INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
Vectable Crops Department 1255 HSPP Gainesville. FL 32611 Telephone 392-2134
September 11, 1987
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
B. New Publications.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Florida Seed Arbitration Council.
B. Vegetable Consumption up 27% Diet, Tops
C. The Difference Between Irrigating and Watering.
III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. A Brief History of "Conch" Peas in Florida.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this
newsletter. Whenever possible, please give credit to the
The use of trade names in this publication is solely for
the purpose of providing information and does not
necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.
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.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS. STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS. UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar
October 29-31, 1987. National
Junior Horticultural Association Con-
vention. Indianapolis, IN.
November 3-5, 1987. FSHS Con-
vention. Orlando Hyatt Hotel.
November 6, 1987. ASHS Tour
Day. Orlando Hyatt Hotel.
November 8-12, 1987. ASHS Con-
vention. Orlando Hyatt Hotel.
November 30-December 2, 1987.
USDA Vegetable Collaborators' Confer-
ence. Omni Hotel, Charleston, SC
(contact Gary Elmstrom).
December 7-11, 1987. Vegetable
Crops Departmental Review. Univer-
sity of Florida, Gainesville.
B. New Publications
Staked Tomato Variety Trial Re-
sults-Spring 1987. Immokalee SWFREC
Research Report IMM87-3 by P.H.
Everett and R.A. Armbrester.
Pepper Variety Trial Results-
Spring 1987. Immokalee SWFREC Re-
search Report IMM87-4. P.H. Everett
and R.A. Armbrester.
Penn State Weed Identification
Fact Sheet Series 1 ($5.00 per set).
Set 1 includes:
Penn State Weed Identification
Fact Sheet Series 2 ($5.00 per set).
Set 2 includes:
To order, checks must be made
payable to the Pennsylvania State
University and sent to:
Penn State College of Agriculture
Publications Distribution Center
112 Ag Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
(Stall: Vegetarian 87-09)
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
Florida Seed Arbitration
Florida law, Chapter 578, pro-
vides a unique mechanism for handling
disputes between farmers and seed
dealers. County agents should be
familiar with this aspect of the
Florida Seed Law since they are often
asked for advice in situations where
seed is suspected of being faulty.
To avoid any possibility of confu-
sion, pertinent parts of the law are
578.09 Label requirements.-Each container of ag-
ricultural, vegetable, or flower seed sold, offered for sale,
exposed for sale, or distributed for sale within this state
for sowing or planting purposes shall bear thereon or
have attached thereto, in a conspicuous place, a single
label containing all information required under this sec-
tion, plainly written or printed in the English language,
in century type, giving the following information:
(1) FOR TREATED SEED.-For all agricultural, veg-
etable, or flower seed treated as defined in this chapter:
(a) A word or statement indicating that the seed has
been treated or description of process used.
(b) The commonly accepted coined, chemical or ab-
breviated chemical (generic) name of the applied sub-
stance and the words "poison treated" in red letters, in
not less than 14-inch type.
(c) A caution statement such as "Do not use for
food, feed, or oil purposes.'
(d) Rate of application or statement "Treated at
manufacturer's recommended rate."
(e) If the seed is treated with an inoculant, the date
beyond which the inoculant is not to be considered ef-
fective (date of expiration)
(3) FOR VEGETABLE SEED IN CONTAINERS OF 8
OUNCES OR MORE.-
(a) Name of kind and variety of seed
(b) Net weight.
(c) Lot number or other lot identification.
(d) Percentage of germination.
(e) Calendar month and year the test was complet-
ed to determine such percentages.
(f) Name and address of the person who labeled
said seed or who sells, distributes, offers or exposes
said seed for sale within this state.
(g) For seed which germinate less than the standard
last established by the department the words "below
standard," in not less than 8-point type, must be printed
or written in ink on the face of the tag, in addition to the
other information required. Provided, that no seed
marked "below standard" shall be sold which falls more
than 20 percent below the standard for such seed which
has been established by the department, as authorized
by this law.
