INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
,cge tablc Crops D.:prtlmnent *1255 HPD-' Gainesville. FL 32611 T.-lelphion 392-2134
October 17, 1986
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
S. A. New Publications
B. Vegetable Crops Calendar
s -II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
'. A Criteria for assessing vegetable varieties: yields
B. Okra varieties
III. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Section 18 for Fusilade 2000 on carrots.
L B. EPA warning of risks to pregnant women from dinoseb
S.. ^IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. National gardening survey 1985-1986
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
Vegetable Seed Sources. Donald N.
Maynard and James M. Stephens.
Vegetable Crops Extension Report
85-1, Revised Sept. 1986.
Descriptive List of IFAS Video
Vegetable Gardening Tips. James M.
Stephens. Vegetable Crops Extension
Vegetable Diseases and Their
Control. Arden F. Sherf and A. A.
McNab. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
P.O. Box 092, Somerset, N. J. 08873.
Okra Variety Evaluation,
Spring-Summer 1986. D. N. Maynard.
Bradenton GCREC Res. Report 1986-17.
Tomato Variety Trial Results, Spring
1986. T. K. Howe, J. W. Scott and
W. E. Waters. Bradenton GCREC Res.
Pepper Variety Trial Results, Fall
1985. Paul H. Everett and Karen A.
Armbrester. Immokalee SWFREC Res.
Report IMM 86-1.
Vegetable Variety Trial Results in
Florida for 1984. D. N. Maynard
(Editor). Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir.
(Contact authors for a copy)
B. Vegetable Crops Calendar
October 25-27, 1986.
October 26-28, 1986. Florida State
Borticulture Society (FSHS). Doral
Hotel, Miami Beach, FL.
November 20, 1986. Ninth Annual
Conference for Technical and Sales
Representatives Serving The
Vegetable Industry. Kendrick
Auditorium, Manatee County Extension
Center, Palmetto, FL. (Contact:
January 12-14, 1987. Southern Weed
Science Society, Orlando Hyatt,
Orlando FL. (Contact: Bill Stall).
February 11, 1987. Strawberry Field
Day. AREC Dover. (Contact: W. E.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Criteria for assessing
vegetable varieties : yields
Several criteria are used to
judge the suitability of vegetable
varieties for production in Florida.
Some characteristics to be
considered are yield, disease
resistance, horticultural quality,
adaptability, and market
acceptability. The focus of this
article is on yield.
Estimates of Florida commercial
vegetable crop yields are shown in
the accompanying table. Three-year
averages are shown for the major
crops whereas only 1983-84 estimates
are shown for specialty vegetables.
The yields shown do not represent
the biological potential of the
varieties being grown since
commercial yields are largely market
Crops will be harvested as long
as market conditions warrant. When
prices fall near or below the break
even point, most growers will stop
harvesting. This means that crops
from some fields may be harvested
much less than their potential.
This is what is meant by market
Yields from research or
extension trial plots are almost
always higher than commercial
yields, and this is to be expected.
Plot yields, for the most part,
represent the biological potential
of a variety and are not market
driven. Accordingly, in an okra
trial conducted at the Gulf Coast
Research & Education Center this
summer, yields of about 900bu/acre
were obtained from the highest
yielding varieties. This is over
eight times the estimated state
average yield. Why? Quite simply,
the okra was harvested 27 times
which is more than commercial crops
are harvested as a general rule.
Likewise, yields of the highest
yielding tomato varieties in T. K.
Howe's trial in spring 1986 were
about 4000 25-lb cartons/acre which
is more than three times the state
Variety trial yields are
important because they represent the
biological potential of a variety.
The biological yield will rarely be
harvest in commercial practice
except under exceptional market
conditions. It is important for
growers to have varieties capable of
producing high biological yields
under these market conditions.
