i UNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
SFLORIDA lInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
/rX A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
orticultural inc Departmnt .O. 110690 Gaineville, 32611 Telephoe 904/3922134
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July 19, 1995
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
H. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. New Vegetable Fertilization Publications.
B. Plastic Mulch Effects on Sweet Onions.
S/ III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Florida's Biggest Vegetables 1995 Update.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
Whenever possible, please give credit to the authors. The purpose of
trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing
information and does not necessarily constitute a recommendation of
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, age, handicap or national origin.
L NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
August 29-30, 1995. Florida
Strawberry Jam 13 Agritech Educational
Seminar and Trade Show, Plant City, FL.
Contact T. Crocker, Horticultural Sciences
Dept., Gainesville, FL.
September 6, 1995. Tomato Institute,
Ritz Carlton, Naples, FL. Contact C. Vavrina,
Southwest Florida REC, Immokalee.
I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. New Vegetable Fertilization
Several new or revised IFAS vegetable
fertilization publications have just been
released or will be out in the next month. I
wanted to call your attention to these because
you will need to discard all predecessor
documents you currently have on the shelf.
SP-177 replaces Circular 806. The title,
"Commercial Vegetable Crop Nutrient
Requirements" is the same but the contents
have been revised and updated. Fertilizer
requirements, particularly nitrogen have been
revised to reflect recent research and field
demonstration results. SP-177 is a For-Sale
Circular 1152 is a free document in brochure
format entitled "IFAS Standardized
Fertilization Recommendations for Vegetable
Crops". It replaces Special Series SS-SOS-
907 by the same title. This document contains
the Mehlich-1 soil test information, calibration
chart, fertilizer management footnotes, and all
soil-test based fertilizer recommendations for
Circ. 1141, "Fertilization of Strawberries in
Florida" is the revised form of the brochure by
the same title, first produced last fall. Circ.
1141 was reprinted after being slightly
revised. Circ. 1141 is free.
SP-170 "Vegetable Production Guide for
Florida" is a brand new FOR-SALE document.
Those of us with gray hairs remember back
when the idea for this one was hatched! Well,
believe it or not, we are going to see it all
grown up. This document is substantial and
contains most of what you want to know
about vegetable production in short, concise
chapters. Although SP-170 is a for-sale
document, all vegetable extension faculty will
receive a desk copy. Please take the time to
look it over and tell us what you think. We
will be revising this on a (regular?) basis.
Also, please help the Bulletin Office sell this
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 95-07)
B. Plastic Mulch Effects on Sweet
Sweet onions are becoming more of an
"item" in south FL, so research efforts have
increased at the Everglades and Southwest FL
Research and Education Centers. One study
this past year involved plastic mulch vs. no
mulch. As an alternative crop for south FL,
the cost cutting economics of production
would favor no plastic mulch. However, as
the data was not there to support mulch usage
or otherwise, we undertook to study this
Methyl bromide fumigated, white
plastic mulched beds were prepared in early
September. In early December, 15-foot plots
were assigned by physically removing sections
of plastic to produce a randomized complete
block design. Ninety onion transplants
('Yellow Granex Improved') per bed were
planted in a 4" X 14" twin row pattern.
Seepage irrigation was used. All plots were
fertilized with 30 lbs. N in three separate
applications beginning thirty days after setting.
Residual fertilizer from the bedding operation
carried early transplant development. Plots
were harvested in mid April.
The data show that plastic mulch did
not influence marketable number or the
number of splits and rots of 'Yellow Granex
Improved' (Table 1). Mulch did however,
have a significant effect on marketable weight
and average bulb weight. Clearly, individual
bulb weight was enhanced by plastic mulch
resulting in greater overall weight per plot.
Table 1. Effect of white plastic mulch on sweet onion production.
Culture Marketable Marketable Average Bulb Split (#) Rots
Number Weight Weight (#)
81 51.55 b 10.18 b 4.3 2.3
79 62.78 a 12.65 a 4.2 2.8
As splitting (a major problem in some seasons) and rotting occurrence was not altered, the
major benefit of mulch appears to lie in bulb expansion. Whether this expansion is due to
water/fertilizer conservation or temperature modification, we can only speculate at this time. White
mulched soil temperatures may actually run cooler in the spring than bare ground soil temperatures,
especially during the day. This factor may be advantageous for bulb physiology in Florida.
(Vavrina & Nagata, Vegetarian 95-07)
I. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Florida's Biggest Vegetables -
From all of the inquiries I've been
getting, it must be time to update the list of
record-size vegetables grown around the state.
During the past year (since July 1994)
there have been 8 new records set. These
were for lima bean, cassava, cucuzzi gourd,
okra stalk, hubbard squash, scallop squash,
zucchini squash, and summer squash (see list).
Florida Record-size Vegetables
J. M. Stephens Vegetable Crops Specialist
University of Florida 392-2134 x 209
Okra, pod (wt)
Okra, pod (length)
9 '/ inches
5 lb. 0 oz.
12 lb. 10 oz.
5 lb. 4 oz
19 lb. 7 oz.
29 lb. 8 oz.
3 lb. I oz.
15 lb. 6 oz.
1 lb. 3 oz.
13 ft. 3 in.
1 lb. 15 oz.
4 lb. 7 oz.
4 lb. 8 oz.
1 lb. 8 oz.
8 lb. 4 oz.
21 lb. 8 oz.
19 lb. 8 oz.
50 lbs. 0 oz.
7 1/3 lbs.
22 1/4 in.
19ft' 10 1/2"
3 lb. 11 oz.
1 lb. 1 oz.
2 lb. 13 oz.
3 lb. 12 oz.
23 lb. 5 oz.
131 lb. 12 oz.
23 lb. 12 oz.
3 lb. 11 oz.
25 lb. 14 oz.
11 lb. 11 oz.
6 lbs 2 oz.
18 lb. 4 oz.
12 lb. 15 oz.
Records held uer county
Keep in mind that this is not a
competitive event. Each grower does receive
a certificate in recognition of their
accomplishment, but there are no awards,
trophies, or prizes provided. Some gardeners
do try to break records, even if it is their own
record. The leader so far in number of records
held (9) is Mr. McDonald Graham of
Suwannee County. Perhaps the most notable
record set during the past year was the 11
pound 11 ounce zucchini grown by Mr. Home
of Nassau County, and exhibited at the Duval
County Urban Gardening Harvest Fair, June
(Stephens, Vegetarian 95-07)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. S. M. Olson
Mr. J. M. Stephens
Dr. G. J Hochmuth
Dr. S. A. Sargent
Assoc. Professor & Editor
Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. J. M. White