Vegetarian Newsletter

A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service

Vegetarian 00-07
July 2000
WB01645_.gif (935 bytes)Index Page

Adobe Acrobat .pdf

WB01647_.gif (256 bytes) VEGETABLE CROPS CALENDAR

WB01647a.gif (256 bytes) COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

WB01647b.gif (256 bytes) VEGETABLE GARDENING

(Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever possible, please give credit to the authors. The purpose of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing information and does not necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.)

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Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association Convention - July 19-21, Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. Contact Mary Hartney at 863-293-4827.

FSHS and ASHS Meetings - July 23-25. Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Lake Buena Vista. Contact Kathy Murphy at 407-673-7595 or go to the FSHS 2000 Annual Meeting site at http://valencia.lal.ufl.edu/jkbu/fshs/meeting%202000.html

Tomato Institute - Sept 6, 2000. For more information, contact Charlie Vavrina at 941-658-3400.

Florida Agricultural Conference and Trade Show (FACTS) - September 26-27. Civic Center, Lakeland, FL. Contact Elizabeth Lamb at 561-468-3922.

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Tomato Varieties for Florida

Variety selection, often made several months before planting, is one of the most important management decisions made by the grower. Failure to select the most suitable variety or varieties may lead to loss of yield or market acceptability.

The following characteristics should be considered in selection of tomato varieties for use in Florida.

* Yield - The variety selected should have the potential to produce crops at least equivalent to varieties already grown. The average yield in Florida is currently about 1400 25-pound cartons per acre. The potential yield of varieties in use should be much higher than average.

* Disease Resistance - Varieties selected for use in Florida must have resistance to Fusarium wilt, race 1 and race 2; Verticillium wilt (race 1); gray leaf spot; and some tolerance to bacterial soft rot. Available resistance to other diseases such as Fusarium wilt, race 3 may be important in certain situations

* Horticultural Quality - Plant habit, stem type and fruit size, shape, color, smoothness and resistance to defects should all be considered in variety selection.

* Adaptability - Successful tomato varieties must perform well under the range of environmental conditions usually encountered in the district or on the individual farm.

* Market Acceptability - The tomato produced must have characteristics acceptable to the packer, shipper, wholesaler, retailer and consumer. Included among these qualities are pack out, fruit shape, ripening ability, firmness, and flavor.

Current Variety Situation

Many tomato varieties are grown commercially in Florida, but only a few represent most of the acreage.

‘Florida 47’ was grown on about 36% of the acreage in Florida in the 1999-2000 season - a notable increase from the approximately 23% of the acreage the previous season. ‘Florida 47’ was grown on about 47% of the acreage in southwest Florida and 32% of the east coast acreage.

‘Sanibel’ had about 14% of the state’s acreage. It was the predominant variety in Miami-Dade County with almost 60% of the acreage.

All BHN varieties are lumped together and comprise about 13% of the state’s acreage, mostly in southwest Florida and north Florida.

‘Solar Set’ acreage increased to over 12% of the state total mostly in west-central Florida.

‘Florida 91’ acreage increased to about 7% from a fraction the previous year. The Palmetto-Ruskin area was the principal production site.

Other varieties with some acreage in the 1999-2000 season were the long-time popular ‘Agriset 761’ (5%), ‘Solimar’ (5%), and ‘Sun Chaser’ (2%). Many other varieties and advanced experimental hybrids were grown on less than 1% of the state’s acreage.

Tomato Variety Trial Results

Summary results listing the five highest yielding and the five largest fruited varieties from trials conducted at the University of Florida’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton; Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce and North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy for the Spring 1999 season are shown in Table 1. High total yields and large fruit were produced by ‘BHN 399’ at Bradenton, ‘Agriset 761’, ‘Solimar’ and ‘Floralina’ at Fort Pierce, and ‘Florida 7851’ at Quincy. ‘Florida 7815’ produced high yields at two of the three locations. ‘Sanibel’ produced large fruit at all three locations and ‘Solimar’ at two locations. Not all entries were grown at each location.

Table 1. Summary of University of Florida tomato variety trials. Spring 1999.

