Front Cover
 Back Cover

Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 119
Title: Florida home garden
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027667/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida home garden
Series Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 119
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Jamison, F. S.
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1943
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Bibliographic ID: UF00027667
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Back Cover
        Page 20
Full Text

(A Revision of Bulletin 107)

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)



Truck Horticulturist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Fig. 1.-College of Agriculture students grow home gardens as a lab-
oratory project, planting, cultivating, spraying and harvesting the vege-
tables themselves.

February, 1943

Bulletin 119

H. P. ADAIR, Chairman, Jacksonville N. B. JORDAN, Quincy
T. T. SCOTT, Live Oak THos. W. BRYANT, Lakeland
R. H. GORE, Fort Lauderdale J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee

JOHN J. TIGERT, M.A., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director of Extension'
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director
CLYDE BEALE, A.B.J., Assistant Editor'
JEFFERSON THOMAS, Assistant Editor'
FRANK M. DENNIS, B.S.A., Supervisor, Egg-Laying Test
RUBY NEWHALL, Administrative Manager'

Cooperative Agricultural Demonstration Work
W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., Coordinator with AAA
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent and Agronomist
E. F. DEBUSK, B.S., Citriculturist and District Agent
R. S. DENNIS, B.S.A., Assistant Coordinator with AAA
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
N. H. MCQUEEN, B.S.A., Assistant Boys' Club Agent
A. L. SHEALY, D.V.M., Animal Industrialist'
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairyman
N. R. MEHRHOF, M.AGR., Poultryman'
A. W. O'STEEN, B.S.A., Assistant Poultryman
WALTER J. SHEELY, B.S., Animal Husbandman
L. T. NIELAND, Farm Forester
C. V. NOBLE, PH.D., Agricultural Economist'
CHARLES M. HAMPSON, M.S., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management
R. H. HOWARD, M.S.A., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management
V. V. BOWMAN, M.S.A., Economist in Marketing
R. V. ALLISON, PH.D., Soil Conservationist'
K. S. MCMULLEN, B.S.A., Soil Conservationist

Cooperative Home Demonstration Work
MARY E. KEOWN, M.S., State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, M.A., District Agent
RUBY McDAVIp, District Agent
ETHYL HOLLOWAY, B.S.H.E., District Agent
ANNA MAE SIKES, M.S., Nutritionist
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Home Improvement Specialist
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, Economist in Food Conservation

Negro Extension Work
A. A. TURNER, Local District Agent
BEULAH SHUTE, Local District Agent

1 Part-time.



The home vegetable garden is desirable for farm families at
all times, for urban families in critical times. It can give a com-
forting assurance of food when this vital product may be diffi-
cult to obtain, as during the present emergency. However,
during an emergency the supplies of gardening tools, fertilizers,
seed, insecticides and fungicides are limited and materials and
supplies must be used so that they are not wasted but rather
are converted into abundant amounts of food.
Considered either for its monetary value or as a source of
wholesome and healthful food the home vegetable garden is
usually the most valuable piece of land on the farm. The value
of the garden should not be calculated merely from the number
of dollars the produce could be sold for, but its value should be
based on what the produce would cost if purchased at a retail
store. The pleasure of having large quantities of high quality
vegetables transcends mere terms of money. Many vegetables
decrease in quality and food value very rapidly after being har-
vested. The quality deteriorates more rapidly at high tempera-
tures. The sooner the vegetables can be used after harvest the
better they are.
The home gardener in Florida may harvest vegetables from
the garden each month of the year. However, there are certain
seasons in which the various crops grow best and the gardener
should try to grow the crops during these best seasons. By
carefully selecting the right vegetables, the gardener can have
an adequate supply of fresh vegetables during most of the year.
To be successful in growing vegetables of good quality, there
are certain facts that should be observed. Some of these are dis-
cussed in this publication.

