A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service
Adobe Acrobat .pdf
VEGETABLE CROPS CALENDAR
F COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
Oriental Vegetables For Florida
Potassium, the Limiting Nutrient in Many Gardens
Tomato Varieties for Florida
Florida's Record-size Vegetables Update 2000
(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.)
^.............. .......................... .. ...
Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association Convention- July 19-21, Ritz Carlton, Amelia
Island. Contact Mary Hartney at 863-293-4827.
FSHS and ASHS Meetings July 23-25. Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Lake Buena Vista.
Contact Kathy Murphy at 407-673-7595 or go to the FSHS 2000 Annual Meeting site at
Tomato Institute -Sept 6, 2000. For more information, contactCharlie Vavrina at 941-658-3400.
Florida Agricultural Conference and Trade Show (FACTS) -September 26-27. Civic Center,
Lakeland, FL. Contact Elizabeth Lamb at 561-468-3922.
.' "- -' --*- -. '- -- --. "
4:- '-_ .......... '... .... ... .... .-
Oriental Vegetables For Florida
In a modern world of mixed cultures it may be difficult to determine what really encompasses the
Oriental crops. Traditionally these have been the edible plants cultivated by gardeners of Asian
descent. But gardens of China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and neighboring countries today
include both the old and new word crops.
Plantings of Chinese cabbage, daikon, kohlrabi and mizuna of Asia grow intermingled with
peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes from the Americas. It appears all vegetables now grow
in the Oriental garden. Only the varietal names may differ from one country to another.
Vegetable guides contain a popular listing of crops but may leave out some of your Oriental
favorites. You probably won't find mizuna listed in most guides. But if you remember it's a type of
mustard the planting dates of September through March can be quickly located for Florida.
It's also helpful to know most related crops including all cabbages, broccoli and radishes are
planted at the same time of the year. Sow seeds or set transplants of these vegetables in the
ground during the late fall and winter seasons.
A few crops, due to their confusing common names, may give misleading planting dates. For
example: Chinese spinach that's stir-fried or added to soups is not a true spinach. It's an
amaranthus and needs the warm to hot months of March through September to produce the
tender leafy portions. True spinach likes the colder months.
Another good vegetable, the winged bean does not follow traditional planting dates. Instead of a
spring season, it prefers the fall months and must be planted August through October. Local
planting schedules like the one included with this article can help with the crops most guides
forget to include.
Today's harvests are a mixture of vegetables from around the world but some of the most popular
planting techniques are totally of Oriental descent. Gardeners are rediscovering the very ancient
methods of producing big yields in small spaces.
You can call it square foot or raised bed culture but it's really the century old method of Asian
intensive gardening. Oriental farmers plant every square inch of available space. They use
square, block and patch designs to plant their crops.
It's an age old gardening technique for modern times. The size of the average garden nationwide
has shrunk from 600 to about 200 square feet. Urban gardeners don't have a lot of room and the
are looking for an easy way to produce their crops.
Typical Oriental gardens are just 3 to 4 foot wide. It's just wide enough to reach to the middle to
plant, weed and harvest. The gardens vary in length depending on the space available. Small
gardens are ideal for today's cramped backyards, patios, entrance areas and even the walkways
between adjoining properties.
Oriental gardens are usually constructed by mounding soil to produce 6 inch or higher beds that
ensure good drainage. The raised bed also helps put the crops in easy reach. Many gardeners
today add landscape timbers to contain the mounded soil. The wide wooden edges keep the
garden neat and provides a place to sit while you work. Plastic wood-like beams and concrete
blocks are also being utilized.
Enriching the soil is critical to traditional Oriental gardens. The ground is prepared with lots of
organic matter. Adding compost and manure provides the nutrients needed by most crops. Often
the gardens are produced without additional fertilizer throughout the growing season.
All sandy Florida soils benefit from the addition of organic matter. The decomposing plant
portions and manures help hold moisture within the root zone of developing crops. Florida's fall
through spring seasons are the drier times of the year and moisture conservation is important.
Some Oriental gardens are constructed with a slightly concave bed or ridge of soil around the
edge to help contain water during irrigation. This can be a valuable technique for local residents
who find themselves watering every 3 to 4 days throughout the growing season.
Besides the additions of organic matter many gardeners also work a little fertilizer into the
planting site. A good balance of nutrients is ensured by incorporating up to two pounds of a 6-6-6
fertilizer with every 100 square feet of garden prepared for planting.
After tilling the organic matter and fertilizer with the soil you are ready to plant. Oriental gardening
techniques conserve space by planting crops close together. Seldom are wide rows left between
vegetables instead the plants are set next to each other with minimal spacings.
Crops are often planted in blocks. A planting of Chinese cabbage set 8- to 12-inches apart may
abut winter onions with 1- to 2-inches between plants. Next to these crops might be plantings of
edible pod peas trained to a trellis and then some mustard. There are no rows between the crops
just between the beds.
