Title: Vegetarian
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00144
 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: January 1979
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00144
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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January 5, 1979

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist

C. B. Hall
Acting Chairman

R. D. William
Assistant Professor

J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor

G. A. Marlowe, Jr.

M. E. Marvel

James Montelaro



FROM: J. M. Stephens, Associate Pro



A. Watermelons "Intentions to Plant" Report for 1979
B. "Master Gardener" Program for Florida
C. Urban Gardening Program
A. Magnesium Deficiency Problems in Watermelons
B. Some Seedling Responses To Varying Levels Of Salt In The Soil Solution
C. Efficiency of Liquid or Dry Lime for Watermelons
A. Garden Planning Based on Nutrition and Use
B. Know Your Minor Vegetables Cushcush

HOTE: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever possible,
please give credit to the authors.


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. Watermelons "Intentions to Plant" Report for 1979

The "Intention to Plant" report on watermelons for the 1979 season will be
issued by the Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service on "about" January 26,
1979. Anyone wanting a copy of this report can obtain a copy from this office
or directly from the Reporting Service in Orlando.

We hope that this report is not used to encourage increased plantings of
watermelons. Over-production in watermelons has led to three disastrous marketing
seasons in a row.


B. "Master Gardener" Program for Florida

A "Master Gardener" Program similar to those conducted in several other states
will be initiated in Florida on a pilot county basis later this year. Pilot
counties selected to kick-off the program are Dade, Manatee, and Orange. Susan
Gray of this department will coordinate the "Master Gardener" Program.

For those not familiar, "Master Gardener" involves the recruitment,training,
and utilization of volunteers in extension horticultural activities.


C. Urban Gardening Program

For the second year, federal funds have been allocated to the Florida Cooperative
Extension Service for an urban home vegetable gardening program in Jacksonville. A
staff of over twenty para-professionals will be employed in Duval County this year
to assist low income disadvantaged families in growing home vegetable gardens. Craig
Van Gundy is the coordinator of the project which has been dubbed "Gardening Lots".



A. Magnesium Deficiency Problems in Watermelons

A surprising number of cases of magnesium deficiency in watermelons was called
to the attention of vegetable specialists by county agents last spring. The problem
was noted in an area stretching from central to north Florida. Magnesium deficiency
was quite pronounced in each case in spite of the fact that almost all fields in


question had been limed with dolomite. The growing season was characterized by
"lower than normal temperatures" in March and early April together with less than
average rainfall.

A check with county extension agents and growers in the area revealed one
interesting fact. In almost every case, dolomite was spread over the undisturbed
soil surface and plowed or disked in deeply. Final land preparation entailed only
shallow disking or harrowing. Apparently, dolomite was "layered" about 7 or 8 inches
deep and not thoroughly mixed with the top soil at any time in the process of land
preparation. This could be the only conclusion drawn as fields where dolomite was
mixed adequately did not show magnesium deficiencies.

Growers applying any type of lime should mix it thoroughly with the soil two
to three months before planting. Anything less might mean less that expected
performance from the lime used. This recommendation applies to all liming operations
for all vegetable crops.

B. Some Seedling Responses To Varying Levels Of Salt In The Soil Solution

When vegetable seed fail to come up or emerge in a haphazard fashion one usually
suspects old seed, planting too deeply, lack of soil moisture, or some form of salt
burn. Soil insect, disease and nematode injury, and low soil temperatures influence
germination greatly, also. In many vegetable growing areas soluble salt surveys
have shown that the salt levels are increasing due to high fertilizer applications,
lack of leaching, and higher salt levels in irrigation water.

In cooperation with Dr. S. S. Woltz, Plant Physiologist, AREC/Bradenton a
series of experiments were conducted in 1977-78 to assess seedling response (or
injury) associated with the level of salt in the soil solution. Snapbean seed was
selected for its high sensitivity, tomatoes for their moderate tolerance, and kale
for its high tolerance to salt injury.

Complete nutrient solutions, ranging in concentration from 0 to 5000 ppm, were
applied three times a week to boxes (3 x 15 x 24 inches) planted to the above seed.
Each treatment was repeated four times. Distilled water was used to flush the sand
boxes on alternate days. The sand moisture level was kept at field capacity. Some
of the results of measurements recorded at the end of three weeks are presented for
beans and tomatoes.