(h) The name and number of restricted noxious
weed seed oer pound.
(4) FOR VEGETABLE SEED IN CONTAINERS OF
LESS THAN 8 OUNCES.-
(a) Name of kind and variety of seed.
(b) Name and address of person who labeled seed
or who sells, distributes, offers, or exposes said seed for
sale within this state.
(c) For seed which germinate less than standard
last established by the department, the additional infor-
mation must be shown:
1. Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard
2. Percentage of hard seed when present, if desired.
3. Calendar month and year the test was completed
to determine such percentages.
4. The words "below standard" in not less than 8-
(d) No seed marked "below standard" shall be sold
which fall more than 20 percent below the established
standard for such seed.
578.27 Arbitration council; composition; purpose;
meetings; duties; expenses.-
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services shall appoint an arbitration council composed
of five members and five alternate members, one mem-
ber and one alternate to be appointed upon the recom-
mendation of each of the following: the deans of exten-
sion and research. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sci-
ences, University of Florida; president of the Florida
Seedsmen and Garden Supply Association; president of
the Florida Farm Bureau Federation; and the Commis-
sioner of Agriculture. Each member and alternate shall
continue to serve until replaced by the department.
Each alternate member snall serve only in the aDsence
of the member for whom he is an alternate. The council
shall elect a chairman and a secretary from its member-
ship. It shall be the duty of the chairman to conduct all
meetings and deliberations held by the council and to
direct all other activities of the council. It shall be the
duty of the secretary to keep accurate and correct rec-
ords on all meetings and deliberations and perform oth-
er duties for the council as directed by the chairman.
(2) The purpose of the arbitration council is to assist
farmers and agricultural seed dealers in determining the
validity of complaints made by farmers against dealers
and recommend cost damages resulting from alleged
failure of seed to produce as represented by label on the
(3) The arbitration council may be called into session
by the department or upon the direction of the chairman
to consider matters referred to it by the department.
(4)(a) When the department refers to the arbitration
council any complaint made by a farmer against a dealer
said council shall make a full and complete investigation
of the matters complained of and at the conclusion of
said investigation report its findings and make its recom-
mendation of cost damages and file same with the de-
(b) In conducting its investigation the arbitration
council or any member or members thereof is authorized
to examine the farmer on his farming operation of which
he complains and the dealer on his packaging, labeling,
and selling operation of the seed alleged to be faulty; to
grow to production a representative sample of the al-
leged faulty seed through the facilities of the state, un-
der the supervision of the department when such action
is deemed to ue necessary; to hold informal hearings at
a time and place directed by the chairman of the council
upon reasonable notice to the farmer and the dealer.
(c) Any investigation made by less than the whole
membership of the council shall be by authority of a writ-
ten directive by the chairman and such investigation
shall be summarized in writing and considered by the
council in reporting its findings and making its recom-
(5) The members of the council shall receive no com-
pensation for the performance of their duties hereunder,
but the members of the council shall be reimbursed for
travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061, when they at-
tend a meeting or perform a service in conformity with
the requirements of this section.
HitWlor.--s 8, ch 57-199, ss 3. 14. 35, ch, 69106. s 1. rh. 71.1
578.26 Complaint, Investigation, findings, and rec-
ommendation prerequisite to legal action.-
(1)(a) When any farmer is damaged by the failure of
agricultural, vegetable, flower, or forest tree seed to pro-
duce or perform as represented by the label attached
to such seed as required by s. 578.09, as a prerequisite
to his right to maintain a legal action against the dealer
from whom such seed was purchased, such farmer shall
make a sworn complaint against such dealer alleging
damages sustained. The complaint shall be filed with
the department, and a copy of the complaint shall be
served on the dealer by certified mail, within such time
as to permit inspection of the crops, plants, or trees by
the seed arbitration council or its representatives and by
the dealer from whom the seed was purchased,
(b) Language setting forth the requirement for filing
and serving such complaint shall be legibly typed or
printed on the analysis label attached to the package
containing such seed at the time of purchase by the far-
mer. If language setting forth the requirement is not so
placed on the package label, the filing and serving of a
complaint under this subsection is not required.
