Grasses, forage plants, tomato blight

Material Information

Grasses, forage plants, tomato blight
Series Title:
Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Rolfs, P. H ( Peter Henry ), 1865-1944
Place of Publication:
Lake City Fla
Experiment Station of Florida at the State Agricultural College
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
10 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Grasses -- Varieties -- Florida ( lcsh )
Forage plants -- Varieties -- Florida ( lcsh )
Tomatoes -- Diseases and pests -- Florida ( lcsh )
Grasses ( jstor )
Orchards ( jstor )
Broadcasting industry ( jstor )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
Statement of Responsibility:
[P.H. Rolfs].

Record Information

Source Institution:
Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:
030133064 ( ALEPH )
18545358 ( OCLC )
AEN0316 ( NOTIS )


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record of the Institute for Food and
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site maintained by the Florida
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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


- OF THE -


Op F JOR ID0,.

- AT THB -

State Agricultural College,





REV. JAS. P. DePASS, Director.


k '~ 7"
i. i
ii : ~

J. P. Depass, Professor of Agriculture. :
Ji. N. Whitner, A.M., Prof. of Pomology and Horticulturej
A. W. Bitting, B.S., Prof. Veterinary Science.
P. H.gRolfs, M.S., Prof. Botany and Entomology.
A. A. Persons, M.S., Prof. Agricultural Chemistry.
W. G. DePass, Assistant Agriculturist.

Summary...................................................... page 9
Statem ent ........ ............................................. 4
Hairy Flowered Paspalum (P. dilatatum) ..... .......... 4
Ray Grass (Arrhenatherum avenaceum).................... 5
Red Plume Grass (Tracholema rosea)............. .......... 6
A Wild Grass (Eragrostis campestris)....................... 6
Texas Blue Grass (Poa Arachnifera)..................... 6
Brown Bent Grass (Agrostis canini)...................... 6
Bent Grass (A. alba )....................... .... ............ 7
Golden Oats (Avena flavescens).......... ............... 8
-- (Cynosures cristatus). ...................... 8
Brome Grasses.................................................. 9
Plants Failed to Mature..................................... 9
Tomato Blight................. .............................. o1

This bulletin was written by Prof. P. H. Rolfs, at my re-
quest, because last year as botanist and entomologist of the
station he had charge of subjects on which he writes.
JAS. P. DEPASS, Director.

The experiments commenced about November 15, 1891,
when W. G. DePass. Assistant Agriculturist, superintended
the seeding of many species in a peach orchard. About Janu-
ary ist, 1892, these were placed under my observation.
These experiments are by no means conclusive, but by
direction of Director DePass, these notes have been collected
for publication.
These experiments should be diligently continued for a
number of years, and under various conditions. The success,
however, in this very unfavorable year, encourages us in the
hope that there will be forage plants found to meet the demands
of our State. In selecting such a plant two points, feed and
fertilizer, must be kept in mind.
These grasses are given 'in order of their success for this year.
HAIRY FLOWERED PASPALUM. (Paspalum dilatatum, Poir.)
[See Plate.]
As a result of this years experiment this grass stands at the
head of the list. It combines several good qualities. First. It
makes a good pasture grass, growing continuously throughout
the year, and thrives well when run over by cattle. Second.
It grows tall enough to make hay, the copious broad leaves
growing more than a foot long. Third. This years experiment
seems to indicate that it will grow well from seed. Fourth. The
seed seems to be easily collected.
A small package of plants sent to the station were set out
last fall. They were slow in starting, but when once thorough-
ly rooted they stood the frost and drouth without injury.
A small package of seed sowed January, 1892, have made
almost as good sod as the roots set out in November, 1891.
This grass is a native of Southeastern United States and of
South America. It grows from two to five feet high, with
numerous leaves about a foot long and one-third to one-half
inch broad. It does not'creep upon the ground like some species,
belonging to this genus but is inclined to grow in tufts. It has
been recommended for pasture and for hay by persons in Texas
and in Louisiana.*
The following statement of chemical analysis indicates that
it makes good fodder and good fertilizer:-
Water, 14.3 per cent.; ash, 7.28 per cent.; fat 1.89 per
Of. Vasey. Agricultural Grasses And Forage Plants of the United States.

cent.; nitrogen, free extract, 50.07 per cent.; crude fibre, 21.21
per cent. ; albuminoides, 5.25 per cent.
RAY GRASS. (Arrhenatherum avenaceum, Beauv). (Avena
elutior, L.) This is a promising grass for winter pasture. It
was imported from Central Europe, where it is much prized.
It is known also as Randall grass, and evergreen grass. Some
of the experiments with it are given below. The culims are two
to four feet high, erect, with four or five leaves ach. The
leaves are six to ten inches long and one third of an inch wide.
Panicle loose, from six to ten inches long. The structure of
the flower is similar to that of the cultivated oats. The roots are
perennial, making leaf growth enough for a winter pasture as far
north as in Mississippi.