Average commercial yields shown in
the table are a good comparison to
use with plot yields. However, plot
yields are frequently two to four
times higher than commercial yields
for the reasons discussed
FLORIDA VEGETABLE CROPS
Average Yield 1982-83 to 1984
Anise and dill*
620 50-lb crates
(green & dry)
(D. Maynard Veg. 86-10)
B. Okra varieties
Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus is
grown commercially throughout
Florida, mostly in small acreages
for local use. However, significant
plantings occur in Dade and
Hillsborough Counties that are
utilized for shipping. Statewide,
there are an estimated 2400 acres
with a value of almost $3 million.
Previous okra cultural research in
Florida has demonstrated that high
yields are associated with high
fertilizer rates, high plant
populations, and use of the full-bed
polyethylene mulch cultural system.
Evaluations of four standard
varieties in 1974 and 1975 showed no
significant yield differences among
them. No okra variety evaluations
have been reported in Florida since
then. The pupose of this trial was
to evaluate commercially available
standard okra varieties, newer
hybrids, and experimental lines.
Fifteen okra entries were
replicated four times in 10-ft. long
plots, and arranged in a randomized
complete-block design. The
EauGallie fine sand soil was
prepared by incorporation of
0.5-2.0-0.5 lb N-P 0 -K20 per 100
linear bed feet (1f X. The
superphosphate used contained 80
lb/ton minor elements as F503 oxide.
Additional fertilizer was applied in
shallow bands 9 inches to each side
of the plant row on both shoulders
of the bed surface at 2.5-0-3.5 lb
N-P205-K20 per 100 lbf. The 30-inch
wide, 8-inch high, black
polyethylene mulched beds were
spaced on 4.5 foot centers with
seepage irrigation ditches every
Seed holes were punched 3
inches apart in the polyethylene
mulch in a single row in the bed
center. Two seeds per plant hole
were planted on April 3, 1986.
After emergence, the plants were
thinned to one plant per hole.
Because germination was not uniform,
a plant stand count was made at the
beginning of the harvest period.
Weeds were controlled by one hand
hoeing of the row middles early in
the season. No pesticides were used
during the experimental period. A
population of stink bugs was
observed during the fruiting period
and slight pod injury was noted.
Harvesting began on May 27 and
continued through July 28 on a
thrice weekly schedule for a total
of 27 harvests.
'AVX 0400' had the highest
early yield based on the first seven
harvests. 'Annie Oakley,' 'NVH
2555', and 'NVH 2601' also had high
early yields. On the other hand,
'Clemson Spineless' (Petoseed), 'Sun
Perkins Dwarf' and 'Dwarf Long Green
Pod' were late bearing and had low
Over half of the varieties -
'Annie Oakley,' 'NVH 2601,' 'Clemson
Spineless' (Sunseeds, Asgrow), 'AVX
0400,' 'NVH 2600,' and 'NVH 2555' -
produced highest total yields. The
same varieties 'Clemson Spineless'
(Petoseed), 'Sun Dwarf Perkins' and
'Dwarf Long Green Pod' that had
low early yields also had low total
Yields in this trial were very
high, ranging from 241 bu/acre for
the lowest yielding variety to 887
bu/acre for the highest yielding
variety based on 9680 Ibf/acre.
These plot yields are much higher
than the estimated state average
yield of 107 bu/acre. Higher plot
than commercial okra yields are to
be expected because fresh market
okra is rarely harvested to its
full potential because of market
constraints. High plot yields have
previously been reported in Florida.
'Clemson Spineless' produced 620
bu/acre in 1974 tests at Dover.
The superior performance of
'Annie Oakley' and some of the
experimental lines suggests that
growers may wish to compare the
newer varieties with those now
grown. 'Blondie,' a new variety, is
not suggested for commercial
plantings because of very light pod
For more information, request
Bradenton GCREC research Research
Report 1986-17 from the author.
(Maynard Veg. 86-10)
III. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Section 18 for Fusilade
2000 on carrots.
.The Environmental Protection
Agency has issued a Section 18,
specific exemption for the use of
Fluazifop butyl (Fusilade 2000)
on carrots to control emerged
goosegrass, crabgrass, bermudagrass,
foxtails and panicum.
Fusilade 2000 may be applied
twice with a maximum rate of .19
Ib/a a.i. A 30-day pre-harvest
interval must be maintained.
