SUNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
FLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
Horticultural Scienoca Department P.O. 110690 CGaine8ville, FL 32611 Telephone 904/392-2134
Vegetarian June 16, 1997
L NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Sweet Corn Resistance.
B. 1997 Florida Agricultural Conference and Trade Show.
C. Florida Premium Quality Tomato Program.
' MI. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Status of Mineral Spirits as a Herbicide.
III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
.A. The Rawlings House Garden: Two Ducks Died but the Corn Didn't.
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 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, age, handicap or national origin.
L NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
July 29, 1997. State 4-H Congress
Horticultural Events, UF, Gainesville. Contact
July 30-31, 1997. State 4-H Congress
Horticultural Training Track. UF, Gainesville.
Contact Jeff Williamson.
September 3, 1997. Florida Tomato
Institute. Contact Charles Vavrina, SFREC,
September 30 and October 1, 1997.
1997 Florida Agricultural Conference and
Trade Show. Contact George Hochmuth,
Horticultural Sciences Dept., UF, Gainesville.
I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Sweet Corn Rust Resistance
Early in the growing season, a few
rainy days and a missed fungicide application,
or two, led to a healthy outbreak of rust in our
sweet corn variety trial. There are thirty
named varieties or experimental lines of Sh2
sweet corn from seven sources that are being
evaluated for marketable yield, ear size, ear tip
fill, ear husk cover, and flags. Included are 19
yellow, six bi-color, and five white entries.
Thirteen entries are named varieties and 17 are
The rust infestation was severe
enough to reduce, and in some entries,
eliminate marketable yield. Using a scale of 1
being a severe rust infestation, and 5 having
few or no visible rust lesions on the leaves,
each entry was given a numerical value. Eight
entries had good rust resistance with one being
moderately resistant. Yellow corn with a
rating of 4.5 or better was Bandit (Harris
Moran), Prime Plus (Rogers), GSS-3587
(Rogers), HMX 5351S and HM2384S (Harris
Moran). BSS-1605 (Rogers) was the only bi-
color in this trial with rust resistance, but BSS-
9686 (Rogers) did have a score of 3.5
(intermediate). Two white-kerneled corn
entries showed resistance, Ice Queen (Harris
Moran) and FMX 413 (Ferry-Morse). In a
nearby grower field where fungicide
applications were made in a timely fashion,
Day Star (Harris Moran) was rated 4.5, but in
our trial it was rated 2.5.
This trial identified several Sh2 sweet
corn varieties and several experimental lines
with excellent rust resistance. They may be
recommended to organic growers and those
interested in reduced spray applications. Yield
data and other results will be included in a
Research Report available shortly after harvest
(White and Tyson, Vegetarian 97-06)
B. 1997 Florida Agricultural
Conference and Trade Show.
George Hochmuth, Program Coordinator
Tuesday, September 30
Title: Insect Management for Vegetables
Moderator: Jim Fletcher, Extension Director,
Madison County, Madison, FL
Shifts in Major Florida
Vegetable Insect Pests, Dr.
David Schuster, Entomologist,
GCREC, Univ. of Fla.,
Insect Transmitted Viruses -
Past, Present, Future:
Solanaceous Crops, Dr. Jane
Polston, Virologist, GCREC,
Univ. of Fla., Bradenton, FL
Insect Transmitted Viruses -
Past, Present, Future:
Cucurbit Crops, Dr. Susan
Webb, Virologist, CFREC,
Univ. of Fla., Leesburg, FL
10:00 AM New Technologies to Combat
Viruses in Vegetable Crops,
Dr. Tom Kucharek, Plant
Pathologist, Plant Pathology
Department, Univ. of Fla.,
10:20 AM Panel Discussion The Role
of Scouting Use of "Soft"
Pesticides, and Encouraging
Beneficials in Managing
Moderator: Ken Shuler,
Extension Agent, Palm Beach
County, West Palm Beach,
FL; Panel Members: Ted
Winsberg, Green Cay Farms,
Boyton Beach, FL, Dr.
Charles Mellinger, Glades
Crop Care, Jupiter, FL, Mr.