Following are a few more tips to have a productive garden:
Replant the garden as soon as one crop finishes.
Try companion plantings to make maximum use of space.
Keep tall or trellised crops to the north side of the garden.
Allow the surface soil to only dry to the touch between waterings.
Maintain a 2- to 3-inch mulch layer of hay, compost or leaves.
Feed monthly with manure or a garden fertilizer.
Use soaps and other natural controls for pests.
The gardening season doesn't end when summer begins. Some very traditional Oriental
vegetables including bitter melon, Chinese okra, jicama and yard-long beans thrive during the
hot rainy weather.
Oriental Vegetables For
Peas edible pod
Days to Harvest
(MacCubbin, ext. agt. IV, Orange County, Vegetarian, 00-07)
Tomato Varieties for Florida
Variety selection, often made several months before planting, is one of the most important
management decisions made by the grower. Failure to select the most suitable variety or
varieties may lead to loss of yield or market acceptability.
The following characteristics should be considered in selection of tomato varieties for use in
* Yield The variety selected should have the potential to produce crops at least equivalent to
varieties already grown. The average yield in Florida is currently about 1400 25-pound cartons
per acre. The potential yield of varieties in use should be much higher than average.
* Disease Resistance Varieties selected for use in Florida must have resistance to Fusarium
wilt, race 1 and race 2; Verticillium wilt (race 1); gray leaf spot; and some tolerance to bacterial
soft rot. Available resistance to other diseases such as Fusarium wilt, race 3 may be important in
* Horticultural Quality- Plant habit, stem type and fruit size, shape, color, smoothness and
resistance to defects should all be considered in variety selection.
* Adaptability- Successful tomato varieties must perform well under the range of environmental
conditions usually encountered in the district or on the individual farm.
* Market Acceptability- The tomato produced must have characteristics acceptable to the
packer, shipper, wholesaler, retailer and consumer. Included among these qualities are pack out,
fruit shape, ripening ability, firmness, and flavor.
Current Variety Situation
Many tomato varieties are grown commercially in Florida, but only a few represent most of the
'Florida 47' was grown on about 36% of the acreage in Florida in the 1999-2000 season a
notable increase from the approximately 23% of the acreage the previous season. 'Florida 47'
was grown on about 47% of the acreage in southwest Florida and 32% of the east coast acreage.
'Sanibel' had about 14% of the state's acreage. It was the predominant variety in Miami-Dade
County with almost 60% of the acreage.
All BHN varieties are lumped together and comprise about 13% of the state's acreage, mostly in
southwest Florida and north Florida.
'Solar Set' acreage increased to over 12% of the state total mostly in west-central Florida.
'Florida 91' acreage increased to about 7% from a fraction the previous year. The
Palmetto-Ruskin area was the principal production site.
Other varieties with some acreage in the 1999-2000 season were the long-time popular 'Agriset
761' (5%), 'Solimar' (5%), and 'Sun Chaser' (2%). Many other varieties and advanced
experimental hybrids were grown on less than 1% of the state's acreage.
Tomato Variety Trial Results
Summary results listing the five highest yielding and the five largest fruited varieties from trials
conducted at the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton;
Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce and North Florida Research and
Education Center, Quincy for the Spring 1999 season are shown inTable 1. High total yields and
large fruit were produced by 'BHN 399' at Bradenton, 'Agriset 761', 'Solimar' and 'Floralina' at
Fort Pierce, and 'Florida 7851' at Quincy. 'Florida 7815' produced high yields at two of the three
locations. 'Sanibel' produced large fruit at all three locations and 'Solimar' at two locations. Not
all entries were grown at each location.
Table 1. Summary of University of Florida tomato variety trials. Spring 1999.
NC 96365 2891 Sanibel 7.9
Florida 7851 27955 PS 69696 7.96
119 other entries had yields similar to ASX 9110.
213 other entries had fruit weight similar to ASX 202.
36 other entries had yields similar to Floralina.
42 other entries had fruit weight similar to Sanibel.
518 other entries had yields similar to Florida 7851.
611 other entries had fruit weight similar to PS 69696.
Agrisales: Agriset 761, ASX 202, ASX 9110.
Asgrow: Florida 47, Sunbeam, Sunpak, Solimar.
BHN: BHN 248, BHN 399, BHN 444.
North Carolina State University: NC 96365.
Novartis: RFT 6131B.
Petoseed: Floralina, Sanibel, PS 647095, PS 69696.
University of Florida: Florida 7815, Florida 7851, Florida 7862.