A. Influence of Soluble
'Harvester'Snap Beans, March 1
Conc. Ht. Deformed
ppm cms Seedlings

Salt Concentration on the Seedling Development of
- March 17, 1977. (Means of 20 plants).
Leaf-Stem Wt. gms Roots, Wt. gms %
Fresh Dry Fresh Dry Germ

0 12.5 a* 3.0 b 64.7 b 6.90 b 12.6 b 1.77 a 91.0 a
500 11.5 a 2.2 c 82.0 b 7.71 b 13.5 b 1.80 a 92.0 a
1000 11.6 a 5.0 a 83.5 a 7.52 b 12.3 b 1.61 a 87.3 a
2000 11.9 a 3.7 b 96.1 a 8.32 a 13.1 b 1.10 b 84.8 a
3000 10.2 b 2.7 c 102.9 a 9.27 a 15.7 a 1.30 b 84.5 a
4000 9.6 b 3.8 b 77.7 b 7.90 b 10.7 b 1.15 b 81.9 b
5000 9.0 b 2.7 c 85.4 a 8.52 a 14.2 a 1.17 b 80.2 b

*Numbers followed by the same letter indicate that they are not significantly different
from each other.

B. Influence of Soluble Salt Concentration on the Seedling Development of
'Walter'Tomatoes, March 1 March 17, 1977. (Means of 12 plants).
Conc. Ht. Ht. to 1st Leaf Stem Wt. gms Roots wt. gms. %
ppm mms Ture Leaves, mm Dry Fresh Dry Germ
0 4.0 b 2.5 b 1.5 c 0.79 b 0.13 c 0.03 b 85.7 a
500 8.0 b 5.8 b 5.9 b 0.49 b 0.35 b 0.02 b 88.1 a
1000 8.7 b 5.2 b 8.1 b 0.84 b 1.13 b 0.24 a 89.2 a
2000 13.6 a 7.4 a 16.3 a 1.12 a 2.48 a 0.26 a 88.5 a
3000 14.7 a 7.9 a 20.9 a 1.29 a 3.43 a 0.22 a 80.0 b
4000 13.1 a 6.7 b 18.0 a 1.11 a 1.45 b 0.04 b 78.7 b
5000 10.7 b 5.9 b 12.5 b 0.82 b 1.23 b 0.03 b 91.1 a

The most outstanding findings of these brief experiments showed that rather high
salt levels can be tolerated if the soil moisture is maintained at or near field capacity.
The most visible signs of "injury" or stunting appeared at a lower concentration on beans
than it did on tomatoes, but both made fairly good growth (dry weight) up to about 3000
The germination response was somewhat erratic on tomatoes; whereas, the beans
followed a fairly consistent pattern decreasing germination as the salt level increased.


Salt injury should be avoided by proper management practices such as using low-
salt index fertilizers, proper fertilizer placement in relation to seed position,
adequate leaching, and maintenance of soil moisture at or near field capacity.

C. Efficiency of Liquid or Dry Lime for Watermelons

Recently, a new method of applying lime has become available in parts of Florida.
Rather than spread dry lime, a lime suspension called liquid or fluid lime is sprayed
on the field before thoroughly and uniformly mixing it into the top 6-inches of soil.
To prepare a ton of most liquid lime suspensions, the manufacturer mixes 1000 Ibs. of
finely ground limestone (most of the material will pass a 100-mesh sieve) with 960 Ibs.
water and 40 Ibs. atapulgite clay as a suspending agent.

However, relatively little is known about the properties and soil reaction of
liquid lime. Watermelon and vegetable growers, therefore, are encouraged to base
their purchasing decisions on the following limingg principles".

Lime reactivity Florida's limestone or marl is rather soft and, therefore,
more reactive when compared to limestone materials from other states. In addition,
finely ground limestone is more reactive due to the smaller particle sizes and
greater surface area than coarsely ground materials. For example, Florida law requires
that at least 90% of the limestone must pass a 10-mesh sieve, 80% pass a 20-mesh
sieve, and 50% pass a 50-mesh sieve.

Because lime reactivity is related to particle size, growers should calculate
and compare the effective reactivity between liming materials. Multiply the amount of
each particle size stated on the lime tag by the relative effectiveness for each cate-
gory to determine net effectiveness. Then, add the products to determine total
effectiveness of the lime material.
Percent Permitted Relative Effectiveness Net
Particle Size by Law (First year) Effectiveness
Greater than 10-mesh 10 0 0
Between 10 to 50-mesh 40 50 20
Smaller than 50-mesh 50 100 50
Total effectiveness = 70%

Acid neutralizing power In addition to calculating lime reactivity or effective-
ness based on particle sizes, growers should compare the acid neutralizing power of
different limestone materials. Note the calcium carbonate (CaC0O) equivalent stated
on the lime tag. The CaCO3 equivalent is a measure of neutralizing power and is defined
as the number of pounds of lime material required to neutralize the same amount of
acidity as 100 pounds of pure CaCO3. By multiplying the CaCO3 equivalent of a lime
material by net effectiveness, we can compare the effective CaCO3 contents of liming
materials as follows:



Effective CaCO3
Example of: CaCO3 equivalent Net effectiveness content
Dry lime 90 70 63%
Liquid lime 90 100 90%

Most dry lime materials contain both large and small particle sizes as permitted
by law. The coarser materials break-down and neutralize soil acidity over a couple of
years, whereas the small particles are reactive the first crop season and may continue
modifying soil pH for a couple of years. Thus, based on soil test results and years
of experience, soil acidity can be neutralized in most Florida soils for 2 to 3 years
when a dry lime material that contains both large and small particle sizes is applied
at the rate of 1 to 2 tons per acre.

