Vegetarian Newsletter

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

Vegetarian 00-09
September 2000

WB01645_.gif (935 bytes)Index Page

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WB01647_.gif (256 bytes) VEGETABLE CROPS CALENDAR

WB01647a.gif (256 bytes) COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

WB01647b.gif (256 bytes) VEGETABLE GARDENING

List of Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

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

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Florida Association of Extension Professionals 2000 Professional Improvement Meeting & Administrative Conference - September 11-15, Hutchinson Island, Marriott and Marion, Stuart, FL http://extension.ifas.ufl.edu for registration form and hotel information.
The FL-107 Design Team will meet during breakfast (September 15, 7:00 - 9:00 AM) at the Florida Agriculture Extension Professionals Meeting. Check out this web site for more information. http://district1.extension.ifas.ufl.edu/FAEP2000/faep_administrative_session%205-04-00.htm   Contact: Steve Sargent
Florida Agricultural Conference and Trade Show (FACTS) - September 26-27. Civic Center, Lakeland, FL. Contact Elizabeth Lamb at 561-468-3922.
2000 FACTS Meeting, Florida Postharvest Horticulture Institute - September 26-27
This year’s theme: "Maximizing Produce Quality through Effective Cooling". Cosponsored by: Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. Contact Steve Sargent at 352-392-1928 x215.
Leadership in Vegetables (LIV) South Florida (southern region FL 107) - November 2 ,10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Immokalee, FL. Contact Charlie Vavrina at 941-658-3400.

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Spring 2000 GCREC Cantaloupe Variety Evaluation

Cantaloupe is included in the melon group Cucumis melo cantalupensis in the Cucurbitaceae family. Cantaloupes are a relatively minor crop in Florida so there are no data available on commercial acreage, yield, production or value. However, there was a great increase in spring 2000 production in west-central Florida indicating the potential for a strong commercial cantaloupe industry in Florida.

The principal restraint on expansion of the cantaloupe industry in Florida has been the lack of dependable, high quality varieties. The ideal shipping variety for Florida should combine the following traits: 1) capacity to produce high yields; 2) fruit that is sutureless or nearly so, round to slightly oval, fully netted, a minimum 3 lb. weight with a thick, deep salmon interior, a small, tight seed cavity, and high soluble solids; 3) a pleasant aroma and taste; and 4) resistance to fruit rots and foliar diseases, especially downy and powdery mildew. Despite the absence of an intensive private and public breeding effort specifically for Florida, some material approaches these qualities. The object of this trial was to further evaluate outstanding varieties from the 1999 trial to identify non-sutured or slightly sutured, heavily netted cantaloupe varieties for potential production in west central Florida.

The EauGallie fine sand was prepared in early March by incorporation of 0-0.8-0 lb. N-P205-K20 per 100 linear bed feet (lbf). Beds were formed and fumigated with methylbromide:chloropicrin, 67:33 at 2.3 lb/100 lbf. Banded fertilizer was applied in shallow grooves on the bed shoulders at 2.52-0-3.50 lb N-P205-K20/100 lbf after the beds were pressed and before the black polyethylene mulch was applied. The final beds were 32-in. wide and 8-in. high, and were spaced on 5-ft centers with six beds between seepage irrigation/drainage ditches which were on 41-ft centers.

Eleven cantaloupe hybrids were direct seeded on 21 March in holes that were punched 2 ft apart in the black polyethylene mulch. The 20-ft long plots contained 10 plants each and were replicated four times in a randomized, complete block design. Weed control in row middles was by cultivation and application of paraquat. Pesticides were applied as needed for control of silverleaf whitefly (endosulfan and imidacloprid), downy mildew (chlorothalonil and azoxystrobin), and lepidopteris larvae (Bacillus thuringiensis, spinosad, and methomyl). Plant stand counts recorded just before the vines grew together showed that the stand of ‘Market Dream’ was only 70% and significantly lower than other entries despite reseeding.

Cantaloupes were harvested seven times beginning on 5 June and ending on 19 June. Marketable fruit were separated from culls that included fruit weighing less than 2.0 lb or that were cracked, rotted, or poorly shaped. Observations were made on fruit shape, sutures, and netting. Soluble solids were determined with a hand-held digital refractometer on several fruit from each entry on several harvest dates.

Early yields as represented by the first two of seven harvests ranged from 36 cwt/acre for ‘Market Dream’ to 367 cwt/acre for ‘Athena’. ‘Eclipse’ early yields was 364 cwt/acre. Average fruit weight of early-harvested cantaloupes varied from 3.5 pounds for ‘Sweet America’ to 8.6 pounds for ‘Minerva’.

Total marketable yields for the entire season varied from 265 cwt/acre for ‘Market Dream’ to 681 cwt/acre for ‘Minerva’. Three other entries had yields similar to those of ‘Minerva’. Average fruit weight ranged from 3.6 pounds for ‘Sweet America’ to 8.3 pounds for ‘Minerva’ which was statistically superior to all other entries. Soluble solids varied from 10.0% for HMX 7608 to 12.5% for ‘Vienna’. Very good internal quality is used to describe cantaloupes containing not less than 11% soluble solids. Using this criterion, only HMX 7608 would fail to qualify for very good internal quality. Cull fruit was between 56 cwt/acre for ‘Eclipse’ and 237 cwt/acre for ‘Market Dream’, despite having a reduced plant stand. The principal causes of cull fruit were stem-end cracks, fruit rots, misshapen fruit and undersized fruit. Marketable fruit per plant varied from 1.7 for ‘Vienna’ to 3.5 for ‘Sweet America’, but there was no significant difference among the entries.

