Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents

Title: Grow your own vegetables.
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 Material Information
Title: Grow your own vegetables.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida State Department of Agriculture,
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Publication Date: 1952
Copyright Date: 1952
General Note: State of Florida, Department of Agriculture ; bulletin 52, new series
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089045
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: amt2331 - LTUF
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Table of Contents
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Full Text

Florida State Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner

Bulletin 52 New Series July, 1952



State of Florida
Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner


July, 1952

Bulletin 52

New Series

Compiled by workers of the Writer's Program
of the
Works Projects Administration in the State of Florida

State-wide Sponsor of the Writers' Project

John M. Carmody, Administrator

Howard 0. Hunter, Commissioner
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
Wilbur E. Harkness, State Administrator

Published by

Nathan Mayo, Commissioner


The health of its citizens is the Nation's first line of de-
fense. Vegetables rich in mineral salts so essential to a
well-rounded diet, can be raised with a minimum of effort
and expense in every section of Florida. The State's daily
average of sunlight-approximately six hours-is greater
than in any other region in the eastern United States. Com-
bined with mild winters, this permits of a long growing

In cooperation with a county-wide educational program
proposed by the National Nutrition Conference of Defense,
and the activities of the Farm Security Administration and
the home demonstration forces, Florida authorities offer
this booklet. Here is comprehensive information as to what
vegetables are recommended; the time to plant them in
various sections of the State; how to grow them success-
fully; and the best methods of preserving the surplus.

Carita Doggett Corse, Rolla A. Southworth,
State Supervisor, State Director,
Florida Writer's Program Community Service Programs
Works Projects Administration

Grow Your Own Vegetables ............................... .. ........... Page 5
Planning the Garden............... ............. ................. .......... 6
Planting the Garden... .............. .... ....... ....................... 8
C cultivation H arvestin g ................... ....... ................................... .... 11
P reserving the Surplus ..................................................... .... .... 12
W hat, W hen and H ow to Plant................... .................... .. ....... 15
L 'm a Beans.................................................. 15
Snap or G reen B eans .............. ...... ... ...... .......... ... . ....... .. 16
B eets ............ .................... . .................. ............. .... .... 18
B r o c c o li ....... ................................................ .................. 1 8
C a b b a g e ............ ....... ..... .... .... ................. ... ............. 19
Chinese C abbage .......... ............ .......................... ... ..... .. 2
C a u liflo w er ..... ................ 2.. ............ ............. . ................... .. 2 1
C a r r o ts ....... ..... ............. ..... ........................................................ .... .. 2 2
Chard ............................ ........ .......................... 22
C o lla rd s ...................... ........................................................................ 2 2
Sw eet Corn and "Roasting Ears"....... .................................... .... ... 23
C u cu m b ers .. ...... .. ...... .. .. ..... .. ..... ........................ 24
E gg p lan t ............ .............................. ................. .............. ............... 2 5
Endive and Escarole.. ................ ..... ............... ........ 25
Kohlrobi .26
K o h lr o b i .............................................................. . ........................... 2 6
L ettu ce .................... ..................................... 2 7
Muskmelons and Cantaloupes.............. ... ...................... 28
O k r a ........................................................... 2 9
O onions .................... ....................................... ...... .. ......... 30
P parsley ..................................................... .. ................... 3 1
E english P eas ............... .............. .... ................ .... .... ................. 31
Peppers......... ...................... ............... 32
Irish Potatoes ................................ ...... ............... .. 32
Sweet Potatoes ..................... ... ............................ 33
R dishes ................................ ................. ..... 33
Spinach ......... ...... ....... ...................... .... .. ................ ........ .......... 34
Squash and Pumpkin ........................... ........ .... ................... 35
Straw berries .. .............. .....3...................... ....... . 36
T o m a to es ......... ............................................................. ..................... 3 7
Turnips and Mustard ............. ....... ....... ...... ........ ... 38
W aterm elons ......... .. ....... .. ............ ............. ................ 39
Planting Chart for Florida Vegetables... ............. ................ 40-46
Disease and Insect Control .................................. ............... ... 47
Disease-Resistant Varieties of Vegetables....... ......... .................. 50
Sources and Functions of Fertilizer Elements............ ................. 59
Time Required for Cooking Vegetables ................... .............. 68
Calory and V itam in Table. ....................... ... ........................... ..... 70
Soil Organisms-What They Are and What They Do... ................ 7
A H om e G arden in F lorida .. .. ............................................ .. ...... 6
Hom e Canning of Surplus Vegetables........................................... 14
P ole L im a (B utter) B eans.................................................................... 16
Bush Lim a (Ford H ook) .................................. ......................... 17
C abbage ........ ............................ ............ .............. 19
C o lla rd s .......................................................................... 2 2
Endive and Chicory.................... ..... ... ........ ...... .......... 26
Big Boston Lettuce.......... ................................. .............. .. 27
M uskm elons (Cantaloupes) ............. ...................................... ... 28
O kra ............................................ ............................ 29
Spinach .............. .................................. ... .. . .......... ...... 34
S q u a sh ....... .............................................................. .... 3 5
Tom atoes ........ .......................... . ........................... 37
Watermelons ... ....... ............................... 39

Grow Your Own Vegetables
Growing their own vegetables is a contribution that rural
families, and many urban dwellers, can make to the Na-
tion's defense preparations. A home garden not only aids
the family budget, but indirectly helps to amplify the coun-
try's resources. At a time when defense activities are ac-
celerating with a magnitude unequaled in history, food be-
comes increasingly vital. No nation is stronger than its food
supply. A family producing its own vegetables is doubly
compensated, provided the methods necessary to success are
Probably thousands of Florida families have given little
thought to the possibilities of a home garden. This is par-
ticularly true of urban residents, to whom vegetable gar-
dens are associated with farms, or with small communities
where large individual plots or back yards are available.
Whether in town or country, a home garden assures an
independent and immediate supply of fresh vegetables.
After they are gathered, most vegetables quickly depreciate
in certain food values. This does not occur where green
foods are within a few steps of the kitchen.
The office worker who employs part of his spare time in
gardening, reaps health benefits from exercise in the fresh
air and sunshine, and often finds peace from "jittery"
nerves or the solution to mental problems while in contact
with the soil. There are but few normal persons who are
intrigued by the magic of seed in the ground, the inquisi-
tive sprout pushing its way through the surface; their en-
thusiasm mounting as the plant waxes in growth, finally to
give forth generously and repay the care and attention it
has received.
Many people in various localities still seek employment,
or are able to secure only part-time work. Quite often the
providing of sufficient food is a major problem to the head
of a family whose income is inadequate. In such cases, if a
garden plot is available, it is practically a duty to grow a
vegetable garden. In the lush periods of the year surpluses
can be dried and canned.
Community gardens, in which workers collectively share
the labor and the harvest, have become popular and many
vacant lots are made useful in this way.
'Florida farmers who grow staples only, or specialize in
but one, or a few, truck crops, should have a garden in
which to grow an assortment of vegetables for home use.


More than one member of a family may enjoy taking
part in the planning and care of the garden. Sometimes
each individual will select a certain vegetable, or vegeta-
bles, for personal attention; a sense of pride in production
develops, and growing a garden takes on the aspects of a
competitive game.
There are many excellent instruction books available on
such subjects as seed selection, cross-pollination, and vari-
ous methods of producing superior or even new varieties.
And for both adults and children, a garden is an ideal place
to learn many of nature's delightful surprises.

In planning the garden the first things to consider are
the types of soil, the water supply and drainage, and the
adaptability of various vegetables to the specific conditions.

A Home Garden in Florida: An Investment in Health

Plants, like all living things, have their individual prefer-
ences regarding environment. Many amateurs meet with
defeat through lack of understanding of vegetable culture
and failure to follow certain mandatory procedures.
Type of Soil. Although Florida has a great diversity of
soils, they may be generalized into a comparatively small
number of groups. Vegetables, also, may be similarly
grouped in their preferences for certain soils.
Many Florida soils are deficient in organic matter. As a
rule, soils dark in color indicate more organic matter than


the lighter types, and are usually more productive. Gen-
erally speaking, however, the majority of Florida vegeta-
bles will grow on most of Florida's soils, with adequate
treatment for humus and proper fertilization. Organic mat-
ter, or humus, can be supplied by one of numerous cover
crops, or by compost. This will be discussed later.

Water Supply and Drainage. Crops grown during dry
seasons must be watered artificially. If piped water is
available, the garden can be sprinkled with a hose. Both
overhead and underground irrigation are methods too ex-
pensive for the small grower unless the equipment has al-
ready been installed. Where the contour of the land per-
mits, water may be run between the rows. If none of these
methods can be used, water must be carried to the plot.
It is better to water the garden thoroughly once a week
than merely to wet the surface several times during that
period. Preferably, watering should be done early in the
morning or late in the afternoon, for plants are liable to be
scalded when watering while the sun is overhead. The
amount of moisture necessary depends on the type of soil
and weather conditions. Heavy soils retain water for longer
periods than the light types.
Drainage is an evident matter needing little discussion.
If land is allowed to remain soggy wet during wet periods,
most plants will suffer and the land eventually becomes
sour. Drainage is a problem on low places where excess
water is unable to run off. The usual solution is ditching,
planting on ridges or beds, and frequent cultivation, thus
helping to dry out the soil.
Location. If there is sufficient land for a choice of site
the garden should be planted where moisture control is
possible. For convenience, the plot should be close to the
house, and fenced as a protection against chickens and rov-
ing animals.
Seasonal Planting. When planning a home garden, sea-
sonal planting must be taken into consideration. Because
some vegetables grow best in warm weather, and others in
cool months, the time of planting is important. Also, by
taking advantage of weather preferences, a garden may be
planted to produce continuously.
Cool Weather Vegetables. In the early spring and late
fall, and during the entire winter, if the weather is mild,
such vegetables as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts,


collards, turnips, mustard greens and radishes thrive best.
Among others which do well are lettuce, endive, carrots,
beets, onions, English peas, parsley and strawberries.
Warm Weather Vegetables. In the late spring and early
fall one can grow snap beans, lima beans, cucumbers, toma-
toes, Irish potatoes, corn and a long list of others.
Hot Weather Vegetables. Even in hot summer months a
few vegetables thrive. These include sweet potatoes, New
Zealand spinach, okra, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, melons,
cantaloupes and squash.

Preparing the Soil. In growing any crop, preparation of
the soil is of first importance. There is a saying that when
land is thoroughly prepared the crop is half grown. As
stated, many Florida soils lack humus, or organic matter.
One may supply this in several ways. If conditions warrant,
the best method is to grow a cover crop. Beggarweed, rye,
oats, crotalaria, vetch, cowpeas and velvet beans are all
good cover crops. These are planted for the sole purpose
of being ploughed under. In a few weeks the vegetation is
well decomposed.
For the small garden a practical method is to pile weeds,
leaves, grass, and other organic waste into a barrel or large
container several weeks before the actual planting. Sprinkle
with superphosphate and keep the whole moist. The com-
post resulting is an excellent soil builder when worked into
the ground.
Well-rotted stable manure is not only one of the best of
all soil-building mediums but a rich fertilizer as well. If a
sufficient quantity can be obtained, this will provide all the
elements necessary for the garden with the exception of
phosphoric acid. The latter is added by mixing two pounds
and a half of 16% superphosphate with every 25 pounds of
manure, a quantity sufficient for 100 square feet of garden.
The cover crop, compost, or manure should be spaded or
ploughed under at least 20 days before planting.
If the gardener is using cover crops or compost instead
of manure, the ground probably will need an application of
commercial fertilizer. One of the best for general use is a
5-7-5 mixture; meaning 5% nitrogen, 7 % phosphoric acid,
and 5 % potash. This is broadcast at the rate of from two
and a half to five pounds every 100 square feet. The ferti-
lizer should be raked into the ground not less than 10 days,


and preferably two weeks, before the actual planting, so
that it will be thoroughly absorbed. If applied too near
planting time it will burn the shoots as they emerge from
the seed; or in the case of plants transplanted from a seed-
bed, the rootlets will be damaged.
During the period between breaking and planting, the
soil must be well raked to destroy all weeds. Just before
planting, make sure that the surface soil is pulverized and
Testing and Treating Seeds. Granting that the ground is
carefully prepared and worked industriously, results will be
disappointing if poor seeds are used. Seed should be bought
from reliable dealers only. Many varieties of seed quickly
deteriorate in Florida's climate; therefore in selecting seed
an important point is their freshness.
An interesting and simple germination test can be made.
To determine the percentage of germination, place a porous
brick, broad side up, in a pan of water, with the water al-
most to the top of the brick. Place a blotter on the brick
and on this distribute 100 seeds from the lot to be tested.
Keep pan in a warm place. Discard the seeds as they sprout
and after 10 days count those which have failed to sprout.
By subtracting this number from 100 the percentage of
germination is ascertained; if too low, the seed should be
returned to the dealer.
To speed the process of sprouting if planting is to be
done before the garden earth is naturally warmed, a seed
box or pan filled with warm, moist soil may be of value to
the home gardener. This is especially practical for larger-
seeded varieties. The seed sprout relatively quickly in the
warm earth of the seed box. They then can be transferred
to the garden soil, with the assurance that each seed set out
has germinated, and that under favorable conditions it will
produce a plant.
Spores of certain organisms causing plant diseases are
often present on seeds. Fortunately this is not difficult to
correct. An effective method is to prepare a bichloride of
mercury solution, using one tablet to a pint of water. Place
the seeds in a thin cloth bag and soak in the solution not
more than 15 minutes. When removed, rinse the seeds in
water and spread in a cool place to dry. Destroy the origi-
nal container. Not more than three lots of seed must be
used to a batch of solution. Bichloride of mercury is a dead-
ly poison and a caustic. Use only a wood or glass vessel and
keep children and animals away.