Nov. 15-Sowed in drill between rows of trees in peach
Jan. 2-Good stand, fine color, large blade; very promis-
ing in appearance.
Jan. 17-Highly favorable growth.
Feb. 2-Looks well and making good growth.
Feb. i6-Continues to do well.
March II-Claims ground in drill. Seed badly mixed.
April 4-Doing well.
May 31-Tall enough and sod heavy enough to make good
June io-Growing even in severe drouth.
Nov. 19--Fine grazing sod; looking very green in contrast
with the dry surrounding.
Jan. 28-Sowed in drill between rows in peach orchard, a
portion fertilized with "station compost."
March i i-Good growth. Growth and size practically the
same as that sown November 15, r89i.
Nov. I9-Good grazing sod. No perceptible difference in
the fertilized and unfertilized.

Jan. 29-Sowed in drills and broadcast, a portion of drills
and broadcast fertilized with "station compost."
March II-Heavy stand and fine growth in drills. Poor
stand and poor growth on broadcast.
April 4-Making good growth.
May 31-Affected by the drouth.
June io-Nearly all dead.

S' -TRIcHotERA d SE 'Schrad.
-,. This grass stood the drouth remarkably .ell, and has made a
fine sod. In all respects it looks as though it might be placed at
the head of our list; but the limitedness of experiment will not
allow it to be placed higher.
Culms over two feet high; leaves long, soft, not hairy, and
delicate. Panicle a fine rosy plume, about eight inches long,
making an elegant showing as an ornamental grass. The first
culms were sent up in July, and there are still (November 19)
new ones forming. All this time there has been vegetation
enough to make a good crop of hay.
The seed was obtained from the Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Vasey says the grass was imported from the Cape of Good
Hope, Africa.
During last winter frequent excursions were made to collect
sets of native grass to introduce into cultivation.
The above named grass was among those collected. It
grew well, and made an excellent growth on poor, dry land.
So far it seems to be a good summer grass.
TEXAS BLUE GRASS (Poa Arachnifera, Low).
This grass holds up its former reputation, and proves itself
thoroughly reliable as a lawn or pasture grass, but t is not meet-
ing with great favor, because it fails to produce a stand from
.seed, and to plant a field with sets is too much work. *
BROWN BENT GRASS (Agrostis canina, L.)
A low grass, with slender culis and expanded panacles,
growing in mountainous regions of the United States and Eu-
rope. In these regions it forms a close sod and affords a good

Nov. 15.-Sowed in drill between rows of trees in peach
Jan. 2.-Heavy stand but the individual plants rather
Jan. 17.-Good stand; plants making no progress in growth;
color good.
Feb. 2.-Doing quite well.
Feb. 17.-Good stand, leaves spindly, of good color.
March i i.-The seed had not been well cleaned so the
*Last ydar the season was uncommonly dry and it is possible that this
caused the seed to fail. Director De Pass' experience in getting plants has
been successful. (See p 13 Bulletin 16).


foreign seed grqw and crowded the bent grass down to a consid-
erable degree.
April 4.-The bent grass doing well in spite of the "weeds."
May 5.-Fair sod.
June io.-Suffering from by long drouth.
Nov. 19.-Making a good sod and will probably give pas-
Jan. 29.--Sowed in drills and also broadcast, a portion
both of drills and of broadcast fertilized with "station compost."
Feb. 27.-Plants coming up.
March i. Good stand in drills. Very heavy stand in
broadcast. Th'e portion fertilized showed decided advantage
over the unfertilized.
May 5.-Growing and making a fair appearance.
June II.-Killed out by long continued drouth.
BENT GRASS (Agrostis alba, L.)
This is known by several common names, among them are
Fiorin, Redtop, Finetop; also several different scientific names
have been applied to it. (A. stolonofera, A. vulgaris, Vasey, p.
77, Vol. III., No. I Contb., U. S. Nat. Museum).
It grows two or three feet high from a creeping root stock.
The sod of this grass is firm and tough when once formed. It
is a valued grass at the North, and has been reported as doing
well in Louisiana.
While it attains its best in moist rich land it is by no means
restricted to that kind of land.
Nov. 15-Sowed in drills between rows of trees in peach
Jan. 2-Much like brown bent grass.
Jan. 17-Making better growth than brown bent grass.
Feb. 2-No better than brown bent grass.
Feb. 16-Same as brown bent grass.
March ni-Less progress than brown bent grass.
April 4-Slow growth.
May 4-Died out in drier places.
June io -Part lived through spri-g drouth.
Nov. 19-Making sod, and may grow enough for winter
Jan. 29-Sowed in drills and broadcast. A portion of
drills and broadcast fertilized with station compost."
March I t-No plants up in drills; a heavy stand in broad-
cast plot.