Location

Variety

Total Yield
(ctn/acre)

Variety

Large Fruit
Size (oz)

Bradenton

Sunpak

2878

BHN 399

7.0

PS 647095

2665

Solimar

6.9

Florida 7815

2647

Florida 7851

6.8

BHN 399

2642

Sanibel

6.8

ASX 9110

26351

ASX 202

6.82

Fort Pierce

Agriset 761

3620

Sunbeam

6.9

Florida 7815

3584

Florida 47

6.8

Florida 7862

3449

Solimar

6.2

Solimar

3185

Floralina

6.2

Floralina

31163

Agriset 761

6.1

Sanibel

6.14

Quincy

BHN 444

3379

Sunbeam

8.2

Florida 7862

3161

Florida 7851

8.1

BHN 248

2934

RFT 6131B

8.0

NC 96365

2891

Sanibel

7.9

Florida 7851

27955

PS 69696

7.96

119 other entries had yields similar to ASX 9110.
213 other entries had fruit weight similar to ASX 202.
36 other entries had yields similar to Floralina.
42 other entries had fruit weight similar to Sanibel.
518 other entries had yields similar to Florida 7851.
611 other entries had fruit weight similar to PS 69696.

Seed Sources:

Summary results listing the five highest yielding and five largest fruited entries from trials at the University of Florida’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton; the Indian River Research and Education Center, Ft. Pierce; and the North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy for the fall 1999 season are shown in Table 2. High total yields and large fruit size were produced by "Florida 7816’ at Bradenton; ‘Equinox’, ‘Florida 7816’, and ‘Florida 7921’ at Fort Pierce; and ‘BHN 120A’ and PX 647095 at Quincy. ‘Florida 7885’ and ‘Florida 7921’ produced high yields at all three locations. ‘Florida 7816’ produced large fruit at all locations. Again, not all entries were included at all locations.

Overall, results of these trials indicate that no single variety dominates the industry as during the periods when ‘Sunny’ and ‘Agriset 761’ were preeminent. Furthermore, varieties appear to be more location and seasonal specific than in the past.

Table 2. Summary of University of Florida tomato variety trial results. Fall 1999.

Location

Variety

Total Yield
(ctn/acre)

Variety

Large Fruit
Size (oz)

Bradenton

Florida 7885

2648

Florida 7816

6.9

Florida 7921

2445

BHN 190

6.8

BHN 273

2422

Solar Set

6.6

Florida 7816

2419

Florida 91

6.5

HA-3017B

23901

Sunbeam

6.5

Fort Pierce

Florida 7921

950

Sunbeam

5.0

Florida 7816

867

Florida 7816

4.9

Florida 7885

856

Solar Set

4.9

Agriset 761

821

Florida 7921

4.8

Equinox

8213

Equinox

4.8

Florida 47

4.84

Quincy

Florida 7885

2288

Florida 7816

6.3

Solar Set

2265

Florida 91

6.2

Florida 7921

2237

BHN 120A

6.1

PX 647095

2229

Captiva

6.1

BHN 120A

21975

PX 647095

6.0

Equinox

6.06

113 other entries had yields similar to HA-3017B.
211 other entries had fruit weight similar to Sunbeam.
35 other entries had yields similar to Equinox.
44 other entries had fruit weight similar to Florida 47.
512 other entries had yields similar to BHN 120A.
612 other entries had fruit weight similar to Equinox.

Seed Sources:

Tomato Varieties for Commercial Production

The varieties listed have performed well in University of Florida trials conducted in various locations.

Large Fruited Varieties

Agriset 761. Midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Fruit are deep globe and green shouldered. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot. (Agrisales).

BHN-444. Early-midseason maturity. Fruit are globe shape but tend to be slightly elongate, and green shouldered. Not for fall planting. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. For Trial. (BHN).

Florida 47. A late midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Uniform green, globe-shaped fruit. Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Asgrow).

Floralina. A midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Uniform, green shoulder, flattened globe-shaped fruit. Recommended for production on land infested with Fusarium wilt, Race 3. Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1, 2, and 3), Verticillium wilt (race 1), gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

HA 3057. Early-midseason maturity. Uniform green shoulder, flattened globe-shaped fruit. Heat tolerant. Resisant: Fusarium wilt (race 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), TMV, and TYLCV. For Trial. (Hazera).