Cantaloupe variety evaluation was conducted at this location in the spring 1999 season. Previous trials were in the spring 1988, 1990, and 1991 seasons. Total marketable yields from commercial hybrids in 2000 varied from 265 cwt/acre to 681 cwt/acre; in 1999 they ranged from 382 cwt/acre to 660 cwt/acre; in 1991 yields varied from 327 cwt/acre to 547 cwt/acre; in 1990 yields of commercial hybrids ranged from 300 to 566 cwt/acre. Accordingly, yields in 1999 and 2000 appear to be about 100 cwt/acre greater than those obtained almost a decade ago. Also, some of the more recently introduced hybrids are more dependable producers and have better shipping qualities than those previously available.

A complete report on this trial is available from the author at dnma@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

Table 1. Early and total marketable yields, average fruit weight, soluble solids, cull weight, fruit per plant, and plant stand for cantaloupe. Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton. Spring 2000.

   

Early Harvest1

Total Harvest

   

Entry

Source

Marketable (cwt/A)2

Avg fruit wt (lb)

Marketable (cwt/A)2

Avg fruit wt (lb)

Soluble solids (%)

Cull (cwt/A)2,4

Fruit per plant

Plant stand (%)

Minerava (RML 6969)

Novartis

112 e-f 3

8.6 a

681a

8.3 a

11.4 ab

140 a-c

2.0 a

98 a

Athena

Novartis

367 a

5.4 cd

625 ab

5.6 c

11.8 ab

59 c

2.7 a

98 a

HMX 7608

Harris Moran

160 d-f

4.4 ef

611 ab

4.8 d

10.0 c

141 a-c

3.0 a

98 a

Eclipse

Petoseed

364 a

5.9 c

591 ab

5.8 c

12.4 a

56 c

2.4 a

100 a

SMX 7119

Sunseeds

344 ab

7.0 b

534 bc

7.0 b

11.9 ab

233 ab

1.9 a

95 a

Vienna

Asgrow

253 b-d

7.5 b

519 bc

7.1 b

12.5 a

111 bc

1.7 a

100 a

Star Fire

Harris Moran

192 c-e

4.7 de

514 bc

4.8 d

11.1 bc

136 a-c

2.5 a

100 a

American Fun

United Genetics

111 e-f

4.0 ef

504 bc

4.0 ef

12.2 ab

104 c

3.0 a

95 a

Sweet Eagle

United Genetics

275 a-c

4.1 ef

404 cd

4.1 ef

12.2 ab

106 bc

2.3 a

100 a

Sweet America

United Genetics

82 fg

3.5 f

286 de

3.6 f

11.7 ab

179 a-c

3.5 a

80 ab

Market Dream

United Genetics

36 g

4.2 ef

265 e

4.5 de

11.4 ab

237 a

2.2 a

70 b

1 First two of seven harvests.
2 Acre = 8712 linear bed feet.
3 Mean separation in columns by Duncan’s multiple range test, 5% level.
4 By weight.

(Maynard, Vegetarian 00-08)

Reflective Mulches and Their Effect on Tomato
Yield and Insect and Disease Management

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) was first documented in the north Florida/ south Georgia production area in 1986. In the beginning the virus was at a low level with periodic outbreaks in the fall. In the past few years it has become a serious problem in the spring crop, with incidence ranging from as little as 10 % to almost 100 %. Most losses from TSWV are due to primary infection, which past research has shown that primary infection can not be prevented with insecticide sprays. Secondary infection within a field can however be reduced by insecticide applications. The primary vector in the spring has been the Western Flower Thrips (WFT). At this time the lack of reliable management tactics stands as a major impediment to the implementation of integrated pest management in tomatoes in the southeastern United States.

For the past 5 years experiments have been conducted at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC), Quincy to investigate tactics that can reduce WFT numbers and incidence of TSWV. Potential management strategies would include those which prevent or slow the initial movement of thrips onto plants in the tomato fields, which would reduce the primary spread of TSWV. One such tactic which is showing a great deal of promise is use of highly reflective (metalized) mulches. These metalized mulches have a thin layer of aluminum applied to a polyethylene mulch and usually have reflectance levels of 75 % or higher.

Insect and Disease Control: In replicated spring trials from 1996 through 2000, metalized mulches have consistently reduced WFT numbers by up to 50 % in tomato flowers. When the number of thrips is reduced, the primary spread of TSWV is also reduced. For example, in 1997, nearly 40 % of plants grown on black mulch were infected, while only about 20 to 25 % of plants grown on metalized mulch plots were infected with TSWV at harvest time.

Large scale grower trials have also been evaluated. In early April of 1998 approximately 1 acre of a 15 acre tomato field had metalized mulch applied. Early growth was slower than the black mulch due the cooling effect of the metalized mulch. As temperatures increased the growers remarked that the plants on the metalized beds caught up with the plants on the black mulch and by the end of the season the plants on the metalized beds were larger than those on the black mulch. The 1 acre block was scouted separately from the rest of the field. By harvest time the incidence of TSWV was only 10 % in the metalized area compared to 19 % in the black mulch area. In the spring of 2000 these same growers had a field of 30 acres where they used the metalized mulch for tomato production. At final scouting date (6/18/00), the metalized field had an incidence of 11 % compared to 45 % in the black mulched area, a 75 % reduction in virus.