Gordon DeCou, Agritech
Services Inc., Bradenton, FL
Tuesday, September 30
Title: New Marketing Strategies for Florida
Moderator Stephen Brown, Extension Agent,
Lee County, Ft. Myers, FL
Export Opportunities to
Emerging Markets, Ellen
Welby, Marketing Specialist,
USDA, Washington, D.C.
Competitiveness of Florida
Vegetables, Tom Mueller,
Product Manager, Rogers
Seed Company, Naples, FL
Direct Marketing, Alden
Mass. Coop. Ext.
Experiences in Local
Marketing, David Solger,
County Extension Director,
Washington County, Chipley,
Wednesday, October 1
Combined Vegetable Citrus Session
Wednesday, October 1
Title: Regulations, Rules, Registrations in the
Moderator Austin Tilton, Extension Agent,
Putnam County, East Palatka, FL
Recent Developments in
Fresh Produce Regulations,
Doug Archer, Chair, Food
Science and Human Nutrition,
Univ. of Fla., Gainesville, FL
Surviving an Environmental
Audit, Dale Dubberly, Bureau
Chief of Compliance, Dept. of
Agr. and Environmental Serv.,
Regulations Affecting the
Vegetable Industry, Roy
Carriker, Professor, Food and
Resource Economics, Univ. of
Fla., Gainesville, FL
Food Quality Protection Acts,
Dan Botts, Florida Fruit and
The IR-4 Pesticide
Registration Program, Bill
Stall, Professor, Horticultural
Sciences Department, Univ.
of Fla., Gainesville, FL
Vegetable Session Planning Committee:
Coordinator George Hochmuth
Session Co-Chairs: Bob Hochmuth, Steve
Olson, Jim Fletcher, Steven Sargent,
Suzanne Cady, Marion White, Stephen
Brown, Bill Stall, Austin Tilton
The Learning Zone: Phyllis Gilreath, Ken
Shuler, Mary Lamberts, Charlie Vavrina,
Suzanne Cady, Richard Tyson, Charles
Brasher, Ben Castro, Phil Stansly, Dale
Bennett, Ken Pemezny, Dwight Jesseman,
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 97-06)
C. Florida Premium Ouality Tomato
Since Fall 1996 significant progress has
been made toward forming a working group of
researchers who are working on innovative
techniques and practices which will improve
the competitiveness of Florida-grown
tomatoes. This group is comprised of
individuals from several UF/IFAS departments
and REC's as well as the USDA/ARS whose
areas of expertise include breeding, molecular
biology, culture/nutrition, postharvest
physiology & technology, sensory analysis,
flavor chemistry and marketing.
As John VanSickle (Food & Resource
Economics Dept.) and I outlined in our talks at
the 1996 Florida Tomato Institute, the overall
goal of this program is to develop and evaluate
new techniques and technologies which will
allow Florida grower/shippers to compete with
other production areas with consistently high-
quality tomatoes within the constraints of our
An example of an on-going project is
that of Fernando Maul, a graduate student in
the Horticultural Sciences Department, who is
studying the effects of harvest maturity and
handling conditions on tomato quality.
Fernando and Dr. Charles Sims (of the Food
Science & Human Nutrition Department) are
currently training a descriptive taste panel for
tomato flavor. In several recent tests, panelists
were presented lightly blended samples of
tomatoes at table-ripe stage. They were able
to distinguish between tomatoes which had
been ripened under several different scenarios.
For example, they could detect flavor
differences between tomatoes which were
harvested "vine-ripe" (pink to light-red stage)
and those which required 2 days gassing to
reach breaker stage (Table 1). They were also
able to determine differences between those
requiring 2 and 3 days gassing. In a separate
test, panelists also found a difference between
"vine-ripe" harvested tomatoes and those
which required 4 or 5 days gassing (data not
Table 1. Perceived differences by taste panelists between table-ripe tomatoes which were
harvested "vine-ripe" or gassed using Difference from Control Test.
SDifferent letters within a column represent
Duncan's Multiple Range Test at P<0.05.
In a third test one group of tomatoes at
breaker stage were stored below the
recommended temperature of 55F (12C) at
41F (5C) for 7 days and allowed to ripen,
while another group was ripened and then
stored at the same temperature for 7 days.
These conditions could be encountered at
times during commercial handling. Panelists
significant differences as determined by
distinguish between tomatoes which had been
harvested "vine-ripe" and those ripe tomatoes
stored for 7 days at the low temperature
(Table 2). Tomatoes stored at breaker stage at
the low temperature, though rated higher than
the control, were not statistically different
from the other treatments.