(c) A filing fee of $10 shall be paid to the department
with each complaint filed, which fee shall be recovered
from the dealer upon the recommendation of the arbitra-
(2) Within 5 days after receipt of a copy of the com-
plaint, the dealer shall file with the department his an-
swer to the complaint and serve a copy of the answer
on the farmer by certified mail.
(3) The department shall refer the complaint and the
answer thereto to the arbitration council provided in s.
578.27 for investigation, findings, and recommendation
on the matters complained of. Upon receipt of the find-
ings and recommendation of the arbitration council, the
department shall transmit them to the farmer and to the
dealer by certified mail.
Hi y.-- 1.cI 26814. 1951,t 7. ch 57-199, ts 14 35, ch 69106. s 3, h.
1W44. s 1ch 83-95. s 3. ch 8562
Please file this article so you will
be able to accurately advise growers
of the law.
(Maynard: Vegetarian 87-09)
B. Vegetable Consumption up 27%
- Diet, Tops Reason
The reason respondents (1,300
households surveyed) gave for eating
more fresh vegetables was a concern
with a well-balanced diet. Two other
diet-related concerns were ranked
less frequently than concern about a
balanced diet among reasons for
eating more fresh vegetables nutri-
tion (70%) and calories (65%). Other
reasons include: salads, snacking,
good value, availability, and better
With Florida's unique "season of
production", there are relevant ques-
tions our industry should address if
they wish to be part of this expanded
consumption trend; (1) are we provid-
ing the kinds of commodities desired,
and (2) are they delivered having the
required quality (appearance, nutri-
tion, flavor/texture)? Focused atten-
tion on what is being consumed would
help to make the Florida vegetable
industry more competitive.
As would be expected, dinner is
the most common time for eating fresh
vegetables. Those surveyed were
asked to identify consumption over
four periods: breakfast, lunch,
dinner, and snack. The average per-
centages were: dinner (62%), lunch
(22%), snack (11%), and breakfast
(4%). Predominant vegetables eaten
during the four periods were not
The conventional supermarket is
still the most popular place for
consumers to shop for and purchase
produce. Of 13 factors surveyed that
could influence where a shopper
shopped for fresh produce, cleanli-
ness/appearance of the produce
department and its fresh produce,
cleanliness, taste/flavor, and fresh-
ness or ripeness were the most impor-
tant considerations. Further down
the list in importance were: that
the product looks appealing (71%),
price (70%), nutritional value (59%),
size (44%), displayed loose or bulk
(42%), and least important was brand
Respectively, various types of
leaf lettuce, asparagus, "sweet" bulb
onion types, romaine, mushrooms,
broccoli and cauliflower are appar-
ently drawing the largest number of
first-time consumers, according to
Vegetables with the greatest
percentage of respondents having ever
purchased them were: head lettuce
(97%), carrots (95%), tomatoes and
sweet corn (91% each), cabbage and
cucumbers (88% each), celery (86%),
russet potatoes (84%), bell peppers
(83%), broccoli (82%), and cauli-
Head lettuce is the item pur-
chased most frequently when in season
and available, followed by tomatoes,
cucumbers, sweet corn, asparagus, and
Detailed results of this con-
sumer survey, taken of about 1,300
households nationwide were presented
in The Packer's magazine Focus,
(Gull: Vegetarian 87-09)
C. The Difference Between Irri-
gating and Watering
To many people, these terms
refer to the same thing: applying
water to a crop, lawn, or potted
plant. Irrigation, however carries
an additional connotation that sets
it apart from simple watering. When
we apply water in a scheduled and
measured fashion to supply only the
crop water requirement during a
drought period, then we are irri-
gating. When we set up the portable
gun or sprinkler system and run it
until the soil looks wet or until
water puddles in the alleys, then we
As water quantity and quality
become larger political and economic
issues, more pressure will be placed
on us to be efficient and careful
water users. This means we must be
able to predict the need for water
during the crop season, accurately
schedule irrigation events, and apply
water in a measured and efficient
manner. When thought of in these
terms, irrigation management is very
analagous to fertilizer management.