Considerable money is usually spent by the gardener for seeds,
fertilizer and labor. For this reason every effort should be made
to select a desirable piece of soil for the garden. The plot of
ground selected should be fertile and have adequate water con-
trol. Good water control means providing irrigation for the dry
seasons of the year and good drainage for the wet seasons.
There are places on many farms that, when provided with proper

Florida Cooperative Extension

drainage, do not require irrigation to produce excellent gardens.
These locations are usually on the heavier soils found on the
edge of hammocks and in drained lowlands. Many hours of labor
will be saved the housewife, and the family will be assured of
more vegetables, if the garden is located conveniently close to
the house. It should be well fenced to protect it from rabbits,
chickens and other animals.
The size of the garden will depend upon the number of indi-
viduals in the family, and upon the method used in caring for
the garden. It should be large enough to supply not only fresh
vegetables for immediate consumption but also vegetables for
canning, pickling and storage. Certain crops grow best during
definite seasons and plenty of these should be grown for im-
mediate consumption and also for preserving and canning.
There are two distinct ways to care for a farm or home vege-
table garden. The first and probably most satisfactory way is
to use a relatively small area, fertilize it heavily, plant the crops
relatively close together and do the planting and cultivating
with hand tools. The other method is to use a large area, plant-
ing the rows far enough apart to allow for cultivating with field
equipment. More care will probably be given to the small garden.
Quite often gardeners find if profitable to grow certain crops
such as watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes and Irish pota-
toes in the field and grow only those crops in the garden which
will produce heavily on a small area.

There are many reliable sources from which good vegetable
seed can be purchased. The important thing in purchasing seed is
to know the amount required and the variety that is adapted to
the particular needs for which it is to be produced, and the
growing conditions to which it will be subjected. Vegetable seed
can be bought at seed stores, grocery stores and many other
places of business. Many gardeners find it an advantage to se-
cure catalogs from seed houses, even though they purchase the
seed at local stores.
The gardener should know the variety of vegetable best suited
to his needs before buying, and not be satisfied to buy just car-
rot, beet or cabbage seed. Since seed is such a small part of the
cost in growing the garden, it is usually wise to purchase enough
so that one replanting can be made in case the first one meets
with such adverse conditions that it fails to germinate.

The Florida Home Garden


All cultivated Florida soils are more or less infested with bac-
teria or fungi which cause decay of seed, resulting in poor stands.
The extent of this kind of damage varies with the soil type and
condition, the time of planting and the variety of crop. Under
certain conditions seed decay may cause a complete failure,
whereas the same crop planted only a few weeks later may show
little or no signs of the damage. Unfortunately, there is no
means for determining in advance* what the outcome will be.
However, it is known that the application of certain chemicals
to the seed before planting them will protect them against decay
and it is considered good insurance to treat them. There are
several chemicals on the market recommended for this purpose.
The ones most commonly used for vegetable crops are Cuprocide,
Spergon and Arasan. All of these are used as dusts, and they
may be applied by shaking the seed and dust together for a
minute in a closed glass jar, bottle or tin can. As a rule, the seed
will not retain enough of the chemical to injure them. Therefore,
it is unnecessary to measure the amount of dust for treating
small quantities of seed. After shaking the seed with the dust
the excess dust may be left in the jar or removed by pouring the
seed on a screen. For treating lots of seed of 1 pound or more
a saving can be effected by using measured amounts of the chem-
ical. The following amounts of chemicals are recommended per
pound of seed: Spergon, 1 level teaspoonful; Semesan, 1// tea-
spoonful; Cuprocide and Arasan, 1/ teaspoonful. Treated seed
should be handled in a manner to avoid removing the chemical.
If damping-off should begin to develop in the seedlings it can
usually be checked successfully by wetting the soil, according to
instructions on the package, with a suspension of the material
used for treating the seed.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that there is a tremendous
difference among varieties, and quite often the success or failure
of a garden depends upon the care shown in selecting the proper
varieties. Varieties should be carefully selected for the climatic
conditions in which they are to be grown and, also, for adaptation
to a particular purpose. The varieties given in Table 1 have been
selected because of their adaptability to Florida gardens. The
wise gardener will select varieties from this list, unless others

