\ UNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
F LORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
'('W A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
Horticultural Sciences Department .O. 110690 Gainesville, nF 32611 Telephone 904/392-2134
i. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
SII. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Results of the Vegetarian Questionnaire.
B. American Society for Plasticulture 27th Congress.
SIII. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Herbicides and Herbs.
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Sweet Onions in the Florida Garden.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever
possible, please give credit to the authors. The purpose 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, age, handicap or national origin.
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I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
September 30 and October 1, 1997.
1997 Florida Agricultural Conference and
Trade Show, Lakeland Civic Center. Contact
George Hochmuth, Horticultural Sciences
Dept., UF, Gainesville.
October 8-10, 1997. Florida Master
Gardener Conference, Gainesville. Contact
Joan Bradshaw, Pinellas County Cooperative
October 31 November 3, 1997.
National Jr. Horticultural Assoc. Convention,
Williamsburg, VA. Contact Bob Renner,
Marion County Cooperative Extension.
November 2-4, 1997. Florida State
Horticultural Society Annual Meeting. Clarion
Plaza Hotel, Orlando. Contact Dr. Norm
February 18-21,1998. American
Society for Plasticulture 27th Congress,
Tucson, Arizona. Contact Bob Hochmuth,
Suwannee Valley REC, Live Oak.
March 9-13,1998. Florida
Postharvest Horticulture Institute and
Industry Tour. Contact Steve Sargent, UF,
(352) 392-2134 ext. 215.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A total of fifty-three respondents. The responses
were as follows (responses to general questions
Question # 4
Is the Vegetarian currently helpful in your
county extension programs?
1 (not helpful) 2 3 4
Question # 5
How has the usefulness of the
changed over the last 10 years?
5 (very helpful)
A. usefulness greatly declined 0
B. usefulness somewhat declined 6
C. usefulness about the same 20
D. usefulness somewhat increased 7
E. usefulness increased greatly 5
Question # 6
What information is most useful to you?
1 (not useful), 5 (very useful)
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar
sults of the Vegetarian
B. Pesticide Information
Our survey questionnaire regarding
the Vegetarian newsletter is complete and
summarized here. We had a real good
response and there were many good and
helpful comments. The specialists will be
meeting shortly to discuss the results and
come up with a plan to revamp the
Vegetarian. We are particularly happy with
the assistance offered by many agents to
help with some of the articles. You can bet
that will be part of the revamping program!
Take a moment to review the results and
send me an e-mail on your reaction to the
results. We will get going on the revamping
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 97-09)
C. Postharvest Articles
D. Vegetable Production Articles
E. Vegetable Gardening
F. Vegetarian Index
What do you think
A. About right -
B. Too frequent -
C. Too infrequent -
"like that it is written for agents", "can use
it for my newsletter".
Would you like to see more focus on articles
dealing with topics, issues, or reports such as
pesticide regulations or small research
Question # 10
If you answered yes to question 9, then what
types of articles would you like to see?
1 (fewer) 2(about the same) 3 (more)
A. Regulatory issues
B. Cultural tips
about the frequency of
C. News from other states
Question # 8
The current format of the newsletter is written
for the agents rather than clientele. Comments
about the presentation format? (comments
"Let agents edit and write in clientele
format for their own county program
newsletters and newspaper articles"
"Should be written for agents as primary
recipients mixed emotions about
clientele receiving this newsletter agents
are looking for articles for their own
* "Continue to target agents, please"
* Is e-mail distribution possible?
S Information useful to backyard gardeners
Would like it available electronically so it
can be used more readily in newsletters
A regular article on specific vegetables
would be helpful.
There were several comments of "good",
"O.K.", "I like it", "it's fine", "keep format",
D. News from the counties
E. Timely gardening tips
F. Gardening reports
H. Research updates/reports
J. Organic vegetable culture
K. Greenhouse vegetable production
L. Question of the month
M. Practical tip from the counties
N. Pest of the month
(Responses to the "you fill in" section were all
* crop protection update
S variety recommendations
* new, unique, alternative crops
* variety yearly commercial
S variety yearly homeowner
S university developed variety info
* latest pest alert
* latest biotech from private?
S irrigation technology
S GPS tech
S Ag. Eng. (farm machinery update)
* farm chemical update
* summaries from journals
* crop of the month
* physiological disorders
S new developments, procedures,
S IPM tips
* grower experiences
* new pubs from IFAS and elsewhere
* drip irrigation management
* specialty crops info
* large farms demo results
S county survey-minor vegetable
* community garden reports
S no til, low till veggies
S soil solarization
Fill up the following blank space with ideas
to help the Vegetarian help you.
