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Title: Vegetarian
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00349
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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
Horticultural Sciences Department
Publication Date: June 1999
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00349
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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f UNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
FLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
lortiailtual adncc~ Departnt P.O. 110690 Cainaville, FL 32611 Tdcphonu (352)392-2134

Vegetarian 99-06

June 1999



Florida Pecan Field Day


A Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Marketing Technique

Plastics Value Recovery

Pumpkin Variety Trials, Fall 1998 (with table)


Starting a Community 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 Lnsnttute of Food and Agricultural Siences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational
inrormatton and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.


The Vegetarian Newsletter is now available on the
internet. The website is

Correction: Pumpkin Variety Trials' Tables were
missing from the May issue. Article and Tables
are included in this issue.

Vegetable Crops Calendar

Florida Pecan Field Day. Thursday, September 2,
1999. Monticello Country Club; Monticello, FL.
Contact Tim Crocker (352) 392-2134 x 310.

Commercial Vegetables

A Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Marketing

Large or small growers will benefit if they
can establish their product identity. When a
customer finds a quality product and can identify
that product, customer loyalty is promoted and
should result in repeat business. One simple
marketing technique is applying labels or stickers
to the product. This serves not only to identify the
product as yours, but also other information. As
an example, your tomatoes could be labeled as
vine ripened, hydroponic, greenhouse-grown, or
organic grown. The cost per sticker is low and
should not be a barrier. A round 3/4 inch diameter
label with about 3,000 per roll when purchasing 10
rolls cost about $70. Math tells us this is about
0.23 cents per sticker or 4-5 stickers for a penny.
Larger labels, or special colors or shapes will cost
more, but their value in identifying your product
should be well worth the cost.

An additional benefit of using a sticker
identifying the product is to also use PLU (product
look-up) numbers. The PLU number helps
grocers by being sure the correct price is charged
for each type of produce. Some of the most likely
PLU numbers greenhouse vegetable growers
might need are in Table 1.

Table 1. PLU numbers for greenhouse vegetables.

Greenhouse / Hydroponic tomatoes
4798 Small (6 x 6 or smaller)
4799 Large (5 x 6 or larger)
4664 Cluster (TOV)
4796 Cherry
4800 Native / Home grown
4805 Vine ripe
4806-8 Retailer assigned
9xxxx Organic
4593 English / hot house I long seedless
4633 Hydroponic
4688 Greenhouse Red
4689 Greenhouse Yellow
3119 Greenhouse Green (med & smaller)
3120 Greenhouse Green (large)
3121 Greenhouse Orange
3122 Greenhouse White
3123 Greenhouse Brown
3124 Greenhouse Purple

(White, Vegetarian 99-06)

Plastics Value Recovery

Vegetable producers have been
searching for ways to avoid the high cost and
inconvenience of disposing of the vast amount
of agricultural plastic generated in each
growing season. This is primarily made up of
plastic mulch and drip tubing, although in other
areas of agriculture it can include silage and
hay bale coverings, irrigation piping and even
the polypropylene strings used to tie bales.
The total amount of plastic used can be
reduced by producing several crops on the
same mulch. However, this requires the use of
drip tape for fertigation and is best suited to
crops that cover the mulch fairly quickly to
reduce deterioration. The remaining mulch and
drip tape must still be disposed of after the final
season. Much research has been done to
develop biodegradable plastic mulches but
problems with variability in rate of deterioration
have limited their use in large scale horticultural

A round table discussion on plastics
value recovery was held at the 28th National
Agricultural Plastics Congress held in
Tallahassee, FL May 19-22, 1999. James

June 1999



Garthe of Pennsylvania State University
organized the round table and participants were
Keith Williamson of Sonoco; Steve Clarke of the
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs;
and Arthur Amidon of Amidon Recycling.
Most agricultural plastics are now burned
on-farm or landfills. Landfills are starting to
restrict access to mulch film and drip tape
because they tangle the machinery. Compaction
of plastic by baling makes it acceptable for
landfills. Also, if the plastic is placed in a
separate area of the landfill, it can be "mined"
for future use in incineration and, possibly,
recycling. A pilot program to make baling
equipment available in Florida has been started.

The primary methods of recovering the
value of plastics that were discussed were
incineration for power generation and recycling
of plastic into plastic lumber or other recycled
products. Both uses require that facilities are
available and that a market exists for the
product. Also, the amount of dirt and debris that
are mixed in with the plastic is an issue of
particular importance for using plastic mulch.
The possibility that biodegradable plastic would
be mixed into the other mulch material was of
concern for recycling because of the additives
making the plastic biodegradable.