Florida Cooperative Extension

have been tried and found superior. While some of the varieties
listed are grown by commercial growers, many of them are not
adapted to commercial production. Some are of superior quality
to those grown commercially, but will not stand handling and
shipping. Others have been selected because of their lateness
or earliness of production. It should be understood that the list
has been prepared for home gardeners and not for the commercial
truck grower.
The approximate number of days required to reach edible
maturity after the seed are planted is given in the table. The
climatic conditions prevailing during the time the crop is being
grown will influence the maturity date. In some seasons the
crops will mature in fewer days, in other seasons more days will
be required for the crop to reach edible condition. However,
maturity is approximated in the table. Early and late varieties
may be selected from it for use in the garden.

Plants of such vegetable crops as cabbage, tomato, onion and
pepper can be grown successfully by the home gardener. Quite
often the gardener finds it advantageous to depend upon a local
plant grower for young plants, or the plants may be bought
from one of the larger plant growers that do a mail order busi-
ness. Plants bought from a reliable plant grower are satisfactory.
However, there is always present the danger of bringing in vari-
ous diseases with the plants. In ordering or buying plants the
gardener should be careful to specify definite varieties.
Home gardeners who wish to grow plants find a box filled
with hammock soil an ideal place for this purpose. If the weather
becomes unfavorable the young plants may be protected either
by covering them with paper or cloth or by moving the entire
box to a protected place. Some home gardeners prepare with
extra care a small plot in the garden for growing plants for
transplanting. When plants are grown in this way, some pro-
vision must be made in winter or early spring to protect them
from frost or freezes, while, if the plants are being started in
late summer for fall planting, they should be protected in the
early stages of growth from the hot sun and dashing rains. Old
fertilizer bags washed clean, or other such materials, afford good
protection. The cloth is stretched tightly above the plants, and
should be 10 to 12 inches above the top of the plants in order to
insure adequate ventilation.











tChinese Ca

Corn, Sweet

Corn, Roasti

No. of Days Time to Plant in Florida
d Variety from Seed to
Maturity North Central
Tendergreen 50 Mar.-Apr. Feb.-Mar.
Stringless Black Valentine 45 and and S(
Surecrop Wax 45 Aug.-Sept. Sept.
Kentucky Wonder 65
McCaslan 65 Mar.-June Feb.-Apr. J
Alabama No. 1 65
Fordhook 75
Henderson 65 Mar.-June Feb.-Apr. S(
Baby Fordhook 65
Early Wonder 57
Crosby Egyptian 60 Sept.-Mar. Oct.-Mar. C
Detroit Dark Red 68
Italian Green Sprouting 110 I Aug.-Feb. Aug.-Jan. S
Early Winningstadt 90
Copenhagen Market 85 Sept.-Feb. Sept.-Jan. S
Golden Acre 80
Glory of Enkhuizen 95
Coreless or Nantes 75
Touchon 75 Sept.-Mar. Oct.-Mar. (
Chantenay Red Core 75
Snowball Jan.-Feb. and Oct.-Jan. (
Early Erfurt 100 Aug.-Oct.
Florida Pascal 120 Jan.-Mar. Aug.-Feb. C
Golden Self Blanching 115
bbage Pekin Celery Cabbage 90 Oct.-Jan. Oct.-Jan. N
SGeorgia 60 Feb.-Mar. and Jan.-Apr. and S
Louisiana Sweet 60 Sept.-Nov. Aug.-Nov.
SGolden Cross Bantam 65 Mar.-Apr. Feb.-Mar. J
Oklahoma Silvermine
ng Ear Snowflake Mar.-Apr. Feb.-Mar. J
