The Seed Bed. Because of Florida's mild climate, seed
beds are not used extensively, as in Northern States. How-
ever, certain plants do better if started in a seed bed. These
include celery, lettuce, romaine, cabbage, escarole, endive,
cauliflower, and onions when grown from seed. Peppers,
eggplant and tomatoes are other varieties frequently started
to advantage in a seed bed. There are several reasons for
this; some varieties of seed are so small they can be handled
more efficiently in this manner; young plants are easily
watered or protected from the elements; when the plants
are ready for setting out, one may select the sturdy ones and
discard the spindlings. This last advantage dispenses with
the thinning out process which in many cases is impractica-
ble when seed are planted in the field.
The seed bed is a simple arrangement. To avoid too
much water, it should be slightly higher than the surround-
ing land, about three or four feet wide, and as long as
necessary. The soil must be well prepared before planting,
with a moderate amount of rotted manure or fully-decayed
compost mixed with it. Too much fertilizer produces quick,
snappy growth and reduces the chance of the plant to with-
stand the shock of transplanting.
Seed beds should be protected against beating rain, wind,
hot sun, or early frost by stretching fabric over a frame-
work so as to form a cloth shelter with the sides sloping
gradually. The top of the shelter need not be more than
three or four ieet above the plants. Arrange the covering
so that it may be conveniently taken off its supports when
the weather is favorable to the plants.
Transplanting. When the plants have been in the seed
bed from four to six weeks, they are ready to set out. About
10 days before transplanting, the plants may be "blocked
off" with advantage to the root system. This is done with a
long kniie or similar instrument. Cut through the soil along
one side o: each row oi plants and about two inches irom
the stalks. In three or four days cut along the other side in
like manner. This procedure severs part of the lateral roots,
causing new roots to form nearer the base. In about six days
after the second cutting the new roots are sufficiently de-
veloped to transplant.
Several hours before taking the plants out of the bed
they should be watered thoroughly. Do not pull the plants
out of the ground but loosen the roots gently, keeping as
much soil around them as possible.
In warm weather, transplanting is usually done late in
the afternoon as a protection against the sun. Once removed


from the bed, the quicker the plants are set out the better.
In the meantime keep the roots covered with wet sacking or
Prepare holes in the garden large enough to prevent
cramping the tender roots. Pour a liberal amount of water
into each hole before setting in the plant. Then press the
soil carefully around the roots, fill the hole, and again
The first few days after transplanting are crucial to the
plant. It has had a major operation and its recovery is a
matter of care. If the sun is hot, plants can be shaded by
such devices as shingles or scrub palmetto leaves stuck into
the ground beside them.
Planting Seed Directly in the Garden. Although most
plants can be grown successfully by sowing the seeds direct-
ly in the garden, certain difficulties attend certain varieties.
These are usually the small seed, and frequently the tender
types. As explained, such varieties do best when started in
a seed bed. When sown directly treatment is similar to that
of the seed bed, only more laborious because of the greater
area. The young plants cannot be shielded from excessive
sunshine, or carefully protected from other elements as in
a seed bed. Also, they must be thinned out at the proper
On the other hand many plants, because of their hardi-
ness or other characteristics, do best when the seeds are
sown directly. These include beans, watermelons, canta-
loupes, okra, sweet and white potatoes, carrots, radishes,
turnips, mustard, onion sets, English peas, cucumbers, corn,
and collards.
The depth to plant depends upon the kind of seed. The
earth over the seeds should be firmed slightly, taking care
not to make the soil too compact. A driving rain will some-
times so pack the ground that shoots will have difficulty in
pushing through. After the seeds are planted, water gently
but liberally.
Before planting, the soil should be considered in its rela-
tion to drainage and moisture control. If the location is low,
it is advisable to plant on beds or ridges to prevent flood-
ing during heavy rains. If high and well drained, flat plant-
ing is satisfactory.
When the garden has become a reality one must continue
its care. Weeds have to be fought; and plant diseases, in-
sects and other pests guarded against. As with humans,


plants are subject to diseases. Happily these-as well as
attacks by insects-can in most cases be controlled.
Except on low places, where water compacts the soil,
cultivation is chiefly confined to keeping weeds in check.
If the land has been thoroughly prepared, subsequent culti-
vation will be relatively small.
As plants grow, their root systems expand; therefore
care must be taken not to injure the roots.
Vegetables slow in developing, or those producing over
extended periods, often need subsequent applications of
fertilizer. This is worked in slightly with a hand cultivator
or rake, being careful that the fertilizer does not touch the
leaves or shoots of the plant.

Certain vegetables, to be at their best in texture and
flavor, must be harvested at the right time. Corn and Eng-
lish peas become hard and flavorless when left in the field
after reaching maturity. Snap beans and okra become
fibrous and tough. On the other hand, root crops such as
carrots, turnips, and beets retain their high quality as long
as they are growing rapidly. Peppers and eggplants may
be safely left on the bush for some time. Tomatoes, canta-
loupes, and watermelons are of finer quality and flavor if
fully vine ripened. Fortunately those vegetables which de-
teriorate rapidly after reaching maturity can usually be
canned or stored.

The small garden will probably produce little more than
may be used at once on the family table, but even a small
surplus is often profitably stored or canned.

Storing. Such vegetables as onions, sweet and Irish pota-
toes, rutabagas, carrots, beets and turnips can be stored to
advantage. Onions keep well when "fired." Where there is
only a small quantity, an oil stove burning in a small closed
room makes an acceptable kiln. Hang the onions by their
tops, or suspend them in wire baskets until thoroughly dry.
Carrots, rutabags, turnips, and Irish potatoes may be buried
in dry sand in a cool place, or may be packed in hampers or
boxes between layers of dry sawdust or moss peat. The
latter method prevents vegetables from drying and protects
them from insects and rodents.


Sweet potatoes are difficult to store for an extended time
in Florida because of the humid, high temperatures, but
they can be banked with fair success. The following
method is quoted from Farmers' Bulletin No. 1442, United
States Department of Agriculture.

"Storage pits should be located where drainage is good.
In making a pit a little of the surface soil is thrown back
to form a level bed of the size desired. It is a good plan to
dig two small trenches, and, at the point where the trenches
cross, set a small box on end to form a flue up through the
pile of potatoes. The earth floor of the pit is covered with
four or five inches of straw, hay, leaves, or pine needles,
and the potatoes are placed in a conical pile around the
flue. A covering of straw, hay or similar material put on
the pile and over this a layer of soil. The covering of soil
should be only a few inches thick at first, but increased as
the weather gets cold. It is better to make several small
pits rather than one large one, because it is best to remove
the entire contents when the pit is opened.

Canning. The most extensively used method of preserv-
ing a majority of the different garden vegetables-except
such things as potatoes, lettuce and watercress-is through
processing and canning them. This is a relatively inexpen-
sive way of absorbing any surplus which the home garden
may produce. Properly performed, canning retains the nu-
tritional values of the vegetable and preserves it as a food
for an almost limitless length of time. The vegetables should
be canned, however, as soon as possible after they are

Home canning equipment need not be expensive or elab-
orate, although the basic equipment necessary may be aug-
mented by many devices, which make the job easier. Such
essentials as trays, measuring cups and spoons, sieves,
bowls, pans, vegetable brushes and paring knives are
usually a regular part of kitchen equipment. Jar fillers,
funnels, jar lifters and a wire basket are also needed by
the home canner. A lard tin, a wash boiler or a peanut
butter tin may be used to hold cans or jars of vegetables
while they are being processed.

There are several methods of canning, including water
bath, hot pack, oven process, and steam pressure. The last-
named method, of especial value in processing and canning


such nonacid foods as asparagus, peas, beans and corn, re-
quires a steam pressure cooker, equipped with a pressure
gauge. Because the steam pressure cooker supplies higher
temperatures than the water bath, and thus insures a more
complete processing, it is recommended for canning many
varieties of vegetables. Either glass jars or tin-coated cans
may be used as containers in canning fruits. Each has cer-
tain advantages. Glass jars may be simpler to use, but
-hould be stored in shaded or dark places to prevent loss
of color in certain vegetables. If tin-coated cans are used,
a can-sealing apparatus- is necessary.

Home Canning of Surplus Vegetables.

The novice in canning garden vegetables may encounter
disappointments in such activity if authentic instructions
are not followed carefully. Indifference, ignorance or care-
lessness, may be responsible for dangerous food poisons
forming in canned vegetables. To some extent processing
and canning food may be a simple procedure, but certain


well established rules must be followed for success, satis-
faction and the protection of health in this phase of home
gardening. (For detailed instructions in canning vegetables
write for Bulletin 103, State Home Demonstration Depart-
ment, Tallahassee, Florida.)

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable periods of garden-
ing is the time spent in drafting preliminary plans. After
the requirements of soil and climate have been taken into
consideration, the amateur gardener is more or less free to
choose what he shall plant. Of course, there may be limita-
tions due to family budget, and the amount of space avail-
able for the garden plot. And if the garden is purely utili-
tarian, no space may be left for experimentation. But if the
gardener can afford to regard his efforts as a hobby as well
as a source of food, has the funds to risk on seed and ferti-
lizer, has an investigative nature, and has the time and
space in which to conduct experiments, he should follow his
personal inclinations in planning his garden. This will in-
crease the zest of the venture, and the Tresults may be of
surprising value.
With a range of about six degrees in latitude and eight
in average temperature, Florida's growing season pro-
gresses from south to north. Peculiarity of climate and wide
varieties of soils, serve to divide the State into three general
agricultural areas: south, central, and north. The approxi-
mate planting time in these areas for the different vegeta-
bles were obtained from The Home Garden, Bulletin 80,
prepared by F. S. Jamison, Truck Horticulturist, Florida Ex-
periment Station, University of Florida.
The central or peninsular area roughly embraces the
counties of Levy, Marion, Volusia, Brevard, Seminole,
Orange, Osceola, Polk, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando,
Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough.

The lima bean, native of tropical America, and thought
to have been named for Lima, capital of Peru, does well
in warm weather, and is an excellent vegetable for both
home gardener and truck grower.
Seeds must be planted from 1 to 2 inches deep. If runner
varieties are grown, the distances should be from 14 to 18


inches between plants
7% and from 2 to 3 feet
Between rows. Bush
varieties are planted
from 8 to 14 inches
apart. Late plantings
do well under partial
shade. Bush varieties
are less trouble, and
S I do not require sup-
ports. The garden
fence may be used for
runner varieties, if
only a moderate num-
ber of plants are set
S out.
Good pole varieties
are Early Leviathan,
Lewis Dailey, and
Challenger. The Ford-
hook and the Hender-
son Bush are the most
generally used bush
Time to Plant.
Northern Florida:
March- June. Central
Pole Lima (Butter) Beans: March June. Central
Florida: February-
A Good Producer April. Southern Flori-
da: September-April.
Snap beans were grown by Indians in North and South
America, and have been grown in home gardens in this
country since its discovery. Today Florida leads in produc-
tion of green beans for the market. String or snap beans are
cultivated in all parts of the State. Certainly no gardener
would omit this delightful and nourishing vegetable from
his plot. Both pole and bush varieties are excellent, the
same care and condition being necessary for both except
that supports must be erected for the climbing variety.
Several plantings can be made and, when partial shade
is used, the growing period can be extended into either
warm or cool weather since the shelter is a protection
against both heat and cold. Beans may be grown on both
acid and alkaline soils, aided by abundant sunshine, mois-
ture, and warmth.


Seeds should be planted from 8 to 14 inches apart in
warm, moist soil and covered about 2 inches deep. The rows
should be no more than three feet apart.
The crop need not be thinned but must be cultivated to
keep it free of weeds. The plants must not be cultivated
when they are wet from dew or rain. as diseases spread
more rapidly under these conditions. Farmers' Bulletin
1692, U. S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, D. C..
contains detailed information concerning bean diseases.
Beans grown for the family table may be left on the
plant until they begin to fill out the pod; for marketing they
should be picked when the pods are mature but before they
begin to ripen. Several pickings will be necessary. The
Kentucky Wonder is an excellent pole bean, the only disad-
vantage being its susceptibility to bean rust. Florida Pole is
another good variety. Among the bush varieties are Early
Speckled Valentine, Early Refugee, Bountiful, Green Pod,
and Stringless Black Valentine.


Bush Lima (Ford Hook): A Rapid Grower That Does
Not Require Stakes.

The wax bean varieties include Wardell, Kidney Wax,
and Davis White Wax.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: bush beans, March-
April, and August-September; pole beans, March-June.
Central Florida: bush beans, February-March, and Septem-
ber; pole beans, February-April. Southern Florida: bush
beans, September-April; Pole beans, January-February.


Both the tops and roots of beets are rich in minerals and
vitamins and should be included regularly in the diet. The
beet is a cool weather vegetable and must be planted in
early spring to attain its best color, texture, and quality.
Seeds should be sown directly in the garden in rows 2
feet apart, and the plants thinned when about 3 inches high
to one plant every 3 or 4 inches.
It is advisable to mix a few radish seed with the beet
seed so that the quickly germinating radish seed will mark
the rows. Since it is sometimes necessary to destroy the
weeds before the beet seed are up, this method of marking
the rows makes wheel-hoe or hand-hoe cultivation possible.
Later the few radishes may be removed.
Varieties grown successfully in Florida include Eclipse,
Detroit Dark Red, Crosby's Egyptian, and Early Wonder.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-March and
September-November. Central Florida: January-March,
and September-November. Southern Florida: January-
March, and September-November.

Broccoli was first mentioned in print in 1724, at which
time the English called it "sprout calli-fiower" or Italian
asparagus. Although only recently introduced into the
United States, its popularity has increased phenomenally.
Broccoli is closely related to cauliflower, resembles it
somewhat in appearance and taste, but is a much hardier
plant and easier to grow.
A sandy loam or muck soil, prepared, fertilized and culti-
vated as for cauliflower, is favorable to the growth of
It is necessary to sow the seeds in a seed bed or in flats
during September or October, transplanting when plants
are about six weeks old, or when four inches high. They
should be placed from 15 to 18 inches apart in the garden,
in rows three to four feet apart. Seed sown too thickly will
produce spindly plants.
There are two types of broccoli, the sprouting or Italian
green broccoli, and the heading or white broccoli, the latter
not recommended to Florida home gardener.
When fully developed, the center head of the broccoli
plant is clipped from the stem. Later, small heads appear


on lateral shoots, growing out of the buds along the stem
of the plant. These small heads may also be gathered and
Aphids are apt to infest broccoli and their appearance
should be watched for. Derris dusts have been used effec-
tively to combat these insects. Poisonous sprays or dusts
cannot be used on the heads of the plants. Broccoli is sub-
ject to most cabbage diseases, including mildew.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: August and February;
Central Florida: August and January. Southern Florida:
Cabbage was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians,
and its record as a food is about 4,000 years old. Its early
form probably resembled the wild cabbage found growing
in England, Denmark, and other regions of Europe, more
than the modern firm head seen in the American market

Cabbage, One of the World's Oldest Foods. Always
a Stand-by With Home Gardeners.
Sandy loam, clay loam, and muck soils are suitable for
growing cabbage. Thin, sandy, loose, soil should be


avoided unless liberal fertilization and irrigation can be
provided. Organic matter, such as compost and manure,
can be used to advantage in a small garden. If the plants
grow too slowly, an application of nitrate of soda or sul-
phate of ammonia will produce a sturdy growth and firmer
Cabbage should be started in seed beds or flats, and seed
planted at 6-week intervals, thereafter if the vegetable is
desired over a long period. The plants are transplanted
when from 4 to 6 inches high and spaced 15 to 18 inches
apart in rows of 3 feet apart. Shallow cultivation is advisa-
Cabbage are the prey of many insects and diseases. Full
information on this subject is contained in bulletins issued
by the State Department of Agriculture at Tallahassee.
Bulletin No. 23, January, 1939, will be particularly helpful
to the uninitiated.
Numerous varieties of cabbage will grow successfully in
Florida. For fall planting and early maturing the pointed-
head Charleston Wakefield and Jersey Wakefield are good.
Flat-headed types which mature later include Copenhagen
Market and Early Flat Dutch.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: January-March, and
September-November. Central Florida: September-Janu-
ary. Southern Florida: September-December.

Chinese cabbage, while neither true cabbage nor lettuce,
has the characteristics of both and can be either cooked or
used for salad.
Land suitable for cabbage or lettuce is suitable for
Chinese cabbage. On sour soil, hardwood ashes or agricul-
tural lime, applied two weeks before the first application
of fertilizer, is recommended. This vegetable must grow
quickly to be crisp and succulent. For this reason a ferti-
lizer of higher than usual nitrate content may be used.
The Chinese cabbage may be started in a seed bed but
does as well and requires less work if the seed are sown
directly in the garden. When plants are sufficiently sturdy,
they should be thinned to stand 12 to 15 inches apart in the
rows, about 30 inches apart.
The variety commonly used, the Pe-Tsai, produces com-
pact heads.
Time to Plant. Same as cabbage.


Cauliflower grows best in compact, sandy loam, well
fortified with organic matter. Although needing constant
moisture, it does not do well in wet land. Overhead irriga-
tion has been quite successful used in many areas.
Cauliflower should be started in a seed bed in light, well-
fertilized, and moist soil. The young plants require delicate
handling when transplanted. The rows should be 2 to 3 feet
apart and the plants spaced at least 20 inches in the row.
This vegetable is often the victim of numerous pests and
diseases. The farmer should write the Department of Agri-
culture, Tallahassee for its bulletin, Plant Diseases and
Pests and Their Treatment.
The leaves are tied over the center head to prevent it
from becoming discolored. Since the roots extend for about
3 feet in all directions and seldom more than 3 inches be-
low the surface, cultivation must be shallow.
Early Snowball and Erfurt varieties do well in Florida.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: January-February, and
August-October. Central Florida: January-February and
August-October. Southern Florida: January-February and
From the dietary point of view, the carrot is one of the
most valuable garden vegetables, and among the easiest to
grow. They do well in deep loam or muck, and do not
object to a certain amount of acid. The garden soil, in
which the carrot seed should be sown directly, must be well
pulverized and in perfect condition, for the seeds are small
and the young plants delicate.
If the soil is unusually rich, or stable manure is also used,
the quantity of commercial fertilizer should be diminished.
Fertilizer is applied in two lots, one just before planting and
the other when the plants are half grown.
Carrot seeds should be sown plentifully to secure a good
stand, since the percentage of germination is low. They
should be sown about 6 inches apart. When 2 inches high,
they should be thinned to one plant every 3 or 4 inches.
Red Cored Chantenay and Denver's Half Long are the
most popular varieties among Florida gardeners.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-March, and
September-November. Central Florida: January-March,
and September-October. Southern Florida: January-March,
and September-November.


