SUNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
SFLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
Hfloticultural iences Department P.O. 110690 Gaineville, n 32611 Tclephouc 904/392-2134
May 10, 1996
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Post-Freeze Pepper Mowing.
III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Southern Pea Classification.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
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information and does not necessarily constitute a recommendation of
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I NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
May 23, 1995. Organic Gardening
Field Day, 10:00 A.M. 12 Noon. Organic
Park, Fifield Hall, UF. (Contact J. M.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Post-Freeze Pepper Mowing.
That peppers (and eggplant) will
resprout when mowed and set more fruit is
common knowledge among growers. In fact,
growers in some southern states regularly
mow the spring pepper crop as the market
moves north, readying those plants for fall
production. However, a quick review of the
literature reveals virtually no information exists
on this practice. A few (old) papers are
available on "clipping" leggy tomato
transplants as are several on fruit tree pruning.
But, apparently no work has been done on
mowing of freeze damaged vegetables.
The freezes of '96 gave south FL
growers a perfect opportunity to test the
mowing technique. Almost all stages of the
crop were in the field at the time of the
February freezes, from transplants to plants
that had been picked several times. Working
together with Silver Strand Farms of
Immokalee, 13 week old, freeze damaged,
'Enterprise' bell pepper stands, were either not
mowed, or mowed to 3 or 6 inches above the
plastic with a conventional rotary mower.
These mowing treatments removed all dead or
freeze damaged tissue. As winter pepper is
compact in growth, being generally less than
20 inches in height, other local growers
mowed less severely, removing only 3 6
inches of top growth, leaving 14 17 inch
We stretched the statistical limits of
some of this data to "see" differences. The
major impact of mowing appeared at first pick,
which was approximately 8 weeks after
mowing. The data of Table 1 include Fancy
(almost none), U.S. #1, and U.S. #2 fruit and
are expressed as yield from 20 plants.
Unmowed pepper plants and those mowed to
6 inches above the plastic yielded more total
and marketable fruit (by weight) than the
pepper mowed to 3" above the plastic. This
may have been the result of prefreeze fruit
which was otherwise removed with the 3"
mowing, or the unmowed and 6" mowing
treatment plants may have had more potential
flower sites, which resulted in more fruit at
The unmowed pepper had more culls
than either of the mowing treatments. Most of
the culls were the result of "buttons" or
misshapen fruit resulting from improper
expansion due to cold weather. Therefore,
some mowing seemed appropriate this year as
more potential culls were removed in the
process. Average fruit weight reflected the
relationship between the amount of foliage and
fruit sizing. The unmowed plants had the most
intact foliage and hence produced a heavier
pepper than plants mowed to 3 inches.
Mowing to 6" however did not drastically
reduce individual fruit weight.
These data show that if growers elect
to mow pepper (to remove dead tissue, to
lessen disease potential, cosmetics) after a
freeze they can do so with good conscience
provided they do not mow excessively. The
fact that the majority of the pepper harvested
in this trial was U.S. #1 and #2 instead of
Fancy, may have been the result of plant age
(>20 weeks). More indepth trials are planned
for winter '97 (real or induced) so stay tuned.
Table 1. Influence of post-freeze clipping of pepper plants on yield and quality after 1st
Treatment Total fruit Marketable Fruit Cull Fruit Fr. wt.
(#) (wt) (#) (wt) (#) (wt) (oz)
No mow 135 a 29.7 a 48 ab 13.5 a 87 a 16.2 a 4.5 a
Mow to 6" 105 ab 23.4 a 59 a 15.1 a 46 b 8.3 b 4.1 ab
Mowto 3" 65b 11.4 b 25 b 5.6 b 41 b 5.8 b 3.7 b
LSDo.o5 60z 9.7 25 5.5 40Y 6.3 0.7z
(Vavrina, Vegetarian 96-05)
I. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Southern Pea Classification.
Probably no other vegetable crop is
surrounded by more confusion in classification
and varietal nomenclature than the southern
pea. Even the name of the vegetable itself has
a mixture of synonyms. Southern pea is the
preferred name now, but many still refer to this
vegetable as cowpea, edible cowpea, field pea,
blackeye, and table pea. The scientific name is
Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., which used to
be 'Vigna sinensis'.
Vigna contains about 200 species,
many of which are called "beans" mungg,
adzuki, yard-long beans), while only a few are
dubbed "peas" cowpeaa). Most common
beans (pole, lima, snap) belong to the genus
Phaseolus. Vigna differs from Phaseolus in a
number of characteristic ways, such as having
stipules (paired vestigial leaves at the base of
the true leaves). However, Vigna is more
closely related to Phaseolus than to Pisum.
which contains what we ordinarily think of as
peas (English and snow). (Note: Pesticides
labeled for "beans" may be legally used on
Further complicating the issue are the
many other members of the legume family,
called Fabaceae (or Leguminoseae). Some of
these are: Arachis (ground nut); Cajanus
(pigeon pea); Canavalia (jack bean); Cicer
(chick pea); Cyamopsis (cluster bean); Glycine
(soybean); Lablab (hyacinth bean); Lathrus
(chickling pea); Lens (lentil) Mucuna (velvet
bean); Pachyrhizus (yam bean); Psophocarpus
(winged bean); and Vicia (broad bean). Note
that some members of these genera are
referred to as "beans", while others are called
Back to our subject, the Southern pea.