Table 2. Perceived differences by taste panelists for table-ripe tomatoes which were
harvested "vine-ripe" or stored at breaker or ripe stages for 7 days at 41 F (5C) (Difference
from Control Test).
STORAGE TREATMENT DIFFERENCE FROM CONTROL RATING
Vine-Ripe Control 2.00 aW
Stored at Breaker Stage 4.45 ab
Stored at Full-Red Stage 6.54 b
z Different letters within a column represent significant differences as determined by
Duncan's Multiple Range Test at P<0.05.
These results indicate that development of "home-grown" tomato flavor during ripening can be
suppressed by harvest maturity and subsequent handling temperature. We will continue to determine
the effects of simulated commercial handling on final tomato flavor in the upcoming months.
(Sargent, Vegetarian 97-06)
GASSING TREATMENT DIFFERENCE FROM CONTROL RATING
Vine-Ripe Control 3.10 a'
1 day to breaker 4.25 ab
2 days to breaker 4.55 b
3 days to breaker 6.65 c
II. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Status of Mineral Spirits as a
At the present time there is not a label
for the use of mineral spirits/Stoddard Solvent
as a herbicide. Agents should take note that
this product should be removed from the
recommendations on carrots, celery etc.
Carrot growers in Ohio, Michigan, as
well as Florida have inquired on registering the
product for use as a herbicide. This does not
Michael Aerts in the pesticide
coordinator's office has been researching the
problem with these other states and EPA. Our
understanding of the status of mineral spirits is
A. Mineral spirits are classified as
aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons
along with many other petroleum
compounds. Aliphatic petroleum
hydrocarbons are classified as a group
as exempt from tolerance. They are
not exempt when applied at the time of
or after harvest.
B. Companies may not sell mineral spirits
as a herbicide unless there is a label for
that use. There is not a label.
Companies may sell mineral spirits to
anyone, however, as mineral spirits
with no warranty as a herbicide.
C. Private applicators may apply mineral
spirits to their own crop. It is exempt
from tolerance. A private application
is liable for any damage to their own
crop from its application and liable for
any environmental damage should any
D. A commercial/custom applicator is
prohibited from applications of mineral
spirits to any crop that is not their
own. There must be a label for custom
application as a pesticide. There is
At the present time we know of no
registrant that is willing to reregister mineral
spirits as a herbicide. I do not look for a label
to be forthcoming.
If anyone has either further confirm-
ing or conflicting information on the use of
mineral spirits, we would appreciate receiving
Any new developments that we may
have will be passed on.
(Stall and Aerts, Vegetarian 97-06)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. The Rawlings House Garden:
Two Ducks Died But The Corn Didn't
Most of you are familiar with Marjorie
Kinnan Rawlings. She wrote and received the
Pulitizer Prize for "The Yearling" while
residing at Cross Creek, Alachua County,
Florida, in 1935. Marjorie grew vegetables in
her back yard garden. This Spring the house
staff spaded up Marjorie's old garden plot next
to her famous kitchen and the duck pen, and
endeavored to grow organically the things
Marjorie had grown from 1928 through 1941.
Not that this was the only garden planted there
since that time, but it was my first personal
experience and witness of a garden on that
plot. And since I volunteer some of my time at
the house, I'm allowed to help a bit with the
weeding and general cultivation.
Our soil test taken in March showed
just how lovingly the soil had been cared for
over the years. The soil pH was high (almost
7.0) indicating frequent liming. Better that
than neglect, and it was still not too alkaline
for good plant growth. We will take heed and
refrain from spreading any dolomite for
A check of the roots of some winter-
grown chard exposed a soil problem that could
have been causing trouble since Marjorie's
days. The roots were swollen and knotted- the
undenying symptoms of root-knot nematodes.
However, there was no effective means of
control short of "voo-doo" for these tiny
"creeturs" (to use a favorite Rawlings
expression).The soil went untreated and the
garden was planted around mid-March.
