Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00122
 Material Information
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 1977
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00122
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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April 1, 1977

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

J. F. Kelly

James Montelaro
G. A. Marlowe, Jr.

J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor
R. D. William
Assistant Professor


FROM: James M. Stephens Extensi Vegetable e ial




A. Vegetable Field Days Six dates set


A. Hairy Indigo Cover Crop for Nematode Control
B. Water Conservation in the Early Growth of Vegetables
C. Nutsedge Control in Vegetables Cultural Management


A. Timely Gardening Topics
B. Know Your Vegetables Banana Squash

NOTE: Anyone

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

Whenever possible,

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research,
educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.



A. Vegetable Field Days Six dates set.

Dates for six Vegetable Field Days have been set. They are as follows:

I. Location
Date and

Time -

II. Location
Date and Time

III. Location
Date and Time

IV. Location
Date and Time

V. Location
Date and Time

ARC (Yelvington Farm), Hastings, FL
1:15 PM, Thursday, April 14, 1977
Potatoes and Cabbage

AREC, Belle Glade, FL
9:30 AM, Thursday, May 5, 1977
General Muck-grown Vegetables

ARC, Leesburg, FL
1:15 PM, Wednesday, June 1, 1977
Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Cukes

Vegetable Crops Department, Gainesville, FL
9:30 AM, Thursday, June 2, 1977
General Vegetables

Zellwood Farm (of AREC,
7:00 PM, Thursday, June
Sweet Corn

Sanford), Zellwood, FL
2, 1977

VI. Location
Date and

Time -

AREC, Bradenton, FL
9:45 AM, Wednesday, May 25, 1977
Tomatoes, Peppers, etc.

A program for most field days will be sent out at a later date. Please
put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend all events.


A. Hairy Indigo Cover Crop for Nematode Control

Cover crops are recommended highly in a rotation program in vegetable pro-
duction. If for nothing else but the organic matter and nitrogen added to our
sandy soil, they are worthwhile. Adding nematode control should make cover-crop-
ping during the off-season (summer) even more attractive to vegetable growers.

Hairy indigo is a cover crop offering all three benefits. This was proved
in a three-year study by Dr. H. L. Rhoades at the AREC at Sanford. Dr. Rhoades
grew hairy indigo, sesbania and sorghum as summer cover crops and followed them
with vegetable crops. Some of the plots were fumigated to find out if nematode
control could be improved. Results of the three-year study with snap beans are
presented in the following table.


NIeimaitode populations and snap bean yields following
three different cover crops

Sting nematodes Root knot Yield
Cover crop (100 cm3 soil) index a (kg/ha)

Sorghum 145 1.3 3387
Sesbania 63 3.7 5592
Sesbania + DD (260 liters/ha) 1 1.8 8923
Hairy indigo (broadcast) 5 1.5 8858
Hairy indigo (in-row) 2 1.2 8987
LSD .05 0.5 2540
.01 0.7 3517
(a) Root knot nematode galling of snap beans at maturity based on an in-
dex of 1, no galling, to 5, severe galling.

Dr. Rhoades' study indicates that hairy indigo may be a valuable summer
crop for reducing sting nematode populations before fall and winter vegetable
production in Florida. He warns, however, that additional control measures
may be needed when hairy indigo is followed by a crop like cucumber which is
highly susceptible to nematodes. This is true in spite of the fact that hairy
indigo is quite resistant to these two rootknot species found in Florida.

To be successful as a cover crop, hairy indigo must be grown properly.
Dr. Rhoades has found that broadcasting seed in early June at a rate of about
12 pounds per acre is probably the best practice. Good seed should be used to
lessen the hazard of hard seed which may become a weed problem later. For the
same reason, hairy indigo should be plowed under before it produces seed.

Considering the benefits of organic matter, nitrogen fixation, and nema-
tode reduction, hairy indigo offers promise in a vegetable-cover crop rotation
program. Anyone interested in a copy of Dr. Rhoades' report published in the
Plant Disease Reporter can obtain one from this office.


B. Water Conservation in the Early Growth of Vegetables

Water conservation is destined to become mandatory in future crop produc-
tion. "Most from least" may be the watch words of tomorrow: the most quality
and yield from the least water, the least space, least time, least agrichemicals,
and the least labor. One contribution to most from least systems (MFLS) in vege-
table production may be greater containerization of plants in early growth stages.

Vegetables in the United States are usually started in the field by direct-
seeding or by transplanting small seedlings. In Florida, a third and very valu-
able method is used. The plug-mix method, developed by Prof. N. C. Hayslip,


ARC/Ft. Pierce, provides a favorable environment for the germinating seed and
early seedling development with less total water than direct seeding.

