A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service
VEGETABLE CROPS CALENDAR
O New Way to Obtain CORE CEUs
O Virtually Impermeable Film (VIF) Research
O Budless Tomatoes: A Physiological Condition
O Select 2EC (Clethodim) Receives Supplemental Labeling
O Command 3ME Labeled on Several Vegetables
E VEGETABLE GARDENING
O Community Gardening in Florida
List of Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
(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.)
Gulf.Coast Research and Education Center Vegetable Field Day Tuesday, 15 May 2001 Bradenton,
FL. Contact Donald N. Maynard at (941)751-7636 x239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twilight Field Day June 5 NFREC-Suwannee Valley. Contact Bob Hochmuth at 386-362-1725 or
Florida State Horticulture Meeting June 10-12 Stewart, FL.
American Society for Horticultural Sciences Annual Meeting July 22-25 Sacramento, CA.
Florida Tomato Institute Sept. 5 Naples, FL.
Florida Agriculture Extension Professionals Meeting Sept. 10-14.
FACTS Meeting Oct. 2-3 Lakeland, FL.
Cucurbitaceae 2002 December 8-12, 2002 Naples Beach and Golf Club, Naples, FL. Contact Donald N.
Maynard at (941)751-7636 x239 or email@example.com.
Commercial Vegetable Production
New Way to Obtain CORE CEUs
The UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service has teamed up with Citrus and
Vegetable Magazine and the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services to offer pesticide applicators a new, more convenient
way to earn CEUs in the CORE category. As most of you know, the
requirement now states that license holders renewing by CEUs must obtain a
minimum of 2 CORE CEUs in each primary category. Beginning with the June
issue of Citrus and Vegetable Magazine, pesticide applicator license holders
will be able to read an article and answer a series of questions. The
completed questions will then be mailed to the Florida Department of
Agriculture's Pesticide Licensing Division. They will be graded and a
completed CEU form sent to the applicator. Applicators can earn one (1)
CORE CEU for each question set completed. The articles will be written by
UF/IFAS Extension Faculty members. Initially, this will be a six months trial
program tentatively scheduled to run June, July, August, October, November,
and December of 2001. Currently, the final details are still being worked out,
so watch for more information.
(P. R. Gilreath, Extension Agent, Manatee County Vegetarian 01-05)
| Virtually Impermeable Film (VIF) Research
In a series of recent grower meetings around the state, information was
presented on the use of vif (virtually impermeable film or gas impermeable
film) materials and their role in the methyl bromide phaseout situation. Drs.
Jim Gilreath and Joe Noling have worked with a number of different vif
materials over the last few years as part of the methyl bromide alternatives
research program. This program included demonstration plots which are
currently in place with a number of vegetable growers, including strawberries.
The idea behind vif materials is not to serve as a replacement for methyl
bromide but to allow growers to utilize reduced rates of methyl bromide or
other fumigants while obtaining the efficacy they have come to expect with
methyl bromide. Research to date indicates that most of the vif's have at least
one major shortcoming in that they are difficult to lay on the raised beds we
typically use in vegetable culture in FL and most of the SE. The difficulty lies
in their tendency to rip or shear linearly or in the lengthwise direction. Some
vif's have a vinyl center layer, or other impervious material, and other materials
are then layered over this. Since it cannot be embossed, vif does not stretch
well like Idpe (low density polyethylene mulch the standard mulch film most
growers use) and that causes the problem with rips because we try to stretch
it tightly across the bed. The best vif that Jim has worked with is a product
made by Plastopil in Israel, but availability has been a problem as they will not
export the film to the U.S. for some reason.
Currently, work is underway with a vif made by Klerk's Plastics and sold under
the trade name Hytibar. So far, results with this product have been promising.
The newest vif material from Klerk's is reportedly somewhat more flexible and
therefore easier to lay than last year's material. Growers report that in most
cases some modification of equipment, such as removing the weights on
press wheels and reducing roller tension, may be required. Also, the speed
of the plastic layer will probably have to be reduced. The vifs are not
completely impervious to methyl bromide, but they are more impervious than
Idpe; thus, they retain the gas longer so it is more effective. Using vif,
nutsedge control has been obtained with 88 Ibs/acre of methyl bromide /
chloropicrin (67/33%) that was equal to that obtained with 350 Ibs/acre with
standard Idpe. These results have been fairly consistent.