Chard, or Swiss chard, as it is often called, although not
well known in Florida, is worth cultivating, for its large
leaves and succulent stalks are enjoyed by all who like leafy
vegetables. Soil, fertilization, planting time, and cultivation
requirements are similar to those given for beets.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: October-February.
Central Florida: October-February. Southern Florida:
Collards, a relative of the cabbage, are grown in Florida
practically every month of the year, can be propagated at
all seasons, and are popular because of their hardiness, and
the ease with which they can be cultivated.
The same conditions under which cabbage is grown will
produce collards. Quick growth is necessary to secure ten-
der, crisp leaves. They may be planted whenever desired,
although too much heat or cold is not advisable for young
A popular variety is the Georgia.

Collards: Easy to Grow During Summer When Other
Greens Are Scarce.


Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-March, and
September-November. Central Florida: January-April, and
August-November. Southern Florida: September-January.

There is a difference between true sweet corn and the
semi-sweet varieties familiarly known as "roasting ears."
The latter are grown more extensively in the State and bear
much larger ears.
For some time it was thought that roasting ears having
longer and tighter husks, were better protected against the
corn earworm. The Florida Experiment Station developed
a variety known as Suwannee Sugar, and the Texas Experi-
ment Station developed another called Honey June, both
true sweet varieties equal in resistance to worm damage to
the common roasting ear and much superior in flavor to the
older sweet corn varieties. It is recommended that either or
both be tried in the home garden.
Sweet corn can be grown on any good vegetable land and
in nearly all sections of Florida; but dry, sandy land or
wet, undrained land is to be avoided. Commercial fertilizer
should be worked into the soil before planting. When the
crop is about 2 feet high, broadcast nitrate fertilizer at the
rate of one pound per 150 feet of row.
To guard against insect pests, sweet corn should be
planted as early as the weather will permit, and planted
closer than field corn, since it results in better distribution
of pollen which produces well filled out ears; however, the
land must be rich in humus and able to hold moisture.
Plant three or four grains to a hill, about 12 inches apart
in rows approximately 3 feet distant. Roasting ears may be
planted as much as 18 inches apart.
When the plants are about 8 inches above the ground
they should be thinned to one or two leading stalks.
The best producers among sweet corn are the above-
mentioned Sugar and Honey June. Older varieties are
Country Gentlemen and Long Island Beauty. Among roast-
ing ears are Snow Flake, Stowell's Evergreen, Silvermine,
and Trucker's Favorite.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: March-April. Central
Florida: February-March. Southern Florida: January-


Cucumbers should be included in every garden. Well-
drained, sandy loam with preferably a southern slope will
grow this vegetable. Flat, moist land is also good if well
To prepare soil properly for cucumbers, plow it deeply,
pulverizing the dirt. If vegetation is to be turned under,
it should be done at least one month before planting.
The soil should be liberally fertilized. Half should be
applied 10 days before planting and the remainder 10 days
before the first blooms are scheduled to appear. Side-
dressing of fertilizer must not touch the plant directly but
should be worked gently into the soil.
If the plants fail to grow vigorously, nitrogenous ferti-
lizer should be applied as a top-dressing two or three times
at 10- or 12- day intervals. Single heavy applications are not
Cucumber seed should be planted directly in the garden
in rows from four to six feet apart, as soon as danger of
frost is past. About six seeds should be sown to the hill,
covering the seed about three-fourths of an inch deep. The
hills should be from 2 to 3 feet apart. Successive plantings
should be made. After the plants are well established, they
should be thinned to three or four to a hill.
As soon as three or four leaves appear, spraying with Bor-
deaux mixture should begin, continuing every week or 10
days until the cucumbers are picked.
Shallow cultivation should be given to control weeds,
care being taken not to injure the roots or tender vine
tops. It is sometimes necessary to irrigate cucumbers, to
obtain maximum yield. Overhead irrigation is apt to stimu-
late vine diseases and subirrigation is usually preferred by
experienced growers.
Improved Clark's Special, Straight Eight, Improved Long
Green Klondike, Early Fortune, and Kirby Staygreen are
popular varieties.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-April. Cen-
tral Florida: February-March, and September. Southern
Florida: January-February.


The eggplant is believed to have originated in India and
it is known that the Chinese and Arabs grew them in the
ninth century. At that time the friut was much smaller than
it is today, and egg-shaped, which probably accounts for its
A sandy loam soil, rich in organic matter, with constant
moisture supply and good drainage is necessary for the
successful propagation of this plant.
It is well to apply manure and compost to the soil in
addition to commercial fertilizer, the formula depending on
the type of soil. An application of nitrate of soda or sul-
phate of ammonia about blossom time, often gives excellent
Some gardeners plant seeds for a fall crop in the row
where they are to grow but, because of cold temperatures,
a spring crop should be started in a seed bed. South Florida
raises eggplants as a winter crop.
Young plants wilt easily, and must be carefully handled.
They are ready to transplant when about four weeks old,
and should be spaced 3 feet apart in rows from 4 to 5 feet
apart. Shallow cultivation is sufficient.
Flea beetles, Colorado potato beetles, and other insects
attack eggplant. Spraying with a Bordeaux mixture con-
taining calcium arsenate or dusting with dehydrated copper
lime, sulphate lime, and calcium arsenate is usually effec-
tive in combatting these pests.
Eggplant should be cut, not pulled, from the plant as
soon as the fruit has become large enough to use. If allowed
to remain on the bush the flesh becomes tough and the seeds
Florida Highbush, and New Orleans Market, are all well-
liked varieties.
Time to Reset. Northern Florida: February-March. Cen-
tral Florida: January-February, and July. Southern Flori-
da: December-February, and August-September.

Endive or escarole, as the broad-leaf type is commonly
known, is increasing in popularity as a salad plant and
should prove interesting to the small gardener. The outer
green leaves should be tied together to blanch the heart.


Under this treatment the inner leaves become creamy white,
crisp, and palatable. Cultural requirements are the same
as those given for lettuce.


Endive and Chicory: Along with Lettuce, the
Universal Salad Plants

White Curled, Green Curled, and Moss Curled are the
best known varieties of curled leaf endive. Broad leaved
Batavia is an example of the escarole type.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-March, and
September. Central Florida: January-February, and Sep-
tember. Southern Florida: September-January.

One of the most interesting vegetables and one which is
still little raised in small gardens in Florida is the kohlrabi.
It belongs to the cabbage family but resembles the turnip in
flavor. Its cabbage-like roots are in the ground but the
turnip-like bulb grows above the surface. The green leaves,
like coarse winter greens, stem from this bulb. This vege-
table is considered superior to either turnip or cabbage and
deserves a place in every home garden.
It is grown under approximately the same conditions as
those necessary for growing turnips. Seed planted at 2-
week intervals provides a continuous crop of this delicious
vegetable. Bulbs should be harvested when about as large
as a medium-sized orange. If allowed to reach full size the
bulb becomes coarse and hard.
Satisfactory varieties are White Vienna, Early Purple,
and Early Green.


Time to Plant. Northern and Central Florida: March-
April, and August. South Florida: January-April, and Au-


Since lettuce is considered so important in the diet the
home gardener should include it in his list. A rich, moist,
sweet, sandy loam is best suited to this plant. The location
should be such that it can be irrigated and drained; an
oversupply of water can ruin the crop. Where the land is
low the lettuce bed should be intersected with furrows lead-
ing to an open ditch.
To produce solid heads the soil must be well supplied
with compost or decayed vegetable matter. In addition, a
commercial fertilizer should be used in two applications,
the first worked into the garden two weeks before the
plants are set out, the second applied two to three weeks
afterwards. From one and one-half to two and one-half
pounds should be used for each 10 feet of row.

Big Boston Lettuce: A Loose Leaf Type That Thrives in Florida.

Lettuce should be started in a rich, well-pulverized seed
bed about October. Plenty of seed must be planted to allow


for poor germination. They should be planted about
1/4-inch deep or rolled lightly into the soil.
The lettuce bed should be checked off in 12- to 15-inch
squares according to the size of variety sown. When the
plants have developed four leaves, which will take from
three to four weeks, they should be set out, one plant to
each square. The soil must be pressed firmly around the
roots by hand and, if the soil is dry, a small amount of
water added.
White Boston is a popular semihead variety; Imperial 847
and 44 are the recommended Iceberg types.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-March, and
September. Southern Florida: September-January.

Muskmelons, often called cantaloupes, grow best in sandy
loam or clay loam soil that is not too compact, or too
moist. Commercial fertilizer should be applied before
planting, using about one pound to a hill.
One method of planting consists in laying off rows about
6 feet apart, hills being spaced 3 feet apart. Some, how-
ever, prefer to check the land 4 by 6 feet and plant in these
checks. About six seeds are planted in each hill or check.
When the vines begin to run they should be thinned to one
or two plants to the hill.

Rich Muskmelons (Cantaloupes) Do Well in Florida's
Sandy Loam Soils


Rocky Ford, Netted Gem, and Emerald Gem, are desira-
ble varieties. Old Georgia produces a larger melon but of
inferior quality.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: March-April. Central
Florida: February-April. Southern Florida: Febuary-
The okra, a southern plant, is closely related to the cotton
plant, and when properly cooked, is an enjoyable food. It
can be grown in a variety of soils but a fairly moist sandy
loam is advisable.
If sufficient stable manure is available, commercial ferti-
lizer is not necessary. Where the latter is used, apply as

Okra: A Warm Weather Plant; Easy to Grow.


for sweet corn, using about one pound for every 15 feet of
row. This should be worked into the soil before planting.
A side dressing of nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia,
applied at blossom time, using about one pound to every
150 feet of row, is recommended. The ground must be fairly
warm at planting time, and since okra will produce during
hot weather, it is a valuable addition to the home garden.
The seed can be planted directly in the garden in rows
spaced about 3 feet apart. When plants are about three-
quarters of an inch high, thin to one stalk every 10 or 12
inches. Okra bears in approximately 45 days from plant-
ing, and will continue to bear for several months if the
pods are cut every two or three days.
Favorite varieties are Perkins Mammoth Podded, Long
Green, and White Velvet.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: March-May, and Au-
gust. Central Florida: March-May, and August. Southern
Florida: February-March, and August-September.

Onions are cool weather vegetables, and under favorable
conditions are among the easiest to grow. For home use,
onion sets are planted 3 to 4 inches apart directly in the
garden. The rows should be about 12 to 18 inches apart.
The soil should be rich in organic matter. A dark, sandy
loam having a clay compact subsoil or a muck soil are both
good. Plenty of moisture is essential but the land must be
Onions need liberal fertilization. In addition to either
compost or manure, two or three applications of commercial
fertilizer should be worked into the soil, the first before
planting. One pound to 10 feet of row is the usual amount
used. A later application of one pound of nitrate of soda
or sulphate of ammonia, to each 75 feet of row, worked in
with hand tools, will increase the size of the onions.
Onions should be constantly cared for and cultivated
during the growing period. The roots must not be disturbed,
however, which necessitates shallow cultivation.
The young onions can be eaten as soon as they have
attained any size but to harvest and keep a mature crop,
they must remain in the ground between four and five
months. To keep well they should be harvested during dry
weather and carefully handled. After being pulled, they
shouldn't be subjected even to dew, nor should tops be


broken off too close to the bulb. Onions improperly handled
rot easily.
Varieties recommended for Florida include Crystal Wax,
Red Bermuda, Australian Brown, and Riverside Sweet
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: January-March, and
August-November. Central Florida: January-March, and
August-November. Southern Florida: January-March, and
Parsley is grown extensively in Florida. The seed are
minute and the seedlings delicate, and should be planted
in a seed bed during October or November. A 5-7-5 mixture
is used to enrich the bed, applying a pound for every 20
feet of row.
There are four types of parsley: common or plain-leaved;
celery-leaved or Neapolitan; curled; Hamburg or turnip-
rooted. The plain type is grown extensively. The outer
leaves are pulled first, new ones forming from the center of
the crown. The celery-leaved type can be blanched and its
petioles eaten like celery. The Hamburg type produces a
root similar to the turnip, which can be eaten fresh or be
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February. Central
Florida: December-January. Southern Florida: September-
English peas require a rich, moist, sweet, soil full of
humus, and will not do well on wet, sandy or sour muck
land. Well-drained hammock land is excellent.
The land should be treated with commercial fertilizer
worked into the soil before planting. It is often desirable
to add nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia as a side
dressing when the vines begin to bear. One pound to 150
feet of row should be right for small gardens.
Plant in both single and double rows, spacing the seeds
1 inch apart and about 2 inches deep. The vines begin to
bear about 60 days after planting and should continue over
a 30- or 40-day period. As soon as the pods are filled, the
peas are ready to pick.
Popular varieties are Alaska Extra Early, Thomas Lax-
ton, Laxtonian, Little Marvel, Gradus, and Hundredfold.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: January-February.
Central Florida: September-March. Southern Florida: Sep-


Green sweet peppers are a good source of vitamins A, B,
and C, being in this respect the equal of green cabbage, or
young carrots. In addition, they sometimes bear fruit over
a period of from six to eight months. Peppers add a tang to
many food combinations and are canned sweet stuffed, or
Peppers can be grown on a variety of soils provided the
land will retain moisture. A moist, fairly compact, sandy
loam is acceptable as is a good type of flatwoods.
Ruby King and World Beater are standard varieties of
sweet peppers; Perfection and Tomato are pimento varie-
ties; Anaheim Chile and Mexican are favored as chili pep-
pers; and for very small, hot peppers, Anaheim and Tobas-
co are good varieties.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-April. Cen-
tral Florida: January-March. Southern Florida: January-
February, and August-October.
White potatoes do best on well-drained, fairly heavy,
moist soils. If the crop is well fertilized and properly
handled, the yield will be determined greatly by the mois-
ture content of the land. Bladen fine sand, and Bladen fine
sandy loam, both found in many flatwoods areas, are well
adapted to potato production, provided the land is suffici-
ently moist and well drained. Soil must be liberally sup-
plied with organic matter.
West Florida land requires from two to three times as
much fertilizer as Everglades muck soils. In fact, some
potatoes are produced in the Everglades without added
As a preventive against disease, seed potatoes are soaked
for two hours in a solution of formaldehyde, one part to
1,000 parts of water, then dried and cut for planting. (See
Press Bulletin 494, Florida Experiment Station.) To break
the rust period and hasten germination for the fall crop,
the seed should be treated with ethylene chiorhydin, one
part to 60 parts of water.
Seed potatoes should be cut to have two or three eyes
to a piece, and one piece dropped in hills spaced from 12 to
15 inches apart, and covered about 3 inches deep. The rows
should be from 2 to 4 feet apart. Where the soil is wet, rows
must be rigid, otherwise flat beds are desirable. It is well
to use a protective mulch such as dry grass, leaves, or moss,
during dry warm weather to help control soil moisture and
reduce soil temperature.