(Summary of responses)
* "in-depth review of one crop a month"
* nothing is to simple some agents need
* more info for Master Gardener (very
little commercial production in county)
S "info is not timely and appropriate for
immediate use need current pest and
field problems each month would be
useful with identification and control
suggestions missing area is labor
"need practical info that keep agents out
front with current info that can be used
with clientele we should not read in
newspaper something that should have
been in the Vegetarian"
make articles short with pertinent info -
need more than label updates for
* put Vegetarian on the vax/web
S suggest two newsletters one for
commercial vegetables and one for
home gardeners and organic producers
S 'pest of the month' should be current
* "an editorial from editor on current
success trends and other deep
"current problems and activities are
good I have to cover the total
extension programs so timely problem
solving articles are helpful"
suggest grad students do leg work for
review and summary of pertinent journal
articles "here appropriate, list sources
of info for articles, "For Further
needs more meat energize it
"current interest topics would be helpful
in making my newsletter better"
S "Can you put past issues on WWW in
text format for easy reading and
* "put the newsletter on the web"
S any info directed toward large urban
population audience or that MG's can
use for their demo garden lecture series
is extremely helpful
need more herb info more info on
tomato problems and other common
pest and cultural problems
* "trends in state production"
S "how politics impacts production"
* "niche markets in winter or summer
production, i.e. collard production under
shade in the summer"
"weird stuff that might influence
profitability for a small farmer like row
covers in the winter on w/ drip
B. American Society for
Plasticulture 27th Congress.
The 27th A.S.P. Congress will be
held in Tucson, Arizona on February 18-21,
1998. The Congress includes a mix of
educational presentations on the latest
research and a day of tours of plasticulture in
the Tucson area. Presentation will include:
crop response to rowcovers, standard black
mulch, and colored mulches; irrigation
technologies; disposal and recycling of
agricultural films; soil solarization with
plastics; film properties; plastics use in
aquaculture; and several papers dealing with
greenhouse technologies and crop response.
In addition, there will be other invited
presentations from leading experts in the
field of plasticulture.
Plasticulture businesses exhibit at the
Congress Trade Show, which will be open
Thursday and Friday. The Trade Show
Reception and A.S.P. Awards Banquet will
be held Thursday evening. For Friday
evening, an optional "Special Night Out"
provides attendees with dinner and a tour of
Biosphere 2 Center, and environmental
research and education project of Columbia
University just half an hour north of Tucson.
Saturday's tours offer a choice for attendees.
One tour will focus on mulching, drip
irrigation practices, and aquaculture. The
other tour will feature greenhouse
production. Because each tour takes off in a
different direction across Arizona, there will
only be time for attendees to be part of one
Registration materials will be available
in early October. Full Congress registration
for attendees will be $295 for members and
$375 for non-members, which includes all
functions and the Saturday tour. However,
attendees will be able to purchase a basic
registration for $240 (members) and $325
(non-members) without the Special Night Out
or the tour. These attendees can purchase
tickets as they desire for the Special Night
Out at $45 per person, or the tour at $25.
Extra banquet tickets will be available for $35
If you may be interested in attending
the 1998 A.S.P. Congress, contact Bob
Hochmuth (904)362-1725 or Suncom 821-
3050. Bob is working on partial funding
support for county faculty but, needs to
know your interest immediately to be
(Bob Hochmuth, Vegetarian 97-09)
Ill. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Herbicides and Herbs.
Herbs are very minor, both in
production acreage and in daily consumption.
Fresh market herb production accounts for a
total of 6,389 acres nationally (1992
The herb sub group as defined by
EPA (40 CFR 180.41) includes: Angelica;
balm; basil; borage; burnet; camomile;
catnip; chervil (dried); chive; Chinese chive;
clary; coriander leaf (cilantro or Chinese
parsley); curay (leaf); dill; horehound; hysop;
lavender; lemongrass; lovage (leaf);
marigold; marjoram; nasturtium; 'parsley
(dried); pennyroyal; rosemary; rue; sage;
savory, summer and winter; sweet bay;
tansy; tarragon; thyme; wintergreen;
woodruff; and wormwood. Mint, although
considered an herb, is not included in the
EPA crop group, but is considered separately
due to potential residues found in mint oil
1 [Note: green or fresh parsley is in the leafy
greens subgroup with lettuce, endive etc.]
The crop grouping scheme has been
used successfully to obtain tolerances in a
number of minor crops. The crop groups
were established to reduce the number of
trials needed on related commodities in order
to obtain tolerances on those commodities.
Unfortunately the herb crop subgroup has
not been useful for herbicides.
Shawn Steed, a graduate assistant in
Horticultural Sciences has made an
exhaustive search to obtain herbicide labels
for herbs grown in Florida. Unfortunately,
other than mint, there are none that can be
used on food-use herbs.
The labels for mint include: Trifluralin
(Trifluralin 4EC), Sethoxydim (Poast),
Bromoxynil (Buctril, several labels), Bentazon
(Basagran), and Paraquat (Gramoxone
Extra). Sage, rosemary, and nasturtiums
have ornamental use labels.
According to Edith Lurvey (IR-4
Headquarters) the basic problem stems from
the fact that the two representative
commodities in the herb group, basil and
chives, are botanically very different and a
pest control substance effective in one of the
crops may well injure the other. She sets as
an example the fact that IR-4 has received
seventeen requests for the use of
Napropamide (Devrinol) in/on eleven
different herbs, including basil and chives.