In more recent work, a slight reduction in plant growth early in the season was
noted with the vif at all methyl bromide rates, but nutsedge control was
excellent and may be a fair trade off. This is the first time this slight reduction
in growth has been seen. It may be that due to longer retention of the
fumigant by the vif, a longer waiting period should have been observed
between fumigation and planting. Several trials were placed with growers last
fall on tomato and in each case 175 Ibs/acre of methyl bromide with vif was
compared with 350 Ibs with Idpe. In each trial weed control and yield were
similar to what was obtained with the standard rate of methyl bromide and
At this point, vif may be an intermediate, short term solution for those who are
highly dependent upon methyl bromide for their soilborne pest control such
as for crops where fewer herbicide alternatives are available. It may be
particularly useful for those blocks where nutsedge pressure is higher, leaving
the alternatives for use in other blocks while application techniques are fine
tuned. It may not be a long term answer but for the short term it may allow
growers to stretch their methyl bromide supply while maintaining the level of
pest control which they have come to expect.
Figure 1. Left bed = LDPE mulch. Right bed = Plastopil VIF mulch. Both beds treated
with 88 lbs/A methyl bromide 67/33. Peppers, 1999.
Figure 2. Left bed = LDPE mulch. Right bed =
with 175 lbs/A methyl bromide 67/33. Peppers,
Plastopil VIF mulch. Both beds treated
(P. R. Gilreath and J. P. Gilreath, assoc. prof., GCREC-Bradenton-
1.B.ud.less. Tomatoes; A Physiological Condition
Phyllis Gilreath and I recently visited some growers in Manatee County with plants that
exhibited a condition known as budlessness. Our knowledge of this condition indicates that it
begins in the greenhouse during transplant production and is manifested by a loss of apical
meristem development over time. Abnormal, incomplete, or arrested development of the
terminal bud has been reported in a number of crops including broccoli, cauliflower, baby's
breath, roses, and geranium. Research literature for this condition comes from the UK,
northern United States, Arkansas, New Zealand, and Norway. The condition has variously been
called blind-, budless-, topless-, blind-wood or bud abortion. Termination of shoot growth and
lack of visible flower production (in cauliflower and broccoli) are characteristics of this
condition. Leaves may be fewer in number, distorted, thick, fleshy, and/or stem-like. The
condition may yield a multi-stemmed plant with decreased growth.
The loss of the terminal bud growth in tomato seedlings can result in significant problems in the
field. When transferred to the field, transplants not identified as budless within 30 days undergo
a further developmental setback at pruning when all of the remaining growing points are
removed. Affected foliage then exhibits a 2,4-D like growth expression and a complete loss of
growth from the main stem. Surveys of commercial plantings from production areas in FL
afflicted with this condition show the rate of occurrence to range from 10% to more than 90%.
Production losses associated with the budless condition can be substantial particularly in
pruned plants that are cultivated during the late Fall early to mid Winter seasons when the
condition is most prevalent.
While referred to as a "greenhouse problem," budlessness has not been directly correlated
with any specific greenhouse production practice. One can theorize that subtle changes in the
environment trigger the symptoms and because of the apparent link to time of year we believe
it is a light related phenomenon, but the fact is, we simply do not know the cause. For a
complete description of budless tomatoes go to http://www.imok.ufl.edu/liv/roups/cultural/index.htm
and look under Physiological Problems
(Vavrina and P. Gilreath -Vegetarian 01-05)
S.Select...2E.C. (Clethodim) Receives Supplemental Labeling
Select 2EC (Clethodim) has received labeling for use on potato, sweet potato, yams (and
other tuberous and corn vegetables), tomatoes, peppers (bell and non-bell), eggplant (and
others in fruiting vegetable subgroup), celery, carrot, radish, strawberry, squash (including
pumpkins), cucumber, and melons (muskmelon and watermelon).
Select is a post-grass herbicide and will control a large number of grassy weeds in the above
crops. A crop oil concentrate should always be used in the finished spray mix at 1% v/v. The
addition of a liquid fertilizer may be added in applications to potatoes.
Application rate depends on grass species to be controlled. A maximum of 32 fl oz (0.5 Ib ai)
may be applied per season. Preharvest intervals vary depending on commodity. Read the
label for information.
The labeling must be in the possession of the user at the time of pesticide application.
(Stall Vegetarian 01-05)
Comman.d. 3ME Labeled on Several Vegetables
Command 3ME (clomozone) has received labeling on several vegetable crops. The difference
in this product from the command 4E is the microencapsulation of clomozone, which is
intended to minimize movement away from the site of application. Applicators should avoid
making applications when spray particles may be carried by air currents to areas where
sensitive crops and plants are growing. Foliar contact with spray drift or vapors may cause
foliar whitening or yellowing of sensitive plants.