Kind Variety

Cowpeas Brown Crowder
Large Blackeye
Cucumbers Straight 8
Eggplant Florida High Bush
Ft. Myers Market
tEndive Green Curled

tEscarole Broad-Leaved Batavian

Kohl Rabi Early White Vienna


Black-Seeded Simpson (Leaf)
tLettuce White Boston (Butter head)
Imperial 44 (Iceberg type)
Muskmelons Smith's Perfect
Cantaloupes Honey Rock
Hales Best
fMustard Southern Giant Curled
Florida Broad Leaf
Clemson Spineless
Okra White Velvet
Perkins Long Green
{Crystal Wax
*Onions Bermuda Red
[ Yellow
Early Grano
fParsley Moss-Curled (Triple Curled)
Little Marvel
JPeas Hundredfold
Laxton's Progress

of Days Time to Plant in Florida
SSeed to
aturity North Central South
65 Mar.-May Mar.-May Feb.-Apr.
45 Feb.-Apr. Feb.-Mar. Jan.-Feb.
50 and Sept.
120 Feb.-Mar. Jan.-Feb. Dec-Feb. and
120 and July Aug.-Sept.
70 Feb.-Mar. Jan.-Feb. Sept.-Jan.
and Sept. and Sept.
70 Feb.-Mar. Jan.-Feb. Sept.-Jan.
and Sept. and Sept.
50 Mar.-Apr. and Feb.-Mar. and Nov.-Feb.
Oct.-Nov. Oct.-Nov.
60 Feb.-Mar. Jan.-Feb.
70 and Sept. and Sept. Sept.-Jan.
90 Mar.-Apr. Feb.-Apr. Feb.-Mar.
60 Jan.-Mar. and Jan.-Mar. and Sept.-Mar.
60 Sept.-May Sept.-Nov.
45 Mar.-May Mar.-May Feb.-Mar.
45 and Aug. and Aug. and
45 Aug.-Sept.
150 Jan.-Mar. Jan.-Mar. Jan.-Mar.
150 and and and
140 Aug.-Nov. Aug.-Nov. Sept.-Dec.
70 Feb. Dec.-Jan. Sept.-Jan.









Pan America
Japanese Foliage (Shogoin)
Purple Top

Kind Variety

Peppers California Wonder
Peppers (Hot) Hungarian Wax
Anaheim Chili
tPotatoes (Irish) Sebago
B iss Triumph
(See Squash, Winter)j
Early Scarlet Globe
tRadish Cincinnati Market
Scarlet Turnip White-tipped
:.:Spinach Bloomsdale, Long Standing
Bloomsdale Savoy
Spinach, Summer New Zealand
Patty Pan or White Bush
Squash, Summer Yellow Straight Neck
Table Queen
Squash, Winter African
Sweet Potatoes Improved Porto Rican
Copper-Skinned Porto Rican
Swiss Chard Lucullus

Time to Plant in Florida

No. of Days
from Seed to




Oct.-Nov. and

and Aug.




Jan.-Apr. and

Central South
Jan.-Mar. Jan.-Feb. and
Jan.-Mar. Jan.-Feb. and
I Aug.-Oct.

Jan. Sept.-Jan.


and Jan.

and Aug.





Jan.-Mar. and


Oct.-Feb. Oct.-Feb.

Feb.-Sept. | Aug.-Mar.

Jan.-Mar. and Oct.-Feb.
Sept.-Nov. I
Jan.-Apr. Feb.-Mar.

* Will not be injured by light frost.
SWill be injured by temperatures as low as 28
SCan stand considerable freezing.

only when blossoming or forming heads.



Florida Cooperative Extension

Fig. 2.-A good home garden is not difficult to grow, and should provide
the family with fresh vegetables throughout most of the year.

