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Title: Vegetarian
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00398
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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: June 1976
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00398
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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T 1


June 9, 1976








Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


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


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 76-6


IN THIS ISSUE:

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Reestablishing Desirable Moisture Levels Under Mulch
B. Exercise Care When Controlling Weeds in Non-Crop Areas

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Maintaining Freshness in Vegetables Without Refrigeration

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Timely Gardening Topics
B. Know Your Vegetables Kale


NOTE: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter.
please give credit to the authors.


Whenever possible,


COOPERATJVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS. STATE OF FLORIDA. ItAS, UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA. U. 5 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, COOPERATING


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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter




-2-

THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTF1E

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Reestablishing Desirable Moisture Levels Under Mulch

Full-bed plastic mulch culture is relatively new to vegetable growers in
Florida. As more crops are planted to more acreage in more areas of the state,
problems develop which were not anticipated. The most recent of these is related
to reestablishment of proper moisture levels in dry soil that is covered with
plastic mulch. Soil that is permitted to become overly dry is indeed hard to rewet.

The simplest solution is to avoid the problem in the first place. First of
all, growers should not apply mulch over a dry soil. If a soil is on the dry side,
it should be well irrigated before application of the plastic. Furthermore, good
soil moisture is necessary for the soil fumigant to be effective.

Secondly, growers should never "cut-off" needed irrigation except at or
near completion of harvest and if mulched beds are not to be planted again. If the
second crop is to be planted, irrigation should be continued to maintain good soil
moisture under the plastic mulch at all times.

What can be done to reestablish desirable moisture levels when a soil is
permitted to become too dry? Growers using sub-surface irrigation may succeed in
reestablishing good moisture levels by heavy irrigation. In other words, raise
water levels in the lateral ditches 2 to 3 inches higher than normal.

In extreme cases, as one observed on a sub-surface irrigated farm, the only
alternative was to punch one-quarter inch holes in the plastic and use overhead
irrigation. Holes should be punched to each side of the handed fertilizer to avoid
leaching. Overhead irrigation for plastic mulched beds should be applied lightly
over a period of time to reduce run-off from the plastic and to lessen water-logging
of soil in the uncovered middles.

Briefly summarizing, it is easier to maintain adequate moisture levels under
full-bed plastic mulch culture than it is to reestablish it. Be sure that the soil
is irrigated to field capacity level before mulching and maintain a good moisture
level by timely irrigation throughout the period of crop production.
(Montelaro)

B. Exercise Care When Controlling Weeds in Non-Crop Areas

Weed control in areas adjacent to vegetable fields (fence rows, windbreaks,
etc.) has become of greater concern to growers in recent years. In some areas of
the state, growers have begun to consider these areas when planning their overall
weed control program. Many situations, at least initially, involve attempts to
control dense woody undergrowth which has developed in these areas. A good many of
the materials used are generally categorized as "brush killers". Usually, these are
very effective materials, but also are usually very active or toxic to vegetables
at very low concentrations. Thus, every attempt should be made to avoid contact
either directly or indirectly (drift) with crop plants.

Each year isolated reports of herbicide drift damage to non-target area
plants point out the need to insure that careless application does not occur.
Following a few simple basic rules can minimize potential for spray drift and can
eliminate some unnecessary (and expensive) problems.






THE VEGETARIAN NMhSLETTER

(1) Use the recommended pressure, pattern and delivery for the application
equipment (i.e. low pressure, directed sprays, large droplet nozzles, etc.).

(2) Don't spray in excessive wind conditions. Don't spray if velocity
exceeds 4-5 m.p.h.

(3) If you must spray under moderate wind conditions, use an additive such
as a spray thickening material to give a coarse heavy droplet pattern.

(4) Make sure the low volatile formulation is used if there is any question
as to the nearness of other crops. Use of a granular material might be in order
if the application equipment is available.

(5) Know the herbicide you are using and how it will perform under various
weather conditions. Some herbicides volatilize rapidly if applied to wet soil on
a hot day while others are not affected.

Even with the best equipment, etc., drift problems can occur if the operator
is not alert or intelligent enough to realize what the consequences are. If he does
not point the hand gun in the right direction or does not use common sense and care
in application, the results can be costly. Growers not doing the actual application
themselves should make certain that the operator is qualified and properly instructed
as to the do's and don't of applying herbicides.
(Kostewicz)

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Maintaining Freshness in Vegetables Without Refrigeration

Roadside market and market gardens often operate without a suitable refrigera-
tion unit to maintain freshness of vegetables. The question "What can be done under
those conditions", has been asked on several occasions in the recent past. Refrig-
eration, of course, is the best insurance for this purpose. Even without it there
are a number of simple, but effective practices, which will help maintain freshness
for short periods of time.

The simplest of these practices is to delay harvest as much as possible con-
sistent with schedules for sale or delivery. The less the time between harvest and
the consumer's refrigerator, the less the loss of freshness in vegetables. During
harvest and preparation, keep all vegetables out of the sun or drying winds. In
addition, handle vegetables as carefully as possible at all times to avoid injury.
Vegetables that are subjected to severe injury rot easily from invasion of micro-
organisms. They also deteriorate rapidly from increased activity in the life
processes.

