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Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: April 1976
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00396
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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IFAS


J. F. Kelly
Chairman

S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


James Montelaro
Professor

R. K. Showalter
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

G. A. Marlowe, Jr.
Professor


TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE) AND
OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA

FROM: James M. Stephens, Extension Vegetable Specialist (/ ~Sy


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 76-4


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Commercial Production Guide Update

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Soil Preparation and Herbicides
B. Benefits Not Anticipated With Full-Bed Mulch Culture of
Vegetables
C. Soil Water Influence on Root Development

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING


Timely Gardening Topics
Know Your Vegetables Celeriac


NOTE: Anyone
please


is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever
give credit to the authors.


possible,


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS, STATE OF FLORIDA. tFAS, UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, COOPERATING


r L-XI.I-. LJ/~I \..J"J I I V L,.-- L./ 1 I- .. o '..J--I L. V Pl ...-
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter


April 7, 1976






Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Commercial Production Guide Update

In the last issue of the Vegetarian, we promised that we would give a situation
statement as to availability of our publications. The following list is the status
as of March, 1976. Where applicable quotas will be observed as in the past.

Circular # Title Balance

96 Watermelon Production Guide 1,150
97 Sweet Potato Production Guide 1,980
98 Tomato Production Guide Out
99 Sweet Corn Production Guide Out
100 Bean Production Guide 2,800
101 Cucumber Production Guide Out
102 Pepper Production Guide 4,750
103 Squash Production Guide 3,070
109 Eggplant Production Guide 2,305
117 Cabbage Production Guide Out
118 Potato Production Guide 1,140
122 Cantaloupe Production Guide Out
123 Lettuce/Endive Production Guide Out
142 Strawberry Production Guide 72
175 Okra Production Guide 1,440
176 Onion Production Guide 1,665
192 Hydroponic Culture Out
193 Commercial Vegetable Insect & Disease 450
Control Guide
196 Commercial Vegetable Weed Control 1,000
Guide
225 Commercial Vegetable Fertilization 1,050
Guide
S-223 Variety Guide 2,000

(Kostewicz, Montelaro, Marlowe)

II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


A. Soil Preparation


and Herbicides


Preplant incorporated and preemergence surface applied herbicides are dependent
upon proper soil conditions for their best activity and weed control. A weed control
program should be an integral part of a grower's production schedule and should be
treated with the same concern and care as any other part of the operation. A grower
should avoid a last minute search for a material he can use because he overlooked the
weed aspect. Frequently, poorly planned last-minute applications do not give the
desired control because of improper application conditions.

Some basic considerations which apply across the range of herbicides in terms
of application are:

(1) Herbicide
(a) Use only materials labeled and recommended for the crop.
(b) Use a herbicide that fits the problem weed situation in the field.
(c) Use the proper rate.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

(2) Application Equipment
(a) Use an applicator designed for herbicides.
(b) Make sure it is in proper operating condition.
(c) Calibrate.

In terms of preplant incorporated materials, the following points are important
considerations.

(1) Soil Moisture Know what the label says in regard to moisture, i.e., do
you incorporate when the soil moisture is at a level suitable for seeding? What
effect will subsequent irrigation following planting have on the material?

(2) Depth of Incorporation Does the material you plan to use need deep or
shallow incorporation? Are there any special requirements such as rototilling or will
cross discing do the job?

(3) Weather Conditions Some herbicides are very subject to volatilization or
decomposition if left on the surface for a long period of time. It is most often best
to incorporate at the time of application or very shortly thereafter because of these
factors.

Preemergence materials are also influenced by certain soil conditions:

(1) Soil Moisture Some materials are best applied to "drier" soils; some
need irrigation following application and still others may have specific limitations
on irrigation amounts that follow application. CHECK THE LABEL--Any pertinent infor-
mation will be on it.

(2) Soil Situation Most of these herbicides need to be applied to finely
prepared weed-free surfaces. Too much debris (clods, tree roots, etc.) can cause pro-
blems of uneven coverage by interruption of the spray pattern. Most of these materials
are not effective on germinated or emerged weed seedlings. Thus, make certain that
the surface is weed-free when applying (i.e., don't let the weeds get ahead of you).