Solar Set. An early, green-shouldered, jointed hybrid. Determinate. Fruit set under high temperatures (92oF day/72o night) is superior to most other commercial varieties. Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Asgrow).

Sanibel. A late-midseason, jointless, determinate hybrid. Deep oblate shape fruit with a green shoulder. Tolerant/resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, root-knot nematode, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

Solimar. A midseason hybrid producing globe-shaped, green shouldered fruit. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot. (Asgrow).

Sunbeam. Early midseason, deep-globe shaped uniform green fruit are produced on determinate vines. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and race 2), gray leaf spot, Alternaria. stem canker. (Asgrow).

Plum Type Varieties

Marina. Medium to large vined determinate hybrid. Rectangular, blocky, fruit may be harvested mature green or red. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).

Plum Dandy. Medium to large determinate plants. Rectangular, blocky, defect-free fruit for fresh-market production. When grown in hot, wet conditions, it does not set fruit well and is susceptible to bacterial spot. For winter and spring production in Florida. Resistant: Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt (race 1), early blight, and rain checking. (Harris Moran).

Spectrum 882. Blocky, uniform-green shoulder fruit are produced on medium-large determinate plants. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), root-knot nematode, bacterial speck (race 0), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

Supra. Determinate hybrid rectangular, blocky, shaped fruit with uniform green shoulder. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), nematodes, and bacterial speck. (Novartis).

Veronica. Tall determinate hybrid. Smooth plum type fruit are uniform ripening. Good performance in all production seasons. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).

Cherry Type Varieties

Mountain Belle. Vigorous, determinate type plants. Fruit are round to slightly ovate with uniform green shoulders borne on jointless pedicels. Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1), Verticillium wilt (race 1). For Trial. (Novartis).

Cherry Grande. Large, globe-shaped, cherry-type fruit are produced on medium-size determinate plants. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem blight, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

Reference

Maynard, D. N. (ed.). 2000. Vegetable variety trial results in Florida for 1999. Fla. Agr. Expt. Sta. Circ. S-396.

Tomato variety evaluations were conducted in 1999 by the following University of Florida faculty:

D. N. Maynard - Gulf Coast Research & Education Center - Bradenton
S. M. Olson -  North Florida Research & Education Center - Quincy
J. W. Scott -  Gulf Coast Research & Education Center - Bradenton
P. J. Stoffella - Indian River Research & Education Center - Fort Pierce

(Maynard and Olson, Vegetarian 00-07)


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Oriental Vegetables For Florida

In a modern world of mixed cultures it may be difficult to determine what really encompasses the Oriental crops. Traditionally these have been the edible plants cultivated by gardeners of Asian descent. But gardens of China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and neighboring countries today include both the old and new word crops.

Plantings of Chinese cabbage, daikon, kohlrabi and mizuna of Asia grow intermingled with peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes from the Americas. It appears all vegetables now grow in the Oriental garden. Only the varietal names may differ from one country to another.

Vegetable guides contain a popular listing of crops but may leave out some of your Oriental favorites. You probably won’t find mizuna listed in most guides. But if you remember it’s a type of mustard the planting dates of September through March can be quickly located for Florida.

It’s also helpful to know most related crops including all cabbages, broccoli and radishes are planted at the same time of the year. Sow seeds or set transplants of these vegetables in the ground during the late fall and winter seasons.

A few crops, due to their confusing common names, may give misleading planting dates. For example: Chinese spinach that’s stir-fried or added to soups is not a true spinach. It’s an amaranthus and needs the warm to hot months of March through September to produce the tender leafy portions. True spinach likes the colder months.

Another good vegetable, the winged bean does not follow traditional planting dates. Instead of a spring season, it prefers the fall months and must be planted August through October. Local planting schedules like the one included with this article can help with the crops most guides forget to include.

Today’s harvests are a mixture of vegetables from around the world but some of the most popular planting techniques are totally of Oriental descent. Gardeners are rediscovering the very ancient methods of producing big yields in small spaces.