Other types of plastic are routinely
recycled and recycled plastic products, such as
lumber and fiber for clothing, are easily
available. A plastics recycling company is
currently looking into using agricultural plastics
from Florida producers as a large and fairly
concentrated source of plastic to recycle. If the
recycling and baling programs both succeed, the
amount of agricultural plastic ending up in
Florida landfills may be drastically reduced.

(Lamb, Vegetarian 99-06)

Pumpkin Variety Trial, Fall 1998

Decorative or carving type pumpkins are
a relatively minor crop in Florida but in recent
years interest for direct sale and local shipment
has increased because of high markets. Spring
production in Florida is not desirable due to the
lengthy and expensive storage time to keep
them until the fall marketing season. Optimum
planting time would be from late June to mid

July and will mature in late September to early
October. Because of the high temperatures
and long days during the early part of the
growing season fruit will mature in as little as
70 days from seeding. They can be grown
both as a main crop or as a double crop behind
a spring crop.
The objective of this trial was to
evaluate the performance of decorative or
carving type pumpkin varieties under north
Florida conditions.

Production was on white on black
polyethylene mulched beds. Prior to applying
mulch beds were fumigated with 400 Ibs/a of
98:2 methyl bromide. Total fertilization was
146-45-146 Ibs/a of N-P20s-K2O. Irrigation was
with a single tube placed 6 inches from the
center of the bed and 1 inch deep. Between
row spacing was 8 feet and in-row spacing was
40 inches. Twelve entries were direct seeded
on 6 August 1998. Design was a random
complete block with 4 replications. Registered
pesticides were applied on a weekly basis to
control insect and diseases.

First harvest was made 68 days after
seeding on 13 October 1998. At least 4 fruit
from each plot were rated for rind color and
height and diameter were recorded. Only
marketable fruit were weighed and data

Total yields ranged from 247 cwt/a for
'Aspen' to 98 cwt/a for 'Gold Rush' (Table 1).
'Magic', 'Howden', 'Appalachian', 'Jumpin' Jack'
and 'Connecticut Field' produced similar yields
to 'Aspen'. The highest yielding entries also
produced the most fruitla. The largest fruit was
produced by 'Gold Rush' at 16.2 Ibs and was
significantly higher than all other entries.
Smallest fruit was produced by 'Wizard' at 8.5
Ibs. The tallest fruit was produced by 'Jumpin'
Jack' with a height/width ratio of 1.13 but was
not different from 7 other entries. Fruit of 'Long
Face' had the deepest orange color but were
not different from 8 other entries. The top 4
entries, 'Aspen', 'Magic', 'Howden' and
'Appalachian' all produced good yields, had
fruit of good deep orange color and
height/width ratios of nearly 1 and should be
considered for commercial trial in North Florida.


June 1999


Of these 'Howden is open-pollinated and the
rest are hybrids.


Unit Reporting: North Florida Research and
Education Center

Leaders: S. M. Olson and J. M. Snell
Planted: August 6, 1998
Harvested: October 13-19, 1998
Soil: Orangeburg loamy fine sand

Average Fruit Yield
Color FruitWt (no)
Entry Source Ratingz Shapey (Ib) (no./A) (cwt/A)

Aspen Siegers 4.0 a-cx 1.04 a- 12.9 b-d 1920 a 247 a
Magic Seneca 4.5 ab 0.95 c 11.3 c-f 1920 a 216 ab
Howden Siegers 4.0 a-c 0.98 bc 12.6 b-e 1552 ab 198 ab
Appalachian Petoseed 4.2 a-c 1.05 a- 11.2 c-f 1552 ab 176 a-
._Jumpin'Jack __ Rupp 3.5 bc 1.13 a 13.4 bc 1225 a-c 171 a-
Connecticut Field Rupp 3.2 c 0.94 c 10.9 d-f 1389 ab 153 a-
Jackpot Harris Moran 4.2 a-c 1.11 ab 13.2 b-d 1144 bc 151 bc
Wizard Harris Moran 4.7 a 0.94 c 8.5 g 1716 ab 145 bc
Gold Strike Rupp 4.2 a-c 1.06 a- 14.0 b 1021 bc 142 bc
_Long Face _. Seneca 4.7 a 1.11 ab 10.4 e-g_ 1307 ab 137 bc
Mother Lode Rupp 3.7 a-c 1.16 a 10.2 fg 1021 bc 120 bc
Gold Rush Rupp 3.5 bc 1.04 a- 16.2 a 613 c 98 c
zColor rating; 1 = very pale orange, 5 = deep orange.
YShape = height/width
xMean separation in columns by Duncan's multiple range test, 5% level.