Yields: The metalized mulch was also evaluated for its effect on tomato yield and fruit size. In the spring of 1998, with ‘FL 47' tomatoes, the black mulch produced significantly higher yield on a per plant basis than those on the metalized mulch beds (Table 1). However, on a per acre basis there were no differences in yields between the two mulch systems. One reason for this is that the metalized mulches are much cooler than the black mulch due to the reflection of sunlight back up away from the beds. Early season growth on the metalized mulch is mulch slower, thus the reduction in yield on a per plant basis. Early season soil temperatures have been more than ten degrees cooler under the metalized mulch than the black mulch. However, the overall yields with the metalized mulch were equal to those produced on the black mulch due to the reduction of TSWV with the metalized mulch. Fruit size was not affected by mulch type. Because of this cooling effect on soils we do not recommend use of metalized mulches for late February or early March planting in the north Florida/ south Georgia production area.

In the fall of 1998, production on metalized mulch was compared to production on white on black mulch which is standard for fall (mid July to mid August) planting. From earlier trials the metalized films were found to have even greater cooling effects on beds than the white on black. Neither yields or fruit size of ‘Equinox’ tomatoes were affected by mulch type (Table 2).

In the spring of 1999, from a late March planting, neither yields or fruit size were affected by mulch type (Table 3). Early production season of 1999 was warmer than 1998 negating early growth differences. Also incidence of TSWV was not affected by mulch type, probably due to plot to plot interference of mulch type. In our experiments we have found the presence of the metalized mulch can have an affect on plots as far away as 18 feet and can confound small plot trials.

Summary: The use of metalized mulches in tomato production for suppression of WFT numbers and incidence of TSWV has shown great promise. Our research has shown that use of the metalized mulch can result in a reduction in TSWV even greater than currently labeled insecticides when compared to unsprayed controls. Costs of the metalized mulch are about 25 % higher than that of other mulches currently used in tomato production, but large scale field trials have shown that the extra costs are justified due to the suppression of TSWV. At this time we do not recommend their use for early spring plantings due to their cooling effect on the beds. In some grower trials, we have looked at using metalized strips in the drive rows during early plantings and have shown reduction in TSWV in the rows next to the metalized strip. We also plan to evaluate painting a narrow strip black down the middle of the metalized beds to look at the effect on early plantings for yields and thrips and TSWV control. The metalized mulches are hard for the field crews to work around due to their blinding effect and growers have had to provide sunglasses to their field help. 

Table 1. Effect of mulch type on yield and fruit size of FL 47 tomatoes. NFREC, Quincy, FL. Spring, 1998.

Mulch

Lbs/plant

Boxes/acre

Fruit wt. (oz)

Metalized

10.67

1311

7.4

Black

12.06

1277

7.3

P level

0.05

ns

ns

 

Table 2. Effect of mulch type on yield and fruit size of Equinox tomatoes. NFREC, Quincy, FL. Fall 1998.

Mulch

Boxes/acre

Fruit wt. (oz)

White on black

1468

5.9

Metalized

1488

5.9

P level

ns

ns

 

Table 3. Effect of mulch type of yield and fruit size of FL 47 tomatoes. NFREC, Quincy, FL. Spring, 1999.

Mulch

Boxes/a

Fruit wt. (oz)

Metalized

2257

8.0

Black

2189

7.9

P level

ns

ns

(Olson, Vegetarian 00-08)

 

Performance of Bell Pepper Varieties,
Delray Beach, FL, Fall/Winter 1999-2000

The value of fresh market green bell peppers was $243 million for the 1998-99 season (Fla. Agric. Stat. Serv., 2000). During that season 21.6 million bushels (28-lbs) were harvested from 19,000 acres for an average yield of 1,138 bushels per acre. The average price per bushel was $11.24. Pepper production is concentrated in South Florida with 25% (4,700 acres) being produced in Eastern Palm Beach County. Bacterial leaf spot, caused by Xanthomonas compestris pv.vesicatoria, is one of the most widespread and serious diseases affecting production of pepper in Florida (Pohronezny et al., 1993 and Pernezny et al., 1998). Pepper varieties with resistance to races 1, 2, and 3 of the pathogen have been commercially available for several years and seed companies continue to develop new cultivars with resistance to this disease (Shuler, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and Shuler et al., 2000).

Experimental Design: Forty-three varieties were replicated in a complete block with four replications for the evaluation of green fruit. All of the varieties were resistant to bacterial spot races 1, 2, and 3 except PR 93-2-1 (resistant to race 2 only) and Paladin (no resistance). The demonstration was in a commercial planting managed by Thomas Produce, Inc. and located at Bob West Rd., and US 441, Delray Beach, FL. The soil type was a Myakka sand.

Plots were single beds spaced 5.0 feet on center and 9.0 feet long with two rows of plants spaced 18 inches apart. Within-row plant spacing was 9 inches (12 plants per row or 24 plants per plot, 23,232 plants per acre).

Crop Culture and Evaluation: Transplants were grown by LaBelle Plant World in flats (228 cell) and were seeded September 9. Plants were 47 days old when transplanted on October 26, 1999. Plants were set on raised beds with white on white polyethylene plastic mulch. The beds had been fumigated with methyl bromide/chloropicrin 67/33. Severely weakened and dying plants were counted on October 28 and November 4 and 10 and replaced with original transplants. Plots were also evaluated for either dead or weakened plants on November 18 and at each harvest, but these plants were not reset. The plants were relatively small and were not tied.

