Horticultural Sciences Department

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Course Title: 

Commercial Vegetable Production

Credit Hours: 
4 Credits
Class Times: 


Monday, Wednesday and Friday
7th Period (1:55 pm – 2:45 pm)
Room 2316, Fifield Hall


8th  – 9th  period (3:00 pm – 4:55 pm).
Student vegetable gardens, Hull Road, Across from Fifield Hall

Course Objectives: 

Lecture  information  and  laboratory  experiences  will  instruct  the  student  in  the  specific production practices and technology, as well as other important information required to successfully grow various vegetable crops.

For each crop grouping, the student will learn:

  1. The botanical classification, horticultural types, origin, and history of each crop.
  2. The scope and importance of production in the US, including where the crop is grown, commercial acreage, value and average yields.
  3. Important aspects of vegetable growth and development, especially in relation to plant response to environmental factors and how they may affect production practices.
  4. Specific climatic and cultural requirements of each crop.
  5. Methods of planting, plant spacing and populations, and specialized procedures such as seed treatments.
  6. Standard and evolving production practices and requirements necessary for successful production.
  7. Leading cultivars and their important characteristics and new developments in breeding of specific crops.
  8. Pests and significant physiological disorders.
  9. Harvesting procedures, post-harvest handling of crops and food safety issues.

By the completion of this course, the conscientious student should be able to:

  • Explain production details for major vegetables.
  • Diagnose  problems  related  to  soil  fertility,  irrigation  and  pests  of  major vegetables.
  • Find sustainable solutions to problems related to soil fertility, irrigation and pests of major vegetables.
  • Choose vegetable cultivars suitable for a given region or production system.
  • Enumerate advantages and disadvantages of various production systems.
  • Propagate and cultivate a vegetable garden
  • Critically analyze production and marketing data and
  • Estimate cost of production for major vegetables.
Course Instructor: 

Bala Rathinasabapathi,Ph.D.
Room 2231 Fifield Hall
Phone: (352) 273-4847
Email: brath@ufl.edu

Course Instructor Office Hours: 

By appointment

Course Optional Text: 

Producing Vegetable Crops by Swiader JM and Ware GW., Interstate Publishers Inc., Danville, Illinois, 5th Edition, 2002.  ISBN 0-8134-3203-0.

Vegetable Production Handbook For Florida 2006-2007, by Olson SM and Simmone E (Eds.), University of Florida, IFAS Extension.  438 pp.

Articles from Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science, Hortscience and American Vegetable Grower.

Course Grading Policy: 

Students will be evaluated based on the following:

100 points - Class attendance & participation
100 points - Assignments, lab reports & field trip reports
150 points - Class presentation
100 points - Quizzes/Tests
450 points - TOTAL

Letter grades for the course will be assigned according to the chart below:

90-100 = A
87-89   = A-
84-86   = B+
80-83   = B
77-79   = B-
74-76   = C+
70-73   = C
67-69   = C-
64-66   = D+
60-63   = D
57-59   = D-
56-below = E.

*  Class attendance will be marked each day either at the beginning or end of the class period.
*  There is no final exam in this course.
Grades for the course will be assigned according to established university policy.


(1)  Transplant Production (20 points).  Each student will generate vegetable transplants of at least two cool season vegetables.  Instructions, material and greenhouse space will be provided. Quality of the transplants and a report of this activity will be evaluated.

(2)  Field Production of Vegetables (60 points).  The students will cultivate a variety of vegetable cultivars as part of their laboratory.  A group of students will tend one garden but each student will keep a field notebook of weekly observations and write a final report for evaluation.   The final report should contain information about the crops and their varieties, crop stand, weather, irrigation, soil fertility management, insect pests, diseases and weeds encountered and how the problems were solved and the quality and quantity of vegetables harvested.

(3)  Container gardens (20 points).   Facilities to set up container gardens of warm season vegetables, greenhouse space, materials and instruction will be provided.  This year’s theme will be peppers.  The quality of the crop and the final write up will be evaluated. As a special project in plant breeding, we will attempt to cross different cultivars of peppers.

(4)  Hydroponics (20 points).  Facilities to set up hydroponics will be provided.  Students will grow a crop of lettuce.  The quality of the crop and the final write up will be evaluated.

(5) Field trip reports and other writing assignments (30 points).   The students need to write a summary of information and view points collected during field trips and invited speakers for 10 points each.

(6) Extra Credit:   Students who can prepare a video presentation on their vegetable garden or other assignment will get 50 extra points.   The edited video should be 5 minutes or longer, of good quality and is available for posting on YouTube.

Course Policies and Procedures: 

Homework: Activity reports or other homework are due on the dates announced. 20% will be deducted for incomplete homework or not on time by one week.  No credit will be given for labs or field trip reports one week after the due date.  No homework will be accepted after the final class meeting.   If you are having trouble with homework, please see me immediately.

Test  Makeups  will  be  arranged  only  in  case  of  an  emergency  and  must  be scheduled within a week of the original test and at the convenience of the instructor.

Follow all safety regulations in and out of the classroom.  Personal safety during labs and field trips is individual’s responsibility.

Course Schedule: 

Field trip and farm tour schedules are temporary and might change according to the convenience of the hosts and travel considerations.