The garden plan centered around
Marjorie's favorite vegetables, and a few of
the herbs she counted on to flavor her
"cracker-style" dishes. The Swiss chard and a
few collard plants were left where planted in
the Fall, for both of these cooking greens were
still healthy. The chard always gained attention
from visitors due to its attractive bright red
stalks and glossy green leaves. Chard was
ringed about with spring onions for bunching,
and a few curled-leaf parsley sets.
The first of the Spring planted items
was Irish potatoes. Fat red "seed" tubers were
cut into 2-ounce pieces and planted deep into
a high, wide 30-foot bed of dark hammock
soil. Along the fence on the East side were
planted pole beans and slicing cucumbers,
while sunflowers bordered the garden on the
woods side. Almost a third of the garden was
planted to sweet corn. Marjorie had noted that
corn should be planted in blocks rather than in
a single row to improve pollination. In center
stage, several hills of crookneck squash were
seeded and an assortment of tomato kinds and
varieties popular in the 1930's were planted..
The last open space provided for a single row
divided equally with peppers and eggplants.
Outside the plot, on either end of the
duck pen, the chayote vine emerged for its
annual task of shading the mallards from the
harshness of the Cross Creek noonday sun.
The tender growing tip of this cucumber-like
vine are "deerly loved", so are protected by a
barrier of hardware cloth. Hopefully, with a
running start the vine will reach the top and
curl over the pen before being detected by the
sharp-toed midnight marauders.
So that was the plan for the spring
garden. Not all of Marjorie's favorites had
been included. Notable exclusions were
cowpeas, okra, and sweet potatoes. These
would be added later following the digging of
the potatoes and other harvests.
By mid-May, the entire garden was
swinging into full stride. Today, house visitors
pause on their traverse of the west porch to
gape at the luxuriant, verdant patch stretching
from the kitchen to the out-house.
The sweet corn is most noticeable, for
it occupies the most space and is quite tall.
Early on its fate was questionable. A close
hoeing had cut some of the anchor roots,
resulting in heavy "lodging" as winds blew
over many of the 3-foot stalks. But with some
propping and cultivation, the entire stand
survived. Each stalk now supports two fat
ears, each racing toward sweet maturity.
Beyond the corn at the hammock's edge, the
mallards race for a katydid. A rattler strikes
and their number lessens. Two ducks died, but
the corn did'nt.
Much of the collards and chard have
filled the cooking pot in MAR.'s famous
kitchen, sending wonderful aromas wafting
towards the quizzical nostrils of visitors and
staff. Plants of both kinds left in the garden
still have a growing bud above the scars of the
The yellow crookneck squash has yet
to put on its crop. True to the finicky ways of
all squashes, the first batch of blossoms have
been mostly males. The bees are present, but
seem angered to find no female nectar to
attract their pollination. In time, a balance will
come and the young tender yellow morsels will
be abundant. Not all the plants will produce,
however. The invasion of the squash vine
borers has occurred. I split a stem at the soil
line and removed a wriggling tiny white grub.
That plant would survive, but there were
others still infested.
Half of the potato row has been dug.
Each plant had 5-6 fair sized spuds and a few
more just right for boiling. Already this area
ofFlorida has been invaded with late blight, so
I was glad to find it had not come our way. In
another close call, the high beds saved the little
crop from the heavy rains in late April which
devastated the big crop at Hastings.
The beans have been easy to grow.
Sown along the fence for trellis, the long vines
have soared upward then bent with a heavy
load of pods. Unlike those in Marjorie's story,
A Crop Of Beans, no cold came to claim its
share. Today, in her kitchen a big iron pot
simmers on the old wood burning stove as the
house visitors traipse by, relishing the
fragrance of cooking beans and fatback.
But the most luscious jewels of the
harvest-time have been the brilliant red
tomatoes which have come into ripeness.
Those of the old Rutgers variety have done
well. With just enough acidity with their
sweetness, their flavor makes us forget their
lack of size. No monsters, they, but splendid
reminders of just how good Florida-grown
garden tomatoes can taste.
The staff at the Rawlings house has
done well with this garden. Today it stands as
a testament to the good life that Marjorie often
enjoyed at the old farm between the big lakes
Lochloosa and Orange. She wrote of enduring
many times of hardship, but through her
vegetable garden saw Spring as a season of
plenty. I'm happy to have enjoyed a glimpse of
the past through this gardening encounter.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 97-06)
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 & Edito
Dr. J. M. White