Several varieties are successfully raised. Spaulding Rose
No. 4 and Bliss Triumph are favorites. Green Mountain and
Irish Cobbler are also produced and two new varieties,
Katahdin and Warba, show promise of increasing popu-
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: January-February.
Central Florida: January. Southern Florida: September-
The sweet potato is well adapted to Florida climate, but
grows best in clay or sandy loam underlaid with red clay
subsoil common in the northern part of the State.
The plant is propagated either by slips taken from the
potato after it has been bedded or by vine cuttings. By
bedding in spring a luxuriant vine growth will soon appear
from which slips or vine cuttings may be taken. Select a
protected, slightly raised spot for the bed. When tempera-
ture permits, place the sweet potatoes in the bed, cover
lightly with sandy soil or sand, and keep moist. Sweet
potatoes sprout only in warm soil.
When the slips, or draws, are from 6 to 7 inches long
they can be pulled and planted, or be allowed to grow into
long vines which can be divided into cuttings, each con-
taining a sucker root. Either slips or cuttings are set in
hills spaced from 14 to 18 inches in rows 3 to 4 feet apart.
The soil should be firmed well around the plants and
over the cuttings and water applied to insure growth. Dur-
ing the rainy season it is usually necessary to ridge the soil
to insure adequate drainage.
The sweet potato is a heavy feeder and most growers
use commercial fertilizer. Sometimes the potash content
is increased to 10 or 12 percent with favorable results.
The Porto Rico, a reddish-skinned sweet potato and
Nancy Hall, a light salmon-pink type, are general favorites,
both moist-fleshed when baked. The Big Stem Jersey is
popular among those who prefer a dry-fleshed type.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: April-June. Central
Florida: March-July. Southern Florida: February-June.
Radishes are almost always included in home gardens.
This is a cool-weather plant and should mature quickly for
best results.
Radishes grow best in deep sandy loam or muck soil
containing an abundance of organic matter and sufficient
moisture. Muck soil seldom needs fertilizer. If not sown


too thickly radishes need not be thinned. Larger varieties
should average about six plants per foot, in rows 12 to 15
inches apart.
Long Scarlet, Long White Icicle, White Summer, and
Scarlet Turnip are favored varieties. Also popular are Scar-
let Globe, Crimson Giant, and French Breakfast.
Time to Plant: Northern Florida: October-March. Cen-
tral Florida: October-March. Southern Florida: October-
Two plants grown in Florida are called spinach, but one,
known as the New Zealand variety, is not spinach at all.
The latter was discovered in New Zealand in 1770 by a
member of Captain Cook's crew. The natives were even
then using it as a pot herb. It is considered by many to
be superior in quality and taste to real spinach.
.,W ..1

Spinach (Improved Curley Savoy): A Quick Grower Rich in Iron.


A sandy loam or muck produces good spinach. Open
sandy soil or poorly drained, soggy land should be avoided.
Sandy soils should be enriched with a commercial ferti-
Seeds of both are covered 1 inch in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
When growing well, thin to one plant every 6 inches. The
apical leaf clusters of New Zealand spinach, which form the
edible portion, are cut or broken off. The more clusters re-
moved the more new clusters form, and as long as the plant
is healthy, it will continue to produce.
Bloomsdale and New Zealand are the usual varieties
Time to Plant. Northern and Central Florida: March-
April. Southern Florida: January-April.

Squash and pumpkin are typical native American vege-
tables, and were grown by the Indians before America was
discovered. Almost any type of good soil will grow them.
Muck or flat lands make heavy yields but their product is
not of best quality and will not handle or keep as well as
that produced in higher soils.
In addition to well-rotted stable manure or compost, a
commercial fertilizer should be applied at the rate of one
pound to 15 feet of row, half before planting, the remain-
der when the plants are almost a month old.
Early squash can be planted in 4 x 4 foot checks, but
later running varieties should be planted in 6 x 8 foot

Squash: Easy to Grow in Most Florida Soils and Can Be
Stored for Long Periods.


checks. Four or five seeds are planted to a hill. When
the plants are 2 or 3 inches high, thin to three plants to
a hill.
Cultivation should continue as long as it is possible to
work between the rows, being careful not to disturb the
roots, which are close to the surface.
Early varieties include Cocozelle, White Bush or Patty
Pan, Early Yellow Crook Neck, and Mammoth White Bush.
These yield in from 45 to 60 days after planting. Later
varieties recommended are Hubbard, Great Summer, Afri-
can and Table Queen.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: March-April, and
August. Central Florida: February-March, and August.
Southern Florida: January-March, and September-October.

Strawberries grow well in Florida, and if properly cared
for produce over a long period. The best lands are soils
having a clay or other compact subsoil, to which is applied
an abundance of organic matter in the form of well-rotted
manure or compost turned under at least 20 days before
The use of commercial fertilizer is recommended for the
first application before the plants are set out; a second
application, six weeks after planting; and the third, when
the fruit is setting. An application of nitrate of soda or
sulphate of ammonia when the fruit is setting increases the
size of the berries and prolongs the bearing period.
Plants can be set out about 12 to 14 inches apart in well-
drained land in 30- to 36-inch single rows.
When the land is low and poorly drained, the two- or
three-row system is advisable, making narrow beds about
40 inches wide with a water furrow between. The plants
are set 12 inches apart in 12-inch rows, care being taken
not to cover the bud and crown. Firm the soil around each
plant with the fingers and moisten with a cup of water.
When berries are ready to be picked, it is advisable to
spread a mulch of grass or pine needles around the roots
of the plants. This retains the soil moisture, keeps the
berries off the ground, prevents decay.


Brandywine, Excelsior, and Klondike are varieties grown
in this State but the Missionary, according to tests con-
ducted at the Strawberry Laboratory at Plant City, is su-
perior to them all. (See Bulletin No. 63, Agriculural Exten-
sion Service, Gainesville, Florida.) Obtain plants from a
reputable dealer.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: Runners set out during
August and September, depending upon weather. Central
and Southern Florida: About one month later.

When the gardener considers the nutritive value of toma-
toes and the fact that they grow so well in Florida, this
vegetable will be included in his list of planting.

Tomatoes: Ever Popular Vegetable, Rich in Vitamin A.


Tomatoes are successfully grown on several types of soil.
The largest acreage is planted on well drained sandy pine
land; but marl and muck land also produce abundantly.
On loose, thin soil, two applications of commercial ferti-
lizer are preferable to one, the first being made soon after
planting and the second when the first bloom comes. Care
must be taken not to break the roots during the second ap-
plication or the bloom will shed, and the first crop be lost.
Tomato seed can be planted in a seed bed and later trans-
planted, but for small plots, it is easier to buy plants from
reputable dealers.
When the plants are from 6 to 8 inches high, transplant
into rows from 31/ feet apart (if they are to be staked) to
20 to 30 inches apart in the rows. Some growers place a
handful of peat moss around each plant to keep the roots

It is advisable for gardeners with small plots to prune
the plant to a single stem, tie it to a 5-foot stake, and thin
the fruit to four or five clusters. Labor so expended will be

The most satisfactory varieties grown in this State are
Marglobe, Glovel, Livingstone's Globe, and Grothen Red
Globe. Ponderosa, a larger though less uniform variety, is
also suitable for the home garden.
Time to Plant. Northern Florida: February-August.
Central Florida: February-September. Southern Florida:

These vegetables, delectable in tops and roots, are con-
sidered as a unit since they grow well in the same type of
soil and under similar cultural conditions.
Both turnips and mustard develop best in the cool
weather. Plantings can be started directly in the garden
and continue at intervals except in the coolest sections.
Early Flat Dutch, Purple Top Globe, and Early White
Egg turnips are recommended varieties. Southern Giant
Curled and Florida Broad Leaf represent two types of


Time to Plant. Northern Florida: turnips, January-April,
and August-October; mustard, January-March, and Septem-
ber-November. Central Florida: turnips and mustard, Janu-
uary-March, and September-November. Southern Florida:
turnips, October-February; mustard. September-March.


The home gardener may not care to take up valuable
ground with watermelons, since they require considerable
space for proper growth. Moreover, the usual truck garden
soil is not well adapted to the production of good melons.

-~~~~Sc -i:

71- 1 r .. "

Watermelons Do Well on High Rolling Pine Lands. Early Melons
And Seeds Are Large Commercial Crops In Florida.

Any soil which is expected to grow melons must be well
drained, and land plowed and harrowed from four to six
weeks before planting. It is not advisable to plant water-
melons three successive years on the same land unless the
variety is wilt resistant. The better grades of rolling pine
land usually produce good crops.

For small gardens, an authority suggests two pounds per
hill of commercial fertilizer to be worked into the soil about
a week before planting, which should begin as soon as the
danger of frost is past. The field can be laid off in checks
measuring 8 x 8, 10 x 10, or 10 x 12 feet. Six or more seed
per hill are planted 2 inches deep. When well established.
the plants are thinned to two or three per hill.


While the plants are small the surrounding soil should
be sufficiently cultivated to keep the earth loose to kill
the weeds. Cultivation must be shallow and at a safe dis-
tance from the plants, for the vines are easily injured and
the roots are tender. If large melons are desired, it is
advisable to prune all but one or two melons per vine.
The Tom Watson is the most popular variety grown.
Other well known varieties are Stone Mountain, Florida
Favorite, Kleckley Sweet, and Dixie Queen.
Time to Plant: Northern Florida: March-April. Central
Florida: January-April. Southern Florida: February-


Because of the widely differing temperatures and soils
found in the State, it is difficult to give figures that will
apply in all cases for depth of planting, spacing, time of
growth to maturity and other relative information. Home
gardeners should consult experienced farmers, if possible,
and county agents.
The figures in the following chart are a composite of those
contained in Bulletin No. 1, What and When to Plant In
Florida; Bulletin No. 23, Some Florida Farm Crops, and
Bulletin No. 80, Ready Reference For Farmers, all publi-
cations of the State Department of Agriculture.

^ -^-ffQ'^'KT'
ff"- ^*!^^1:


Lima Beans

Lima Beans

Green Beans

(wax type)

Green Beans



1-Early Leviathan

Ford Hook

1-Burpee Stringless
2-Early Speckled
3-Early Refugee, etc.

2-Kidney Wax
3-Davis White Wax

1-Kentucky Wonder
2-Florida Pole

2-Detroit Dark Red
3-Crosby's Egyptian

Seeds or
plants per
100 feet
of row

% pt.

1/2 pt.

1 pt.

t2 pt. 14-18 in.

2 oz. 3-4 in.


14-18 in.

8-14 in.

8-14 in.


4 ft.

3 ft.

2'/2-3 ft.

4 ft.

2-2 V2 ft.

Depth of Days to
Planting maturity


2-3 ft.

2-3 ft.

2-21/2 ft.

3 ft. 1-2 in.

2 ft.

3% in.

1-2 in.

1-2 in.

1-2 in.

45 to 70 O

45 to 70 C

45 to 60 0

45 to 75

50 to 70

-------------------------~ ~

1-Italian Green
2-Mammoth White
3-Autumn Protecting
4-White Cape

1-Charleston Wakefield
2-Jersey Wakefield
3-Copenhagen Market
4-Early Flat Dutch


1-Early Snowball

2-Danver's Half Long

4 oz.
per acre

15-18 in.

-I- I-I I

% oz.

8 oz.
per acre

% oz.

1 oz.

1 oz.
200 plants

15-18 in.

12-15 in.

20 in.

% in.

5-6 in.

2%-3 ft.

3-4 ft.

2-21/2 ft.

% ft.

1 in.

30 in. 1 in.

21/2-3 ft. 2-2 2 ft. Y2 in.

2-2% ft. 1% ft.

2 ft.

18-24 in.

% in.

/2-1 in.

120 to

80 to 100

60 to 70
100 to

75 to 110 t

40 to 60

1/ oz. 100 to
Collards 65-100 18-24 in. 2-2% ft. 18-24 in. Y in. 120
1-Suwannee Sugar '/4 pint Hills
2--Honey June 3 or 4 12 in. 3-3 ft. 3 ft. 2 in. 60 to 100
Sweet Corn 3-Country Gentleman grains apart
__ 4-Long Island Beauty per hill_____ ___







~) I



1-Snow Flake
2-Stowell's Evergreen
4-Trucker's Favorite

1-Clark's Special
2-Straight Eight
3-Improved Long Green
5-Kirby Staygreen

1-Florida Highbush
2-New Orleans Market
3-Black Beauty

1-White Curled
2-Green Curled
3-Moss Curled
1-Broad-leaved Batavia
1-White Vienna
2-Early Purple
3-Kirby Staygreen

Seeds or
plants per
100 feet
of row

'/ pt.
3 or 4
per hill

6 seeds
per hill;
thin to
3 or 4
per hill

% oz.

1 oz.

12 oz.

2-3 ft.

3 ft.

8-9 'in.

4-6 ft.

4-5 ft.

2-2 ft.

2/2-3 ft.


18 in.


3-3 '/ ft.


3 ft.

4-6 ft.

4-5 ft.

15-18 in.

18-24 in.

Depth of

2 in.

% in.


A%- 'in.

1 in.

Days to

60 to 100 8


50 to 60


100 to M


00 to 180







60 to 80







English Peas
(single rows)

(double rows)

1-White Boston
2-New York No. 12
3-New York No. 515
1-Paris White Cos

2-Green Cos

Old Georgia
Rocky Ford

1-Perkins Mammoth
2--Long Green
3-White Velvet

1-Crystal Wax
2-Red Bermuda
1-Australian Brown
2-Riverside Spanish
1-Common or

1-Alaska Extra Early
2-Thomas Laxton
4-Little Marvel

1 plant
to each
% oz.
per row
6 seeds
per hill;
thin to
1 or 2

2 oz.

1 oz.

1 qt. sets

1' oz.

1-2 pts.

12-15 in.

Hills 3-4
ft. apart

10-12 in.

3-4 in.

3-4 in.

3-4 in.

5-6 ft.

4 ft.

2 ft.

2 ft.

2 ft.

12-15 in.

6 ft.

21-3 ft.

12-18 in.

12-18 in.

15 in.

1/ in.

1-1% in.

%-1 in.

1/4- in.

1-2 in.

% in.

2 in.

60 to 90

120 to
150 3


130 to

90 to 120

90 to 120

40 to 80








1-Ruby King
2-World Beater
2-Anaheim Chili

1--Spaulding Rose No.
2-Bliss Triumph
3--Irish Cobbler

1-Porto Rioo
2-Nancy Hall
3-Big Stem Jersey

1-Long Scarlet
2-Long White Icicle
Radishes 3-Scarlet Globe
4--French Breakfast

Spinach 1-Bloomsdale
(true) 2-Curley-Savoy

New Zealand New Zealand





(single row

(two or three
row system)






1-White Bush
or Patty Pan
2-Early Yellow
Crook Neck
3-Mammoth White Bush
2-Giant Summer
3-Table Queen


3--Grothen Red Globe

1-Early Flat Dutch
2-Purple Top Globe
1-Giant Curled
2-Florida Broad Leaf

1-Tom Watson
2-Stone Mountain
3-Stone Mountain
3-Florida Favorite
4-Kleckley Sweet
5-Dixie Queen

4-5 seeds 4 ft. 4 ft. 8 ft.
per hill;

thin to
3 plants 6 ft. 8 ft. 4 ft.
per hill

1 plant
14 in.
1 plant
12 in.

% oz.

14 in.

12 in.

20-30 in.

30-36 in.


3-4 ft.


12 in.

3 h-5 ft.

oz. 5-6 in. 2 ft. 14-16 in.

/2 oz.

6 or more
per hill;
thin to
2 or 3
per hill

5-6 in.

3 ft.

Watermelons are usually planted
in checks measuring 8 x 8, 10 x 10,
or 10 x 12. One hill is planted in
each check.

1 ft.

% in.


leave bud
and crown

%-1 in.

% in.

/4%-% in.

2 in.

45 to 60

120 to

80 to 100


100 to

60 to 80

100 to



Plant diseases are usually caused by microscopic organ-
isms known as bacteria and fungi, which are spread by air
currents, water, clothing and hands of persons, animals,
tools, and various other agencies.