Success in getting transplanted plants to grow satisfactorily
depends very much upon the growing conditions to which the
plants are subjected in the plant bed. As the time for trans-
planting approaches the plants should be gradually hardened.
This is accomplished by subjecting them to slightly adverse
growing conditions so that they will store food instead of using
it in growing. To harden the plants the cover protecting the
young plants should be left off a little longer each day so that
for the last week before transplanting it is not used. Water
should be withheld from the plants for longer periods than usual.
However, it is always wise to water the plants thoroughly a few
hours before removing them from the plant bed.

There is no difficulty in getting plants to grow when trans-
planted, provided the plants are suitable for transplanting and
are planted properly and at the right season. Well hardened
plants should be used for transplanting. Fast growing, very
succulent plants will have an exceedingly difficult time in resum-
ing growth after transplanting and will recover only when ex-

The Florida Home Garden

tremely favorable conditions prevail. Plants should be watered
thoroughly 12 hours before they are removed from the seedbed.
The soil into which they are to be transplanted should be firm,
well worked and free from trash. The plants should be set
slightly deeper in the garden than they were in the seedbed, and
the soil should be carefully pressed around the roots. Watering,
following transplanting, not only supplies needed soil moisture
but helps to bring the soil into close contact with the roots and
is, therefore, very beneficial.
Plants may be transplanted any time of the day. However, if
they are transplanted in the morning or during the heat of mid-
day it is wise to protect them from the hot sun. This is often
accomplished by using plametto leaves or shingles stuck into
the ground alongside the plants so as to shade them from the
sun. Plants transplanted in late afternoon or evening will with-
stand the shock of transplanting much better than those trans-
planted in the morning. There should be no difficulty in getting
transplanted plants to grow if they are carefully handled, the
soil is well firmed around the roots and adequate moisture is
The soil in the garden should be carefully and well prepared.
This means that the crop residue that is present either will be
burned, raked off, or, much better, turned into the soil so that
it is well decomposed by planting time. When the plant residue
on the garden is raked off or burned, the organic matter so valu-
able in maintaining the fertility of the soil is destroyed. How-
ever, there are times in the home garden when the old plant
growth should be removed to get the land into shape for planting
small seeds or to destroy diseased materials.
It is best to select a piece of soil free from weeds but, if this
is impracticable, such plants as bermuda grass may be partially
eliminated by carefully raking out the stems and roots as the
ground is spaded or plowed. A few hours of extra work before
planting will save many hours of hoeing later in the season. Gar-
deners will find it unprofitable to plant in areas severely infested
with root-knot or nematodes.
The land should be well spaded or plowed some time before
planting begins. Ten days or 2 weeks before planting, the soil
should be well pulverized and the commercial fertilizer applied.
The rows are then marked out and the garden is ready for

Florida Cooperative Extension

Practically every soil type in this state requires the addition
of plant foods for the production of a satisfactory crop. Part of
this plant food, particularly nitrogen, can be supplied by animal
manures. In fact, manure is one of the most satisfactory fer-
tilizing materials that the gardener can use and if available in
sufficient quantities it will furnish all the elements necessary for
the growing of vegetables with the exception of phosphoric acid.
The latter should be applied in addition to the manure. For
every ton of manure approximately 200 pounds of superphos-
phate should be used. This will balance the plant foods furnished
by the manure.
If well-rotted animal manures are used there is really no limit
to the amount that can be applied. Approximately 25 pounds of
manure and 212 pounds of 16 percent superphosphate for each
100 square feet of garden will furnish an adequate food supply
for the garden. However, if the manure is not well rotted and
larger quantities are to be used, it should be applied two or three
weeks before planting and well worked into the soil so that it
will be partially decomposed before the garden is planted.
When manure is not available, the plant food required for the
successful growing of vegetables may be secured from com-
mercial fertilizers.1 Probably the best fertilizer for general pur-
poses is one analying 5% nitrogen, 7, phosphoric acid and 5%
potash. This fertilizer may be applied at the rate of 21/2 to 5
pounds for 100 square feet of area. While the fertilizer can be
applied in the crop row if properly mixed with the soil, it is safer
for the home gardener to broadcast the fertilizer. It should be
applied 10 days or two weeks before the seeds are planted. If
applied just previous to planting time it is liable to burn the
young plants as they emerge from the seed. Many gardeners
get splendid results by applying the major part of the fertilizer
10 days before the seeds are planted and the remainder when the
crop is half grown. When fertilizer is applied to growing plants
care should be used in applying it so that none touches the leaves
or stems. The plant will be severely burned whenever fertilizer
is allowed to remain in contact with the foliage.