Command 3ME may be utilized as a soil applied treatment prior to weed emergence, for
control or suppression of annual grass and broadleaf weeds in beans (succulent), peppers,
squash (including processing pumpkins) sweet potatoes and tuberous and corn vegetables
(arrocacha, cassava, tanier, yams). Make a single application in a minimum of 10 gallons of
water per acre at the rates specified for each individual crop. Apply as a preemergence soil
applied treatment prior to seeding or transplanting. Place seeds, or roots of transplants, below
chemical barrier when planting. Command 3ME may be tank mixed with other herbicides
registered for use on vegetables to broaden the weed control spectrum. In beans, use the rate
of 0.4 pints (0.15 Ib ai) per acre, in cabbage use the rate of 0.67 pt (0.25 Ib ai) for both seeded
and transplants. For cucumbers, melons (muskmelon and watermelon) and summer squash,
use 0.4 pints (0.15 Ib ai). Higher rates may be used in winter squash and pumpkins, from 0.67
pints to 2 pints.
Peppers are very tolerant to clomozone and a rate up to 2.67 pints (1.0 Ib ai) may be used. In
sweet potatoes, a rate of 1.3 pints may be made or the product may be applied at 1.5 pints
(0.56 Ib ai) after transplanting, but before crop emergence. Command 3 ME may be applied at
2 pints (0.75 Ib ai) to the tuberous and corn vegetables.
In studies that I have personally carried out in Florida, i.e., peppers, pumpkins, winter squash,
sweet potatoes and yams, are very tolerant to clomozone applications. The cucurbits, beans,
and cabbage can be severely bleached if applications above the rates listed for course soils
Growers should use the product on a trial basis to gain experience before using the product on
large acreages in the more sensitive crops.
At the present time, the Florida registration has not been approved. I was assured that
registration in the state is eminent.
(Stall, Vegetarian 01-05)
Community Gardening in Florida
A. Before you Start
1. Purpose of Community Gardens (CG)
Limited space Community gardens provide a means for individuals and families to have a
vegetable garden even though they have insufficient space or soil where they live.
Vacant lots Community gardens can help utilize otherwise waste and unsightly sites such as
vacant lots and cluttered fields.
Pride Community gardens foster a sense of community pride and social interaction.
Benefits Community gardens provide the many benefits of growing fresh vegetables of
gardening to limited resource families as well as to others of more substantial means.
Demonstration Community gardens incorporate the learning process of demonstration
teaching for inexperienced and experienced gardeners as well.
Sponsoring groups CG's are traditionally organized and conducted by such groups as
government, church, social club, housing developments, health care facilities, school, or private
business. Organizations such as "Gardens For All" (est. 1973) have been developed to
promote community gardening. These groups have developed a considerable amount of
literature and resource material for anyone who would seek to find it.
Leadership Normally, there needs to be a sponsoring group and a supervisory group. It is
essential to identify an individual as the project leader. Without such leadership the community
gardening project is doomed to chaotic failure.
Extension MG The role of the Extension Service is educational in nature, serving to advise
the organizing group on how to set up and operate the garden, and how to grow the crops.
Extension agents should not be expected to perform organizational or leadership duties
relative to any community garden. However, Florida Master Gardeners may assume this role
with the agents permission.
Need assessment- The CG committee however formed and empowered, will need to
thoroughly determine the need for such a project within a specific community, and accurately
assess the probability of success for the venture. Fortunately, vegetable gardening is popular
in all areas of the state, although many would-be gardeners are recent arrivals and lack
gardening experience under local conditions.
B. Getting Started.
Close to users Obviously the CG should be located within or adjacent to the area where most
of the residents who will use the garden live or attend regularly. Vegetables require a good
deal of attention and care, so the plots must be close by to prevent neglect. Most community
gardens (71%) are found in cities.
Vandalism It is sad, but some neighborhoods are just too unsettled and crime-ridden for a
CG to succeed. Experience elsewhere has shown the unfairness of asking gardeners to make
considerable inputs in time, money, and effort into planting a garden only to lose it to vandalism
and theft. Of course, such communities are the very ones that could benefit the most from such
Government Some of the most frequently utilized locations are: school yards, inner-city
vacant property lots, and government property. The Florida Department of Agriculture
Consumer Services has experience in identifying government owned property suitable for
community gardening. Nationwide, cities own the sites (35%), followed by private (20%),
non-profit groups (15%), and schools (8%).
Select site Once a community is targeted, the actual site for the CG must be selected. It is
advisable to first identify more than one site, then to discuss the pros and cons of each before
selecting the very best for the project.