Green peppers were picked three times: January 26, February 16, and March 9. At each harvest marketable fruit were counted and weighed. At first pick ten pepper each from two blocks were randomly selected and measured for length and width, number of lobes, and pointed and blunted fruit were counted. Colored fruit (red or yellow) from a separate block were picked four times: February 8, 17, 29, and March10 and evaluated for softness, sunburn, flat and misshapen, soft rot, stip, and for being completely colored with no green showing. Incidence of bacterial leaf spot was relatively low for most varieties; varieties were rated for the disease on January 27 (one day after first pick).

Weather and Crop Conditions: Weather was considered moderately favorable for crop growth. On October 15, after the beds were made, Hurricane Irene passed by bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall with temporary flooding which may have leached out some of the preplant fertilizer. Two weeks after transplanting, leaves of some plants had a light yellow caste and the plants seemed to stop growing. After three weeks the yellowing seemed to be confined mostly to the lower, older leaves. This yellowing/stunted response seemed to be associated with specific plant rows since by the third week most of the plants had darker green foliage and had resumed growth.

Results and Discussion: Varieties are listed in order of total yield for green fruit, Table 1. For most of the columns of data, values for the top ten varieties are in bold face. Desirable characteristics for pepper include high yields, large fruit (low numbers of fruit/carton), ratio of length to width near 1.00 (blocky), a high percentage of 3 and 4 lobed fruit with the average number of lobes near 4.0, and a low percentage of blunt or pointed fruit. Fruit characteristics (length and width, number of lobes, and blunt or pointed fruit) were only evaluated for the first pick when fruit size is usually the largest. A low rating in any one of these areas could be a reason for not growing a variety.

Green Fruit There were relatively small differences in yield between varieties with a range of 107 cartons/A for the top five varieties, a range of 74 cartons/A for varieties ranked 6-10, and a range of 54 cartons/A for varieties ranked 11-15. Four of the top ten yielding varieties were also among the top ten in fruit size (Enza 31702, Lafayette (5044, yellow), Rogers 6088, and PR 93-2-1). All of these four were considered blocky to slightly elongated except Lafayette which was slightly flattened (length to width ratio 0.94). Each of these four had 100% 3 & 4 lobed fruit except Rogers 6088 which had 90%. Five of the top 10 yielding varieties were considered very blocky (length to width ratio 0.95 to 1.10): Orion, Crusader, Rogers 6088, PR 93-2-1, and ACX 217. There were 11 varieties which had no blunt or pointed fruit at the blossom end; only one of these varieties, Sentry, was among the top10 in yield. Three of the top 10 yielding varieties had only 5% blunt or pointed fruit at the blossom end.

Colored Fruit Fruit which were picked were considered to be in some stage of color development on approximately 67% of their surface. It is not known how quickly or completely these fruit would have turned to full color.

In the Fall 1998 demonstration, a grower selected four varieties at first pick as being especially desirable for red fruit [Sakata 6112, Crusader (6110), Legionnaire (6089), and Lexington]. In the Fall 1999 demonstration, the primary cause for culls was fruit with soft or wrinkled sides. This may indicate that fruit were over mature when picked. If fruit had been picked earlier there would have probably have been less loss to this problem. Stip was only found in five of the 43 varieties (Paladin, X3R Camelot, X3R Wizard, Sakata 7118, and Rogers 6088). Paladin had the largest number of fruits with stip with 23.2%. The severity of stip was very light to light and it was judged that many of the fruit would have been marketable.

Literature Cited

Florida Agricultural Statistics Service. 2000. Vegetable summary 1998-99. Florida Agric. Stat. Serv., Orlando, FL.

Pohronezny, K., R. E. Stall, S. Subramanya, and K. D.Shuler. 1993. Integrated control of bacterial spot on peppers. Florida Grower and Rancher. 86(6):8.

Pernezny, Ken, Robert Stall, Ken Shuler, Janice Collins, and Myrene Hewitt. 1998. Results of a survey of bacterial spot races (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria) in pepper in South Florida, spring 1998. Palm Beach County Extension Report (PBCER) 1998-9.

Shuler, K. D. 1993. Performance of bell pepper varieties with resistance to bacterial spot, DuBois Growers, Boynton Beach, FL, fall/winter 1993. PBCER 1994-1.

Shuler, K. D. 1993. Effect of different within-row plant spacings and tying on bell pepper yield, DuBois Growers, Boynton Beach, FL, fall/winter 1993. PBCER 1994-3.

Shuler, K. D. 1995. Performance of bell pepper varieties with resistance to bacterial spot, DuBois Farms, Boynton Beach, FL, fall/winter 1994. PBCER 1995-2.

Shuler, K. D. 1996. Performance of bell pepper varieties, Thomas Produce, Boca Raton, FL, winter/spring 1995-96. PBCER 1996-6.

Shuler, K. D. 1997. Performance of bell pepper varieties over seven sequential plantings in Southeast Florida, 1996-97. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 110: 287-294.

Shuler, K. D. 1998. Performance of bell pepper varieties, planting #2, Green Cay Farm, Boynton Beach, FL, fall 1997-98. PBCER 1998-2.