SAt present the only fertilizer containing any chemical nitrogen avail-
able to gardeners is the Victory Garden Special, a 3-8-7 fertilizer. Since
this fertilizer is low in nitrogen, the addition of manure or additional
organic materials to the garden is important.

The Florida Home Garden


The time of planting has much to do with successful growth of
any crop. In Table 1 are given the approximate dates that each
different vegetable can be planted in the various parts of the
state. Judgment should be shown in using the suggested dates.
Perhaps the location is relatively warm or cold as compared with
adjoining areas. This should influence the selection of a plant-
ing date. Then, too, some seasons are warm and others cold.
The home gardener can afford to take some risk to assure an
early or late crop. However, it is important that consideration
be given to the risks of having the crop frosted or of running
into too hot weather for proper maturity.



100 Feet
of Row

Beans, bush ...... 1 lb.
Beans, lima ........ 1 lb.
Beans, pole ........ 1 lb.
Beet ................ 1 oz.
Broccoli ..............
Cabbage ............
Carrot ........2.... i oz.
Cauliflower ........
Celery ...............
Chinese cabbage 1/2 oz.
Collards ............
Corn, sweet ........ % lb.
Cowpeas ............ 1% lbs.
Cucumber ..... 1 oz.
Eggplant ............
Endive ................ 1 oz.
Escarolle ............ 1 oz.
Lettuce .............. % oz.
Muskmelons ...... 1 oz.
Mustard .....1..... 1 oz.
Okra ................... 2 oz.
O nion ................. 1 oz.
Parsley .............. 1 oz.
Peas ....... ......... 1% lbs.
Pepper ............
Potatoes, Irish .. 15 lbs.
Radish -........ 1 oz.
Spinach .............. 2 oz.
Squash, summer 2 oz.
Squash, winter 2 oz.
Sweet potatoes 80 plants
Tom ato .............
Turnip ................ 1 oz.
Watermelons .... 2 oz.

*Seed Required
to Produce
Given No.
of Plants

1 oz. to 5000
1 oz. to 5000

1 oz. to 4500
1 oz. to 8000

1 oz. to 4000

1 oz. to 2000

1 oz. to 1000

1 oz. to 2000

Distance Inches
Between Between] Depth of
Rows Plants Planting
(inches)| in Row (inches)

18-30 2-3 1/2 to 2
26-48 12-15 1%1 to 2
40-48 15-18 112 to 2
14-24 3-5 /2 to 1
30-36 16-22 12 to 1
24-36 14-24 1/2
16-24 1-3 1/2
24-30 20-24 I 1/
24-36 6-10 to 12
24-36 8-12 14 to /2
24-30 14-18 1/2
34-42 12-18 1 to 2
24-36 2-3 1 to 2
48-60 15-24 1/2 to /4
36-42 36-48 1/2
18-24 8-12 3/
18-24 8-12 %
12-18 12-18 %
70-80 48-60 %
14-24 4-6 12
24-40 18-24 1 to 2
12-24 3-4 %
12-20 8-12 3/
24-36 2-3 1 to 2
20-36 18-24 1/2
36-42 12-15 4 to 8
12-18 1-2 %
14-18 3-5 34
42-48 42-48 Vz
90-120 48-72 2
48-54 18-24
40-60 36-40 2
12-20 4-6 /2 to %
90-120 60-84 2

* Plants of these crops may be purchased from local plant growers.