A copy of the label must be in
possession at time of application.
All conditions, restrictions and
precautions must be followed.
The exemption expires July 31,
(Stall, Veg. 86-10)
B. EPA warning of risks to
pregnant women from dionseb
The US Environmental Protection
Agency has warned that exposure of
pregnant women to the herbicide
dinoseb during its application in
the field may pose a risk of birth
defects to their unborn children.
Women of child-bearing age are
cautioned to avoid exposure to
dinoseb during application.
The available evidence shows
that eating foods from
dinoseb-treated fields does not pose
a concern. The danger is by
exposure by inhalation and skin
absorbtion to people applying the
herbicide in the field.
The announcement was made
primarily to make sure that the
agricultural community understands
the health risks associated with the
exposure of women to dinoseb.
(Stall, Veg. 86-10)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. National Gardening Survey -
Statistical data on gardening!
Who needs it? We do! All of us in
Extension who must compile reports
to document and evaluate our
programs in home horticulure. Where
do we get those data? Well,
gardening data have never been easy
to find. Most of us relied on our
own surveys until The National
Gardening Association (NGA) came
into being in 1972 to provide it for
us. Every year since then the NGA
has collaborated with The Gallup
Organization to survey American's
gardeners through a national poll.
Twice since beginning the
surveys the NGA has compiled the
data into publications for sale,
first with the 1979 National
Gardening Survey and now with the
National Gardening Survey 1985-1986.
Both documents are quite long and
full of tables and data. The 1979
version contains 181 pages, while
the 1985-1986 document is 319 pages
long. Data on all phases of
gardening including fruitsvegetales
lawns, and ornamentals are included.
Since I am concerned mostly
with vegetable gardening activities,
I provided a summary of the most
important facts about vegetable
gardeners in the October issue of
the 1980 Vegetarian newsletter.
Many of us have been using those
figures as a basis for evaluating
gardens and associated Extension
activities. Now that we have some
new figures, its time for a
statistical update which this
newsletter article will suffice to
Table 1. U.S. population growth
People (Mil.) 238.9
Household (Mil.) 80.4
Table 2. U. S. retail sales for
Table 3. U. S. households average
spending on vegetable gardens.
Table 4. U.S. vegetable
Table 5. U.S. vegetable garden size
Total........... 100% 100%
< 550 sq. ft.... 47% 59%
550-2,399 sq.ft. 22% 19%
72,400 sq.ft.... 26% 17%
(majority) ... 600 sq.' 300 sq.'
(average).....2000 sq.' 1674 sq.'
Table 6. U.S. types of vegetable
gardens, percent of households
Small space gardening
vegetable gardens. Here a vegetable
garden is defined as a separate plot
of land devoted to growing
vegetables and does not include
container planting or plantings of
just a few vegetables mixed into the
flower beds. An additional 10
million households grew a small
amount of vegetables in containers
or mixed in the flower beds.
The size of the vegetable
garden has decreased, as has the
amount spent on gardening supplies.
The gross national product, which is
the value (retail dollar) of
vegetables produced in gardens
declined from $12 billion in 1984 to
$9.2 billion in 1985.
There is much much more
information contained in the latest
NGA survey. Copies are expensive
(about $100) but may be bought from
the National Gardening Association,
180 Flynn Ave., Burlington, Vermont
(Stephens Veg. 86-10)
Summary in 1985, 84 percent
of all u.s. households (74 million),
participated in one or more forms of
indoor or outdoor lawn and garden
activities, according to the NGA
An independent Gallup audit of
U.S. leisure activities showed 44
percent of adults were involved in
generic gardening in 1985.
Participation in flower and/or
vegetable gardening was higher, than
boating, hiking, swimming, fishing,
bicycling, jogging and all other
forms of outdoor leisure activity
Vegetable gardening ranks high,
but is declining. In 1985, 37
percent (33 million households) had
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialisrs
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Visiting Ext. Agent I
Dr. S. M. Olson
J. M. Stephens
Dr. D. D. Gull