Comments: In row spacing 40 in., between row spacing 8ft. Trickle irrigation under white
polyethylene mulch. Fertilizer applied 146-45-146 Ib/A N-P205-K20.
(Olson, Vegetarian 99-06)


An update on greenhouse vegetable
acreage was recently presented by several
experts at the Southeastern United States
Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Conference
held in Tallahassee on May 19, 1999. The
information shows rapid expansion in Canada,
the United States and Mexico. The most rapid
United States expansion is in the southwest
(Texas, Arizona, Colorado, etc.). The following
ic a cnmm rv nf thp infnrmatinn nresfented by:

Dr. Merle Jensen, University of Arizona,
Dr. Rick Snyder, Mississippi State University,
and Shalin Khosla, Ontario Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Southwestern United States and Mexico

In the last six years, over 400 acres of
greenhouses for vegetable production have been
built in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado,
Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, and in Mexico,
1.200 acres. In the next year, over 80 100 acres

June 1999



will be added to the existing 108 acres in
Arizona, making it the fastest growing industry in
Arizona (Table 1).
In the next several years, the greenhouse
vegetable industry will see tremendous growth in
Mexico. Many of the facilities are being built at
low elevations, where the production will only be
during the winter months.

Starting several years ago, growers from
Canada started establishing greenhouse
operations in Arizona and northern Mexico,
specifically for market in Canada in order to
compliment existing production occurring in the
spring to late fall. There is increasing attention
being given to the continuous supply of the
product. For the Canadian growers to
accomplish this, they are looking at the high light
regions of the southwestern United States and
northern Mexico to meet their winter needs.

The production in the southwestern
United States is mostly tomatoes, with some
peppers produced in Texas. In Mexico, 65-70%
of the production is tomatoes, 15-20%
cucumbers, 5-10% peppers and the rest melons,
herbs, eggplants, etc.
Table 1. Greenhouse Vegetable Acreage

United States
New Mexico

Baja California
Baja California Sur
Meridad Yucatan
Nuevo Leon

Acres in
Acres Construction






Tamaulipas 05.0 00.0
'Asociacion Mexicana de Productores de Hortalizas Bajo Invemadero

Eastern United States
Greenhouse tomato acreage has clearly
been in a boom cycle in the mid and late
1990's. While the great majority of growers are
very small in greenhouse size, three large
companies now comprise about half of the
acreage in the United States. These companies
are summarized in Table 2 as "major players".

Table 2. Major Players Summary
Company Locations Crop/Acreage
Bonita Nursery (BN) AZ 80 A Tom
Village Farms (VF) NY, PA, VA, TX 175 A Tom + 24 A
Colorado CO, NM 110 A Tom
Greenhouse (CG)

States with the most greenhouse tomato
acreage are shown in Table 3. As shown,
leading states as of this writing are Texas,
Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia. As noted in
parentheses in the table, virtually all of this
acreage is due to the "major players" (VF =
Village Farms, BN = Bonita Nursery, CG =
Colorado Greenhouse). In fact, if you add up all
of the "major player" acreage in the U.S. as of
April 1999, you would get 365 acres, which is
about 49% of the total estimated acreage in the
U.S. (750 acres). Note: these figures do not
include proposed new ranges or proposed
expansion of current facilities. However,
expansion plans for Arizona during 1999 and
2000 will very likely put that state into first place
in acreage.
The figures in Table 3 only include
greenhouse tomatoes, with no accounting of
other crops. It is interesting to note, however,
that there has been some broadening of
greenhouse crop production into other crops in
the past few years. For example, it is estimated
that Florida currently has 25 acres of peppers,
24 acres of European cucumbers, 5 acres of
herbs, 4 acres of lettuce, and 1 acre of
strawberries in greenhouses, in addition to the
tomatoes. Also, there are about 20 acres of
raspberries in walk-in tunnels. Both the tomato
and pepper acreage are expected to grow,

June 1999



mostly at the expense of decreasing cucumber
Table 3. Leading Greenhouse Tomato States in the U.S.
States Acres

Vegetable Gardening


New York
New Mexico
New Jersey

112 (82 VF)
108 (80 BN)
94 (90 CG)
43 (42 VF)
43 (20 VF)
35 (31 VF)
20 (20 CG)