The home gardener can combat these diseases by using
varieties of seed that through scientific experimentation,
have been rendered resistant to certain organisms; by
treating seed with poisonous materials before planting, so
that spores of adhering organisms are destroyed; or by
protecting the plant with substances that are poisonous to
the bacteria and fungi.

In combating fungus diseases it is necessary that the
gardener observe the axiom that "an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure." Spraying or dusting must be
done before the fungus penetrates the plant tssiue, and
repeated often enough to protect the new growth as it

Sprays used to control plant diseases usually have poison
content of copper, such as Bordeaux mixture, which con-
tains blue vitriol (copper sulphate), lime and water. In
dusting plants, a copper-lime mixture of sulphur is used.

Insects that attack garden plants can be divided into
two distinct types or groups, each type requiring a different
method of control. The chewing type of insect, generally
worm-like larvae, shreds foliage and attacks stems. A
stomach poison, in dust or spray form, is applied thoroughly
to all parts of the plant to destroy these insects. In consum-
ing the vegetation they eat the poison which has been
placed upon it, and are killed. The sprays or dusts usually
contain some form of arsenate. A poison-bait mixture, such
as Paris green, bran, and syrup, is used to combat cutworms.
Because the cutworms emerge from the ground to attack
vegetation at night, a small amount of bait is placed at the
base of each plant in the evening.

The other group, or sucking type of insects, cannot be
eliminated by stomach poison. These pests have aproboscis
which they insert into the plant tissue, sucking the juices
from below the surface of the plant, and thus while feeding
avoid consuming the poison placed on the exterior of the


plant. Among the sucking insects are plant lice (aphids),
plant bugs, scale insects and leaf hoppers. Poisonous spray
or dust must be applied directly to these so that they are
suffocated. Nicotine sulphate, rotenone, and pyrethrum are
used. Pyrethrum, non-poisonous to human beings also is
used to some extent in controlling chewing insects.
From the standpoint of necessary equipment, dusting
may be more convenient and practicable than spraying in
small garden plots. Combination dusts for disease and in-
sect control, if used soon enough, employed correctly and
with sufficient persistence, will generally be effective. Dusts
used to control disease organisms or chewing insects will
adhere better to plants if applied while the latter are damp
with dew in the morning. Nicotine, intended to form a
suffocating gas to destroy sucking insects, is better applied
during the hottest part of the day, when the air is still.
Dust is generally easier to handle and apply. Ready-
mixed compounds are sold by all seed dealers, but they can
easily be prepared at home and at less expense. One good
non-poisonous preparation is made up of derris powder
(4 or 5 per cent rotenone), 3 pounds; red copper oxide, 1
pound; wheat flour 11/ pounds; and talc, 11 pounds.
The derris destroys insects upon contact or when eaten.
The red copper oxide prevents disease organisms from
being established. The wheat flour acts as an adhesive for
the dust, and the talc is the inert diluting material. For
applying, a hand plunger or bellows duster is used for the
small home garden, and a rotary-fan or bellows-type knap-
sack duster for larger areas.
Almost all plants are subject to one or more diseases and
pests, the control of which has been a highly specialized
study by State and Federal agencies. Explicit information
concerning control methods can be obtained from the
Florida State Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, the
Florida Experiment Station, University of Florida, Gaines-
ville, or the United States Department of Agriculture,
Washington, D. C.
In writing, the home gardener should explain in detail
the situation confronting him, describe the pests or dis-
eases involved, and indicate the apparent effect upon his
plants. In this way a more nearly correct diagnosis can be
made by experts in plant pathology and entomology.


The home gardener should call on the county farm
demonstration agent or write the Experiment Station in

For information on spraying request Circular S-47 of the
Experiment Station, Gainesville, Florida.



By R. J. HASKELL, senior extension plant pathologist, Extension Service and
Bureau of Plant Industry, and V. R. BOSWELL, principal horticulturist,
Division of Fruit and Vegetable Crops and Diseases, Bureau of Plant In-

Home vegetable gardens, which add so much to better
family living, would usually be easier to maintain if it were
not for the ravages of plant diseases and insect pests. Ways
are available to wage a successful fight against these
enemies, however, and those who understand and follow
such practices are the ones that are most successful. A large
part of the success in controlling vegetable diseases lies in
early precautions.
In choosing varieties of vegetables to plant it is well to
select those that are resistant to prevailing diseases, if
Also, it is important to start with disease-free seed, as
many diseases are seed borne. This mean obtaining good,
high-quality seed that has been grown under sanitary con-
ditions, from a reliable, well-established seed company.
A third precaution to take against disease is to treat or
disinfect some kinds of seed with a good seed-treating ma-
terial before planting. Instructions for doing this may be
obtained from your State agricultural college.
Other early precautionary measures include rotation of
the garden plot from one location to another to keep down
soil infestation with plant-disease-producing organisms, the
use of new, clean soil in seed flats and beds, and avoiding
the use of infested compost. After the plants are up, it is
sometimes necessary to spray or dust them for leaf diseases.
Ways of preventing vegetable diseases by using some of
these methods are described in United States Department
of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin 1371, "Diseases and In-
sects of Garden Vegetables."
This leaflet briefly describes some of the diseases which
have caused heavy losses and gives the name of and a few
facts about varieties resistant to these diseases. The list is
rather short, but the United States Department of Agricul-
ture, the State agricultural experiment stations, seedmen,
and many private individuals at present are active in de-
veloping more and better disease-resistant varieties.


Rust at one time ruined the asparagus-growing industry
of the United States. However, owing to the prompt de-
velopment of resistant varieties of asparagus, the disease
was overcome so that today it is not of much importance.
Rust is not a disease of the edible young shoots but of
the mature tops, attacks them in the summer and devitaliz-
ing them, and consequently the roots. Small pustules are
formed on the stems, twigs, and leaves that are at first
reddish and later turn black. The tops of the plants take
on a yellow color and look as if they were ripening prema-
Mary Washington and also Martha Washington and
other strains of the Washington type are highly resistant
to rust and are good commercial varieties. Mary Washing-
ton is the most popular variety grown and is carried by
practically all seed firms having asparagus seed or roots for
sale. It is a cross between Mary, a giant female seedling
selected from a bed of Reading Giant from England, and
Washington (male). The cross was made by J. B. Norton
of Concord, Mass., in 1910. Superior strains of Mary Wash-
ington have been selected and given other names by cer-
tain seedmen.

Common bean mosaic causes the leaves to be mottled
with light green and dark-green areas. Because of uneven
growth, affected leaves may be puckered, cupped, and
dwarfed. Badly affected plants are stunted and fail to bear
a profitable crop. Usually mosaic comes into the home gar-
den with the seed. It is spread in seed fields largely by
sucking insects. Some varieties are much more susceptible
than others.
Anthracnose is a seed-borne disease that is not so serious
as it used to be, because most bean seed now is grown in
the Far West, where dry climate, during the growing sea-
son prevents its development. It is characterized by dark,
sunken circular cankers on the pods and blighting of the
The bacterial blights are caused by seed-borne bacteria.
They cause a blighting of the leaves and spotting of the
pods. As with anthracnose, the best way to avoid injury
is to use disease-free seed. There are considerable differ-
ences in susceptibility of varieties, but as yet none have


been produced that are very resistant. Robust Pea, Yellow
Eye, Marrow, and beans of the Refugee type are resistant
enough so that they can usually be successfully grown.
Rust occurs widely over the United States. It causes
small, reddish-brown pustules on the leaves and sometimes
on stems and pods. Affected leaves turn yellow and drop
off. There are several forms or types of this rust.
Curly top occurs in the Rocky Mountain States and West-
ward. It also affects sugar beets, tomatoes, squash, and
many other vegetables. Bean plants are stunted and killed.

Green Snap Beans
Refugee U. S. No. 5, Idaho Refugee, and Wisconsin
Refugee are all highly resistant to common bean mosaic,
to which snap beans of the Refugee type are generally sus-
ceptible. They are also resistant to powdery mildew. The
last two varieties are further resistant to some strains of
the anthracnose fungus and tolerant to the bacterial blights.
Wisconsin Refugee is resistant to some forms of rust.

Pole Beans
Kentucky Wonder U. S. No. 3 and U. S. No. 4 are two
selections from European pole beans of the Kentucky Won-
der type that are resistant to some forms of rust. Some of
the seed companies also have other selections of Kentucky
Wonder that are more rust tolerant than the ordinary
Alabama No. 1 is a pole bean selected from a strain that
has long been grown in Alabama. It is said to be tolerant
to the root knot nematode that is serious in sandy soils of
the Southern States.

Shell Beans (dry edible)
Great Northern U. I. Nos. 59, 81, and 123 are three im-
proved selections of shell beans made by the University of
Idaho from the variety Great Northern. They are highly
resistant to common bean mosaic and tolerant to yellow
bean mosaic.
Wells Red Kidney, Geneva, and York are three kidney
beans that have been developed at the New York Agricul-
tural Experiment Station for their resistance to anthracnose.
Most of the red kidney-bean seed on the market is one of
or a combination of these varieties.


Perry Marrow, Jumbo Marrow, Castile Marrow, and
Nova Scotia Marrow are beans of the Marrow type re-
sistant to anthracnose.
Geneva Pea, Honeoye Pea are resistant to anthracnose.
Robust Pea is resistant to common bean mosaic and
anthracnose and usually is resistant enough to the bacterial
blights to make a successful crop.
Red Mexican, California Red, California Pink, Burtner,
Red Mexican U. I. No. 3, and Red Mexican U. I. No. 34 are
shell beans adapted to the West that are resistant to curly
top except when very young. The last two are also resistant
to common mosaic.

Lima Beans
Hopi 155 shows some resistance to the root knot nematode
in California.

Yellows, or fusarium wilt, attacks cabbage severely and
sometimes affects kale and other plants of the cabbage
family when planted on infested land. Affected plants be-
come stunted, turn yellow, and drop their leaves, from the
ground up. When cut open, the stems shown a brown dis-
coloration of the woody tissue. This disease is caused by a
fungus that lives in the soil; once established in a garden
or field, it may remain for many years.
Fortunately, excellent varieties of various types of cab-
bage that are yellows resistant are available. Most of
these were originated at the United States Department of
Agriculture. The varieties with the approximate length of
time required to reach maturity are as follows:
Jersey Queen. Jersey Wakefield type, 60 days.
Racine Market. Early Copenhagen Market type, 60
Marion Market. Copenhagen Market type, 70 days.
Globe. Glory of Enkhuizen type, 75 days.
Wisconsin Allhead Select. Allhead early type, 75 days.
Wisconsin All Seasons. All seasons type, 90 days.
Wisconsin Ballhead. Danish Ballhead type, 95 days.
Wisconsin Hollander No. 8. Hollander type, 100 days.
Red Hollander. Hollander type, 100 days.


Yellows is a disease that is more likely to be troublesome
in commercial celery areas, where the crop is grown fre-
quently on the same ground, rather than in home gardens
that are rotated occasionally. Affected plants are stunted
and yellowed and have a yellowish or reddish discoloration
in the woody part of the stalks near the crown. Dark-green
varieties are very resistant; but easily blanching celeries are
likely to fail if planted on "yellows" soil, that is, soil in-
fested with the fungus that causes the disease.
Michigan Golden, developed by the Michigan Agricul-
tural Experiment Station, is resistant to yellows. It is like
Golden Self Blanching in type. The seed is produced, pack-
aged, and sealed under supervision of the Michigan State
College of Agriculture and Applied Science.
Golden Pascal and Florida Golden are other new white
varieties that show resistance.

Mosaic caused mottled, wrinkled, dwarfed leaves; mot-
tled, warty fruit; and stunted plants. It is caused by a virus
that lives over winter in the roots of certain wild perennial
plants, such as wild cucumber, milkweed, catnip, poke-
berry, and ground cherry.
Shamrock is a large slicing cucumber suitable for the
home garden that is resistant to mosaic. It is like white
Spine in type.

Brown blight is a disease that has threatened lettuce
growing in the Southwest, particularly California and Ari-
zona. Affected plants become stunted, yellow, and grad-
ually turn brown and die. It is apparently a soil-borne dis-
ease. Once a field becomes infected, it stays so for many
years, and lettuce cannot be grown unless resistant varieties
are used.
Downy mildew causes spots on the leaves, at first light
green, then yellow, and finally brown. The white mildew
grows on the under side of the spot.
Tipburn is one of the most destructive diseases of head
lettuce. It is associated with high temperatures. It is not
likely to be severe on the early-spring and late-fall crops.
The edges of the leaves turn brown, and growth is slowed
down. Leaves inside the head may become slimy.


Varieties of lettuce have been developed by the Bureau
of Plant Industry that are resistant to both brown blight
and downy mildew.
Imperial No. 847 and other numbered Imperial varieties
are resistant to brown blight. They are like New York in
Imperial C, D, and F and other lettered varieties of Im-
perial are resistant to both brown blight and downy mildew.
Columbia No. 1 appears to be resistant to tipburn. It is
a crisphead sort similar to New York and adapted to the
lighter soils of the Middle Atlantic States.

Powdery mildew affects melons, cucumbers, and other
related plants. It appears as a white, mealy growth in
spots on the upper surface of the leaves. When there is a
severe attack of the disease, the leaves wither and die. It
is most serious in irrigated sections of the West. There are
at least two forms of the fungus that causes this very de-
structive disease.
Powdery Mildew Resistant Cantaloupe No. 45 was devel-
oped in California from a cross between Hales Best and a
melon from India. It is of the Hales Best type, of excellent
quality, and a good shipper. It is resistant to form No. 1
of the mildew but susceptible to form No. 2, which was
serious in 1939.

Mild mosaic causes a slight crinkling, dark- and light-
green mottling of leaves, a reduction of vigor of the plant,
and a lowering in yield. It is one of the principal causes
of so-called "running out." It is caused by an insect-trans-
mitted virus.
Late blight and the tuber rot that accompanies it are
often very destructive in moist climates, blighting the tops
and rotting the tubers.
Katahdin, Chippewa, Golden, and Houma are four new
varieties originated by the United States Department of
Agriculture that are resistant to mild mosaic. The first two
are smooth, uniformly shaped, midseason, good yielding,
widely adapted varieties. Golden is a yellow-fleshed variety
of good quality but limited adaptation. Houma has proved
to be well adapted to parts of Louisiana.


Sebago is a new variety recently released by the United
States Department of Agriculture that is resistant to late
blight of the vines and tubers. In gardens along the Atlan-
tic seaboard and in the Northeastern and Lake States,
where late blight is often damaging, this variety can be
grown successfully even without spraying with Bordeaux
mixture. It is also resistant to mild mosaic.

Curly top affects pumpkins as well as sugar beets, beans,
and certain other vegetable crops in the Rocky Mountain
States and westward to the extent that these vegetables
frequently cannot be grown unless resistant varieties are
Varieties of the Cheese group, Cushaw group, and Ten-
nessee Sweet potato group, and Big Tom are resistant to
curly top.
Mosaic, blight or yellows, is somewhat like mosaic dis-
eases of other plants in appearance. It causes a mottling
and curling of the leaves, which may later become yellow
and die. It is caused by a virus and is spread by aphids.
Virginia Savoy and Old Dominion, both originated at the
Virginia Truck Experiment Station, Norfolk, Va., are re-
sistant to mosaic and of good commercial quality. Virginia
Savoy goes to seed very quickly-when sown in the spring
and, therefore, it should be grown only as a fall crop.

Sweet Corn
Bacterial wilt causes diseased streaks in the leaves of
sweet corn, which finally die. Affected plants produce few
or no ears, depending on the earliness of the disease attack.
Yellow early varieties are much more susceptible than the
white, late ones. Several early, yellow hybrid sweet corns
that show resistance are now on the market. When select-
ing early yellow varieties for the home garden, select one
that is listed as resistant to wilt.
Golden Cross Bantam, developed at the Indiana Experi-
ment Station in cooperation with the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, is an excellent standard, early, yellow,
wilt-resistant variety. Several lines of Marcross, Spancross,
Whipcross and others developed by the Connecticut Agri-
cultural Experiment Station are also resistant to bacterial
wilt. Several other varieties with some degree of resistance
are listed by seedmen.


