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Issue No. 580

The Vegetarian Newsletter 

A Horticultural Sciences Department Extension Publication on 
Vegetable and Fruit Crops 

Eat your Veggies and Fruits!!!!!

Publish Date: 
January 2013

Evaluation of ethnic vegetable crops of Asian and Hispanic origin

in South Florida

Xiaohui Fan, Shouan Zhang, Xiaodan Mo, Yuqing Fu and Zhiguang Liu

Tropical Research and Education Center,

University of Florida, IFAS

Homestead, FL 33031

INTRODUCTION

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Florida in 2012 was 19,057,542 and the total US population was 311,591,917. In Florida and the US, Asian populations account for 2.6% and 5.0%; respectively, whereas the percentage of Hispanic or Latino origin is 22.9% and 16.7%; respectively.  The Asian and Hispanic population in Florida and  in the US is expected to increase in the coming years.

The dramatic increase in immigrant populations has had a significant effect on the vegetable market in the US. The US market has been experiencing a significant increase in the demands of fresh ethnic vegetables. This increase demand will create a great opportunity for farmers who grow ethnic vegetable crops that are highly demanded by the expanding market.

In collaboration with scientists in northeastern US states, we have conducted field trials since 2010 on the farm at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Florida. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of select ethnic vegetable crops in South Florida. Four major groups of ethnic vegetables including Chinese, Asian Indian, Puerto Rican, and Mexican types of vegetables were chosen in this study. Data on the growth of ethnic vegetables in the field were collected to assess the suitability of these vegetables in South Florida. This report summarizes the data from our 2012 trials.

580.1.1.jpg

Figure 1. Chives-Chinese Leek Flower grew slowly and produced little biomass, which is unsuitable crop grown in South Florida

580.1.2.jpg

Figure 2. Papaloqeulite grew vigorously, which is suitable crop grown in South Florida

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The field experiments were conducted during May - August in 2012 at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), University of Florida in Homestead, Florida (25°31'N, 80° 30'W).  As shown in Figure 1, the highest daily air temperatures ranged from 76 to 95˚F and lowest daily air temperatures were between 67 and 81˚F during the time period of the field experiment.

The beds were prepared for vegetable cultivation that were 30 in wide and centered 4 ft apart.  The soil of raised beds was previously fumigated with methyl bromide (MC33) at 250 lb. per acre and covered with metalized plastic mulch. Granula fertilizer (6:3:16) was applied at 70 lb. of nitrogen per acre when metalized plastic beds were wrapped up.  Starting two weeks after planting or transplanting, a liquid fertilizer (4:0:8) was injected into the beds twice a week through drip lines.

Seeds were directly seeded or seedlings were transplanted into the soil of the beds 24 in apart within rows. Each plot consisted of a 15 ft section with a 4 ft buffer zone between adjacent plots. There were three rows within one bed with plant spacing of 24 in between any two adjacent plants. Seven plants were planted in each row of a plot, and a total of 21 plants were grown for each plot.

A total of 27 ethnic vegetables were tested in this experiment including 11 vegetable crops in Asian Indian group [sorrel, amaranth, fenugreek, radish (white ‘Icicle’), radish (white ‘Hailstone’), malabar spinach (red vine), malabar spinach (green vine), Swiss chard (Bionda Di Lyon), Swiss chard (bright yellow), Swiss chard (Rhubarb), and Asian Indian green zobo], eight in Chinese group [Shanghai bok choy-Pac Chi Mei Qing Choi (hybrid), pac choi black summer F1 (hybrid), sugar pea , chives- Chinese leek flower, garlic chives, Shugiku chrysanthemum, shepherd’s purse and purple-flowering choy sum Z], six in the Mexican group [papalo-papaloquelite, magenta spreen, yellow purslane, red purslane, Mexican oregano and Cuban oregano], and two in the Puerto Rican group [dandelion and lettuce].