You can call it square foot or raised bed culture but it’s really the century old method of Asian intensive gardening. Oriental farmers plant every square inch of available space. They use square, block and patch designs to plant their crops.

It’s an age old gardening technique for modern times. The size of the average garden nationwide has shrunk from 600 to about 200 square feet. Urban gardeners don’t have a lot of room and they are looking for an easy way to produce their crops.

Typical Oriental gardens are just 3 to 4 foot wide. It’s just wide enough to reach to the middle to plant, weed and harvest. The gardens vary in length depending on the space available. Small gardens are ideal for today’s cramped backyards, patios, entrance areas and even the walkways between adjoining properties.

Oriental gardens are usually constructed by mounding soil to produce 6 inch or higher beds that ensure good drainage. The raised bed also helps put the crops in easy reach. Many gardeners today add landscape timbers to contain the mounded soil. The wide wooden edges keep the garden neat and provides a place to sit while you work. Plastic wood-like beams and concrete blocks are also being utilized.

Enriching the soil is critical to traditional Oriental gardens. The ground is prepared with lots of organic matter. Adding compost and manure provides the nutrients needed by most crops. Often the gardens are produced without additional fertilizer throughout the growing season.

All sandy Florida soils benefit from the addition of organic matter. The decomposing plant portions and manures help hold moisture within the root zone of developing crops. Florida’s fall through spring seasons are the drier times of the year and moisture conservation is important.

Some Oriental gardens are constructed with a slightly concave bed or ridge of soil around the edge to help contain water during irrigation. This can be a valuable technique for local residents who find themselves watering every 3 to 4 days throughout the growing season.

Besides the additions of organic matter many gardeners also work a little fertilizer into the planting site. A good balance of nutrients is ensured by incorporating up to two pounds of a 6-6-6 fertilizer with every 100 square feet of garden prepared for planting.

After tilling the organic matter and fertilizer with the soil you are ready to plant. Oriental gardening techniques conserve space by planting crops close together. Seldom are wide rows left between vegetables - instead the plants are set next to each other with minimal spacings.

Crops are often planted in blocks. A planting of Chinese cabbage set 8- to 12-inches apart may abut winter onions with 1- to 2-inches between plants. Next to these crops might be plantings of edible pod peas trained to a trellis and then some mustard. There are no rows between the crops just between the beds.

Following are a few more tips to have a productive garden:

The gardening season doesn’t end when summer begins. Some very traditional Oriental vegetables including bitter melon, Chinese okra, jicama and yard-long beans thrive during the hot rainy weather.

Oriental Vegetables For Florida Gardens

Vegetable

Planting Time

Spacing (inches)

Days to Harvest

Rows

Plants

Bitter melon Mar-Sept 30-36 24-36 80-90
Chinese broccoli Oct-Jan 30-36 12-18 75-90
Chinese cabbage Oct-Jan 24-36 8-12 60-70
Chinese okra Mar-Sept 36-60 12-14 50-65
Chinese spinach Mar-Sept 24-36 3-6 40-50
Daikon (radish) Oct-Feb 30-36 4-6 60-70
Eggplant Jan-Mar 36-42 24-36 75-90
Aug-Sept
Garland chrysanthemum Sept-Mar 12-18 6-12 40-50
Jicama Mar-May 36-60 12-18 110-120
Kohlrabi Oct-Mar 24-30 3-5 70-80
Mizuna (mustard) Sept-Mar 12-18 6-12 30-40
Onions (green) Sept-Mar 12-24 1-2 50-75
Peas - edible pod Oct-Mar 24-36 2-3 50-70
Winged bean Aug-Oct 40-48 3-6 50-60
Winter melon Mar-Apr 60-90 36-48 140-150
Yard-long beans Mar-Sept 30-36 2-3 60-90

(MacCubbin, ext. agt. IV, Orange County, Vegetarian, 00-07)

Potassium, the Limiting Nutrient in Many Gardens

Vegetable gardening is popular in Santa Rosa County and all over the state. Unfortunately, some gardens are not producing up to their potential. Many years of observing gardens and reviewing soil test results have convinced me that the lack of maintaining sufficient levels of potassium is often a limiting factor.