The Marblehead, the Long White Bush, and the Vege-
table Marrow varieties of squash are resistant to curly top.
See Pumpkin (p. 51).

Fusarium wilt is very common in all but the more north-
ern States. It is caused by a fungus that enters the roots
from infested soil, grows into the water vessels, and causes
the leaves to roll, become yellow, and finally die. When
affected plants are cut open, the woody part of the stem is
found to be darkened.
Verticillium wilt is much like fusarium wilt in its appear-
ance but much less common.
Nailhead spot is caused by a fungus that makes round,
sunken spots on fruits and brown spots on the stems and
leaves. It is found chiefly in the South.
Marglobe, Prichard (Scarlet Topper), and Glovel are all
resistant to fusarium wilt and nailhead spot. Certified seed
is more likely to be satisfactory than uncertified.
Louisiana Pink and Louisiana Red are two varieties re-
sistant to fusarium wilt and adapted to conditions in Louisi-
ana and surrounding States.
Riverside is resistant to fusarium wilt and verticillium
wilt. It was developed in California by the United States
Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Cali-
fornia Agricultural Experiment Station.
Prairiana, Early Baltimore, Illinois Pride, and Illinois
Baltimore are four field varieties said to be resistant to
fusarium wilt and adapted in Illinois. They were developed
by the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.

Fusarium wilt is a very common disease of watermelons.
It is caused by a fungus that, once established in the soil,
is very difficult to get rid of. Many thousands of acres of
watermelon land have been abandoned because of wilt-sick
soil. Affected plants wilt and die early.
Resistant varieties such as the following offer the best
solution of the wilt problem.
Hawkesbury (Hawkesbury Wilt Resistant) is a dark-
seeded, long gray-skinned melon introduced from Australia.


Improved Kleckley Sweet No. 6 is a selection from
Kleckley Sweet made by the Iowa Agricultural Experiment
Improved Stone Mountain No. 5 was developed from a
cross of Stone Mountain with a Japanese variety by the
Agricultural Experiment Station.
Leesburg is a resistant selection from Kleckley Sweet
made by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
Klondike R7 was developed from a cross between Klon-
dike and Iowa Belle (resistant) grown in California.



Pure nitrogen is a gas that has no smell, color, or taste.
There is plenty of it in the air, but leguminous plants are
the only ones that can extract it from the air and store it
in the soil. Modern science enables man to take it out of
the air by power process. Ammonia is a compound of four-
teen parts of nitrogen, by weight, combined with three
parts by weight of hydrogen. The Federal Government has
a large plant for extracting nitrogen from the air, located
at Sheffield, Alabama.
It is difficult to secure an adequate supply of nitrogen.
It is found in combination with other materials but these
materials are scarce and high. Nitrogen-bearing materials
are called nitrogenous or ammoniates. It is often confusing
to laymen to use the words "nitrogen" and "ammonia" as
synonomous, and yet speak of them as being different ele-
ments. This is because ammonia by weight is fourteen parts
nitrogen to three parts hydrogen.
The common sources of commercial nitrogen are:
Nitrogen. Equivalent to ammonia
Nitrate of Soda.... 15 to 16 18 to 191/
Nitrate of Ammo 19 to 22 23 to 26
Dried Blood ..... 10 to 14 12 to 17
Tankage ... ... 5 to 9 6 to 11
Fish Scrap ......... 7 to 8 8/! to 91/.
Cottonseed Meal 61/ to 71/ 71/ to 9
Castor Pomace 5 to 6 6 to 7
Nitrate of Lime.
Horn and Hoof M.
Hair and Wool.
Leather Scrap.
Tobacco Stems.

Its Function
Protoplasm is the physical basis of life and nitrogen is
necessary for its production. The effect of nitrogen on
plants is to build up the body, give rich, green color to leaf,
and vigorous growth.


Too little stunts growth, and too much gives rank growth
with sappy, weak, stalks, and delays ripening. Large
amounts suit plants like celery, lettuce, etc., where crisp,
tender stems and leaves are wanted. For immediate results
it is best to use nitrate of soda, while for seasonal growth
other forms can be used. The activity as well as availability
of nitrogen in materials like leather scrap, hair, or peat, is
but one-fifth to one-tenth as much as that in nitrate of soda.

No organic cell can exist without it has nitrogen in com-
bination with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur.
Plants are nourished by the nitrogenous substances con-
tained in the soil and water, and animals by the nitro-
genous substances in plants and other animals. However,
neither plants nor animals can utilize nitrogen unless it is
fixed (non-volatile) in some combination.

The world's principal source of nitrogenous material in a
commercial sense has been the nitrate beds of Chile. The
United States consumed during the year 1913-taken as a
normal rate-140,000 tons of inorganic nitrogen, equivalent
to 658,000 tons of ammonium sulphate, of which about two-
thirds was Chilean nitrate. This material in the raw state
is blasted from the pampas of Chile. This valley was once
part of the bed of the ocean in which floated vast meadows
of sea grass. A volcanic upheaval formed what is now the
mountain range rising sharply from the Chilean seaboard
and created a lake between that range and the Andes,
forty-five miles inland. The sea water evaporated, the sea-
grass decomposed and hardened into a mineral soil im-
prisoning the nitrogen which the sea grass had drawn ages
before from the air. The large lumps are crushed and
boiled, the first step in concentrating into exportable form
the nitrate of soda. After the caliche is removed from the
pampas it is carried in open freight cars to the crushing
house and reduced to a form which renders it the more
readily soluble in the boilers, to which the broken caliche
is borne by an inclined conveyor belt. In the large steel
pans of the nitrate plant, exposed to the Chilean sunlight
the liquid product of the boiling vats finally yields in crystals
the nitrate of soda of commerce. After the mother liquor
is drawn off and relieved of iodine-one of the by-products
of the industry-and returned again to the boiling vats, the
nitrate of soda is left to dry and is finally conveyed in open
cars on high trestles to be dumped into the loading plEt-


Atmospheric Nitrogen
Four-fifths of the world's nitrogen is contained in the
air. Only one-fifth is present in the soil, animal and vege-
table matter. Nitrogen in its elemental form constitutes
about four-fifths by volume or three-fourths by weight of
the atmosphere. The atmosphere covers the earth some
fifty miles in depth, and above every square mile of the
earth's surface there is estimated to be about 21,683,200
tons of nitrogen, while the total area of the earth's surface
approximates 200,000,000 square miles.
The conversion of the nitrogen of the air into compounds
available for use may be accomplished in a number of
ways, among which are the following:
1. The direct oxidation of nitrogen and its conversion
into nitric acid.
2. The combination of nitrogen with metals to form
nitrides, which may be treated to furnish ammonia.
3. The formation of cyanides or cyanogen compounds
by the combination of nitrogen with metals and carbon.
4. The formation of a compound with carbide, produc-
ing cyanamid.
5. The direct combination of nitrogen and hydrogen
from its element for the formation of ammonia.
In addition to being so essential to life, nitrogen is the
chief and most used element in explosives. During the
World war when the United States found itself in need of
nitrogen for the manufacture of gun powder and other ex-
plosives the cyanamid and Haber processes-the last two
mentioned above-were recommended by scientists ap-
pointed to investigate the fixation processes. As a result,
the Government built two plants, one at Muscle Shoals and
one at Sheffield, Alabama, utilizing the falls of the Ten-
nessee River to furnish the power. Plant number one was
completed, but never came into active use until the Armis-
tice. This plant was designed to produce 60,000 pounds
of anhydrous ammonia per day. Plant number two for the
production of cyanamid was completed, but operation was
suspended pending the decision as to the final disposition
of the plant. It was designed to produce 110,000 tons per
annum of ammonium nitrate.
Under stress of war, plants were built with an annual
capacity of some 50,000 tons of fixed nitrogen. In 1917
by-product coke ovens produced 80,000 tons of nitrogen
or about 400,000 tons of ammonium sulphate.


Our grain crops, potatoes and cotton of the United States
require 6,372,000,000 pounds of nitrogen. Of this amount
not more than 2,000,000 tons are returned by leguminous
crops, imported nitrates, coke ovens and farm manure.
If water power can be harnessed to plants that will pro-
duce commercial nitrogen at a much lower cost than by the
old processes and in unlimited quantities to neglect to pro-
ceed with this work by the government or to lease it to
companies under proper contracts guarding the rights of
the public is beyond excuse. Public opinion should so
function as to impel a policy for the public welfare.

Phospohric Acid
Phosphoric acid is a compound which contains 43.7%
phosphorus by weight. Nature does not isolate phosphorus;
it is always combined with something else-usually lime.
The principal commercial sources are phosphate rock, acid
phosphate, bone, and Thomas slag.
In ground phosphate rock, or floats, and bone black,
the phosphorus acid is insoluble, and therefore produces
effects very slowly. These may be used for composts where
immediate effects are not needed. Raw phosphates and
bone black are treated with sulphuric acid, rendering them
soluble, and thus producing acid phosphate. When ren-
dered available it is of equal value, no matter from what
source obtained. Splendid results have been secured by
the use of soft phosphate when used in sufficient quantities
and properly composed or thoroughly inoculated.
It takes 50,000 pounds of water to dissolve one pound
of insoluble phosphoric acid. Of course, this means that
"insoluble" does not mean that which is incapable of being
dissolved, but that it is in combination of two parts of
phosphoric acid with three parts of lime. This form is
lound in raw phosphate rock and in bones. The phosphorus
found in bones is of greater value than that found in rock,
for the reason that bone is organic and decays when put
into the ground, where it rots through the work of bacteria.
Rock phosphoric acid is of no value until it has been dis-
solved into soil moisture. Even grinding it to powder won't
help much, as it must be in such solution as to pass through
the skin of the fibre rootlets. The rock must be treated with
sulphuric acid, which changes two of the three parts of
lime into gypsum or land plaster-sulphate of lime-these
two parts kill the acid and leave the phosphoric acid com-
bined with only one part of lime-and the product is acid


phosphate or superphosphate. Methods so far used in ex-
tracting the phosphate rock from the soil and in preparing
it for fertilizer have been very wasteful, as commercial acid
phosphate made from 32 per cent rock contains only 16
per cent of phosphoric acid. The elaborate washing and
screening process now used in preparing the rock for treat-
ment with acid often results in a loss of more than half
the material. A new process recently discovered promises
to save this waste. (See statement at close of this article.)
The combination of both water soluble and reverted
phosphoric acid is the form in commercial fertilizer. It is
a combination of two parts of phosphoric acid and one
part of lime. After soluble phosphoric acid has been in
the soil for a time it undergoes another change-the lime
uniting with the phosphorus becomes "reverted," which
results in a combination of two parts phosphoric acid with
two parts of lime. In this reverted form the phosphoric
acid is held in the soil, and becomes slowly available.
In making phosphoric acid the first thing necessary is to
operate an acid plant. Sulphur ore is mostly imported from
Spain. This ore is burned in furnaces, the fumes being con-
densed in immense lead chambers. Some nitrate of soda
is used in the process. The acid produced is transferred to
an acidulating plant.
Finely ground phosphate rock-pulverized to a fineness
of about 100 per cent through a 60 mesh screen, mixed in
equal parts with sulphuric acid at 520 (Baume)-the mix-
ing is done in flat circular pans provided with heavy stirrers
which give a thorough mixing of the rock and acid. From
these pans the mixing, which is still liquid, is dropped into
closed dens and left about twelve hours, long enough to
solidify and for chemical action to render the phosphoric
acid available. It is then transferred to the mixing plant.
Acid phosphate is valuable for the percentage of phos-
phoric acid which it contains and is usually sold on a unit
Many fertilizer manufacturers are nothing more than
mixers of the fertilizer ingredients, which they buy from
plants that manufacture the separate elements. They buy
the constituents at wholesale and mix according to the
various formulas and give the product a brand name, ad-
vertising and placing on the market commercially. The
various materials for a complete fertilizer are assembled,
analyzed and run through mechanical mixers in the pro-
portion that is desired. These mixtures are then laid away


sunken spots on fruits and brown spots on the stems and
leaves. It is found chiefly in the South.
Marglobe, Pritchard (Scarlet Topper), and Glovel are
all resistant to fusarium wilt and nailhead spo.. Certi-
fied seed is more likely to be satisfactory than ur certified.
Louisiana Pink and Louisiana Red are two varieties
resistant to fusarium wilt and adapted to conditions in
Louisiana and surrounding States.
Riverside is resistant to fusarium wilt and vef:rticillium
wilt. It was developed in California by the Uni:.td States
Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Cali-
fornia Agricultural Experiment Station.
Prairiana, Early Baltimore, Illinois Pride, ar. Illinois
Baltimore are four field varieties said to be re-istant to
fusarium wilt and adapted in Illinois. They were de-
veloped by the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.

Fusarium wilt is a very common disease r.-I water-
melons. It is caused by a fungus that, once esta -. lished in
the soil, is very difficult to get rid of. Many tho .sands of
acres of watermelon land have been abandoned because
of wilt-sick soil. Affected plants wilt and die ea rly.
Resistant varieties such as the following offer the best
solution of the wilt problem.
Hawkesbury (Hawkesbury Wilt Resistant) i:, a dark-
seeded, long gray-skinned melon introduced from Au-
Improved Kleckley Sweet No. 6 is a select.,on from
Kleckley Sweet made by the Iowa Agricultura. Experi-
ment Station.
Improved Stone Mountain No. 5 was developed from a
cross of Stone Mountain with a Japanese varie .y by the
Agricultural Experiment Station.
Leesburg is a resistant selection from Kleck'hey Sweet
made by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Saation.
Klondike R7 was developed from a cross betw-een Klon-
dike and Iowa Belle( resistant) made in Califo,rnia.

Page 65 is
missing from
the original


Potash is essential for the production of starch, fiber and
the full development of plant and seed.

Bacteria play so important a part in fertility of soil that
they hold an important place in the discussion of fertilizers.
Bacteria are microscopic organisms, microbes, fungi, or
parasites. An organism is either an animal or plant having
organs performing special functions.
By far the greater percentage of bacteria is vegetable,
both in soil and in animal organisms, but vegetable bacteria
have no chlorophyl. The bacteria that thrives in the human
organism may be beneficial-as in the process of diges-
tion-or injurious-as in case of the various disease-pro-
ducing germs.
Bacteria live in soil. They cannot thrive where there is
no humus. There are many kinds, and each kind has its
special substances on which it thrives best. A group known
as ammonifiers, begins to grow as soon as placed in moist
soil. It lives but a short time, and the protein which has
been absorbed is changed into ammonia. When this group
dies other groups take up the ammonia, and change it into
nitrite. When it dies, another group takes up this nitrite
and changes it into nitrate. This last product is readily
soluble and is dissolved into soil moisture. The rootlets
then take it along with the soil moisture. Most organic
and some inorganic fertilizers must be changed by these
bacteria before the plant foods become available. They
need warmth, moisture, humus, and air; too much water
excludes the air and too much acid hinders their growth.
Different kinds of bacteria are needed to dissolve differ-
ent kinds of materials in the soil. Good results have been
secured in some soils through the use of phosphogerms
housed in humus, but with no claim of plant food content.
By housing numerous kinds of bacteria in a suitable
medium, various materials containing plant food elements
are released by their action, which would not be affected
by only one kind of bacteria.
Departments of Agriculture are often asked to give
opinion as to the value of advertised soil bacteria. It is
manifestly impossible to pass judgment on these bacterial
inoculents, the value of which depends upon the number
of virile organisms, adapted to the soil to which they are
to be applied, whose mission is to transform the organic


and mineral elements in the soil so as to render them avail-
able for the plants to be grown.
It is also evident that this kind of soil building agency
must be judged by an entirely different standard from that
of fertilizers. No chemical test would reveal anything as
to the value of these bacteria. The laws regulating the
manufacture and sale of commercial fertilizers do not touch
the subject of soil inoculents. This phase of practical soil
improvement has not been reduced to an accepted science.
When unbiased investigation and adequate demonstration
fix a standard for soil inoculation values, there should be
legal regulation for the sale of soil bacteria the same as for
commercial fertilizers.
So far no attempts have been made to supply carbon in
available form to plants, an element that constitutes an
average of 40 % of the structural parts of plants. During
the carboniferous age, when the atmosphere was sur-
charged with carbon dioxide, vegetation grew so plente-
ously and of such gigantic size as to prepare the material
for the great coal beds of the world. Prof. Riedel has
demonstrated that artificially supplied carbon dioxide will
produce remarkable results in the growth of plants. No
scheme for commercializing this discovery has been at-
tempted. Organic material operated on by bacteria may
liberate carbon dioxide which passing up through the soil
is absorbed by the leaves. No less an authority on foods
than Alfred W. McCann maintains that the ash of foods,
which is usually passed over as so much unavoidable rub-
bish, contains chemicals which are absolutely essential;
that the mysterious vitamins are but the sum total of cer-
tain mineral elements in food; and their marvelous effects
but the resultant of the chemical reactions set up by these
mineral elements. May it not be that the carbon of plants
and the ash of foods have not received consideration com-
mensurate with their importance?