A comparison of water efficiency between the transplant and direct-seeded
methods may be of interest. The plug-mix efficiency probably falls somewhere
between these two methods.

A plant-growing structure (such as a greenhouse) 35 x 225 feet in size can
produce enough transplants to plant approximately 250 acres of tomatoes (assum-
ing for this example 2000 plants to the acre) in six weeks. During this 42-day
period the seedlings may be watered as often as 3 times a day with approximately
3u0 to 350 gallons of water per acre per application (or 1050 gal/acre/day).
For the entire production period (42 x 1050), the gallonage used would be about
44,000 gallons oer acre of 1.6 acre inches of water (44,000 divided by 27,154,
the number of gallons per acre inch).

In the same six-week period, a direct-seeded crop would require enough water
to maintain adequate soil moisture for germination and seedling development. In
central Florida the evapotranspiration (ET) figure derived for a Feb. 1 planting
of tomatoes is 16.5 inches for the entire 100-day growing period. The first six
weeks would require about 46% of this total ET (16.5 x .465 = 7.67) or roughly 8
inches of water. Therefore, 250 acres would require 2000 acre inches or trans-
lated into gallons (2000 x 27,154) 54,308,000 gallons during this portion of the
total season.

To supply 2000 acre inches of water, assuming zero rainfall during the
period, the grower would probably use seep irrigation (30-50" efficient), sprink-
ler irrigation (65-90% efficient), or drip irrigation (80-95; efficient).

A bed covered with plastic mulch would, of course, reduce the water needed
to maintain field moisture. If one estimates that 33 to 40% of an entire area
would be covered, the evapotranspiration may be reduced from the 8 inches re-
quired to approximately 6 inches (thus 250 acres x 6 inches = 1500 acre inches or
40,731,000 gallons).

The water application level for the three most common methods in Florida
for full-bed-mulched tomatoes would look something like this:

Seep 50% efficiency for 1500 acre inches, or 3000 acre inches
Sprinkler 80% efficiency for 1500 acre inches, or 1875 acre inches
Drip 95% efficiency for 1500 acre inches, or 1580 acre inches

As stated before, the plug-mix system would require less total water be-
cause most of the water is applied only into the holes where the seed and mix
are placed. As the seedlings mature, whole field watering is then initiated.

The savings in water between the direct-seeded and containerized method
is but one of several advantages. The plants growing in the somewhat crowded
but controlled environment may be provided more effective pest control, weed
control, fertilizer application, and climate modification with less labor and
time than in the open field.


The beds in which the seed or the transplants are to be placed, both must
be brought to approximate field capacity 7-10 days before planting so that beds
can be properly formed, fertilized, and covered.

Under present day conditions the added cost of transplanting versus direct-
seeding may override water efficiency and other advantages. Direct-seeded plant-
ing by machine takes about 0.8 hr. per acre (4 row planter), whereas a one row
machine-transplanting operation takes 3 1/2 to 5 hours per acre. The two systems
would need to be checked for cost-benefit relationships.

The time may never come when we will have to operate under such conserva-
tive methods, but our agricultural leadership must be looking ahead for such a
possibility. Since containerization methods use only about one thousandth of
the water used in full field irrigation for direct-seeding they deserve serious


C. Nutsedge Control in Vegetables Cultural Management

Purple nutsedge or nutgrass is recognized as the world's worst weed in
cultivated row crops where warm temperatures prevail throughout the entire year.
Modern vegetable production and use of intensive cultural practices tend to en-
courage the growth and distribution of nutsedge, especially in land planted regu-
larly to vegetables. Despite the continued efforts of thousands of research
workers, agriculturists, and vegetable growers from around the world, we still lack
a simple and relatively inexpensive method of controlling purple nutsedge.

To assist growers in perfecting their weed management system, this and
a subsequent article will discuss factors associated with cultural and chemical
management of nutsedge in cropping systems involving vegetables.

Purple nutsedge competes with most cultivated crops because the leaves
and shoot germinate and emerge from numerous tubers and underground storage
organs along with or before most other weed species and direct-seeded crops.
Under normal planting conditions in Florida, most nutsedge shoots will have
emerged within a 3 to 5 week period after planting. Frequent cultivations only
suppress the growth of purple nutsedge and the use of most herbicides registered
for vegetable production eliminate the competition from other weeds, therby en-
hancing the growth of nutsedge. Initial nutsedge growth not only competes with
vegetable crops for water, light, and nutrients; but may reduce the efficiency of
other pest control measures and fertilizer applications.