Potassium is generally very soluble in our sandy soils and therefore leaches during periods of heavy rains and irrigation. Most gardeners are aware that nitrogen leaches readily and supplement that nutrient, as needed, during the growing season. Unfortunately, the same logic is often not applied to potassium.

The problem most frequently arises when dealing with vegetable gardeners from points north. Coming from areas where soils are heavier, with higher cation exchange capacities, they are accustomed to sidedressing, but only with a fertilizer containing nitrogen.

How many times have agents heard gardeners say that they have sidedressed with "Ammo-Nite" or other nitrogen fertilizers, but the plants didn’t always respond well? In many cases, the reason could have been because potassium was also low. In such situations, adding more nitrogen would create an even greater imbalance between these two major nutrients.

Five years of sap testing of tomatoes, strawberries and melons indicate that market producers encounter the same condition on light soils. Almost without exception, tests show plenty of nitrate nitrogen in the sap, but levels of potassium that are below the optimum. This requires recommendations to quickly adjust the K level. Without sap testing it would be easy to blame low production on other factors.

The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide - that familiar publication that we all use, specifically addresses this issue. On mineral soils, a fertilizer grade such as 15-0-15 is recommended for sidedressing.

Obviously, there are exceptions. Not everyone’s garden is low in potassium. Highly organic soils, or those well amended gardens with increased buffering capacity might maintain optimum potassium levels for the entire crop season. The average sandy Florida garden however, frequently benefits from supplemental potassium.

Periodic soil testing over several crop cycles reveals the ability of a particular soil to hold potassium and other nutrients. When sampling, timing is important. Samples should be taken several weeks following the basic fertilizer application after potassium levels have stabilized.

(Mullins, ext. agt. IV, Santa Rosa County, Vegetarian 00-07)

 

Florida’s Record-size Vegetables for Year 2000

As keeper of records for largest vegetables grown in our state (Florida), I have entered into our book the following five new records set so far in the year 2000.

Vegetable

Variety

Size

Grower

County

Date

1.Cantaloupe

Burgess NC Giant

34.47 lb

Thurber

Okaloosa

7/00

2.Corn

Skyscraper

3.0 lb

Graham

Suwannee

6/00

3.Kale

Dwarf Blue Vates

5 ft 6 in

Kelt

Duval

6/00

4.Mustard

Florida Broadleaf

11 lb 15 oz

Sedgwick

Palm Beach

1/00

5.Pumpkin

Dill’s Atlantic Giant

517 lb

Canniff

Manatee

6/00

Congratulations to these growers. I am sure it is just a matter of time until these records will be broken, perhaps by the same growers. Thanks to you agents who have helped verify these records. Thanks especially to Phyllis Gilreath, Manatee County agent, for doing the work to get the big pumpkin certified (see photo).

I noticed recently a television news story about a lady’s collard plant which measured about 11-12 feet tall. They made a lot to do about it, saying it might be a world’s record. Had someone just checked with the Extension Service, they would have found out it was not even a Florida state record. Our record of 13 feet 3 inches was set in 1993 by a Leon County gardener named Kelso.

Keep those records coming this way if you want your county to be recognized for something meaningful for a change.

Stephens.jpg (67313 bytes)

(Stephens, Vegetarian 00-07)

 

Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

Daniel J. Cantliffe
Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department
Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Professor, postharvest

Timothy E. Crocker
Professor, deciduous fruits and nuts, strawberry

Ronald W. Rice
Assistant Professor, nutrition
John Duvall
Assistant Professor, strawberry
Steven A. Sargent
Professor, postharvest
Chad Hutchinson
Assistant Professor, vegetable production
William M. Stall
Professor, weed control
Elizabeth M. Lamb
Assistant Professor, production
James M. Stephens
Professor and Editor, vegetable gardening
Yuncong Li
Assistant Professor, soils
Charles S. Vavrina
Associate Professor, transplants
Donald N. Maynard
Professor, varieties
James M. White
Associate Professor, organic farming
Stephen M. Olson
Professor, small farms


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