Because liquid lime suspensions contain only small particle sizes (smaller than
50-mesh size and of in the range of 100 to 200-mesh size), the relative effectiveness
or reactivity approaches 100% of the CaCO3 equivalent. Therefore, we can expect that
nearly all lime particles in liquid lime suspensions will be reactive the first crop
season. However, note that the liquid lime example is only about 30% more reactive
the first crop season than the dry lime material.

Make the lime cost count We know, for example, that a certain amount of CaC03
is required to neutralize soil acidity. Based on soil test results, growers should
decide first the amount of lime needed to neutralize soil acidity and secondly the
balance of calcium and magnesium. Correct decisions can be made as to the type of lime
material required for successful watermelon or vegetable production. Then, compare
either absolute costs for the liming operation or relative costs per unit of CaCO3
required for successful crop production. Approximate costs for typical lime applications
are as follows:

Approx. costs per:
Typical Effective Net Cost
application rate CaCO3 CaCO3 pound of relative
Examples of: of actual lime content available ton* application CaCO3 to dry lime
(Ibs/acre) (%) (Ibs CaC03
)ry lime 3000 63 1890 $13 $20 $0.007 1
_iquid lime* 1000 90 900 30 30 0.030 4

*One ton is often recommended, but it contains only 50% actual lime.

In summary, growers should be certain that the correct amount and type of lime
based on soil test results and comparisons of liming materials is applied and thoroughly
mixed into the top 6-inches of soil to neutralize soil acidity and provide the essential
plant nutrients calcium and magnesium. The limited amount of scientific literature


states clearly that liquid lime should not be a substitute for timely and regular
applications of agricultural limestone, but might be feasible as a partial maintenance
program or justified in regions where ag-lime is expensive and application equipment
may be lacking. Thus, most watermelon growers in Florida may not be justified in
applying small amounts of a liquid lime at planting when large changes in soil pH are
required for adequate plant growth.

(William, Sartain & Rhue*)

*Drs. J. B. Sartain and R. D. Rhue are Soil Scientists in the IFAS Soils Dept.,
Gainesville. Extension agents are encouraged to identify fields with liquid lime
applications so that soil samples can be analyzed for changes in pH throughout the
growing season. Please contact any one of the authors regarding sampling procedures
and analysis.


A. Garden Planning Based on Nutrition and Use

Can gardeners in Florida grow the vegetables they like to eat, or must they
attempt only the exotic sub-tropical types such as boniato, cush-cush, and cassava?
To answer this question, let's look first at what people do eat in the way of fresh
vegetables. Obviously, processed vegetables contribute greatly to the American diet
as well as do fresh vegetables, and vegetables grown in the home garden are a substitute
for store-bought vegetables, both fresh and processed.

The average American ate 254 pounds of fresh vegetables in 1977, according to
the annual U.S.D.A. report on the subject. Certainly, it would not require a very
large garden to produce this amount of vegetables. Of course, gardening families
would be expected to eat much more per person than this. A big portion of this amount
was potatoes at 124 pounds per person. Other major vegetables consumed fresh were:

Vegetable Pounds per capital

Lettuce 25.1
Watermelon 13.6
Tomato 12.5
Cabbage 8.8
Cantaloupe 7.7
Sweet Corn 7.6
Carrot 7.3
Celery 7.3
Cucumber 4.0
Pepper 3.4
Snapbean 1.7
Broccoli 1.3
Cauliflower 1.1


All of the vegetables listed above, along with many others not listed, may be
grown successfully in Florida gardens.

Averages like these can be very misleading if used as a guide for growing what
the family will eat. Obviously, those who consume a particular vegetable eat much more
than the average, for they are consuming that portion attributed to those in the pop-
ulation who do not eat the vegetable at all. Furthermore, large vegetables like water-
melon and cantaloupe require considerably more per serving, resulting in higher per
capital amounts.

It might be more meaningful to look at how frequently a particular vegetable is
used, rather than at how much, or the relative nutritional levels might be the way
to determine which vegetables to include in the garden. A California study by
McGillivray ranked fresh vegetables on the basis of their content of 9 nutrients per
pound. The ranking was as follows (1 for most nutritious to 28 for least nutritious):



sweet potato
Brussel sprouts
pea (English)
lima bean
winter squash


summer squash
bell pepper
turnip (tops & roots)
sweet corn

All of the above may be grown in Florida gardens, with the possible exception of
globe artichoke. Since raw forms are more nutritious than cooked forms of the same
vegetable, the rankings would change if the actual forms (cooked or uncooked) were

Keeping in
to gardeners in
some priorities

mind that other factors are involved, both tables could be helpful
planning their gardens. On the basis of these tables, one could set
on limited space.