Shuler, K. D. 1998. Performance of bell pepper varieties, planting #3, Thomas Produce, One Mile Road Farm, Delray Beach, FL, fall/winter 1997-98. PBCER 1998-3.

Shuler, K. D. 1998. Performance of bell pepper varieties, planting #4, Bedner Farms, Bowman Land, Starkey Road, Delray Beach, FL, fall/winter 1997-98. PBCER 1998-4.

Shuler, K. D. 1999. Performance of bell pepper varieties, DuBois Farm, Delray Beach, FL, winter/spring 1998-99. PBCER 1999-2.

Shuler, K. D., K. L. Pernezny, and J. L. Collins. 2000. Performance of bell pepper varieties, Thomas Produce, Snake Farm, Delray Beach, FL, fall/winter 1999-2000. PBCER 2000-2.

Table 1. Summary of yield and fruit characteristics for a bell pepper variety demonstration, Thomas Produce, Snake Farm, Bob West Road, Delray Beach., Florida, 1999-2000.z

Plot no.

Variety

Seed Source

B. spot race resistance

25 lb crtsn/A

No. fruits/crn.

Fruits per plant

Length x width (inches)y

Ratio
l x wy,x

3 & 4 lobes (%)y

Avg. no. lobesy

Blunt pointed (%)y

Stip (%)w

% defoliation (bact. spot)v

First pick

Total

41

Enza 31702

Enza

1,2,3

1526

1965 a

44.7

3.90 a-d

3.99 x 3.59

1.11

100

3.7

5

0

3.8 bc

39

Orion

Enza

1,2,3

1390

1929 a-b

48.6

4.10 a-c

3.74 x 3.72

1.01

90

3.7

20

0

6.4 a

4

Lafayette u

Rogers

1,2,3

1476

1923 a-c

43.8

3.82 a-f

3.79 x 4.03

0.94

100

3.4

5

0

2.2 c-h

7

Crusader, 6110

Rogers

1,2,3

1398

1890 a-d

51.0

4.23 ab

3.72 x 3.69

1.01

95

3.6

10

0

2.8 b-h

6

RPP 6088

Rogers

1,2,3

1430

1858 a-e

48.3

4.23 ab

4.04 x 3.82

1.06

90

3.6

10

1

2.1 c-h

16

ACX 223

A & C

1,2,3

1326

1843 a-f

54.9

4.45 a

4.65 x 3.21

1.45

95

3.5

50

0

1.5 e-h

25

PR 93-2-1

Pep. Res.

2

1406

1825 a-g

45.9

3.89 a-e

3.89 x 3.88

1.00

100

3.7

15

0

2.1 c-h

2

Sentry

Rogers

1,2,3

1567

1819 a-g

48.6

3.88 a-e

3.38 x 3.77

0.90

100

3.5

0

0

1.7 d-h

3

Commandant

Rogers

1,2,3

1368

1785 a-h

51.9

4.07 a-c

4.26 x 3.43

1.24

100

3.5

15

0

2.3 c-h

15

ACX 217 u

A & C

1,2,3

1398

1769 a-i

49.1

3.78 a-f

3.89 x 3.76

1.03

100

3.3

5

0

2.2 c-h

43

Enza 31715

Enza

1,2,3

1457

1757 a-j

47.9

3.63 b-g

4.13 x 3.71

1.11

95

3.5

35

0

3.3 b-e

28

PR 99Y-4

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1447

1721 a-k

49.5

3.78 a-f

4.00 x 3.53

1.13

85

3.9

10

0

1.2 f-h

19

Lexington

Asgrow

1,2,3

1413

1713 a-k

49.4

3.79a-f

3.55 x 3.62

0.98

100

3.6

0

0

2.1 c-h

26

PR 99R-1A

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1407

1707 a-k

49.2

3.65 b-g

4.34 x 3.54

1.23

100

3.2

10

0

1.6 e-h

40

Diego

Enza

1,2,3

1378

1703 a-k

49.0

3.75 a-f

3.66 x 3.54

1.03

100

3.2

30

0

1.9 c-h

                             

8

Legionnaire, 6089

Rogers

1,2,3

1264

1701 a-k

48.7

3.72 a-f

3.87 x 3.79

1.02

100

3.5

5

0

2.3 c-h

27

PR 99Y-3

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1257

1694 a-k

47.8

3.81 a-f

4.30 x 3.82

1.13

95

3.2

5

0

1.7 e-h

24

Boynton Bell

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1232

1674 b-k

53.5

3.94 a-d

3.83 x 3.45

1.11

90

3.4

40

0

2.9 b-g

31

PR 9701R-4

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1274

1674 b-k

50.2

3.77 a-f

3.86 x 3.67

1.05

90

3.4

15

0

2.8 b-h

23

Bennington, 0168

Asgrow

1,2,3

1421

1669 b-k

48.3

3.66 b-f

3.63 x 3.40

1.07

95

3.5

30

0

2.8 b-h

                             