To reduce the incidence of rot from certain microorganisms, chlorine can be
used in the wash water. It is available as the common "liquid chlorine bleaches"
usually containing 5.25% chlorine. Simply add one and one-half pints of one of the
chlorine bleaches to 100 gallons of water. If the water is to be used for more than
one hour or so, add 4 or 5 tablespoonfuls more to replace chlorine lost to the air
by volatilization. Do not use wash water from one day to the next. Discard it
and mix up a fresh batch each time. Chlorine can be used on most vegetables with
the exception of lettuce which will not tolerate it. There are no harmful residues
from use of chlorine. It evaporates rapidly leaving little, if any, residue or odor.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


Finally, fresh vegetables should be stored and displayed in a cool place,
never in the sun. They should not be permitted to dry out. If this happens,
sprinkle either the vegetables or the floors and walls of the storeroom with
water to increase relative humidity. The leafy vegetables and certain others like
okra and peppers benefit immensely from intermittent misting or sprinkling. As
the moisture film on the vegetables evaporates, they are cooled by a process
known as "evaporative cooling".

The suggestions given here will go a long way in helping to maintain fresh-
ness of vegetables where refrigeration is not available. In fact, most of the
practices also should be used even by operators who are fortunate enough to have
refrigeration.
(Kelly and Montelaro)

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 June 13-19

Question

What has caused the stem on one of my squash plants to be flattened rather
than round?

Reply

You probably are describing a freakish condition called fasciation. Many
kinds of plants, including vegetables, are affected. The symptoms are similar,
no matter which kind of plant is involved. On lima beans, the stem of the main
lateral is flat from one-half to one inch wide and streaked with ridges. Small
bean pods are produced along the flat stem, seemingly at any point. Leaves are
regularly shaped and colored. Multiple flowers form at the tip end. A similar
description could be written for yellow straightneck squash, where it also has
been observed.

The cause has not been determined. Some reports say the condition is inherited,
while others indicate an over-abundance of nutrients contribute to disorder. In
any event, fasciation is not a serious problem and is rarely seen in gardens.

(2) Timely Topic for Week of June 20-26

Question

While traveling through North Florida a few weeks ago, I bought some sweet
corn at a roadside stand. Although white, it was extremely sweet and delicious.
Could you identify this corn and where I might get seed?
Reply
While most sweet corn is usually sweeter when purchased close to the point of
production, chances are the outstanding one you bought is a white hybrid called
'Silver Queen'. In addition to its outstanding eating quality, it grows well






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

throughout the state, and seeds are generally available in most garden seed and
supply stores or through seed catalog orders; therefore, it is an excellent choice
to grow in the garden.

Typical ears are eight inches long having 14 rows of kernels well filled
to the tips. Seven feet high plants are somewhat taller than most other common
varieties grown in Florida. It is susceptible to leaf blight disease. If a yellow
variety is planted within 1/4 mile of the white variety, yellow kernels may be
produced among the white kernels.

(3) Timely Topic for Week of June 27-July 3

Question

Can you tell me why many of the ears of corn I grew in my garden were unde-
veloped at the tip end?

Reply
This condition has been observed quite often, not only in gardens but also
in large commercial plantings. Several explanations have been given for the cause
of this condition: (a) potassium deficiency; (b) destruction of foliage by leaf
blights, with correspondingly lowered food manufacturing capacity; (c) cool tem-
peratures during ear maturation period; and (d) drought.

Corn is cross-pollinated by wind blowing pollen from the male flowers (tassels.
at the top of the plant to the female flowers (silks) about midway up the stalks.
Each kernel develops from an individual "pollinated" silk. Silks develop near the
middle and base of the ear first, with those at the tip developing last. Under
the unfavorable conditions already mentioned, those kernels pollinated first (middle
and base) take precedence over those pollinated last (at the tip).

(4) Timely Topic for Week of July 4-10

Question

What is causing my tomato leaves to curl up?

Reply

Distorted leaf shape is usually related to virus infection or chemical spray
injury. However, in this case it appears your tomato plants have a frequently
encountered condition imaginatively called tomato leaf roll. It is so common a
disease that it can be found in almost any field and most gardens during the latter
half of the season in Florida. It does not develop markedly on an individual plant
until about the time of fruit-setting. Plants show an upward rolling of the leaflets
of the older leaves on the lower half of the plant, and to some extent the top leaves.
The leaflets are cupped, with margins touching or even overlapping. They are firm,
leathery and thicker than normal leaves. The overall growth of the plant does not
seem to be greatly affected, and yields are about normal.

The cause is not fully known. It appears to be more common on staked and
pruned plants than on those that are not. Also, it is very common when excessive rain
fall keeps the soil over-wet for a prolonged time. Some varieties are character-
istically curled due to genetic causes.
(Stephens)






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


B. Know Your Vegetables Kale

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) is a cool-season cooking green some-
what similar to collard and non-heading cabbage. Kale is also called "borecole".
"Kale" is a Scottish word derived from coles or caulis, terms used by the Greeks
and Romans in referring to the whole cabbage-like group of plants. The German word
kohl has the same origin. The Scotch varieties have very curled grayish-green
leaves.

Kale is native to the Mediterranean or to Asia Minor. Kale was introduced
to America from Europe at least as early as 1969. Kale is not a big commercial
crop in Florida, but is found in about 1 out of 10 home gardens. Most southern
gardeners, including Floridians, have preferred collard to kale.

Kale produces seed in the second year. It is grown from seed as an annual.
Culture is similar to that for cabbage and collard. Throughout Florida, it can be
seeded or transplanted from September through March with fairly good results. For
best results, it should be planted so that harvest takes place in the coolest months.
For home use, some of the leaves are stripped off as needed; the plants then continue
to produce more leaves. It takes about 2 1/2-3 months from seeding to harvest.
The main problems are those that occur on cabbage and collards. Because of the curly
leaves, worms are more difficult to remove.

Among the varieties listed by seed companies are 'Blue Curled Scotch',
'Dwarf Siberian', 'Dwarf Green Curled Scotch', 'Dwarf Blue Scotch', 'Imperial Long
Standing', 'Siberian', 'Spring', and 'Flowering Kale'. The latter is very attractive
for landscape planting.
(Stephens)




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