Both involve processes of predicting
a need, measuring the proper amount
of water or fertilizer to apply, and
finally applying it in the most effi-
cient manner. In fact, water and
fertilizer management programs should
be thought of as being linked. Ac-
tions in one program are likely to
affect the efficiency of the other.
Water is used in our vegetable
fields in two processes: evaporation
of water from the soil surface and
transpiration, the loss of water from
the leaves of plants. The sum of
these two processes is called evapo-
transpiration or ET. This is the
crop water requirement, the amount of
water needed by a crop to avoid
stress, and will vary according to
The irrigation requirement is
the total amount of irrigation water
needed for crop production including
water losses or inefficiencies in
delivering the water to a crop. In-
efficiencies include leaky pipes,
wind drift, evaporation from open
ditches, deep percolation of water
out of the root zone, and others.
Rainfall, if it is stored in the root
zone reduces the amount of water that
must be pumped. We can see that ir-
rigation water supplements water
already in the soil to provide the
crop water requirements in the same
fashion that fertilizer supplements
the native soil fertility.
Plants are generally poor indi-
cators of the need for irrigation.
By the time wilting has begun, many
plant growth processes have slowed so
that yield is threatened. Because of
this problem irrigations are better
scheduled based on the soil moisture
status using one, or a combination of
2 methods: the water budget method
or the soil moisture indicator
The water budget method operates
much the same as a bank checkbook
system of deposits and withdrawals.
You need to know how much water can
be stored in the crop's root-zone
soil, and the level below which water
stress will occur. You can then
calculate how much water to apply and
when to apply it by estimating the ET
losses. ET can be estimated by
measuring evaporation from a standard
free-water surface, the U.S. Weather
Bureau Class A evaporation pan. Many
researchers have found a good corre-
lation between crop ET and pan evapo-
ration. Irrigation water is applied
when the ET losses equal your criti-
cal level of soil moisture depletion.
The soil moisture indicator
method uses an instrument that can
directly measure the soil moisture
status. The tensiometer is most
often used in field situations. The
tensiometer is a relatively inexpen-
sive instrument consisting of a long
plastic tube filled with water, a
porous ceramic cup at one end, a
screw-cap at the other end, and a va-
cuum guage attached in between. The
tensiometer is placed in the soil
with the ceramic cup in the root
zone. As the soil dries out, water
is pulled out of the tube creating a
vacuum which is registered on the
guage. As the guage approaches a
predetermined critical level for your
soil and crop, irrigation water is
The tensiometer tells when to
irrigate but not how much. To deter-
mine how much, you need to know the
"moisture characteristic curve" for
your soil. Your Extension irrigation
specialist can help with this. This
will allow you to calculate the
amount of water to be applied to
restore the tensiometer reading to
the desired value. Tensiometers have
the advantage of permitting automated
irrigation control because they can
be fitted with a switch on the vacuum
guage to control the pump.
Irrigation System Management
Optimum irrigation water manage-
ment involves predicting and schedul-
ing irrigation events, but also it
includes a program to make those
events efficient. This program
1. Flow meters to measure
amounts of water applied.
2. Checking the conveyance sys-
tem for leaking and clogging.
3. Testing the system for ap-
4. Reducing sprinkler losses
due to drift and evaporation by
irrigating during windless periods
such as early morning.