There are many named varieties (cultivars) as
well as many unnamed strains of this excellent
human food legume. Part of the confusion in
knowing precisely which of these varieties or
strains one might have is due to the many
growers saving their own seed. Once true
varietal identity becomes lost, and a new local
name is given no one knows for sure what it is.
As the seeds are spread around, even names
are given to what started out as one variety.
What might have been called "Georgia Peach"
in that state now becomes "Florida Cream"
down here, and so on.
Some years ago, over 50 of these
actual varieties and strains were identified.
Through testing, each one was shown to be a
little different from the others. Since then,
many other varieties have been added to the
list through the efforts of plant breeders
around the country, particularly in the south.
The 1987 edition of the Garden Seed
Inventory, a survey of the offerings of the seed
industry, lists 84 varieties.
The following groupings are offered to
provide the gardener with a way to classify
more closely his unknown seed-stock.
With the exception of the Purple Hull
Group and the Long Pod Group, the
classification is based mostly on color of the
seed and seed-eye, and the closeness of
spacing of seeds in the pod. Many of these
names are synonomous.
Varieties with seeds that are so closely
spaced that the seed ends are pressed against
each other are called Crowders. Each seed has
slightly blunted ends from this compression.
Seed color varies, but is either concentrated
around the seed-eye hilumm) or is general all
over the seed coat. Any amount of seed color
causes darkening of the "pot-liquor" and the
cooked seeds. Those varieties having no color
are called Creams. Most of the cream peas are
loosely spaced, and are called "conch" peas.
However, cream crowder varieties are
available (example 'Zipper Cream'). The
Purple Hull Group includes those having some
purple coloring on their pods, even though
they may fit into another grouping due to other
Further confusing the issue is the plant
growth habit, there being bush, vining, and
semi-vining habit. These groupings will not
deal with plant habit.
1. Blackeye Group
The seeds are not crowded in the pods.
They are white with dark black eyes.
Examples: Ramshorn Blackeye,
California Blackeye #5, Giant
Ramshorn, Extra Early Blackeye,
Blackeye Crowder, Queen Anne, and
2. Blackeye Crowder Group
Similar to regular blackeyes, except
the seeds are crowded in the pods.
3. Colored-eye Group
This group has seed-eye coloring other
than black. Usually it is brown, tan or
pink. Seeds not crowded. Examples:
Alalong (Longhorn), Todd, Alabunch,
Big Boy, Texas Big Boy, and Royal
4. Colored-eye Crowder Group
Same as above, except seeds are
crowded in pods. Includes Red
"Holstein eye" pattern. Examples:
Pinkeye Crowder, Browneye Crowder,
White Pinkeye, Calico (Hereford), and
5. Black Crowder Group
The seeds are solid black when dry,
purple when immature. Seed most
always crowded. Examples: Black
6. Brown Crowder Group
Most crowders fit into this group, and
most all brown seeds fit here. Some
seeds are tan colored with only slightly
darker eyes. Examples: Brown
Crowder, Sugar Crowder, Silverskin
Crowder, Alabama Crowder (not the
same as Alacrowder), Mississippi
Silverbrown, Jackson 21, Dixie-Lee,
Producer, Calhoun Crowder, and
7. Speckle Crowder Group
Speckled blue seeds are moderately
crowded in pods. Have largest seeds
of the southern peas. Examples: Blue
Goose (Gray Goose), Whittle,
Speckled Java, Gray Crowder, and
8. Cream Group (Conch)
Seeds are light green or white, and
relatively small. Cooking water comes
out bright and clear. Since most
creams are uncrowded, most fit into
this group. Examples: Floricream,
Sadandy, Cabbage (Bush White Acre),
Running Acre (Running Conch),
Topset, Snapea, Climax, Bush Conch,
White Acre, Terrace, Gentlemen,
Texas Creams (40, 8, 12 others), Elite,
Freezegreen, Mississippi Cream and
9. Cream Crowder Group
Uncolored seeds, but crowded in pods.
Examples: Lady Cream, Lady Finger
(Rice or Catjang), White Sugar
Crowder (actually, have a colored eye
so would fit the colored eye crowder
group), Zipper Cream (also called
Zipper Peas), Mississippi Silver, and
Royal Cream Crowder.
10. Purple Hull Group
Seed pods show some purple coloring,
either at tip or are all over. Seeds may
or may not be crowded. Usually white
peas with buff, brown or pink eyes.
Examples: Jackson Purple Hull, Dixie
Queen, Herbken, Knuckle Purple Hull,
Pinkeye Purple Hull, Purple Tip
Crowder, Purple Hull, Big Boy Purple
Hull, Coronet, and Crimson.
11. Field and Forage Group
This group includes all those grown
most usually for forage cropping and
soil improvement. However, they
make O.K. table fare. Examples:
Iron, Clay, Whipporwill, New Era,
Groit, Brabham, Victor, Arlington,
Red Ripper, Columbia, Michigan
Favorite, Chinese Red Pea, Coronet,
and Tetapeche Gray.
12. Long Pod Group
This group is characterized by having
extra-long pods. Length ranges from
over 10 inches up to 36 inches. An
example of a 10-inch variety is
'Snapea' developed by Al Lorz in
Florida. The long one is the yard-long
variety, called Yard-long Bean (Vigna
unguiculata subspecies sesquipedalis
(L.) Verde. Its unusually long pods
are borne on trailing, climbing vines
reaching 9-12 feet in length, requiring
trellising. The pods are snapped
instead of being shelled.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 96-05)
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
Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Dr. W. M. Stall
Professor & or
Dr. J. M. White