The first step towards successful control of purple nutsedge is prevention.
Because purple nutsedge does not generally germinate from seed, growers can easily
recognize the dark brown tubers covered with partially decomposed leaf scales.
Tubers are about the size of a peanut seed. Therefore, growers must carefully
inspect transplants, seed, and other propagating materials to avoid introducing
purple nutsedge into an uninfested field. Also, all equipment should be thoroughly
cleaned and inspected before transferring from one infested field to other fields
that lack or contain only a few nutsedge plants.


Once purple nutsedge becomes established in a field, the grower must learn
to live with this weed and may be able to produce an excellent crop by only par-
tially controlling nutsedge growth. In fact, we may need to modify our concept
of acceptable weed control for most weed species to a concept of partial control
of nutsedge based on economic threshold levels. For example, it may be economically
feasible to reduce the nutsedge population by approximately 70% which may completely
eliminate the biological competition for most vegetable crops, rather than expect
near perfect (approximately 95%) control as we do for most other weeds. Presently
to attain even a 70% control, growers must consider every management aspect that will
reduce nutsedge reproduction rates and populations. Some of these factors are:

a. Selection of competitive crops and varieties Most vegetables can be
grouped into three broad categories depending on their ability to grow in fields
infested with purple nutsedge. Examples of these broad groupings are summarized
in the following table.

Crop competition group General description and crop example
with nutsedge

Competitive Fast growing crops that form complete canopy.
(e.g.) bush green beans planted in closely
spaced rows
cucumbers or winter squash
sweet potato

Intermediate Tall growing crops or crops that form only a
partial canopy.
(e.g.) sweet corn
transplanted tomato, pepper, cabbage
pole green bean

Non-Competitive Slow or short growing crops.
(e.g.) onion (either direct seeded or
direct seeded tomato, pepper, or

In addition to selecting a competitive crop, the grower may also select
certain varieties that are more competitive against purple nutsedge than others.
Usually, more vigorous, faster growing varieties will be more competitive than
shorter, slower growing varieties. Growers are best advised to plant competi-
tive vegetables in land free from purple nutsedge and to consider an intensive
land management system aimed at suppressing and reducing the nutsedge population
in seriously infested land.


b.. Optimum planting dates, planting patterns, and cultural practices -
Growers who can select an optimum planting date that coincides with a stable
market will reduce the number of weedings necessary during the initial stages of
crop growth. In addition, closely spaced planting patterns combined with high
plant densities designed to create a dense canopy and shade will help suppress
nutsedge growth during the crop cycle. Bank placement of fertilizer where
soluble salt problems can be avoided and where the crop can efficiently utilize
the plant nutrients will also swing the competitive balance in favor of the crop.

A subsequent article will discuss chemical control of purple nutsedge and
implications of developing year-round cropping systems designed to reduce nut-
sedge populations to manageable levels.



A. Timely Gardening Topics

Four timely topics on vegetable gardening are offered each month to assist
Extension agents in developing periodic (weekly) radio or newspaper shorts.

(1) Community Gardening

Are you or your group looking for a worthwhile civic project to promote
for the benefit of your community? If so, consider organizing a neighborhood
garden in your community. Why would it be worthwhile? Because most neighbor-
hoods have residents who would like to have a vegetable garden but who do not
have a sufficient plot of ground of their own.

Here are some general procedures to consider. The first step is to find
a sponsoring agency or group, such as a civic club, to develop the project. Then,
some initial monetary investment will be necessary, such as for land rent, fees
or permits, fencing, etc. An early step is to get an estimate of the demand for
garden plots within a particular neighborhood. A contact person needs to be iden-
tified to furnish information on the project.

About the same time, a proper site should be selected. It should provide
space for a minimum of 10 gardeners. A good site should have sunlight, water,
good soil, adequate parking space, or be within easy walking distance of home.
Consult local government about the availability of public land. Drive around,
spot a likely site, then inquire about its ownership and availability.

Getting the operation going first requires quite a bit of personal time
spent in formalizing arrangements for use of the land. Prepare a lease or memo-
randum, stating such conditions as starting and ending dates, payment, what will
and will not be provided by sponsors and what materials can be used by the garden-
er. Stipulate arrangements for water and its use, insurance coverage, and what
the sponsors will not be responsible for.

In your final sign-up, prepare and mail final applications stating terms,
conditions and rental fee for individual plots. Determine order of assignment


of plots. Make assignments in writing. Prepare educational packets for garden-
ers covering planting, cultivation and harvesting information.