North Carolina 10
VF = Village Farms, BN = Bonita Nursery, CG = Colorado

The Canadian Greenhouse Vegetable Industry

The Canadian industry (1,600 acres total)
is delineated provincially. Each province has its
own characteristic (climate, cultural and
market) that has to be addressed. Ontario has
(904 acres) the largest area devoted to
greenhouse vegetables in Canada, followed by
British Columbia (363 acres) and Quebec (247
acres). Alberta has a small but strong industry.
The majority of the production area in the
greenhouses is devoted to tomatoes. Most of
this acreage is devoted to beefsteak tomato
production, but there is a steadily expanding
area devoted to TOV (Tomato on the Vine).
The remaining portion of the acreage is
devoted to cucumber and pepper production.
The pepper area has increased steadily over
the past 5 years with a dramatic increase in the
area devoted to pepper production in Ontario
over the past three years. Lettuce, herbs,
oriental vegetables and medicinal plants
continue to be developed at a slower rate in
smaller greenhouses directed to sales to
specific niche markets.

Starting a Community Garden

Many citizens have backyard gardens and
.have been gardening for many years. These
backyard or family gardens are managed by
individual family members. However,
community gardens are neighborhood open
spaces managed by and for the members are
like a family. They need each other. They need
to work on problems that might get in the way of
their helping each other. But some of the
hardest questions for community gardening
have been about how to start a community
garden, how to coordinate and work together to
keep the garden growing and how to settle

Organizing the gardeners is as important
as choosing a site. The first step in starting a
community garden is to bring together a group
of interested people in the neighborhood. If
there are not enough people to start with,
distribute flyers around the community. Two or
more persons are needed to start a community
garden. Others will follow later.

The second step is an important one. It is
to find a coordinator, or contact person.
Establishing a community garden requires a
leader who organizes and inspires the
neighborhood to believe that together they
really can create a garden. A good coordinator
should have a working knowledge of vegetable
gardening, a good relationship with the public,
some communication skills and the ability to
organize, handle and manage people. A Florida
Master Gardener could serve as a coordinator.

The third step is to identify and select a
garden site. Choosing the garden site is very
important. The garden coordinator and other
prospective gardeners should look for a
private/public vacant lot nearby where they
would like to start a community garden. The
site should be near a water supply (fire
hydrant), should receive at least 4 to 6 hours of
direct sunlight, although the more light the
better, should be close enough to people who
will be gardening for at least one year, should
1 f .. ...LII ___ f._:_I._


June 1999


as much as possible, should be relatively free
and away from possible sources of pollution,
and should be visible to the neighbors. The
more public a garden and closer it is to the
people who work there, the better. Then take a
soil sample and send it for a pH test to
determine fertilizer requirements.

Then find out the owner of the lot and get
permission to use it for gardening. A city may
give the lot for gardening under some

After choosing the site and getting
permission to use the lot for gardening, you are
now ready for plot planning. The size of
individual plots may vary depending on how
many people want to participate and how much
time they can spend for gardening. Usually a
10' x 25' plot can be conveniently managed by
one person. Compost bins, water supply,
garbage cans and other communal activities
should be conveniently located to all
gardeners. Walkways and pathways should be
about 4 feet, for carts and the gardeners'
convenience. The planners should determine
the overall layout of the garden site in a
thorough manner. They should discuss this
among the group in a full meeting to make sure
everyone is agreeable to everything that has
been laid out.

Assign individual plots to members filling
out an enrollment form. Set up communal
utilities, such as compost bins, garbage cans,
water drums, tables, benches, etc. Decide and
collect membership fees, if any, to meet the
expenses of communal utilities, water hose,
fencing, etc. Set up a committee to take care of
general maintenance, such as weeding, general
cleaning, filling water drums, trash removal, etc.,
on a rotation basis. Encourage youths to join
for community pride and as extension agents,
you should help start these community gardens
and help educate the gardeners, but not get too
involved in running them.

To minimize vandalism. If needed,
organize a community watch group among the
Florida Cooperative Extension has free
fact sheets on gardening as well as bulletins
available for a small charge. Many counties
conduct clinics and classes on gardening and
many train Master Gardeners who can be called
on for expertise. Some counties also publish
gardening newsletters.

(Stephens, Vegetarian 99-06)


June 1999


Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

3r. D. J. Cantliffe

3r. D. N. Maynard

3r. W. M. Stall

Dr. T. E. Crocker

Dr. S. M. Olson

Mr. J. M. Stephens

Dr. G. J. Hochmuth

Dr. S. A. Sargent

Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Assoc. Professor


June 1999

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