April 4-Fair growth. Fertilized portion better than un-
May io-Dying from drouth.
GOLDEN OATS (Avena flavescens, L.).
Where this grass is able to grow it makes a valuable fodder.
Nov. 15-Sowed in drills between rows of trees in peach
Jan. 2--Stand good; especially the moister portion.
Jan. 17.-Making fair growth; good color.
Feb. 2-Fair growth and color.
Feb. 16-Making fair growth.
March II-Good growth. The seed badly mixed.
April 4-Growth good.
May 3 ;-A good sod formed; growth continues.
Sept. 20-Unfortunately the plot was moved over so the
seed was lost and the identity is doubtful.
Nov. 19-Growing and forming a grazing sod.
Introduced from Europe. In cooler portions of the
United States it is spoken of as a tender fodder grass.
Nov. i c-Sowed in drill between rows of trees in peach
Jan. 2-Good stand and good color. Plants small.
Jan. 17-Making slow progress.
Feb. 2-Better growth and color.
March Ii -Very slow progress.
April 4-Plants spindly and poor color.
May 31-Alive but small.
Nov. i--Growing.
Jan. 29-Sowed in drills and broadcast in an open field.
A portion of drills and of broadcast fertilized with "station com-
March Ii-In drills, good stand and fine growth. In
broadcast good stand and fair growth.
April 4-Being killed by drouth.
May 3 -Killed by drouth.
These experiments were duplicated four times in peach or-
chard and twice in the open field.
In the orchard duplicate plots of all seeds on hand were

sowed about January 2d, January I5th, February 4th and March
ist. In the open field one set of plots were sowed January 28th,
another February i4th and another March ist.
Besides these another set of experiments were carried on
by sowing the seed in a field of oats.
It was hoped that the oats would afford some protection to
the young plants, but the drouth was too severe last summer
even for the oats.
In all nearly two hundred experiments were tried.
A great many seeds failed to produce plants.
A great many young forage plants cannot stand a severe
and long continued drouth.
Considering all points of the grasses that lived until
November i9th, the following is a provisional order of their
(I) Paspalum dilatatum; (2) Arrhenatherum avenaceum;
(3) Tricholna rose; (4) Eragrostis campestris; (5) Poa Atachni-
fera; (6) Agrostis canina, etc.
The four brome grasses (B. inermis, B. molles, B. pratensis
and B. uniloides) seeded, all grew well and matured seed but
wouldd not make pasture nor hay. The seed was badly mixed.
Schrader's grass (Bromus uniloides, Kurth) that has been recom-
mended was very poor.
List of species that produced plants but failed to mature:

Sweet Vernal Grass-

Texas Blue Grass-

Kidney Vetch-
White Melilot-
Smaller Medick-
Red Clover-
Mammoth Clover-
Crimson Clover-
White Clover-
Japan Clover-

Authoxantum adoratum,
Avena steralis,
Cenchurus Montana.
Eragrostis diandra,
Eriochloa aristata,
Glyceria nervata,
Panicum frumataceum,
Panicum Palmerii,
Pennisetum cenchroides.
Poa arachnifera,
Phalaris corulescens.
Lathyris sp.
Authyilis vulneris.
Melelotus alba.
Medicago sativa.
Medicago media.
Trifolium pratense.
Trifolium pratense varperenne.
Trifolium incarnatum.
Trifolium repens.
Lespedezia striata.

A small-plot of white clover has'been observed almost daily
since last March. It seems to be an accidental patch under
water oaks. While other plants have failed to live this has pro-
duced blossoms and made sod in spite of being constantly
Fifty-four species were sowed that produced no plants.
These failed either for the want of proper condition or because
the seed was bad.
This disease is causing considerable loss in parts of Florida,
and is doing much damage in other Gulf States.
The blight can be easily distinguished from other diseases
of the tomato. The first sign is wilting of a single leaf near a
head, as if it were suffering from drouth. Soon other leaves are
involved and rapidly, in warm weather, the whole head shows
similar wilting. There are no spots, no downy outgrowths; no
other signs of disease.
The time elapsing between the first appearance of the
disease and the death of the plant depends on atmospheric con-
ditions. I know of no case where the plant recovered from an
unmistakable attack.
During last year's study on this disease a good many inter-
esting facts were learned. The most important ones may be'
put-to practical use in the form of several don't's. "
i. Don't plant tomatoes on land that had blight on it last
2.'Don't plant (i) summer cow-peas, (2) summer squash,
(3) cabbage, (4) egg plants, (5) Irish potatoes, (6) musk melons
nor (7) water melons on land infested with blight.
3. Don't let a plant grow a minute after it shows signs of
4. Don't pile plants that were blighted. Dry separately and
5. Don't move a vine that has been killed by blight, burn
it on the spot.
Eight different experiments with as many different fingi-
cides were tried and all gave negative results. It is intended
that these shall be continued this year.
Specimens of diseased plants'will be gladly studied and
replies to questions cheerfully furnished. In sending specimens
please wrap in such a way that they will keep green until they
arrive here.
Specimens have been liberally furnished by persons in
various portions of the State, but the interest in their section
prevents my mentioning them.
Prof. Botany, F. A. C.