The grower must have a planned approach to dealing with weed problems. Time
spent analyzing his production program, reading the label suggestions and requirements,
and integrating the two can result in a much improved overall weed control program.
(Kostewicz)

B. Benefits Not Anticipated With Full-Bed Mulch Culture of Vegetables

Use of full-bed plastic mulch culture in Florida vegetable production increased
from about 2,000 acres to 35,000 acres over the past few years. During this limited
period, we have learned a lot about this new cultural system. Not only have yields
of mulched crops been increased, but improvement in uniformity and appearance of most
of these commodities has been noted.

We had anticipated such advantages as a more uniform supply and efficient use
of water and fertilizer, better soil pest control with fumigants, reduction of leaching
of fertilizer, etc., from full-bed mulch as compared to open culture. What proved
to be surprising is the number of advantages (and some problems) not anticipated by
even the experienced extension or research workers. On the negative side, the most
serious and oftentimes costly problem found under full-bed mulch is poor seedling
survival. Advantages of the system noted over the years, but not anticipated, far out-
weighed anything on the minus side. These advantages are discussed here so that growers
using full-bed mulch or considering it may evaluate this new system fully.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

In addition to those expected, some of the benefits not anticipated from
full-bed mulch culture are as follows:

(1) Significant reduction in tractor usage.
(2) Increased protection against frost under certain conditions.
(3) Increased protection against certain viruses.
(4) Increased protection during rainy periods.
(5) Increased protection from soluble salt injury in more advanced
stages of growth.
(6) Increased protection from bacterial spot on peppers and tanatoes.
(7) Reduction in nematode injury where fumigation is not used or fails.

Significant reduction in tractor usage has been reported from actual records
by several growers whose operations can be classified as medium to large. Almost total
elimination of cultivation for weed control and sidedressings as compared with open
culture accounts for the reduction in tractor usage.

Increased frost protection is hard to measure. However, plastic-mulched straw-
berries are not injured as easily as are straw-mulch berries. Difference in air
temperature at plant level may be only 10 or 20F--enough to save flowers and tender
fruit in plastic-mulched berries. This may or may not be true when the comparison is
made with crops grown on bare soil.

It was noted early that plastic mulch treated with aluminized or white reflective
paint to lower temperature also repelled aphids sufficiently to lower incidence and
severity of viruses--especially in peppers. There are indications that this may be
true of other crop viruses.

Plastic mulch, by preventing leaching and helping to create an overall good root
environment, tends to lessen the hazards of excessively wet seasons. Exception to
this is the problem of root damage from flooding-type rains moving dissolved, surface
fertilizer salt downward into the root zone upon receding. Growers of full-bed mulched
tomatoes have reported satisfactory (not excellent) yields from crops subjected to as
much as 42 inches of rainfall. That much rain almost always results in total or near
total failure in open-culture crops.

Injury from the upward and downward movement of fertilizer salts under open-
culture can be insidious in that it is hard to detect. Periods of dry weather followed
by light rainfalls result in movement of fertilizer salts into the root zone often
causing serious damage to roots. Except for the danger of soil flooding, as described
above, salts cannot move downward in large quantities to injure roots under full-bed
mulch.

County extension agents and growers have noted reduction in the incidence of
severity of bacterial spot on pepper and tomatoes grown under plastic culture. On a
number of occasions, tomatoes and peppers grown in the same fields were affected less
by bacterial spot under full-bed than under open-culture. Plant pathologists hypothesize
that initial bacterial infection comes from the soil spattered on the leaves by rain.

Field observations and research have shown that full-bed mulch crops grown in
nematode-infested soil will produce considerably better than they would have without
mulch on those same soils. It is believed that maintenance of nearly ideal growing
conditions under plastic mulch permits the limited functional roots to supply the plant
with a goodly portion, if not all, of the water and nutrients needed to grow. Of course,
the purpose of full-bed mulch culture is to obtain maximum economic yields. To reach
that goal, good soil fumigation is a must.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

The unanticipated benefits discussed here are based on information gathered
by the writer over the past few years from review of research, field visits, talks
with county extension agents, growers, industry representatives, etc. They have not
all been tested by research workers. Nevertheless, the writer feels that these obser-
vations are important in any consideration of crop production using or anticipating use
of full-bed mulch culture.
(Montelaro)

C. Soil Water Influence on Root Development

Most vegetable growers know how important it is to maintain an active, healthy
root system for the production of high-quality, high-yielding crops. Most growers,
therefore, try to create as favorable a root environment as possible before planting
seed or setting plants.