DATA COLLECTION

When vegetable plants were mature, samples of the plants were collected.  In each plot, five plants were sampled and plant height and the whole plant fresh weight above ground were measured related with plant growth, for radish, only root data was collected because root is edible part for this vegetable.  In this paper, we only list plant height and fresh weight in each table due to the space limit. Based on overall growth performance, comments were given in the tables to each crop evaluated.

 580.1.3.JPG

Figure 1. Daily air temperature during the period of vegetable growth (daily lowest and highest air temperatures recorded by the FAWN station at TREC)

RESULTS

Selected parameters related to plant growth from 27 vegetables are listed in Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4. Based on data collected and overall field performance, in Asian Indian group, amaranth,  radish (white ‘Icicle’ and  white ‘Hailstone’), malabar spinach (red vine and greenvine), Swiss chard (Bionda Di Lyon, bright yellow and  Rhubarb)  and Asian Indian green zobo grew well under the field conditions in Homestead.  Sorrel and fenugreek grew poorly and the yield was low. These two vegetables are not suitable to grow in South Florida during May to August of a year.

In the Chinese group, Shanghai bok choy-Pac Chi Mei Qing Choi (hybrid), pac choi black summer F1 (hybrid), shepherd’s purse and purple-flowering choy sum Z grew vigorously. Chives-Chinese leek flower, garlic chives, Shugiku chrysanthemum grew slowly and the biomass was less in this group compared to remaining crops. Sugar pea grew well in the first month and then stopped growing. Hence, these four vegetables are not suitable to grow in South Florida.

In the Mexican group, papalo-papaloquelite, magenta spreen, Mexican oregano and Cuban oregano grew fast. Yellow purslane and red purslane did not grow well, and yield was low. Purslane is not suitable to grow in South Florida. Dandelion and lettuce from the Puerto Rican group grew slowly and produced little yield in this field experiment. Overall, 16 out of 27 vegetables tested in Homestead grew well during May –August of 2012. These 16 vegetables could be recommended to farmers in South Florida after further experiments are conducted and economic profit is justified.  

Table 1.  2012 Growth performance of ethnic vegetables from Asian Indian group in Hmestead, FL

Vegetable name (Variety)

Sowing or transplanting date

Harvest date

Plant Height (cm)

Fresh
weight
(g/plant
)

Comments

Sorrel

5/21

8/13

26.4

96.1

 slow growth with low yield

Amaranth

5/21

7/10

58

177.8

grew vigorously with an excellent yield

Fenugreek

5/21

8/7

28.4

55.9

slow growth with poor yield

Radish

(white “Icicle”)

5/21

7/18

53.2

366.5 (root) only

grew fast with  excellent yield

Radish (White  “Hailstone”)

5/29

7/25

27

185 (root)only

grew well, good yield

Malabar spinach (red vine)

5/22

7/25

65.6

919.1

grew vigorously

Malabar Spinach (Green Vine)

5/29

7/25

65.4

798.6

grew uniformly and vigorously

Swiss chard (Bionda Di Lyon)

5/22

7/23

52.4

857.4

grew fast, excellent yield

Swiss Chard (Bright Yellow)

5/29

7/23

48.2

523.5

grew fast, high yield

Swiss chard (Rhubarb)

5/29

7/23

32.2

338.6

grew fast, high yield

Asian Indian green zobo

5/29

8/1

60

489.7

grew uniformly and vigorously

Table 2.  2012 Growth performance of ethnic vegetables from Chinese group in Homestead, FL

Vegetable name (Variety)

Sowing or transplanting date

Harvest date

Plant Height (cm)

Fresh
weight
(g/plant
)

Comments

Shanghai Bok Choy-Pac Chi Mei Qing Choi (hybrid)

5/22

7/18

27.9

516.6

grew rapidly, excellent  yield

Pac Choi Black Summer F1 (hybrid) 