Summary results listing the five highest yielding and five largest fruited entries from trials at the
University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton; the Indian River
Research and Education Center, Ft. Pierce; and the North Florida Research and Education
Center, Quincy for the fall 1999 season are shown inTable 2. High total yields and large fruit
size were produced by "Florida 7816' at Bradenton; 'Equinox', 'Florida 7816', and 'Florida 7921'
at Fort Pierce; and 'BHN 120A' and PX 647095 at Quincy. 'Florida 7885' and 'Florida 7921'
produced high yields at all three locations. 'Florida 7816' produced large fruit at all locations.
Again, not all entries were included at all locations.
Overall, results of these trials indicate that no single variety dominates the industry as during the
periods when 'Sunny' and 'Agriset 761' were preeminent. Furthermore, varieties appear to be
more location and seasonal specific than in the past.
Table 2. Summary of University of Florida tomato variety trial results. Fall 1999.
Total Yield VarieLarge Fruit
(ctn/acre) Size (oz)
Bradenton Florida 7885 2648 Florida 7816 6.9
Florida 7921 2445 BHN 190 6.8
BHN 273 2422 Solar Set 6.6
Florida 7816 2419 Florida 91 6.5
Fort Pierce Florida 7921
Quincy Florida 7885
23901 Sunbeam 6.5
950 Sunbeam 5.0
867 Florida 7816 4.9
856 Solar Set 4.9
821 Florida 7921 4.8
8213 Equinox 4.8
Florida 47 4.84
2288 Florida 7816 6.3
2265 Florida 91 6.2
2237 BHN 120A 6.1
2229 Captiva 6.1
21975 PX 647095 6.0
113 other entries had yields similar to HA-3017B.
211 other entries had fruit weight similar to Sunbeam.
35 other entries had yields similar to Equinox.
44 other entries had fruit weight similar to Florida 47.
512 other entries had yields similar to BHN 120A.
612 other entries had fruit weight similar to Equinox.
Agrisales: Agriset 761, Equinox.
Asgrow: Florida 47, Florida 91, Solar Set, Sunbeam.
BHN: BHN 120A, BHN 190, BHN 273.
Hazera: HA 3017B.
Petoseed: Captiva, PX 647095
University of Florida: Florida 7816, Florida 7885, Florida 7921.
Tomato Varieties for Commercial Production
The varieties listed have performed well in University of Florida trials conducted in various
Large Fruited Varieties
Agriset 761. Midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Fruit are deep globe and green shouldered.
Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf
BHN-444. Early-midseason maturity. Fruit are globe shape but tend to slightly elongate, and
green shouldered. Not for fall planting. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1
and 2), and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.For Trial. (BHN).
Florida 47. A late midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Uniform green, globe-shaped fruit.
Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray
leaf spot. (Asgrow).
Floralina. A midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Uniform, green shoulder, flattened
globe-shaped fruit. Recommended for production on land infested with Fusarium wilt, Race 3.
Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1, 2, and 3), Verticillium wilt (race 1), gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).
HA 3057. Early-midseason maturity. Uniform green shoulder, flattened globe-shaped fruit. Heat
tolerant. Resisant: Fusarium wilt (race 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), TMV, and TYLCV.For Trial.
Solar Set. An early, green-shouldered, jointed hybrid. Determinate. Fruit set under high
temperatures (920F day/720 night) is superior to most other commercial varieties. Resistant:
Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot.
Sanibel. A late-midseason, jointless, determinate hybrid. Deep oblate shape fruit with a green
shoulder. Tolerant/resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria sterr
canker, root-knot nematode, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).
Solimar. A midseason hybrid producing globe-shaped, green shouldered fruit. Resistant:
Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot.
Sunbeam. Early midseason, deep-globe shaped uniform green fruit are produced on
determinate vines. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and race 2), gray leaf
spot, Alternaria. stem canker. (Asgrow).
Plum Type Varieties
Marina. Medium to large vined determinate hybrid. Rectangular, blocky, fruit may be harvested
mature green or red. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria
stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).
Plum Dandy. Medium to large determinate plants. Rectangular, blocky, defect-free fruit for
fresh-market production. When grown in hot, wet conditions, it does not set fruit well and is
susceptible to bacterial spot. For winter and spring production in Florida. Resistant: Verticillium
wilt, Fusarium wilt (race 1), early blight, and rain checking. (Harris Moran).
Spectrum 882. Blocky, uniform-green shoulder fruit are produced on medium-large determinate
plants. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), root-knot nematode,
bacterial speck (race 0), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).
Supra. Determinate hybrid rectangular, blocky, shaped fruit with uniform green shoulder.
Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), nematodes, and bacterial speck.
Veronica. Tall determinate hybrid. Smooth plum type fruit are uniform ripening. Good
performance in all production seasons. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1
and 2), Alternaria stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).
Cherry Type Varieties
Mountain Belle. Vigorous, determinate type plants. Fruit are round to slightly ovate with uniform
green shoulders borne on jointless pedicels. Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1), Verticillium wilt
(race 1). For Trial. (Novartis).