As Florida growers go forth into the period of greater monitoring of irrigation
water, higher costs of fumigants, fertilizers, seed, plants and other production inputs,
a brief look at some of the factors influencing root development and function may be
of interest.

Water is one of the most important factors in plant growth, thus immediate
replacement of water loss is essential to the water balance of crops. Loss in turgor
results in closure of stomata, decrease in photosynthesis, stoppage of cell enlargement,
and eventually death by desiccation. In annual vegetables, most of the water and
fertilizer salt absorption occurs at the tips of newly formed roots, a very good reason
to encourage continuous root growth. Dr. Paul Kramer, of Duke University, reported
the following water absorption patterns in sweet corn in a sandy soil.

Age of Plant Percent Distance from Depth
Days Absorption Plant, Inches Inches

14 95 2.8 4.5
42 95 11.0 13.0
98 95 14.0 14.2

These figures indicate the degree of intense absorption in the very limited,
somewhat shallow area close to the plant.

The rate of root growth decreases, as a general rule, as soil moisture increases
above field capacity because of the corresponding reduction in soil aeration. Research
shows that aeration is the most important factor in root growth. It is well established
that roots require oxygen for their respiratory activities and that slight excesses
of carbon dioxide and reduced oxygen can reduce nutrient absorption.

The four principal methods of studying root growth are: excavation, measurement
of root material at various sampling depths, measurements of radioactive material
taken up from known positions in the soil near the plant, and measurement of the
quantities of radioactive material transported down into the roots from isotopes
(labeled sugar) injected into the stems or leaves.

In a recent study on vegetable root development in England on well fertilized
sandy soils CpH 6.5, 140# N, 130# P205 and 240# K20 per acre), it was found that 63%
of the root mass of the following crops occurred at the following depths:
Carrots, 84 days; high fertilizer 9 inches, low fertilizer 13 inches
Lettuce, 57 days; high fertilizer 4 inches, low fertilizer 7 inches
Lettuce, 57 days; high moisture 6 inches, low moisture 12 inches






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Plant age and root concentration studies showed that 63% of the root mass was
produced at the following depth:

Tomatoes 95 days, 17 inches; pepper 96 days, 5 inches; onions 100 days,
4 inches; cabbage 73 days, 7 inches; and peas 116 days, 13 inches.

These workers concluded that deeper root systems were associated with lower
nutrient and soil moisture levels. If the nutrient status or soil moisture was too
low, the plants were, of course, stunted and growth and yield were much reduced. As
soil moisture tension increased near the surface, more moisture was extracted at
successively lower depths. Plants usually wilted before much of the available moisture
was used at the lower depths.

Water replacement is important in crop production today; it may even become
critical in future crop management. It may be that less water better placed will
improve soil aeration and maximize nutrient uptake as well. Someday, the question
"Check your air and water?" may apply to crop production as much as it does to the
modern freedom machine, the automobile.

NOTE: There are many other factors in the soil which affect root development.
Some of these factors interact with water further complicating the subject of soil
water root development relationships.
(Marlowe)

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Timely Gardening Topics

These questions and answers are suggested for agents' use in developing periodic
Weekly) radio or newspaper briefs. They are based on letters of inquiry from Florida
gardeners.

(1) Timely Topic for Week of April 18-24

Question

I purchased tomato plants which are very long. Should I stake these immediately
to prevent them from blowing over and breaking?

Reply

Quite often the only plants available when you are ready to set them in your
garden are tall, spindly, leggy plants. Such plant condition results usually from over-
crowding in the seedbed or transplant production container, or from too much shade.

These plants may still be used, and may even be preferred to more sturdy, better
grown plants. For example, it would be better to buy and set spindly plants of a
proven, well-adapted variety than beautiful plants of a non-adapted variety that would
not set fruit. So don't be "taken in" altogether by dark green sturdy looking plants.
First check the pedigree.

Rather than staking the plants early, set them deeper than normal and slant them
at an angle in the soil, covering up about two-thirds of the stem. The tomato plant has
the ability to grow roots from this covered stem. Once firmly established, the plant
can be staked as usual.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

(2) Timely Topic for Week of April 25-May 1

Question

What could be causing my radishes to split and crack?