Site clearing Look for a site that is reasonably level, cleared of trees, trash, or structures, and
moderately well drained. Soil fertility can be enhanced; however, try to avoid areas of deep,
excessively drained sandy soil if possible. Some clearing of debris is possible, but beware of
the possibility of hazardous wastes, such as oily products, lead-based paints and other heavy
Away from trees Vegetables need full sun for best growth, so make sure the site is not too
shady. Make sure close-by trees are not going to be damaged by any of the gardening
practices. For example, some gardening can be accomplished in pecan and other fruit groves,
but care must be taken to avoid injury to tree roots.
Irrigation drainage A source of irrigation water must be included in the site plan. It is
sometimes possible to hook onto city water with a water meter installed at the site for the
express purpose of the CG. Conversely, the proper disposal of drainage water from the entire
site must be considered. Keep in mind that such drainage water could contain fertilizer and
pesticides so should not be allowed to enter the aquifer or waterways.
Size of site The size of the CG site should be large enough to accommodate at least ten
gardeners. Thus, the actual area for growing the crops should be a minimum of 5,000 square
feet (1/10 acre, approx.), not including area for parking. Most sites will range from one to three
acres in size.
Fence A fence (hog-wire, barbed-wire, or chain-link) establishes the boundary, reduces theft,
and discourages vandalism. It is best to select a fenced-in area, or to fence the boundary of the
CG site. Individual plots need not be fenced, although quite often even these are fenced,
usually by the individual gardeners. Any restrictions or standards on fencing should be clearly
established in the CG rules at the very beginning.
Plot No The number of plots will vary from one CG to another, there being no standard.
However, it is unusual to find less than 10 or more than 100. The city of Jacksonville has 20
Urban Gardening sites, with an average of 10 plots per site. Fenway of Boston, one of the
nation's largest projects, contained 500 plots at one site.
Size of plots Size of individual plots also varies, but averages about 300-600 sq ft. Of course,
the overall size and configuration of the CG site helps determine plot size. Also, the method of
culture is important. If grow-boxes (raised bed with frame-sides) are used, an individual plot
might be as little as 4x10, whereas large row-gardens might be as much as 1000 sq ft
(20'x50') each. Some of the more popular plot sizes are: 15x20, 20x20, 20x25, 25x25, and
20x30. The Fenway plots are 15x30. It is quite common for a gardener to claim more than one
plot, especially when plots are small or if a family is involved.
Configuration The plot-configuration should be rectangular so that the overall CG can be
more easily partitioned and managed. Note: Try to bunch the plots together so that there are
not a lot of unassigned (thus neglected) plots scattered among those being tended. Open up
new sections of the site as more plots are needed. Some projects include a special section for
handicapped gardeners, where plots are super-raised or other wise altered.
5. Plot assignment
Assignment of plots Assign plots on the basis of the rules and restrictions as drawn up and
agreed upon. Usually, this will be on a first-come basis. However, a system of lottery has also
been used successfully in some projects. Certain exemptions can be made where gardeners
wish to retain "stewardship" from one season to the next. Some trading might be done by
gardeners on sign-up day, but this should be minimized for the sake of record keeping. It is
best to have a well publicized sign up period, after which assignments might still be made. In
certain projects, plots assigned but not planted by a predetermined time, might be
re-assigned, according to well-established rules.
6. Site Clearing/plowing.
Site clearing plowing It is the responsibility of the sponsor and project supervisor to get the
site cleared, plowed, and ready for assignment. In some projects, this labor is provided by the
participants in a "work-day" fashion. However, it is best for the over all site to be roto-tilled as
an entire unit, then plotted and staked for assignment. Such once-over treatment allows for
liming, pest and weed control, and water management to be accomplished more efficiently. Of
course, each gardener should have the right to replow his own plot at any time.
Remove equip,etc. To facilitate plowing, individual plot fencing, irrigation tubing, and other
gardening paraphernalia must be removed by gardeners according to established rules, and
by certain dates.
Irrigation Provision must be made for irrigation, either on an individual plot basis (preferred),
or the scheduling overall garden site. It is best for individuals to have the means to water
independent of others, since each has specific crop needs and to reduce the labor
requirement. The main problem with individual plot watering is scheduling. Water pressure and
supply is quite often insufficient during very dry periods when everyone wants to water at once.
Scheduling helps alleviate this problem. Allot hours of the day during which water may be
applied. Of course there are timing devices available which may be set at predetermined
Water charges Cost of water and how it is purchased must be considered and included in the
rules. Some projects charge a water-fee collected by the manager (either monthly or
periodically). Others include the water charge in the plot rental.
Watering the plots Water outlets must be positioned near each garden. No more than 4 plots
should use off a single outlet. For example, one spigot could be placed at the junction of 4
plots. The practice of dragging hoses long distances creates disturbances and is generally
unsatisfactory. Watering by bucket is also inadequate except for very small plots.