Burzelius classes all organic matter in the soil as humus.
Humus is formed by the decay of vegetable matter-vege-
table mold.
Humus is a generic term applied to a group of sub-
stances, which form the organic matter of the soil.


They range in color from a brownish yellow to a black-
ish brown, or black, and are non-volatile. They are prob-
ably all composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.



Artichokes, globe
or Frenlch............
Artichokes, Jeru-

Asparagus .............

Beans. Lima, fresh
Bemins. Lima, dried
Beins. navy, dried
I 1YllRs. snaIll ...........

(Qunntity ;s pit rc!hsed
reiqired fj'r 51 or (

G inedium-sized 3

2 bunches.......... .

1 cup ........... .......
...... do...

e( is, 3 0u11g .......... U nil
Beets. llm ature......... .. ..

Beet gre s .... ....
Briecoli.. ............. 1 large hunch .
Brussels sprouts.... 1 lquart .. ...

Ca. bage ...... ..... I small head .

CIurr'iis. Yollg ....... 2 l lllichCs .. ....
(Car rots. I ature... . . .........

Cauliflower.. ......... I Illediuml lieal

Cel, rine ............. .i in'dium-sized..
Celery .... ......... 1 large bunch ....
Ch11yotes .e... ..... 3 IIedillull-siz d
Colil rds ... ... ..... .....
('oi n i . .. ... .. .... i i a rs .. ... ...
lIlaRlnd ilr lin re is ..... ... ... .... ..

K ohii lrabi ... ....... li editlin-sized
inlt ils. dried .. ..... 1 cul .. ...... . ...
M uslhr ms ............ .. . ...

Sli i ....................... .... ........
( llos, 'r. wnlllllI. .i leiu-sized .
nionlls. Spallislh.... di -s d ..
PI' rsllils ....... ...... Ill' (lin ll-sized ..,
I ais. f resll ............ . .. ..- ....- -- .. ....
I'P 'as. dried ......... ... 1 elp ........... .....
I'o ittos.... ............... I; m idilin-sized .
ti ilira .. ............ 1 la ge bunch ....
u tlal laga2s ............. 2-3.. ...................

S p iln ac h ...... .... .... .. ... . .... ..............

S lquashl. su lnm er ..... 3-4 ........................
S |il iS I w in ter....... ................. ...........
Sweetpotatoes ........ mediumn-sized...

Swiss chi rd ....... ... .. ...............

Tomatoes ..............
Turnips ...........
Turnip greens .......
Vegetatlle oyster,
or salsity.......

6 medium-sized..
2 hunches ...........

1 la rge bunch.....

,('.vv i-ti i io SRse co lor onl steaii 11ng.

1'rce ilu ru t i onl 'T iit. of eioilta' whlet
for a-,-g,-tuiile v sri'-
Sig I I ; gd stet mied l eoll

W hole .... ............ .I..I .. I .... .

1 '2l Pared w, wllilc. ..........

I (In hunches ..........
1 -2 l11..-iinchl pieces ....

iln pods. Shlled..... .
3 /SI Soaked ov'ernight....
S ..... .. ........... ......
S:- In pieces ...............
i l ..................
2 ilo ................. ....
SW i stem s ............
3 iNo stems .. ..........
2.-21 C't i strips ... .....
S11i W hole ...................
S u11a; rtered...............
2 Slhredded ............

\\ W llol ......................
D1 Dici-d or sliced .......

S' a irrited........
- -l ) W holel..................
.21-., i D iced ... ..............
S" -inchli pieces .....
1l i Sliced ............ .......
3ii .......... ..........

.. .. O in coh ... .............
S D i d ........ ..........
2%' 1 1,-incl piece.s........

S armed sliced ........
i /S oaiked overniglit .
S W hole. ....... ..

ill pods


. . ... .. ..
'leled, whole ....
I'Pet-ldl. cut ill half.
i W hole ........ ..........
; Shelled .... ....
Si Soaked ove.riight
W hole ..... ...............
1-iich pi-ices ...........
Shared, qluartered ....
( W it stet s .......... ..
)N u stem s..................

Pa ried, sliced...........
3 2-ilch pieces ...........
] 1/> I W hole .....................
I rwith stems ............
2 Leaves aloie..........
SSteins iilon'2...........
1V.2-2 Quarte,red ..............
2 Sliced or diced.........

14 Sliced ................





... .. .... .

1 2:

...... ;
.. . .. .
.. .. .. .
.. . .. .
.. . .. . .
.. .. .. . .
.. .. .. .
.. . . . .

1/A N


0 -i 15










"Cooked separately but combined for serving.


While Mulder regarded humus as the almost exclusive
source of the organic constituents of plants, Liebig, and
other chemists of today, regard the atmosphere as capable
of affording an abundant supply of all these substances.
The atmosphere consists of nitrogen and oxygen gases,
vapor, carbonic and nitric acids, and ammonia. Plants can
appropriate these from the air only by the roots or foliage.
Leguminous plants extract nitrogen from the air by way
of the roots through bacterial action in the nodules on the
roots. The air comes in contact with the roots by the soil
being porous, which is aided by cultivation. Some soils are
closer than others, and some growths have a tendency to
impact the surface with turf-Bermuda grass, as an exam-
ple-while other plants have a loosening effect-as the
Humus performs a useful function in retaining moisture,
furnishing a habitat for bacteria, and in holding potash,
soda, lime, and magnesia, and in preventing them from be-
ing washed out of the soil.



1. Calory Table
(Selected from "Feeding the Family" Mary Swartz
Rose, and from Bulletin 28, U. S. Department of Agricul-
Select 600 out of 3,000 calories daily from fruits and
vegetables. The following table is for convenience in plan-
ning menus. The number of calories for ordinary servings
rather than the usual 100-calory portion is given.
Asparagus (5 tips) ................... 25
Celery (1 cup, chopped) ......... ... ...... 15
Cauliflower (4 heaping tbs.)............. 20
Cabbage (1 cup, shredded)................... 20
Carrots (1 medium ) .... ..... ..... ...... 100
Corn (1 medium ear) .. ........ ........... ... 100
Brussels sprouts (four) ........................ 50
Beets (2 heaping tbs.) ...... ... ............ 30
Beans (string, 1/ cup).................... 25
Beans limass, fresh, 2 tbs.)............... 100
Eggplant (1/4 medium ) ............... ......... 50
Lemons (1 large) .... ..... .. ... 30
Lettuce (1/ head) ........... ....... 25
Onions (1/2 medium ) ............................. 25
Parsnips (medium) ........ ............ 75
Potato (med. white, bkd.) .. ....... .... 100
Potato (med. sweet, bkd.) ..................... 150
Peas [green], (1, cup)............. .......... 75
Peas [field], (1/2 cup)..... ....... ......... 100
Strawberries (1 cup).............. ...... 35
Squash (2 heaping tbs.)....................... 70
Spinach (2 heaping tbs.) ............ 60
Turnip (2 heaping tbs.) ................ .. 15
Tomatoes (med.), uncooked................... 40
Tomatoes (stewed, 1/ cup)............... 25
Tomatoes (1 cup cream soup) ............ 125
Bananas (average size). ..... .......... 125
Blackberries (3 heaping tbs.) ................. 60
Cantaloupe (/ melon).. .. .............. 90
Grapefruit (1/ large).... .................. 140
Grapes (1 large bunch) .................. ..... 110
Blueberries (4 heaping tbs.) ................ 80
Orange (average) ....... ................... 100
Peach (average) .... ... . . ....... 45
Pear (average) . .............. .... 90


Pineapple (2 slices) .... .. .... .... ...... 45
Plum (average) .. .. ..... . .......... 25
Strawberries (4 heaping tbs.)......... 40
W atermelon (large slice). ... . ..... 40
Marmalade (orange), 1 tbs..... ...... 100
Butter, 1 tbs. . .. .. ......... 100
Milk (whole, 1 glass) 170
Egg (1 medium) ... 75
Cheese (11/8 in. cube) 100
Bread (2' in. slice, white) .... 100
Corn muffins (1 medium) ...... 125
Molasses (112 tbs.) ... ....... 100
Sugar (2 tbs.) ... .. ........... 100
Cream (thin, 1/ cup) ....... ... 100
W esson Oil (1 tbs.) ....... 100

Calories are heat-raising agencies. Food digested and
assimilated raise temperature. The process releases energy
for bodily activities. A calory raises one kilogram of water
one degree centigrade.


Vitamins are organic compounds produced by chemical
action in plants through a combination of elements taken
in by the roots and foliage.

The variations in vitamins result from the different char-
acteristics of the plants and the soil source of its supply
of mineral content.

Here is an estimate of the composition of the human
body, which may give an idea of the comparative amounts
of the different elements in animal tissue.

A person weighing 154 pounds would be composed of:

Oxygen ...
Carbon .......
Hydrogen ..
Nitrogen ...
Calcium .
Sulphur ...

97.2 pounds
31.1 pounds
15.2 pounds
3.8 pounds
3.8 pounds
1.75 pounds
.27 pounds

Chlorine ......
Fluorine .....
Potassium ..
Sodium ... .....
Magnesium ..
Iron ....



Proteins. These are very numerous and are found in all
living substances; the following are some that are common
and found in large amounts:

. .. .. ... ............ i n
..... .. .. .. . .. . i n
......... .. .. ..... .. in

Where found
peas and beans
lean meat
the white of egg
milk and cheese

Some common carbohydrates are:
The starches:

Corn starch .... ....
Potato starch .... ...
Flour starch ........
Tapioca starch.....

... ...... from corn
...from potato
... ..... from wheat
............. from cassava root

The sugars:
Cane sugar.
Beet sugar....
Grape sugar.
Milk sugar

.from sugar
.....from sugar
... from fruits
. from milk


beet i Saccharose

Gluten ....
Myosin ....
Albumen .
Casein .....



By F. M. RAST, Prof. of Soils and Fertilizers; Address Delivered at Citrus

A vast number of organisms, animal and vegetable, live
in the soil. The greater part of these belong to plant life,
and these comprise the forms of greater influence in pro-
ducing changing in structure and composition that con-
tribute to soil productiveness. The majority of these or-
ganisms are so small as to be seen only by the microscope,
but still a large number range from this size to the larger
rodents. Organisms of the soil may be classed under two
heads, macro-organisms, and micro-organisms. The macro-
organisms will only be briefly mentioned, since they are not
of much importance, and since owing to their size we under-
stand more fully.

Macro-Organisms of the Soil
These may be classed in two heads-
Animals-rodents, worms, insects.
Plants-fungi, plant roots.

Animal Macro-Organisms
Rodents-such as the ground squirrel, the mole, the
gopher and the prairie dog are familiar examples.
Worms-The common earth worm is the most conspicu-
ous example.
Insects-Ants, beetles, and myriads of other burrowing
All of these improve the physical condition of the soil
by their burrowing habit, which has a tendency to loosen
the soil, while some have the additional effect of actually
making the mineral plant food more available. For ex-
ample, the earthworm burrows its way by passing through
its alimentary tract the soil, and while it obtains food from
the organic matter, the mineral matter passing through is
made more available by being acted upon by the digestive

The Plant Macro-Organisms
The large fungi and the roots of trees are the most nota-
ble examples. The large fungi are chiefly concerned in


bringing about the first stages in the decomposition of
woody matter, which is disintegrated through the growth,
in its tissues, of the root mycelia of the fungi. These break
down the structure and thus facilitate the work of the decay
bacteria. This action is confined to forests and is not of
great importance in cultivated soils. It is thought, also, that
some of these fungi have the power with the aid of bacteria
of appropriating the free nitrogen of the air, and thus hav-
ing an action similar to the action of leguminous plants.
Plant roots, decaying, leave behind large quantities of
organic matter, and when this decomposes the openings are
left, and in this way improve the structure of soils.
The macro-organisms have only been briefly discussed,
so as to allow more time on the more important division
of soil organisms.

Micro-Organisms of the Soil
The greater part of these belong to plant rather than
animal life. Of the animal kind, the only organisms of well-
known economical importance are the nematodes, which
are injurious to plant life.
Plant micro-organisms may be classed as slime molds,
bacteria, fungi and algae.
We may further divide the micro-organisms of the soil in
two other classes: First-those injurious to higher plants;
second-those not injurious to higher plants.
The micro-organisms belonging to the first class are
mostly confined to fungi bacteria, and injure the plant by
attacking the roots. Some of the most important diseases
produced by these organisms are: Wilt of cotton, water-
melon, flax, tobacco, tomatoes and other plants; damping
off a large number of plants, root-rot; galls. These organ-
isms are easily spread, and the soil infested with them will
remain so for a long time.

Methods of Control
Prevention is the best defence, for once the disease has
procured a foothold, it is practically impossible to eradicate
all of its organisms. Without going into details, the follow-
ing methods have been practiced with more or less suc-
cess: Liming, chemicals, steam, planting resistant varieties
and rotation. The two latter practices have met with better
success than any of the others with most diseases of this
kind under general farming conditions.


Plant Micro-Organisms Not Injurious to Higher Plants
Of these are large numbers of different species of micro-
organisms that are beneficial. The three general classes
most active are bacteria, molds and fungi. Of these three,
the bacteria play the important role.
The chief function of these organisms is to remove the
remains of plants and animals that would otherwise ac-
cumulate to the seclusion of other plants. By the process
of decomposition this organic waste is broken down, nitro-
gen and the minerals are changed from a complex com-
pound to a simpler, and which can be utilized by the grow-
ing plant. The elements, carbon and hydrogen, are kept in
circulation, and, unfortunately, some nitrogen is liberated
to the air and results in a total loss. This, however, may
be recovered, and even more nitrogen added from the air
by certain other organisms, which will be touched on later.
One must remember that there are many different species
of bacteria and many of the fungi and molds, and all play
an important part in this process. Some start the process.
while others take up the work where the first discontinued
until finally we have the simple products mentioned above.
Another function of these organisms is to act directly or
indirectly upon the insoluble minerals of the soil. Indirectly
the acids thrown off by the organisms tend to have a solu-
ble effect upon the minerals. Directly the organisms actual-
ly attack the minerals themselves and render them more
available. Just the exact extent of this latter is not known,
but enough investigation has been made to justify the con-
clusion of the importance of this action.