Cherry Grande. Large, globe-shaped, cherry-type fruit are produced on medium-size
determinate plants. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem
blight, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).
Maynard, D. N. (ed.). 2000. Vegetable variety trial results in Florida for 1999. Fla. Agr. Expt. Sta.
Tomato variety evaluations were conducted in 1999 by the following University of Florida faculty:
D. N. Maynard Gulf Coast Research & Education Center Bradenton
S. M. Olson North Florida Research & Education Center Quincy
J. W. Scott Gulf Coast Research & Education Center Bradenton
P. J. Stoffella Indian River Research & Education Center Fort Pierce
(Maynard and Olson, Vegetarian 00-07)
Potassium, the Limiting Nutrient in Many Gardens
Vegetable gardening is popular in Santa Rosa County and all over the state. Unfortunately, some
gardens are not producing up to their potential. Many years of observing gardens and reviewing
soil test results have convinced me that the lack of maintaining sufficient levels of potassium is
often a limiting factor.
Potassium is generally very soluble in our sandy soils and therefore leaches during periods of
heavy rains and irrigation. Most gardeners are aware that nitrogen leaches readily and
supplement that nutrient, as needed, during the growing season. Unfortunately, the same logic is
often not applied to potassium.
The problem most frequently arises when dealing with vegetable gardeners from points north.
Coming from areas where soils are heavier, with higher cation exchange capacities, they are
accustomed to sidedressing, but only with a fertilizer containing nitrogen.
How many times have agents heard gardeners say that they have sidedressed with "Ammo-Nite"
or other nitrogen fertilizers, but the plants didn't always respond well? In many cases, the reason
could have been because potassium was also low. In such situations, adding more nitrogen
would create an even greater imbalance between these two major nutrients.
Five years of sap testing of tomatoes, strawberries and melons indicate that market producers
encounter the same condition on light soils. Almost without exception, tests show plenty of nitrate
nitrogen in the sap, but levels of potassium that are below the optimum. This requires
recommendations to quickly adjust the K level. Without sap testing it would be easy to blame low
production on other factors.
The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide that familiar publication that we all use, specifically
addresses this issue. On mineral soils, a fertilizer grade such as 15-0-15 is recommended for
Obviously, there are exceptions. Not everyone's garden is low in potassium. Highly organic soils,
or those well amended gardens with increased buffering capacity might maintain optimum
potassium levels for the entire crop season. The average sandy Florida garden however,
frequently benefits from supplemental potassium.
Periodic soil testing over several crop cycles reveals the ability of a particular soil to hold
potassium and other nutrients. When sampling, timing is important. Samples should be taken
several weeks following the basic fertilizer application after potassium levels have stabilized.
(Mullins, ext. agt. IV, Santa Rosa County, Vegetarian 00-07)
-"-"- -' "" "- "
,. ... ~ .. .. -. '..........-
Florida's Record-size Vegetables for Year 2000
As keeper of records for largest vegetables grown in our state (Florida), I have entered into our
book the following five new records set so far in the year 2000.
Vegetable Variety Size Grower County Date
1.Cantaloupe Burgess Collosus 34.48 Thurber Okaloosa 7/00
2.Corn Skyscraper 3.0 lb Graham Suwannee 6/00
3.Kale Dwarf Blue Vates 5 ft 6 in Kelt Duval 6/00
4.Mustard Florida Broadleaf 11 lb 15 oz Sedgwick Palm Beach 1/00
5.Pumpkin iAantc 517 lb Canniff Manatee 6/00
Congratulations to these growers. I am sure it is just a matter of time until these records will be
broken, perhaps by the same growers. Thanks to you agents who have helped verify these
I noticed recently a television news story about a lady's collard plant which measured about
11-12 feet tall. They made a lot to do about it, saying it might be a world's record. Had someone
just checked with the Extension Service, they would have found out it was not even a Florida
state record. Our record of 13 feet 3 inches was set in 1993 by a Leon County gardener named
Keep those records coming this way if you want your county to be recognized for something
meaningful for a change.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 00-07)
Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Daniel J. Cantliffe
Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences
Timothy E. Crocker
Professor, deciduous fruits and nuts, strawberry
Assistant Professor, strawberry
Assistant Professor, vegetable production
Elizabeth M. Lamb
Assistant Professor, production
Assistant Professor, soils
Donald N. Maynard
Stephen M. Olson
Professor, small farms
Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Professor, postharvest
Ronald W. Rice
Assistant Professor, nutrition
Steven A. Sargent
William M. Stall
Professor, weed control
James M. Stephens
Professor and Editor, vegetable gardening
Charles S. Vavrina
Associate Professor, transplants
James M. White
Associate Professor, organic farming
FastCounter by LinkExchange
This page is maintained by Susie Futch.... if you have any questions or comments, contact me at