23rdAug 2010MonIntroduction & Syllabus
25thAug 2010WedImportance of Vegetables
27thAug 2010FriMajor vegetables: Production Statistics & Information Resources
27thAug 2010FriLab 1 Vegetable Seed sources & Transplant Production
30thAug 2010MonVegetable Varieties: Self-pollinated Crops
1stSep 2010WedVegetable Varieties: Cross-pollinated Crops
3rdSep 2010FriGM Vegetable Crops
3rdSep 2010FriLab 2 Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden I
6thSep 2010MonLabor Day – No Class
8thSep 2010WedGM Vegetable Crops
10thSep 2010FriGM Vegetable Crops
10thSep 2010FriLab 3 Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden II
13thSep 2010MonSoil Fertility Management
15thSep 2010WedHydroponics
17thSep 2010FriMulching
17thSep 2010FriLab 4 Setting up a Hydroponic System
20thSep 2010MonIrrigation Management for Vegetable Crops
22ndSep 2010WedInsect Pests on Vegetable Crops
24thSep 2010FriInsecticides labeled for Vegetable Crops
24thSep 2010FriLab 5 Pest Control
27thSep 2010MonDiseases of Vegetable Crops
29thSep 2010WedFungicides Labeled for Vegetable Crops
1stOct 2010FriWeeds and Weed Management
1stOct 2010FriLab 6 Weed Identification and Control
4thOct 2010MonIntegrated Pest Management
6thOct 2010WedOrganic Production I
8thOct 2010FriOrganic Production II
8thOct 2010FriLab 7 Field trip to Citra farm
11thOct 2010MonHarvest and Yields of Vegetables
13thOct 2010WedPost-harvest Handling of Vegetables
15thOct 2010FriHomecoming. No class
15thOct 2010FriHomecoming. No lab
18thOct 2010MonFood Safety Issues
20thOct 2010WedTomato Production
22ndOct 2010FriHomecoming – No Class
22ndOct 2010FriHomecoming – No Lab
25thOct 2010MonCucurbit Production
27thOct 2010WedCucurbit Production
29thOct 2010FriLettuce and Endive
29thOct 2010FriLab 10 Pest Control Lab & Field trip
1stNov 2010MonCole Crops Production
3rdNov 2010WedCole Crops Production
5thNov 2010FriSweet Corn Production
5thNov 2010FriLab 11 Planning for a Spring Vegetable Production
8thNov 2010MonLegume Crop Production
10thNov 2010WedLegume Crop Production
11thNov 2010ThuVeterans Day
12thNov 2010FriMushroom Production
12thNov 2010FriLab 12 Greenhouse: Herb Production
15thNov 2010MonPotato Production
17thNov 2010WedPotato Production
19thNov 2010FriSpecialty Herbs
19thNov 2010FriLab 13 Packing House and Farm Tour
22ndNov 2010MonStudent Presentation
24thNov 2010WedStudent Presentation
26thNov 2010FriThanksgiving – No Class
26thNov 2010FriThanksgiving – No Lab
29thNov 2010MonStudent Presentation
1stDec 2010WedStudent Presentation
3rdDec 2010FriStudent Presentation
3rdDec 2010FriLab 14 – Garden Clean up
6thDec 2010MonCourse Evaluation
8thDec 2010WedStudent Presentation
Academic Policy: 

Academic Honesty, Software Use, UF Counseling Services, Services for Students with Disabilities

In 1995 the UF student body enacted a new honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students. 

In adopting this honor code, the students of the University of Florida recognize that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the university community.

Students who enroll at the university commit to holding themselves and their peers to the high standard of honor required by the honor code. Any individual who becomes aware of a violation of the honor code is bound by honor to take corrective action. The quality of a University of Florida education is dependent upon community acceptance and enforcement of the honor code.

The Honor Code: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
On all work submitted for credit by students at the university, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”

The university requires all members of its community to be honest in all endeavors. A fundamental principle is that the whole process of learning and pursuit of knowledge is diminished by cheating,  plagiarism and other acts of academic dishonesty. In addition, every dishonest act in the academic environment affects other students adversely, from the skewing of the grading curve to giving unfair advantage for honors or for professional or graduate school admission. Therefore, the university will take severe action against dishonest students. Similarly, measures will be taken against faculty, staff and
administrators who practice dishonest or demeaning behavior.

Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean or Student Honor Court. 

It is assumed all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the instructor. 

This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course.

Software Use:

All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal  penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

Campus Helping Resources:

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general wellbeing are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. Both the Counseling Center and Student Mental Health Services provide confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance. The Counseling Center is located at 301 Peabody Hall (next to Criser Hall). Student Mental Health Services is located on the
second floor of the Student Health Care Center in the Infirmary.

  • University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, www.counsel.ufl.edu
  • Career Resource Center, CR-100 JWRU, 392-1602, www.crc.ufl.edu
  • Student Mental Health Services, Rm. 245 Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, www.shcc.ufl.edu/smhs
    • Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
    • Center for Sexual Assault / Abuse Recovery & Education (CARE)
    • Eating Disorders Program
    • Employee Assistance Program
    • Suicide Prevention Program

Students with Disabilities:

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.
0001 Reid Hall, 392-8565, www.dso.ufl.edu/drc