Irrigation is an important
factor in successful vegetable pro-
duction. However, it requires
increased attention for optimum
management and this is becoming more
important today with economic and
political pressures on farmers. The
objective of this article is to point
out the major components of irriga-
tion management programs some of
which will be covered in more detail
in future articles. The basic ques-
tion is: Are you practicing irriga-
tion or are you just watering?
(Hochmuth: Vegetarian 87-09)
III. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. A Brief History of "Conch"
Peas in Florida
A classification of the various
types of southern peas, also known as
cowpeas, is at best confusing. How-
ever, what emerges fairly clear is
the consumer's preference for the
cream peas, which are also called
Conch peas represent a group of
southern peas characterized by white
peas or cream peas having little or
no eye color markings. When cooked,
the peas and cooking water remain
bright. The taste is mild and some-
what sweeter than the "crowders".
While some varieties become mushy,
most are crisp and tender. Many of
the early varieties produced very
small seeds, so it is to be expected
that most consumers still associate
small seeds with conch peas.
There are two basic plant types
of cream peas bush conchs and run-
ning conchs. Several strains of each
exist, which vary in seed and pod
size, pod color, and the way the pods
are borne on the plant. Due to the
fact that seeds are often saved by
growers, there may be no consistent
differences between some named vari-
eties. For example, the varieties
known as 'Bush Conch' and 'Two Crop
Conch' have been interchanged over
the years with the popular 'Texas
Another designation for one
group of bush conchs, at least in
Florida, is the Cabbage pea. Here
and in other states bordering Florida
cabbage peas are also referred to as
White Acre peas, but 'White Acre'
should be reserved for the small-
seeded, running conch strains of
southern pea. The term 'Acre' seems
to refer to the plant type's habit of
covering a lot of ground. Since the
cabbage pea is a determinate bush
type, it should not be called an
Dr. A.P. Lorz worked for many
years as a plant breeder with the
Florida Agricultural Experiment
Stations to develop new varieties of
southern peas, primarily of the cream
type. His varietal releases were
many, and although his contributions
to society are virtually unsung, they
are consequential and noteworthy. In
particular, Dr. Lorz attempted to
increase the size of the seeds so
that shelling the cream type would
not be such a tedious task. From his
efforts came 'Zipper Cream', often
sold today as Zipper peas. This is a
wonderful pea with large, bright
easily-shelled peas having all the
good taste and qualities of the cream
Some other early named strains
or varieties of the cream type are
'Conch', 'Gentlemen', 'Terrace',
'Running Acre', 'Rice', 'Lady', 'Lady
Fingers', 'Much', 'Catjang', 'Texas
Creams', 'White Acre', 'Lady Edible',
'Sa-dandy', and 'Carolina Conch'!
Some of the cream types that Dr.
Lorz added to the group are: 'Topset'
(in 1961), 'Climax' (in 1961), 'Flor-
icream' (in 1964), 'Snapea' (in
1964), and 'Zipper Cream' (in 1970).
'Dixiecream' is a cream type released
by Georgia's B. B. Brantley in 1965
for processing and home garden pro-
Those of you wishing to read
further about the cream or conch type
of southern pea are referred to the
release circulars for the Lorz varie-
ties mentioned, FES Circulars S-130,
S-132, S-154, S-160, S-210, and to
the following reports:
1. Brittingham, W.H. 1946. A
key to the horticultural groups of
varieties of the southern pea, Vigna
sinensis. Proc. ASHS 48:478-480.
2. Hoover, M.W. 1956. Factors
influencing consumer preference of
southern peas (cowpeas). Proc. FSHS
3. Lorz, A. P. et al. 1955.
Production of southern peas (cowpeas)
in Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul.
4. Stephens, J.M. 1978. South-
ern pea classification. Vegetarian
(Stephens: Vegetarian 87-09)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops
Dr. D.J. Cantliffe
Dr. G.J. Hochmuth
Dr. W.M. Stall
Dr. D.D. Gull
Dr. D.N. Maynard
Mr. J.M. Stephens