Napropamide has been demonstrated to be
safe and effective in basil production, as well
as a number of other herbs. However, the
chives project was canceled due to crop
injury, precluding the use of the crop group.
EPA requires a minimum of three field trials
per commodity. This represents at least 33
field trials to obtain tolerances for all requests
instead of six.
She has proposed a possible solution
to this dilemma. A number of the most
commonly used herbs, including basil,
marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme and
rosemary, are members of the mint family
Lamiaceae (Labiatae). Given the botanical
similarity and comparable production
practices of the herbs in this family, she
proposed one possible solution to the
"incompatibility" of the two representative
crops would be to establish a crop definition
for the Lamiaceae herbs. A crop definition
using basil as the representative crop to
cover all the other Lamiaceae herbs including
mint oil crops, would greatly reduce the work
load. For example, 14 of the 40 herbs listed
in 40CFR 180.41 (19) (A) and 7 of the eleven
IR-4 napropramide/herb requests are
Lamiaceas herbs. Therefore, the use of a
basil crop definition could possibly reduce the
number of field trials needed to register
napropamide on the Lamiaceae herbs from
21 to three, and the work has already been
A number of the herbs not in the
Lamiaceae family are members of the
Apiaceae (Umbilliferae) or Asteraceae
(Compositae). This opens the possibility of
additional herb crop definitions along family
EPA has requested detailed
production/harvesting information before
considering this new scheme. Initial
reluctance from California herb growers has
slowed the process. Hopefully, with some
help from Florida growers, when asked, we
can move the process along.
The National priority setting workshop
for IR-4 1998 projects will be held the middle
of October. Any requests for herbicide on
herbs or other commodities should be
sent/called to me before then.
(Parts extracted from IR-4 Newsletter
Vol 28 No. 1)
(Stall, Vegetarian 97-09)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Sweet Onions in the Florida
Many home gardeners are partial to
growing large bulbing onions that are so
sweet they can be eaten like an orange or an
apple. This "sweetness" is characteristic of
certain onion varieties low in strongly
pungent sulfur compounds.
In the mid-seventies, commercial
onion growers in the vicinity of Vidalia,
Georgia started a marketing campaign to sell
their sweet onions as 'Vidalia' onions. The
strategy was so successful that 'Vidalia'
became a household word throughout
America, and created a 6000-acre industry in
this 30 square mile area. To protect the
integrity of this product and to thwart
outsiders who attempted to profit from use of
the word 'Vidalia', the Georgia legislature
trade-marked the name and established
certain mandatory guidelines for their
industry. To be sold as a true 'Vidalia', the
onion must be grown in the Vidalia area, and
the variety must conform to the Yellow
Granex-type. Today, a selected strain called
'Granex 33' best typifies this type. The
mature bulb is broader at the shoulder than
at the base, and wider than it is long.
The Granex varieties, both yellow and
white, along with Texas Grano 502, were old
short-day varieties that tested well in Florida
trials. The Granex 33 has been the standard
variety in our state for many years, both on
farms and in gardens. The fact that these
onions were mild made them even more
Thus, it is no surprise that we have
seen the emergence of a Florida-based
industry growing and marketing its own
version of the Vidalia-type sweet onions.
Here, these onions are marketed under the
trade-marked name of 'St. Augustine Sweet'.
That name was adopted by the growers
because much of the early research and
testing on onions was done in the Hastings
area near the famous old city of St.
Augustine. This testing and grower
experience with sweet onions showed that
Florida onions could match the quality of the
popular Vidalias. Therefore, it appears that
the two marketing groups are touting a
similar product, grown in separate areas of
'Granex 33' remains one of the
varieties that Florida growers may rely upon
as a 'St. Augustine Sweet'. However, it
appears that a better variety in terms of yield
might be one called 'Sweet Dixie'. Other
similar varieties will continue to be tested and
included on the list of those that may be
grown and marketed as 'St. Augustine
Sweet'. Florida home gardeners wishing to
grow a sweet bulbing onion should try to find
seed or plants of the varieties grown by
either of these two industries. For most
gardeners, the 'Granex 33' variety will be the
easiest to find. Since sulfur contributes to
the pungency of onions, home gardeners
should be advised to avoid the application of
sulfur to the soil or plants. By selecting a
proper short-day variety, planting it in the fall
(no later than mid-Dec), and with proper
fertilization, good quality sweet onions should
be expected by early to mid-April. And
gardeners don't have to live around St.
Augustine to do it. They can grow their own
versions, such as 'Hardee Honeys', 'Luscious
Volusias', or 'Seminole Sweeties'. And if
they don't care to grow their own, tell 'em to
pick up a bag of 'St. Augustine Sweets'.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 97-09)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Dr. S. M. Olson S. A Saent
Professor Assoc. Professor & Editor
Mr. J. M. Stephens
Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. J. M. White