34

Early Sunsation u

Petoseed

1,2,3

1249

1658 b-k

52.3

3.88 a-e

3.63 x 3.57

1.02

95

3.9

0

0

2.0 c-h

22

Ex 12293

Asgrow

1,2,3

1304

1644 c-l

51.1

3.90 a-d

3.95 x 3.41

1.16

85

2.9

35

0

2.1 c-h

14

ACX 209

A & C

1,2,3

1282

1640 d-l

54.2

3.89 a-e

3.81 x 3.40

1.12

100

3.5

5

0

2.3 c-h

17

ACX 228

A & C

1,2,3

1131

1620 d-m

51.5

3.63 b-g

4.05 x 3.76

1.08

95

3.2

50

0

2.4 c-h

20

Yorktown

Asgrow

1,2,3

1291

1612 d-m

51.7

3.71 a-f

3.93 x 3.43

1.15

90

3.1

0

0

1.4 e-h

11

XPP 8124

Sakata

1,2,3

1316

1603 e-m

51.0

3.52 b-g

3.69 x 3.57

1.04

95

3.5

5

0

1.2 f-h

33

X3R Wizard

Petoseed

1,2,3

1321

1586 e-m

47.2

3.40 c-g

4.09 x 3.49

1.17

90

3.5

30

2

4.8 ab

21

Defiance, 12292

Asgrow

1,2,3

1358

1581 e-m

47.9

3.52 b-g

3.83 x 3.54

1.08

90

3.2

30

0

2.0 c-h

42

Enza 33702 u

Enza

1,2,3

1100

1569 f-m

56.1

3.91a-d

3.89 x 3.38

1.15

100

3.5

5

0

2.4 c-h

13

Ss 830

A & C

1,2,3

1223

1567 f-m

58.1

3.96 a-d

3.86 x 3.41

1.13

95

3.3

10

0

2.1 c-h

35

X3R Aladdin u

Petoseed

1,2,3

1343

1560 g-m

49.0

3.47 c-g

3.90 x 3.58

1.09

90

3.7

0

0

1.4 e-h

5

Paladin

Rogers

--

1372

1539 h-m

47.5

3.25 d-g

4.01 x 3.76

1.07

100

3.3

0

23

1.8 c-h

30

PR 99R-7

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1227

1507 h-m

51.4

3.40 c-g

3.85 x 3.54

1.09

100

3.5

0

0

1.9 c-h

1

Brigadier

Rogers

1,2,3

1321

1504 i-m

50.8

3.36 c-g

3.70 x 3.67

1.01

90

3.7

5

0

1.2 f-g

18

Enterprise

Asgrow

1,2,3

1222

1478 j-m

51.4

3.60 b-g

3.53 x 3.79

0.93

100

3.3

0

0

1.4 e-h

9

SPP6112

Sakata

1,2,3

1270

1477 k-m

50.0

3.48 b-g

3.89 x 3.50

1.11

95

3.6

10

0

1.4 e-h

29

PR 9701R-3

Pep. Res.

1,2,3

1138

1468 k-m

52.1

3.40 c-g

3.88 x 3.27

1.16

95

3.3

25

0

3.2 b-f

36

X3R Chalice u

Petoseed

1,2,3

1252

1460 k-m

53.5

3.71 a-f

3.95 x 3.88

1.02

100

3.4

0

0

3.7 b-d

12

XPP 8125

Sakata

1,2,3

1218

1444 k-m

55.2

3.43 c-g

4.05 x 3.37

1.20

95

3.3

0

0

1.6 d-h

32

X3R Camelot

Petoseed

1,2,3

1223

1388 lm

53.9

3.22 d-g

4.13 x 3.42

1.20

90

3.3

15

3

0.9 gh

10

SPP 7118

Sakata

1,2,3

1255

1353 m

45.1

3.09 fg

3.87 x 3.59

1.08

95

3.2

0

2

1.5 e-h

38

X3R Sir Galahad

Petoseed

1,2,3

1181

1353 m

52.4

3.15 e-g

4.00 x 3.43

1.17

100

3.5

20

0

2.4 c-h

37

X3R Red Knight

Petoseed

1,2,3

963

1024 n

59.1

2.91 g

3.80 x 3.37

1.13

95

3.7

5

0

0.7 h

z Average of four replications. Single bed plots, 5' x 9'. Two rows per bed, 12 plants per row, 24 plants per bed, 23,231 plants/A (nine inch within-row spacing). Transplanted Oct. 26, 1999 (transplants grown by LaBelle Plant World). 92 days to first pick. Mean separation by Waller-Duncan K-ratio T test, 5% level, means with the same letter are not significantly different.
y Average of 20 fruits, 10 each from blocks 1&2, first pick, January 26, 2000.
x Scale: 1.00 = blocky, width same as length. >1.00 = degree of elongation, length greater than width. <1.00 = degree of flatness, length less than width. W Flat or pointed at blossom end with very little indentation of lobes.
w Evaluation of colored pepper picked four times.
v Plants evaluated Jan. 27, 2000, one day after first pick, by K.Pernezny, J. Collins, A. Carroll, and K. Shuler.
u Green to yellow.

