpose of providing information and does not
necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.
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.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS, STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS. UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. New Publications
1. Temperature and Rainfall Report for 1983, GCREC Research
Report 84-1 by C. D. Stanley is available from Gulf Coast Research
and Education Center, 5007 60th St. E., Bradenton, Florida 34203.
2. Floricos 83 A Cos Lettuce Cultivar Resistant to Two Viruses
for Florida Organic Soils, by V. L. Guzman and T. A. Zitter.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Circular S-305 is
available from IFAS Publications, University of Florida, Gainesville,
3. List of Publications from GCREC Bradenton, AREC Dover and
AREC Immokalee for 1983, GCREC 84-5 by W. E. Waters is available from
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center 5007 60th St. E., Bradenton,
B. Vegetable Crops Calendar
1. May 25 Vegetable Gardening Field Day. FAMU, Tallahasse Fl.
2. May 31 Master Gardener Agents Advisory Committee Planning
Conference. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl.
3. June 1 Urban Gardening Harvest Fair Jacksonville
4. June 6 Watermelon Field Day, 1:30-5:00 pm, AREC, Leesburg,
5. June 18-22 4-H Horticultural Institute, Cloverleaf, Fl.
6. June 26-28 Vo-Ag Teachers Horticultural Update Conference,
7. July 24 State 4-H Horticultural Judging and Demonstration
Contests. 4-H Congress.
8. August 29-30 Master Gardener Advanced Training. University
of Florida, Gainesville, Fl.
9. Sept. 6 Florida Tomato Institute Marco
II. Commercial Vegetable Production
A. Partial Listing of Commercial Vegetable Seedling Growers,
The following list of commercial vegetable transplant growers was
prepared to assist vegetable growers in the location and procurement
of high quality seedlings for their vegetable farming operations.
Serious attempts were made to list all area seedling growers, but if
some plant growers have been omitted the specialist is deeply sorry
and will be happy to ammend this list as more names are presented.
1.) Collier-Gro Plant Farm
Route 2 Box 33-K
Immokalee, FL 33934
person to contact: Steve Wiseman
2.) J. Johnson Farms, Inc.
P.O.Box Drawer 0
Immokalee, FL 33934
person to contact: Johnny Johnson
3.) LaBelle Plant World
Hwy. 80 West P. 0. Box 398
LaBelle, FL 33935
4.) Palmetto Plant Co., Inc.
10308 US 301 North
Parrish, FL 33564
5.) Plants of Ruskin, Inc.
P.O. Box 994
Ruskin, FL 33570
person to contact: Dick Barrett
6.) Plants of Sarasota, Inc.
Plants Inc. of Sarasota
Route 2 Box 334H
Sarasota, FL 33582
person to contact: Dave
Schwartz or Steve Moroskis
7.) Redi-Plant Corp.
No. 21 6 L's Farm Road
Naples, FL 33962
person to contact:
8.) Speedling, Inc.
P. 0. Box 98
Sun City, FL 33586
person to contact: George Todd
Sr. & Jr.
9.) The Plant Farm, Inc.
P. 0. Box 10163
Sarasota, FL 33578
person to contact: Max Cohen,
David Rees or Jack Shane
( Marlowe Vegetarian 84-5 )
B. Selecting an Irrigation System for a Vegetable Crop in Florida: Part
II. Soil and Climatic Factors.
This is the second of a three-part series of articles dealing
with the factors involved in the planning and selection of an
appropriate irrigation system for a vegetable operation.
The proportion of the different sizes of particles
(gravel,sand, silt, and clay) making up a soil determines its testure.
Texture is important to the selection process by its influence on the
water intake characteristics of the soil. Also, soil texture
influences the traction ablility of heavy irrigation systems such as
center pivot sprinkler systems.
The water holding capacity of a soil does not have a direct
effect on the selection of an irrigation system, but does affect the
frequency of irrigation and the amount of water applied per
irrigation. The irrigation system selected must be able to irrigate
the entire unit before soil moisture depletes to a level that can
lower crop production.