B. Know Your Minor Vegetables Cushcush

Cushcush (Dioscorea trifida L.), is one of the lesser
tropical yam. Other common names are yampi (Jamaica), aja
mapuey (P.R.), and cara doce (Brazil). Cushcush is native
is known as the best of the yams because of its flavor and

known cultivated species of
(Cuba), maona (Peru),
to the Caribbean where it
cooking qualities.




In general, yams have never become important as a staple food in America as
they have in Africa, Asia, and Pacific Islands. The same food purposes are served by
sweet potatoes, cassava, and coco-yams. And whenever grown in America, the Asian and
African introductions have displaced American species including the cushcush.

Cushcush probably originated in Guyana, South America. Throughout South America,
Trinidad, Tobago and the West Indies, cushcush is used, but not as a staple due to
the presence of cassava. It is highly probable that cushcush could be grown in
Florida, but at present it is rarely grown or even recognized by most gardeners. Vines
of other Dioscorea species are grown as ornamentals, however, and these do quite well
in north and south Florida.


The cushcush plant is a perennial vining plant producing an edible underground
tuber. From 5 to 12 stems normally arise from a mature cushcush plant. These stems
are distinguished from other yams by having from two to eight membranous wings per
stem. These wings may serve as external support for the stems or in helping them

The alternate leaves are large, up to 10 inches in length and width, and colored
from light to dark green. Unlike the smooth heart shaped leaves of many yams, cushcush
leaves are deeply and sharply divided into three to seven pointed segments, with the
middle one having three veins. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants.
They are tiny flowers borne on long slender branches called racemes. The non-edible
fruits are three-winged capsules, with a seed in each wing.

The main edible parts of the plant are the tubers. These tubers are produced as
enlargements at the ends of runners stolonss) which attach to the base of the crown.
Although the tubers resemble roots and are often covered with adventitious fibrous roots,
they do not have the internal structure of roots.

Tubers vary in shape. A common form is the spherical or somewhat club shaped
tuber. Another is the somewhat compressed horse-hoof shape, and a third is horse-hoof
shape with a central cleft.

The outside skin of the tubers is thin and smooth, with a few elongated cracks.
The internal color is white, but varies from white due to yellow and purplish pigments.
Deeply purple-fleshed varieties are known, also. The interior of the tubers is starchy.


Named varieties of cushcush are not too uncommon, but the majority have not been
described. Varietal names include 'Patte a Cheval', 'IRAT-50', Mapuey Largo',
'Genuina', 'Cousse-Couche Violette', 'Cousse-Couche Rouge', and 'IRAT-24'.

Climatic Considerations

Cushcush, like other tropical yams, is perennial, living over from adverse
seasons to another via the tubers. It is best produced, however, as an annual, planted
early in the spring and harvested 10 to 11 months later. As a warm season crop, it does
not tolerate below freezing temperatures.




Growing cushcush is similar to growing potatoes. Use the same fertilizer, and
soil preparation practices. Either small, whole tubers may be planted, or large
tubers cut into pieces. Pieces taken from the upper portion of tuber tend to sprout
more quickly and produce more stems and tubers than do seedpieces taken lower down
on the tuber. Seedpieces should be around 2 ounces or larger. Space seedbeds 18
inches apart in the row. Bury the seedpiece 3 to 4 inches deep, similar to planting

Planting from seed has also been accomplished, but, due to the scarcity of such
seed, is the least desirous method.

Staking is recommended, due to the vining habit of the plants. Extra long
stakes 6 to 9 feet in length are used where cushcush is grown. The most durable
staking systems used for pole beans would be suitable. Weak stakes and poorly sup-
ported trellises would be pulled down by the vigorous vines.

Very few pests of cushcush are encountered. The worst ones are nematodes and
a virus disease. As with potatoes, mealy bugs are fond of the sprouts on the tubers
and tend to gang up at these points.


Usually, harvesting of tubers follows planting by about 10 to 11 months in
climatic areas similar to South Florida. The foliage tends to die back when tubers
are about ready to dig. Spade or fork them out of the soil much as you would potatoes.
Yields of cushcush tend to be much lower than for other better known forms of yam,
such as D. alata.


Tubers are starchy (38. starch). They may be baked whole or peeled and cut for
boiling. Taste is unusually rich and flavorsome. Protein content is about 7%.

Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost of $ 157,36 or
23 per copy, for the purpose of'communicating current technical and educational
material to extension, research and industry personnel."

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