 

Table 2. Colored fruit (red/yellow), summary of yield and fruit characteristics, pepper variety demonstration, Thomas Produce, Snake Farm, Bob West Road, Delray Beach., Florida, 1999-2000.z

Variety

Fully colored fruit (%) of total harvest) y

Marketable fruit (%) of total harvest)x

Percent of total that were fully colored and marketable

Soft side

Culls (percent)

 

 

Comments

Sunburn

Flat and mis-shapen

Wet and dry rot

Age cracks

Stip

Total

6 RPP 6088

62

91

57

6

0

1

1

0

1

9

 

4 Lafayettew

74

76

56

25

0

2

0

0

0

24

 

21 Defiance, 12292

67

78

52

21

4

0

0

0

0

22

 

14 ACX 209

60

76

46

23

0

0

1

0

0

24

nice; high % red

19 Lexington

68

73

50

23

4

0

0

0

0

27

 

20 Yorktown

72

63

45

32

1

0

3

1

0

37

 

18 Enterprise

64

80

51

19

0

0

2

0

0

20

 

9 SPP6112

64

80

51

16

0

0

2

2

0

20

 

22 Ex 12293

55

76

41

23

1

2

0

0

0

24

 

11 XPP 8124

55

75

42

24

0

0

0

3

0

25

 

2 Sentry

76

54

41

45

0

3

0

0

0

46

 

3 Commandant

51

72

37

26

0

1

0

0

0

28

 

7 Crusader, 6110

52

76

39

22

0

0

0

0

0

24

 

1 Brigadier

69

68

47

26

0

4

4

0

0

32

10 SPP 7118

67

57

38

33

0

8

3

0

2

43

blotchy colored

13 Ss 830

58

65

38

31

0

1

3

0

0

35

light chocolate

12 XPP 8125

59

67

40

28

0

3

0

0

0

33

 

15 ACX 217w

46

60

27

39

1

0

1

0

0

40

 

16 ACX 223

40

61

24

26

1

8

5

1

0

39

long; age crack; chocolate

*31 PR 9701R-4

55

65

36

31

0

0

4

2

0

35

 

8 Legionnaire, 6089

47

67

32

31

0

0

0

0

0

33

 

5 Paladin

55

48

27

25

2

0

3

2

23

52

slight to moderate stip

*25 PR 93-2-1

39

57

22

28

0

20

0

0

0

43

 

*29 PR 9701R-3

52

51

26

38

0

2

0

10

0

49

 

*26 PR 99R-1A

31

70

22

29

0

2

0

0

0

30

 

*34 Early Sunsationw

56

49

28

46

0

2

4

0

0

51

 

*38 X3R Sir Galahad

31

67

21

27

2

4

0

0

0

33

several chocolate

17 ACX 228

32

50

16

44

0

3

0

0

0

50

suntan; some chocolate

*39 Orion

23

71

16

21

0

0

4

0

0

29

some chocolate streaks

*30 PR 99R-7

54

47

25

49

0

2

0

5

0

53

 

*23 Bennington, 0168

46

46

21

52

0

2

0

0

0

54

 

*37 X3R Red Knight

70

38

27

64

0

3

0

0

0

62

 

*28 PR 99Y-4

34

69

23

24

0

10

0

0

0

31

 

*40 Diego

22

66

14

33

0

2

0

0

0

34

some blotches of green

*36 X3R Chalicew

46

38

18

54

0

2

0

0

0

62

 

*24 Boynton Bell

21

63

13

27

8

2

0

0

0

37

 

*41 Enza 31702

41

43

18

54

0

2

0

0

0

57

 

*42 Enza 33702w

59

33

20

65

0

0

2

0

0

67

 

*43 Enza 31715

19

57

11

31

0

6

6

3

0

43

very light red, chocolate

*33 X3R Wizard

13

49

6

47

2

0

0

0

2

51

slight stip

*27 PR 99Y-3

5

58

3

41

0

3

0

0

0

42

blotches of green

*32 X3R Camelot

22

20

5

57

2

0

0

21

3

80

very slight to sl. stip; some chocolate

*35 X3R Aladdinw

6

26

2

71

0

0

0

0

0

74

blotches of green

z Transplanted Oct. 26, 1999. One replication. Plot size 5.0 ft. x 9.0 ft. Two rows per bed, 24 plants per plot (23,232 plants per acre).
y Represents all fully colored fruit (including unmarketable fully colored).
x Marketable includes both fully colored and not fully colored.
w Matured green to yellow
* Varieties on bed which had stunted pepper plants.

(Shuler, Pernezny, Collins, Vegetarian 00-08)

Using Urban Plant Debris to Produce Organic Vegetables and Herbs

Composted yard waste is currently available free in selected Florida Counties. Florida law requires that yard waste be separated from other municipal solid waste. This provides an opportunity for agriculture to recycle the product if it is properly composted. Urban plant debris (UPD) that goes through the proper composting techniques can be certified for use in organic crop production. Unfortunately, there is little consistency among counties in how the yard waste is handled once separated and many counties do not properly compost the product.

Orange County has a well decomposed product which is chopped, screened, and windrowed, then turned periodically until it is completely decomposed to a soil-like consistency. This product has been shown to be acceptable as an amendment for ornamental potting soil. Seminole County goes through a similar process but only piles the screened product and does not turn it, resulting in a fine mulch-like material. Work conducted at the Seminole Community College Horticultural Unit for the last two years has shown that urban plant debris (the Seminole County product) can be used to produce vegetables and herbs if special attention is paid to managing pH and nutrient availability by the addition of other amendments and fertilizers.

Horticultural peat was used to reduce the pH of the UPD. Mineral analysis of the material 15 weeks into the trailing indicated the plant debris, when used alone, was tying up added nitrate nitrogen even though it contained very high levels of total nitrogen and organic fertilizers containing nitrogen were added. The addition of 50% perlite to the UPD (v/v) allowed added nitrogen to be just as available as when 100% perlite was used. Perlite should be looked at more closely as a means to increase nutrient availability when UPD is used.