Reply

Some splitting and cracking of radish roots can be expected under most all
growing conditions. Normally, this amounts to less than five percent of the roots.
Amounts in excess of this are usually due to over-maturity or over-watering. Most
radish varieties mature in 25 to 35 days. Roots left in the soil beyond this length
of time tend to get pungent and pithy (cottony) and start to crack open. Soil moisture
studies showed more cracking occurred where the soil was kept very moist than where it
was maintained at a dryer level.

(3) Timely Topic for Week of May 2-8

Question

How can I keep insects and bugs from ruining my vegetable garden?

Reply

Insects can be quite damaging in home vegetable gardens, especially as the days
get wanner. There generally is a wide range of injurious insects frequenting the
average garden. Some of the most common are aphids, stink bugs, leaf miners, Colorado
potato beetles and larvae, Mexican bean beetles and larvae, flea beetles, cutworms,
fruitworms, tomato hornworms, pinworms, corn earworms, cabbage worms, bean leaf rollers,
wireworms, and white grubs. Those who grow a specialty crop may run into an insect
that likes only that kind of vegetable. For example, sweet potato weevils seriously
restrict the growth of sweet potatoes in Florida. Control of all these insect pests
is usually not 100%. However, some damage to vegetables in the garden can be tolerated
without completely ruining the edibility of the vegetables. There are many good
cultural practices which help to reduce severity of injury, yet these alone are usually
unsatisfactory under Florida conditions. Such "organic" techniques as interplanting
vegetables with repellent crops are unreliable. Likewise, the use of natural predatory
insects, like the lady beetle and spraying mantis, provides only limited benefits.
Best control is obtained by dusting or spraying at the first signs of insects or
insect injury. Garden supply stores have an assortment of reasonably effective insecti-
cides which are safe when used properly as directed with adequate precautions. These
may not control every insect pest in all situations, but generally they are sufficiently
effective for average infestations.

(4) Timely Topic for Week of May 9-15

Question

I noticed some sort of viny weed growing on my carrots the other day. Please
tell me what it is.

Reply

Chances are the viny weed pest is dodder (Cuscuta gronovii). It is not often
a pest on vegetables, since they are cultivated so frequently. Dodder is first
noticed as a tangle of branched threadlike leafless stems, with no green color, free






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

from the soil, twining around the stems and leaves of the host plant. The common
color is yellowish or orange. Tiny white, pink or yellowish flowers occur in clusters.
At points where the dodder penetrates the host plant (carrot leaf stem, for example),
swelling may occur. Dodder produces small seeds, which sometimes spread into gardens
and fields along with vegetable seeds. Upon germination in moist soil, the dodder
seedling twines about a host plant. It penetrates the host tissue with specialized
cells called haustoria, then it breaks connection with the soil by shriveling. Rather
than letting it become established in the garden, pull the dodder from the plants and
burn or destroy it.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Celeriac

Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is also called turnip rooted celery,
knob celery and celery root due to its relationship and resemblance to celery. The
edible portion is the swollen, knobby stem which forms at and beneath the soil surface.
It is irregularly rounded, with twisted roots extending downward. At best edible size,
celeriac measures from three to four inches across. The interior texture is smooth
and white, similar to kohlrabi or turnip root. The stalks and leaves resemble celery,
but the stalks are hollow and not very palatable.

Celeriac may be used raw or fresh. Since it has the celery flavor, it is often
used as flavoring in soups and stews. It is best to peel celeriac before cooking,
to remove the tough, stringy outer skin. Many recipes include ways to utilize celeriac.

'Prague' is the leading variety; 'Delicacy' is also grown. In Florida, neither
celeriac nor celery is often grown in most gardens. This most likely is due to their
requirement for abundant soil moisture for seed germination and subsequent plant growth.
Overhead sprinkling on sandy soil, which is a most common gardening situation, is not
adequate for good celeriac production. Like celery, celeriac is a cool-season crop
which should be seeded August-December and transplanted through February in Florida.
It should be cultivated and cared for in much the same fashion as celery. Seed should
be planted shallow (1/8-1/4") and protected from the sun with a shade cover.

Celeriac is stored at 320-400 and moist conditions. Thus stored, it should last
3 to 4 months. The composition per 100 g edible portion has been reported as: 88%
water, 45 calories per 100 g, 2% protein, 3% fat, 8.8% carbohydrate, 1.4% fiber, .8%
sugars, and .1% starch, a trace of iron has been noted, but information on vitamins and
mineral content is scanty.
(Stephens)




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