5/29

7/12

19.1

258.8

grew very well, high yield

Sugar pea

5/21

-

-

-

grew well in the first month and did not grow after that without yield

Chives-Chinese Leek Flower

5/21

8/13

24.7

14  (plants /hole)

grew very slowly, poor yield

Garlic chives

5/22

8/15

20.9

6.4 (plants /hole)

grew very slowly, low yield

Shugiku chrysanthemum

7/12

8/15

11.2

13.9

grew slowly, very low yield

Shepherd’s purse

7/12

8/13

4.8

8.8

growth pretty good

Purple-flowering choy sum Z

5/29

7/23

19.6

163.2

grew well and uniform

Table 3.  2012 Growth performance of ethnic vegetables from Mexican group in Homestead, FL

Vegetable name (Variety)

Sowing or transplanting date

Harvest date

Plant Height (cm)

Fresh
weight
(g/plant
)

Comments

Papalo-Papaloquelite

5/22

8/7

86

641.8

grew uniformly and vigorously  

Magenta spreen

5/29

7/25

85

150.8

good growth

Yellow purslane

5/22

7/12

19.2

42.8

grew slowly, very low yield

Red purslane

5/22

7/23

26.0

126

grew slowly, low yield

Mexican oregano

5/30

8/15

74.0

270.8

The plants were healthy and grew rapidly

Cuban oregano

5/29

8/13

15.4

186.3

good growth

Table 4. 2012 Growth performance of ethnic vegetables from Puerto Rican group in Homestead, FL

Vegetable name (Variety)

Sowing or transplanting date

Harvest date

Plant Height (cm)

Fresh
weight
(g/plant
)

Comments

Dandelion

7/2

8/15

14.7

7.1

grew very slowly, poor yield

Lettuce

5/22

8/1

16.2

128.8

grew slowly, low yield

REFERENCES

U.S. Census Bureau Source: US Census Bureau State & County QuickFacts, 2011. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html


Low-Input, Sustainable Cultivar Trial at the NFREC-Quincy

Peter C. Andersen

The acreage of pecan (Carya illinoensis) trees in Florida has declined during the last 20 years, although this acreage (8,600 acres) exceeds that of all deciduous fruit in Florida combined.  Pecan trees can be grown without a great deal of care, but consistently high yield are not likely without a rigorous spray program. The most important limitation to pecan production in the southeastern United States is a fungal disease called pecan scab (Cladosporium carigenum).  Pecan scab causes black spots on developing leaves and nutlets and can lead to premature defoliation and complete crop loss. There are many races of pecan scab and they are constantly evolving. For example, twenty years ago Cape Fear and Stuart had good scab resistance, but now have only average resistance. The fungus spreads rather slowly from location to location, and all races of pecan scab are not equally distributed geographically.

Control of scab is particularly difficult in wet years. In general, 8 to 12 fungicide spray applications are required to control scab on susceptible cultivars. Cultivars with excellent scab resistance are denoted by no scab has occurring without the application of fungicides in a wet year. Cultivars with good scab resistance require a modest fungicide spray program (2 to 4 applications) in wet years. Cultivars with average scab resistance generally require a prophylactic fungicide spray schedule except in years with little rainfall. Cultivars with poor scab resistance require a strict fungicide spray program during all years. Powerful air blast sprayers are required to obtain spray coverage of trees that can be more than 70 feet tall. Several hundred pecan cultivars are currently available, but relatively few have enough pecan scab resistance to be recommended for north Florida.  There is renewed interest in growing pecans due to increased demand from China, India and other emerging nations.

At the NFREC-Quincy a low–input, sustainable pecan trial was initiated in February 2011. In this trial the pecan cultivars with excellent scab resistance thus far are Amling, Elliot, Excel, Gafford, Kanza and Lakota. Cultivars with good scab resistance include Creek, Curtis, Gloria Grande, Moreland and Sumner. Average scab resistance is represented by Apalachee, Caddo, Cape Fear, Kiowa, Oconee, Melrose and Stuart. Forkert, and especially Desirable and Pawnee have poor scab resistance. Many of these cultivars have not been trialed in Florida. Tree growth, yield, nut quality and insect and disease resistance will be monitored over the next ten years. For more information consult EDIS publications (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu) “The Pecan Tree” HS982; or “Pecan Cultivars for North Florida” HS106.