Fees Fees per plot are the general rule. Unless there is a benefactor involved, a fee is
necessary to defray the general expenses of the over-all project. Such expenses might include:
irrigation (water and supply equipment; liming; plowing; staking; mulching material; common
tools; and plot rental. Usually, fees have ranged from $3 to $10 per plot per season, but with
inflation would appear more realistic at $10-$20 per plot. Sponsors often pick up the tab for
needy gardeners in certain projects, especially with youth groups. Whatever the fee, it should
be well publicized and entered into the rules sheet. Obviously, one person such as the project
supervisor should be responsible for collection and disbursement of fees.
9. Rules and regulations
a. Every CG project should have a well-written set of rules and regulations for
everyone to go by. These rules should be specific for the project. Use generic rules
formatting your individual projects rules. Keep in mind that CG is a social event
involving several (sometimes hundreds) of people. Dos and don't must be clearly
stated and defined.
b. In addition to the rules, an application form (including a Contract Agreement)
is strongly recommended. A form should be used which is brief, simple, yet
covers the essential points. It must be signed by the lead gardener in the presence
of the supervisor and kept in file during the duration of the garden season.
Here are some of the points the RULES should contain:
Liability Release from liability says gardener does not hold the sponsors at fault
for injuries sustained in the project.
Occupancy limit Period of occupancy when can the plot be started, and by
which date must it be given up. Most CG's will require a period of 4 to 5 months to
allow for planting and complete harvesting of a crop of vegetables.
Loss of privileges Special reasons for vacating or losing gardening privileges.
Some project's rules stipulate that loss of gardening privileges can result from: a)
plot neglect; b) rules violations; c) public disturbance; d) alcohol, or other.
Grievance Grievance procedures should be stated, not only in case dismissals,
but against the actions of other gardeners or the project management.
What practices Allowable and prohibited gardening practices and products need
to be spelled out, allowed if any pertain. This is especially important regarding
organic gardening projects.
Rules on practices Rules on watering, weeding, fencing, perennials, cover
cropping, harvesting, pest control, and disposal of rotted produce/plants must be
Hours Hours of operation for the garden, use of special areas such as for toddler,
pet, bicycles, motor bikes, and parking need to be considered.
Authorized guests List others (than yourself) that are authorized to work in, visit,
and harvest from your garden.
Common tools Special rules on the common use of tools and equipment. List
what to do in case something tears up.
Plat A plat of the CG with plot numbers clearly indicated (make sure plot markers
and corners are well marked in the garden).
Permits\ordinances It is the responsibility of the sponsoring group to be aware of and abide
by all of the local (city and county) ordinances and permit requirements pertaining to the
Community Gardening project. A good place to start is the local County Cooperative Extension
Service. Call the zoning department and ask for assistance. The local traffic department can
advise on parking and traffic (entering and exiting) requirements. Most community gardens are
non-profit projects, so require no license as an endeavor. Your city recreation department can
also give good advice when planning a CG. Be sure to check with health department about
11. Application Form/Contract of Agreement
Application form -
a. Contains information about the gardener name, address, phone, next of kin contact.
b. Contains reason for wanting a plot and plans for the garden in future seasons.
c. Ask the gardener to list special needs or handicaps.
d. Signature of applicant, signifying that all the rules have been read and understood.
e. Number of plots, and location (if applicable).
f. Release from liability (signature).
g. Rules (see list of rules).
h. Dates: (when signed) and due in dates (for application returns).
i. Where to send completed form and to whom.
j. Acceptance signature block (of person authorized to accept applications). Indicate status,
such as: "placed on waiting list" or "accepted".
(Stephens, Vegetarian 01-05)
Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Daniel J. Cantliffe
Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences
Timothy E. Crocker
Professor, deciduous fruits and nuts, strawberry
Assistant Professor, strawberry
Assistant Professor, vegetable production
Elizabeth M. Lamb
Assistant Professor, production
Assistant Professor, soils
Donald N. Maynard
Stephen M. Olson
Professor, small farms
Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Professor, postharvest
Ronald W. Rice
Assistant Professor, nutrition
Steven A. Sargent
Assistant Professor and Editor, vegetable nutrition
William M. Stall
Professor, weed control
James M. Stephens
Professor, vegetable gardening
Charles S. Vavrina
Associate Professor, transplants
James M. White
Associate Professor, organic farming
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Horticultural Sciences Department
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
North Florida Research and Education Center Suwannee Valley
FastCounter by LinkExchange
This page is maintained by Susie Futch.... if you have any questions or comments, contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ufl.edu.