Florida Cooperative Extension

Care should be used in planting the seed at the proper distances
and depths. The distance between rows and of seeds in the
row should be studied in Table 2. The seed will be planted much
thicker in the row than the plants are to stand. After the plants
are well started they are thinned to a stand at the approximate
distance given in Table 2 to allow the proper amount of space
for best development.
Planting depths for seed of the different crops also are given
in Table 2. Where different depths are listed for the same seed,
the shallow depth is used usually on heavy or very moist soils,
the greater depth on light and dry soils.

The primary purpose of cultivating the garden is to keep
weeds under control. Since this is the important thing, every
effort should be made to keep weeds out of the garden. If a
wheel hoe or cultivator is used the teeth or knives should be set
shallow so that the weeds will be cut off close to the surface of
the soil. When the garden is cultivated or hoed deeply the roots
of the vegetables will be cut. On sandy soil the only time culti-
vation is either necessary or desirable is when there are weeds
present, then immediate cultivation is an advantage. It is much
easier to destroy weeds when they are quite young than it is to
remove them after they become large.

For crops to be grown during dry seasons some method of
watering or irrigation is desirable. Overhead sprinkling with an
ordinary garden hose is satisfactory. On some soil types water-
ing can be accomplished by running the water down the middle
of the row, controlling the flow so that the soil is thoroughly
saturated. If no other means are available buckets can be used,
although this is a very laborious method.
Whatever the method, the soil should be thoroughly saturated
whenever it is watered. Frequency of watering will depend upon
the type of crop being grown and the weather conditions pre-
vailing. For the majority of crops a thorough watering once a
week is sufficient. If the soil is thoroughly wetted at each water-
ing the amount of water to be applied for growing the crop will
be less than if simply the surface of the soil is watered fre-

The Florida Home Garden

Crops grown during the rainy summer season should be plant-
ed on ridges or beds so that the soil immediately around their
roots is well drained. Frequent cultivations during this period
may help to dry out the soil.


There are many vegetable crops that thrive best during cool
weather. Not only will they grow best during cool weather but
they will stand light frosts and many will even stand consider-
able freezing without being seriously injured. This permits
their culture late in the fall and early in the spring, and quite
often they can be grown during the entire winter. Cabbage
and all its relatives such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, col-
lards, turnips, mustard and radishes, grow best during cool
weather. Other vegetable crops that thrive in cool weather are
lettuce, endive, spinach, carrots, beets and onions.


Snap beans, lima beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sweet corn,
while they must be grown in a season that is free from frost,
will do best if produced before or after the season of hot sum-
mer temperatures. While some of these crops will grow during
hot weather, it is almost impossible to secure a satisfactory set
of fruit or to control the diseases that develop during summer.
These crops are planted immediately following the last frost.
The crops available for planting at this time are indicated in
Table 1.

The number of crops that thrive during hot weather in Florida
is limited. However, sweet potatoes, New Zealand spinach, okra,
eggplant, pepper and watermelons will all produce well during
hot weather. For this reason all or part of these crops should
be planted in home gardens for use during summer.


Insects and diseases attack all vegetable crops and in seasons
favorable for their development will destroy the crop unless they
are properly and vigorously fought by the gardener. The garden-
er should be prepared to control both insects and diseases.