Soil structure pertains to the degree which individual soil
particles aggregate into groups. Soil structure tends to influence
the ease of root penetration, the water infiltration rate, aeration,
and the movement of water in the soil. All of these are important to
good crop production.
3. Water Intake Rate
Sprinkler and drip systems can be used on low intake rates (0.5
inches/hour or less), moderate intake rates (0.5 inches/hour to 3.0
inches/hour), or high intake rates (3.0 inches/hour or greater). For
subsurface irrigation systems, the water intake rate in the topsoil
should be 0.5 inches/hour or greater and the soil layer below the
topsoil should have a water intake rate of at least 5 inches/hour.
4. Profiles and Depth
The profile and depth of the soil can affect the rooting
depth of the crop and the amount of moisture which can be stored.
Shallow soils require more frequent irrigation than deep soils.
This factor is important for soils with high levels of
soluble salts where an irrigation system must provide water for both
leaching and the production of any salt tolerant crops.
Adequate subsurface drainage is necessary to prevent an
undesirable rise of the water table and increasing levels of soil
salinity. The requirement for drainage facilities may be decreased
with irrigation systems with an adequate capability to accurately
control water applications.
If the land is level or can be made level without much
expense, then topography will have little affect on the method of
irrigation selected. If the land is sloping, only sprinkler or drip
irrigation may be used. With sprinkler irrigation the sprinkler
application rate must be slow enough to prevent runoff and possible
erosion. With permanent and solid-set, and hose-drag sprinkler
systems there is no limit on the amount of slope allowable. With
cable-tow and center pivot the maximum slope allowable is 15 and 20%,
respectively. On land with shallow soil depths the irrigation system
selected will be one requiring minimal land grading.
8. Erodibility Factors
Sandy soils may be highly susceptible to wind erosion due to
its limited structural development during periods when they are
without a crop cover. Maintaining a high moisture content in the
surface soils will assist in reducing wind erosion.
Climate and Cropping System Interactions
Wind may affect the water application efficiency of sprinkler
systems and lateral spacing. With no wind the sprinkler spacing may
be 65% of design diameter (wetted diameter from the sprinkler) and
when the wind speed is over 10 mph the lateral spacing is 22-30% of
design diameter, (Sprinkler Irrigation). With drip and subsurface
irrigation systems wind does not affect their water application
efficiencies. For sprinkler systems, strong winds will increase the
direct evaporation losses to the atmosphere. The direct evaporation
losses increase as temperature and wind velocities increase and as
humidity, drop size, and application rates decrease. In regards to
the maximum height of the crop, drip, subsurface, permanent and
solid-set, manual move, cable-tow, and hose-drag irrigation systems
are not influenced by crop height. For center pivot systmes, crop
height is limited to 8-10 feet.
Crop Wetting Tolerance
In selecting an irrigation system the water tolerance of the
crop must be considered. With sprinkler irrigation, by wetting the
foliage and fruit there may be a greater problem with diseases. With
subsurface and drip irrigation there should be a lower incidence of
disease. With gun-type and single-sprinkler systems, sufficient
pressure must be maintained to keep the droplet size small to prevent
damage to tender crops. Subsurface irrigation systems are adaptable
to most all crops but the use of these types of systems may retard
germination of shallow planted seed on non-plastic mulched plant beds.
( Kovach Vegetarian 84-5 )
III. HOME GARDENING
A. Collard Varieties for North Florida
Collard is a favorite vegetable grown throughout Florida. It
is particularly popular in north Florida due to the closeness of
families to rural ties and the ever-present collard in the farm
garden. Collards rival both turnips and mustard as the king of the
There is no accurate statistical data kept on the total
production of collards in Florida, either in terms of acreage or
volume. It is grown in practically every home garden, as well as
market gardens and small fields for roadside, local retail, and such
farmers markets as exist here and there across the the state. Since
there are over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens in Florida, worth
$ 400,000,000 the value of collards in dollars would surpass
$ 10,000,000, based on their being about 40 kinds of vegetables
commonly grown. Add to this the unknown amount generated by actual
sales and the monetary value becomes quite substantial.