And perhaps the most important step is to recruit a trained person as the
garden supervisor to oversee land preparation, laying-out plots, and aiding

(2) Deep Planting Tomatoes

Quite often the home gardener is faced with the problem of buying plants
that have been growing too long in the flat or transplant container. These
plants are usually tall and spindly--referred to as "leggy" plants. Faced with
no better alternatives than to use the plants, the gardener must set the plants
in such a way as to minimize loss of the plants resulting from their spindly
nature. To do this, deep planting is suggested, in spite of the general rule in
transplanting most nursery plants "never deeper than they grew in the nursery".
The tomato plant has the ability to develop roots along the stem, wherever the
stem comes in contact with moist soil. Therefore, set any tomato transplant,
and especially "leggy" ones, deeper than originally planted. You may wish to dig
a 4 inch deep trench long enough to accommodate the stem of the plant. Place the
plant at an angle in the trench so that only the leaves and one or two inches of
stem protrude from the soil. Pour water in the hole to moisten the soil, then
keep it moistened. A vigorous football should result all along the buried stem.

(3) Deck Tomatoes

A wooden deck seems to be the modern day version of the topless porch.
Your deck can be given a different look by constructing a "mini-garden" planter
and trellis for tomatoes on one side or end of it. The planter need not be of
elaborate construction. Instead of troughs or boxes, merely build a short (18
inches high) lath screen. The 5-gallon containers can be placed in a row on the
deck hidden from view by the lath screen. A lath trellis about six feet high
should be constructed behind the cans. As the tomato plants grow, they can be
trained and tied to this trellis. As a suggestion, Florida gardeners should try
the "Tropic" variety of tomato in their containers.

(4) Cutworms in the Garden

No gardener needs to be told how discouraging it is to buy a fine tomato
plant, spend a lot of time preparing the garden soil, set out the plant, then
the next morning find it cut down by a cutworm. Small cutworms generally are
not large enough to sever the plant at the soil line or just above it as can the
larger ones. They may nibble on the stems, biting out tiny semi-circular notches.
Larger cutworms that are medium-sized to full-grown do most of the damage to vege-
table seedlings. They hide beneath the soil surface in the daytime, coming out
to feed at night. When you see a freshly cut-off plant, dig around the base of
the plant stub and you'll likely find a grey colored, greasy looking, plump worm
curled up tightly in the soil.

To prevent loss of plants, two practices are suggested here. First, dust
or spray an area about 6 inches wide on either side of the freshly set out plants.
Use the chemical diazinon. Then, whether or not the chemical has been used, place
a waxy cardboard collar around the stem of the plant. Insert one end of the circ-
ular collar about 1 inch deep in the soil with the top end extending about two
inches up the stem. Cutworm baits are also effective sometimes.

B. Know Your Vegetables Banana Squash

Banana squash (Cucurbita maxima) is a member of the winter squash group.
It is not grown commercially in Florida, nor is it often found in home gardens.
Perhaps the reason is its susceptibility to leaf diseases such as powdery and
downy mildew.

There are several varieties of banana squash, each differing mainly in
the color of the skin. All grow on a large vine having both male and female
flowers. Blue Banana is blue or slate colored, with medium thick, yellow-orange
flesh which is dry, fine textured, and of good quality. The brown seeds are
enameled. The fruits mature in about 105-110 days after reaching a length of
20-22 inches, a diameter of 6 inches, and a weight of 12 pounds. The surface of
the skin is slightly wrinkled.

Pink Banana is quite similar to Blue, except for the skin color which
is a dull deep pink. Orange Banana, likewise, is similar, the chief difference
being its brilliant orange colored flesh and exterior. The big one of the bunch
is Pink Mammoth Jumbo. It reaches a length of 48 inches, a diameter of 12 inches,
and a weight of 75 pounds.

Banana squash, like most winter squash, are best grown in the Florida gar-
den in the spring of the year, except in South Florida where they may be grown
through the winter and spring. Plant the seed after the danger of frost has
passed. Culture is similar to cantaloupe, with wide row spacing a necessity.
The vines become quite lengthy. Space plants 42 inches apart and allow a row
width of at least 60 inches. An initial application of 6-8-8 fertilizer at the
rate of 3# broadcast per 100 sq. ft. is suggested, with side or top dressings
at 2-3 week intervals or as needed.

In addition to the disease problems already mentioned, fruit rots (soil
decay) can be troublesome. A mulch barrier on the soil is helpful. A variety
of insect problems could occur such as aphids, squash bugs and pickleworms.
Bees are needed for pollinating, so dust or spray after mid-morning when bee
activity has diminished.

Since banana squash is mature when harvested, its hard rind allows it to
be stored for a month or more until eaten.


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