Florida Cooperative Extension

There are two important types of insects attacking the foliage
of the crops. These may be classed as chewing and sucking in-
sects. The chewing insects eat the foliage and their injury can
be easily seen. Cabbage worms are a good example of this type.
They are controlled by using a stomach poison, such as arsenate
of lead. Dusting with a lead arsenate dust made by mixing 1
part of lead arsenate to 4 or 5 parts of lime usually gives good
control. Beans are the only crop that cannot be dusted with this
dust, since the arsenate burns the plants. Since arsenical dusts
and sprays are poisonous to humans, care should be used in
washing off any residue on the vegetable before using it.
The damage done by sucking insects is not easily recognized.
Some sucking insects are very small and not easily seen. They
suck the sap from the plant and cause a mottling of the plant or
the dying of tissue in small areas. The aphids are an example of
this type. They are controlled by applying a contact dust. Nico-
tine sulphate or Black Leaf 40 has been the standard insecticide
used as a control. A 3 or 4 percent dust is made, using lime as
the filler. Pyrethrum and rotenone compounds also are good.
Fungous diseases on plants can be controlled by dusting with
copper-lime dust or spraying with bordeaux mixture. To be most
effective, dust used for controlling either insects or diseases
should be applied when there is no wind. Nicotine dust used to
control sucking insects should be applied on a warm day.
There are certain other diseases and insects that live in the
soil or are carried by the seed. These cannot be controlled by
a dust or spray. For this reason it is advisable, if possible, not to
grow the same crop on the same land two years in succession.
For the home garden in Florida it is well to select, at least every
three years, a new piece of soil which is free from nematodes
and has not had vegetables grown on it for several years. Also it
is advisable to rotate the crops so that no individual crop or its
relatives is grown on the same soil two years in succession.

To insure high quality products some vegetables must be
harvested promptly when they have reached the proper stage of
maturity. Many deteriorate rapidly. Sweet corn and English
peas lose one-half of their sweetness at prevailing field tempera-
ture in two days after they have reached edible maturity, and
snap beans rapidly become fibrous and stringy once the pod is
fully grown. However, it is not true that all crops lose quality

The Florida Home Garden

quickly. Carrots, turnips, beets and in fact, all root crops, con-
tinue to be of high quality as long as they continue to grow
rapidly. Peppers and egplants may be harvested over a long
period of time without a decrease in the quality. With such
crops as tomatoes, cantaloupes and watermelons, higher quality
is developed if they are allowed to ripen on the vines. When
vegetables are harvested all cull products should be removed
from the plants and destroyed. Removing all fruit from the
plant will keep the plant producing for a longer period and will
help in controlling certain insects and diseases.
Those crops that deteriorate rapidly on the plant, such as corn,
peas and beans, will continue to deteriorate when removed from
the plant. This change occurs much more rapidly at high than
at low temperatures, and in storing they should be held at as low
a temperature as possible without freezing them. One of the pri-
mary reasons for the garden is to have high quality products for
the home-therefore, we should make every effort once the crop
is grown to harvest it at the proper time.

Many home gardeners quite often have a surplus of certain
vegetables. The first use of this surplus should be to preserve
it for the future. This can be accomplished by canning, preserv-

Fig. 3.-An abundant supply of garden vegetables gives variety in the fresh
product and the surplus can be preserved for times of less abundance.

18 Florida Cooperative Extension

ing in salt brine, dehydrating, or storing dry. If a surplus re-
mains after these needs are filled often it may be sold.
To be marketable, surplus garden produce must be of as high
quality as that of the commercial grower and must be graded
and packaged so that it is acceptable to the buyer. It should be
emphasized that the home gardener is primarily interested in
growing products for home use and it is not until all home needs
are filled that he can afford to sell any produce.

The Florida Agricultural Extension Service, in co-
operation with the United States Department of Agri-
culture and county governments, maintains county
agents in 60 of Florida's 67 counties, home demon-
stration agents in about two-thirds as many. These
agents will be glad to help you with your home garden-
ing or other farm and home problems.
They have bulletins on most subjects which they
can give you. They are acquainted with Government
programs and policies. They are awake to the exigen-
cies of the times, and will do everything possible to
help. They know local growing conditions, and are
familiar with what is required for success.
Consult county and home demonstration agents,
usually in either the courthouse or the post office
building at the county seat, freely. Or, if you prefer,


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