But perhaps the greatest value of this crop lies not in its
lining of the pocketbooks, but in the nutrition of its dark green
mineral rich leaves. With its distinctive flavor enhanced by proper
seasoning, it offers a tasty treat worth repeated sampling. And it
is easy to grow, due primarily to its wide adaptation to Florida's
varying climatic and cultural patterns.
A cool season crop, it tolerates heavy frosts and is injured
or killed by only the severest of winter cold-frosts. Yet,
surprisingly, it makes satisfactory yields without an undue amount of
toughness or seedstalk formation even in the late spring and early
summer. Caterpillars, usually loopers and cabbage worms, bring on its
demise in the summer about as frequently as any factor. And
occasionally, diseases such black-rot, a bacterial malody, and leaf
spotting caused by fungi, produce losses for the grower. Whether in
buckets, tubs, baskets, or even old discarded boats, it produces well
in container culture. Many ancient dwellings, looking otherwise
abandoned, sport a solitary row of closely cropped collard stems
twisting and stretching toward the sagging eaves, providing mute
testimony to the existence of life within the dilapidated walls.
Gardeners plant collard directly from seeds, but prefer
well-grown, diseasefree transplants. From fall through spring,
bunchs of bare-root transplants disappear from store shelves like hot
yams at a backwoods picnic. Response to nitrogen fertilization is
quick and continuous, whether the plant food is supplied in a few
handfulls of inorganic fertilizer or from a few shovels of well-rotted
Two old-timey varieties are still in vogue with collard
growers. The strains called 'Georgia' are the most popular, followed
by 'Vates'. But a few new varieties have appeared as offerings by
seedsmen recently, and these were tested in a trial on the
experimental farm of the Florida A & M University. In all, seven
varieties were obtained for the trial. Some were new hybrids, whose
seeds are quite expensive compared with the open-pollinated types.
Since few such collard variety trials have been conducted in Florida,
a report on the 1983 FAMU trial is included here.
Methods used in the trial
1. Seven collard varieties were planted in a 1600 square feet
area, one variety per row. Each row (bed) was 40 ft. long, 38 in.
wide, and 8 in. high.
2. Collards were seeded in peat pots, then on March 23rd the
entire pots and seedlings were set 12 inches apart and watered
3. One day prior to planting, each bed was fertilized with 5
pounds of 10-10-10 (incorporated) and 2 pounds of ammonium nitrate
4. Four weeks after planting and every two weeks until maturity,
each row was sidedressed with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and
Results are summarized in the following table
Table 1. Collard variety trial, 1983 Tallahassee, Florida
Row Plants Harvest Dates
Variety Length Surviving 5/31 6/10 6/17 Total
( Feet ) ( No.) (Ibs)
Hi crop 40 30 54 28 30 112
Hevicrop 40 27 57 26 28 111
Georgia 40 27 50 27 30 107
Blue Max 40 29 50 24 24 98
Vates 40 30 49 23 25 97
Champion 40 28 35 21 21 77
Cabbage 40 28 19 8 9 36
While the highest yields were obtained from 'Hicrop', 'Hevicrop',
and 'Georgia', good yields were also obtained from 'Vates' and 'Blue
Max'. Only fair results were found with 'Champion', and cabbage
collards gave poor yields. Most of these varieties were very uniform,
especially the hybrids, which were extremely dark green in color.
Stephens, Olson and James Edwards,
Rural Development Specialist, FAMU ( Vegetarian 84-5 )
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
D. N. Maynard
G. A. Marlowe
S. P. Kovach
S. M. Olson
W. M. Stall
S'J. ~. Stephens