Because of their importance the bacteria will be dis-
cussed separately and more fully than the above discussion
permitted. The abundant and continued growth of plants
on the soil is dependent on the presence of bacteria, for
through their action chemical changes are brought about
which result in making soluble both organic and inorganic
material necessary for the life of higher plants, and which
in part at least, would not occur otherwise.
Bacteria are thus transformers, not producers, except by
legume bacteria, which will be discussed under a separate


Distribution of Bacteria

Bacteria are found in all agriculturally important soils,
although they are more numerous in some soils than others.
Some investigators have found their numbers to be in pro-
portion to the productiveness of the soil and to the humus
content of the soil. While this is true to a certain extent,
this rule does not hold in all cases, for a number of experi-
ments have shown a poor soil to contain a larger total count
of all bacteria. But the point needing emphasis is this: A
productive soil, and one with a large humus content will
contain a larger number of useful bacteria than soils of op-
posite character. The number of bacteria will run large
in most all soils, in soils of ordinary fertility the number
ranges from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 per gram of soil. The
extreme rapidity with which reproduction occurs makes it
possible for the number to increase enormously when condi-
tions are favorable for their growth.
The following conditions affect growth of bacteria: (1)
Oxygen: All soil bacteria require oxygen to a certain ex-
tent and in some way. Some bacteria, however, can con-
tinue their activities on much less oxygen from air than can
others. These latter get their oxygen from carbohydrate
compounds. According to their oxygen requirements bac-
teria are divided into aerobic and anaerobic. The aerobic
bacteria require an abundant supply of free oxygen, while
the anaerobic require little free oxygen, and we often speak
of them working in the absence of air. All beneficial bac-
teria belong to the aerobic type, while those that are in-
jurious in their action are chiefly anaerobes. However, the
anaerobes may prove benefiicient. For example, they carry
on the process of decomposition on the inside of the manure
pile under conditions fatal to the aerobes, and prepare the
way for the further action by the aerobes. Aerobes, also,
may prove harmful by carrying on the process of decompo-
sition too rapidly, and thus burning out the humus of the
(2) Moisture: Bacteria require some moisture for their
growth. On the other hand, too much moisture hinders the
development of the beneficial aerobic bacteria, while the
anaerobes may thrive. This is chiefly due to the fact that
too much moisture excludes air, and the importance of air
has already been discussed. The most favorable moisture
conditions for the activity of the most desirable bacteria
are found in a well-drained soil.


(3) Temperature: Bacteria show their greatest activity
from 70 to 110 degrees, F., and it diminishes perceptibly be-
low or above these points. Freezing does not kill bacteria,
but renders them dormant. From 110 to 160 degrees, F.,
most forms of bacteria die.
(4) Organic Matter: The presence of a certain amount
of organic matter is essential to the growth of most forms
of soil bacteria. The organic matter of the soil furnishes a
suitable food. The work of decomposition is taken up step
by step by successive forms of bacteria, and ultimately the
organic matter is completely decomposed into simple com-
pounds. Therefore it is essential to keep the soil well
stocked with humus to furnish most suitable conditions for
their growth.
(5) Soil Activity: A neutral or a slightly alkaline soil
furnishes the most favorable condition for the develop-
ment of most beneficial bacteria. The bacteria in their work
are continuously throwing off acids which tend to make
the soil acid. We are advised to lime lands when an excess
of organic matter has been added, and the reason is mostly
due to the acids created by the bacteria in their work.
Therefore, it is very important that we test our land from
time to time so as to assure a condition favorable to the
development of beneficial bacterium.
Organic matter is composed of two general classes of
compounds: non-nitrogenous and nitrogenous. The first
consists of compounds free of nitrogen, while the latter
contains nitrogen. The nitrification is given to the pro-
cess of decomposition of the nitrogenous organic com-
pounds. This process is very complicated and only the steps
will be named. First, the original compound is seized upon
by types of bacteria and converted into ammonia. Other
types take up the work at this point and convert the am-
monia into nitrous acid, and in turn this is converted by
other types into nitric acid, which will then combine with
the bases in the soil to form nitrates. The same that has
been mentioned for the other bacteria in regard to oxygen,
temperature, moisture, and alkalinity, will be true for these
bacteria also. It is absolutely necessary to have plenty of
bases in the soil to combine with HNO, else nitrification
will cease. Best bases, CO and MG.

Nitrate Reduction
Quite opposite from nitrification is nitrate reduction,
when, instead of the nitrogen being converted into nitrates,


the nitrates are reduced to free nitrogen or free ammonia
gas, which usually escapes into the atmosphere. This pro-
cess is carried on by anaerobic types of bacteria. Condi-
tions favorable for such a process are partial or total ab-
sence of oxygen, likely caused by poor drainage. In ponds
and marshes this action is continually going on.

Bacteria of Legumes

Because of their importance, these bacteria are taken up
separately for a brief discussion. It has long been known
that certain plants have the power to enrich the soil in
nitrogen. The class of plants is known as legumes. In
1886 it was shown by two German scientists, Hellreli and
Wilforth, that bacteria were concerned. These plants, such
as beans, peas, velvet beans, alfalfa, vetch, clovers, etc.,
possess numerous nodules on their roots inhabited by colo-
nies of bacteria, who seize upon the free nitrogen of the
air, and store it up in the plant, and when the plant is
returned to the soil, the soil is enriched by this nitrogen
from the air. The nodules are formed by the bacteria, and
a legume plant that shows no nodules, indicates the absence
of the bacteria in the soil. This absences is often true in a
soil which has never been seeded to a certain legume, al-
though other legumes may have been previously grown on
that soil. This is due to the fact that there are many dif-
frent species of these bacteria, each specie adaptable to
one or more kinds of legumes. Therefore, it is often ad-
visable to inoculate the soil with the specie of bacteria
adaptable to a legume, when that legume has never been
grown upon the soil. This can be accomplished by two
practical methods, the soil methods, and the artificial.
Without going into a lengthy discussion of these methods,
suffice it to say that both have their advantages. The soil
method, which consists of spreading on the soil, a ton or
more of soil obtained from a field which has successfully
grown the legume, and harrowed in, is a sure method even
though ordinary precautions are taken. Its advantages are
the danger of spreading diseases and weed, and its bulk
in handling.
The artificial cultures up until a few years ago, had
proved unsuccessful. Now, however, in the hands of a
careful man, success generally follows this method of in-
oculation and the disadvantages named above in the soil
method are overcome. Of course, only reliable manu-
facturers of these products should be patronized by the


Garden Crops
Good stable manure is the most valuable fertilizing ma-
terial for the growing of all classes of vegetables upon all
types of soils. It must often be reinforced with commercial
fertilizers. There is not enough stable manure to supply
the demand for general field crops and near large cities
it is inadequate for truck farming-since the automobile
car and truck have superseded the horse in hauling service.
Stable manure should be well worked into the soil before
planting. The nearer planting time the manure is applied,
the finer it should be pulverized.
For asparagus, beets, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucum-
bers, egg plants, kale, lettuce, musk-melons, onions, English
peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, squash, and tomatoes.
N itrogen ........... ..... .................... 5 %'
Available phosphoric acid 7. .
Available potash . .... ... 5 '7
There is no iron-clad formula and this is given as an
"indicator" and guide rather than as a specific form which
there is to be no variation.
Following are two good formulas for fertilizing lettuce.
Use the one which seems to suit your soil and general
conditions best; or if preferred, use some other approxi-
mating them:
1. Ammonia, 5 to 6 per cent.
Available phosphoric acid, 7 to 9 per cent.
Potash, 8 to 10 per cent.
2. Ammonia, 6 to 7 per cent.
Available phosphoric acid, 6 to 7 per cent.
Potash, 6 to 7 per cent.
Apply from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per acre, and while
the crop is growing top-dress with about 150 to 200 pounds
of nitrate of soda per acre. It requires about three pounds
of seed to sow an acre, or one ounce to every 250 feet of
Baskets for shipping can be obtained from the vegetable
crate manufacturers in any section of the State.

Egg Plant
This is one crop which requires plenty of potash fertili-
zer, and you will find it will pay to broadcast the field with


a ton of kainit, harrowing it in. Next lay the field off in
furrows, the width you wish the rows apart, which is from
four to five feet, setting the plants about three feet apart
in the row; using 1,500 pounds of fertilizer in these furrows
which should analyze as follows: Ammonia, 5% ; available
phosphoric acid, 4%; potash, 9 %. Cover it well and see
that you get it well mixed with the soil.


A m m onia .................................. .......... 3 7
Available phosphoric acid.................... 7%
Potash .......... .. ..................... ............. 7 %
Or, per acre-
Bone m eal ................. .......................... 1700
M uriate of potash .......... ...................... 300
Or, per acre-
Nitrate of soda......... ..... 100 pounds
Acid phosphate ....................... 400 pounds
M uriate of potash....................... 100 pounds


Cabbage needs a very rich soil. Where stable manure
cannot be secured, 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of fertilizer may
be used in something of the following proportion:
Nitrate of soda............................ 300 pounds
Bone m eal .................................. 500 pounds
Muriate of potash......... ............. 200 pounds
It should be well incorporated into the soil before plant-

Either of the following formulas for commercial fertilizer
are good for celery, and the one which seems best adapted
to the soil and conditions can be used, or any other approxi-
mately similar:
1. Nitrate of soda............ .......... 300 pounds
Fish scrap ................................. 800 pounds
Acid phos., 16% ........................ 600 pounds
M uriate potash ............................ 300 pounds

2000 pounds


A m m onia ..... .................... ......... 6.9 %
Available phosphoric acid.. .............. 5.5%
P ota sh .... .... ............................ .. ........ 7 .2 %

2. Nitrate of soda .... .................. 250 pounds
Dried blood ... ........ ...... 600 pounds
Acid phos., 13% .................... 850 pounds
Muriate potash ........... .... ....... 300 pounds
2000 pounds

A m m onia ....... ..... ... .......... ...... 7.2 %
Available phosphoric acid .............. 5.5%
P otash ... ............ .. ........... ........ 7.8 %
During the growth of the crop from one to two tons
per acre of the above may be applied between the rows,
and from two to four hundred pounds of nitrate of soda
per acre as a top-dressing in four equal applications at
about four different times.

From 500 to 800 pounds per acre of a fertilizer contain-
ing 10% of potash, 8% of phosphoric acid, and 3% of
nitrogen would be an average application.
What we all like is a "cut-and-dried" formula for doing
things, and we do not like the formulas to disappoint us
when being put to the test. But in the use of any formula
herewith given, it should be borne in mind that much de-
pends upon the mechanical condition of the soil, the ele-
ments of available plant food already in the soil, and other
contingencies, as to the results that will follow.

Potatoes- (Irish)
If you use complete fertilizer you might have a formula
like this:
N itrogen .................................. ....... 4 %
Available phosphoric acid.............. .... 6%
P otash .. .. ........ . .......... .......... ......... 8 %
A m m onia ................. .... .... ...... 5 5%
Phosphoric Acid ...... .. ........... ........ 8%
P otash .. .. ........ ......... ....... 5 %


And use from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds per acre. Or if you
do your own mixing, the formula might be:
N itrate of soda...................... ........ 320
A cid phosphate ..................................... 100
Sulphate of potash......... ..... .... 100
Dry loam ................................... .. ... 100
Stated in percentages:
A available nitrogen ....................... .. 4.8
Available phosphoric acid ................. 7.68
A available potash .... ............................ 5.0
This is taking the 1,000-pound basis. It will need a thou-
sand pounds to the acre, but 300 additional pounds of loam
should be added to secure a satisfactory mechanical condi-
tion for the fertilizer.
Potatoes-( Sweet)
A m m onia ...... ................................ ...... 4 %
Available phosphoric acid ................ 67
Available potash ........ ........... 8%
Six to eight hundred pounds per acre, applied at time of

Chemists have discovered a hundred mineral elements in
this earth and one-fifth of them are needed in the human
body. Plant life draws on them in their growth. Different
species of plants use a different assortment of these ele-
ments. All animal life on land gets minerals and vitamins
direct or indirectly from plant life and/or from fish.
The different classification of cells of the body are made
up of different assortment of these elements and when the
blood stream furnished the cells with nourishment and
does not have the elements of which the cells are made
they starve; causing malnutrition and some of the degenra-
tive diseases. They are also more susceptible to all kinds
of pathogenic germs which are responsible for multitudes
of diseases.
Vitamins are not found in the soil like minerals. They are
of organic origin. Plants manufacture them from the soil,
air and sunshine. But fruits and vegetables can manufac-
ture them only if they have the materials to build with.
Fertilizers suited for gardens should have as many dif-
ferent minerals as can be obtained, to produce as well bal-
anced diet as possible.


Organic matter holds moisture and furnishes habitat for
bacteria, angleworms, bugs, etc., which make for the mel-
lowing of the soil.
There are pests which live in the soil, among which the
Nematode is the worst.

A person weighing 150 pounds is supposed to be com-
posed of the following elements in the proportions indi-
cated. (Ellis, Soils and Health) table gives:
Oxygen .... ...... 97.5 pounds
Carbon .... .... .. ...... 27.0 pounds
Hydrogen ............. ........ 15.0 pounds
Nitrogen ........... .......... 4.5 pounds
Calcium ...... ... ... ............ 2.4 pounds
Potassium ..... ... .......... 1.8 pounds
Phosphorus .... .... ......... 1.5 pounds
Sodium ..... ...... ... ...... .45 pounds
Chlorine ............. ....... .45 pounds
Sulphur ... .. .... .375 pounds
Magnesium ........ ..... .075 pounds
Iron ... ..... ... ................. .006 pounds
Iodine ................... ... trace
Copper ...... ...... trace
Cobalt .................. ...... ..... trace
M anganese ..... ................. trace
B oron ....... . .. ..... trace
F luorine .... .. .............. trace
Z inc ............. ..................... trace
And other trace elements
If consumed by fire the 144 pounds of oxygen, carbon,
hydrogen, and nitrogen would return to the air and water
from which they came and the remaining six pounds to
the earth from which they came.
Remember that all plants do not draw the same elements
from the soil. Each species utilizes its own peculiar assort-
ment and in proportions of combination. That is why no
one kind of food furnishes a balanced diet-even though
all elements are in the soil from which it came.
Some plants assemble toxic elements-like tung nuts and
castor beans. Many medicinal plants have more or less
toxic qualities. A rose and a stink weed may grow side by
side but, in the alchemy of nature, they manufacture quite
different odors. Certain plants get cooperation of certain
elements and not of others.


Soils and foods carry more mysteries than are explained
by our philosophies.
The mineral requirements of plants vary. The mineral
requirements of animals vary.
The following is by Firman E. Bear, Soils Department,
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.

Selective Process

There is little similarity in the chemical composition of
soil and that of the green plants that grow on it. Very
marked differences occur between the composition of crop
plants and that of the microbes and animals that consume
them. Oxygen is a dominant element in all four entities.
In the soil, this oxygen is largely association with silicon,
aluminum, and iron. In the corn plant, it is tied fast to
carbon and hydrogen. In microbe and man, it is more
largely associated with nitrogen. Silicates are the primary
constituents of the soil, whereas carbohydrates are domi-
nant in crop plants and proteins in microbes and man. Thus
the selective process operates between the soil and the green
plant and again between the green plant and the animal
that consumes it.
Crop plants tend to accumulate potassium from the soil,
whereas animals accumulate calcium, phosphorus, sulphur,
and sodium, in the order indicated. If the elements are
regularly found in quantity in any group of organisms, it
is safe to assume they have special value to that group.
If a plant has a purpose in life, that purpose is to repro-
duce itself. The resulting product may or may not be good
food. A pine tree, for example, has little or no food value
in its natural state. Nobody is tempted to eat cotton and
only a few hardy souls swallow tobacco. Some plants accu-
mulate toxic mineral elements, such as molybdenum and
selenium. Others synthesize such organic toxins as oxalic
and benzoic acids.
The chemical composition of plants varies from species
to species and from variety to variety. Even plants of the
same strain differ greatly in composition, depending upon
the environment under which they have been grown. Both
heredity and environment are involved in determining the
chemical makeup of every living thing and of its several

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