Yields of organically grown greenhouse lettuce and European cucumbers were best when 50% perlite / 50% UPD was used. Leaf petiole nitrate-nitrogen of European cucumber was the same when perlite was used alone or when mixed with UPD. One year later, marketable yields of colored bell pepper were not significantly different between 100% perlite, 50% perlite / 50% UPD, and 100% UPD treatments which may indicate that the UPD had mineralized enough over time so that it was not tying up nutrients.

Concurrent demonstrations outdoors with organic production practices showed similar slow growth of vegetables the first year with the exception of collards, which thrived on the UPD. Collards would make a good candidate for organic production provided the UPD could be certified. Herbs produced with UPD the second year responded quickly when chemical fertilizers were added. Several varieties of mint and oregano covered the 4x50 ft grow bed and overflowed the sides in about six months from transplanting.

In summary, it was difficult to get a quick growth response to added organic fertilizers when the Seminole County urban plant debris was used alone. However, with the addition of perlite, added organic nutrients were more available to the plant. Once the UPD product was fully decomposed, there was little difference between treatments in the organic production system. The use of chemical fertilizers with the UPD produced quick plant growth responses as would be expected under conventional methods.

(Tyson, Vegetarian 00-08)

On-Farm Demonstration Project: Using Containerized Transplants for Establishing Annual Winter Strawberries in Central Florida

Introduction: Containerized transplants (or plugs) can be used instead of bare-root transplants to establish annual winter strawberry crops in Central Florida. The advantages of using plugs include much less water use for crop establishment, less plant mortality than with bare-root transplants, and often earlier fruit production than bare-root transplants. While these advantages are helpful in some aspects, growers are unsure whether the increased costs of using plugs (they can cost twice as much as bare-root plants) are worth paying in order to receive the advantages of using plugs.

Objectives: This on-farm demonstration project sought to bring the use of plugs to the attention of growers on a large-scale basis so they could see the use of the plugs on a first-hand basis, evaluate the data we collected and analyzed, and then come to a decision regarding whether to use plugs for crop establishment.

Materials and Methods: One-quarter acre of plug transplants (cv. "Sweet Charlie") were planted next to one-quarter acre of bare-root transplants on five different farms in Hillsborough County, FL for the 1999-2000 winter strawberry season. The bare-root plants were established with the traditional overhead irrigation program used for strawberry crop establishment, while the plug plants were established using minimal amounts of water primarily using drip irrigation. The growers on each farm recorded yield data from the two sections throughout the season.

Results: The data from a typical farm in this project shows the trend the yields from the bare-root and plug established plants generally followed (Figure 1). The plug-established plants produced a small yield of fruit 7 to 10 days before the bare-root-established plants began to yield fruit. The bare-root plants produced statistically higher yields than the bare-root transplants in mid-December. In mid-January, the plug-established plants had apparently (statistical analysis was not performed for this period) higher yields than the bare-root plants. This yielding pattern was observed on all of the demonstration farms. Another example of this trend can be seen in Figure 2 for Farm B. The total yields for the season from the bare-root plants were statistically similar to yields from the plug plants when compared across all five farms.

Conclusions: In previous research at the GCREC-Dover, plug plants produced higher yields than bare-root plants during November and December. However, in the1999-2000 season, bare-root-established plants had higher earlier yields than plug plants during this same period. This happened despite the fact that the plug-established plants started producing fruit about a week earlier than the bare-root-established plants. However, initial yields from plug transplants were very low. This reversal from the trend of the previous two years can be explained in part by the fact that environmental conditions in this season were what many growers considered to be optimal for growing strawberries. This is in contrast with the previous year in which temperatures at the start of the season were higher than normal. Under the more stressful conditions of that season, plug transplants produced higher early yields and higher total yields for the season than bare-root transplants.

The variation in yielding pattern between the two propagation systems, without regard to which system produces earlier in a given season, may be an excellent farm management tool. For example, this variation in timing may lead a grower to establish his/her crops using both systems on separate portions of their farm in order to achieve a more consistent yield throughout the season. Therefore, as one system declines in yields the other system may be increasing in yields. Having a more consistent harvesting pattern, rather than having dramatic swings in yields, is the goal of many growers because it leads to easier management of harvesting personnel and a more steady (and possibly greater) flow of income, particularly if their peak yields coincide with a poor market.

The advantages of these differences in yielding pattern may be even more pronounced if these trends can be even further defined and correlated to particular weather patterns and specific cultivars. We might find, for example, that a hot fall will lead to earlier "Sweet Charlie" yields with plug transplants than with bare-root transplants while a mild fall will lead to earlier yields with bare-root transplants. Recent advances in long-term weather forecasting and ongoing research with plug transplants will make this type of planning possible.

Another vital consideration when deciding whether to use plug transplants is connected to the loss of methyl-bromide and weed control. No other single alternative presently available is as effective as methyl-bromide in controlling weeds. One of the most effective ways to control weeds without methyl-bromide is to incorporate pre-plant herbicides into the bed. However, the overhead irrigation used to establish bare-root transplants washes much of the pre-plant herbicide out of the bed, severely limiting the herbicide’s usefulness. Plug transplants require no overhead irrigation, therefore pre-plant herbicides will be more effective in controlling weeds when used in conjunction with plug transplants.

Other advantages of using plug transplants include the reduction of on-farm water use (this has both economic and environmental benefits) and less costs for labor and plant replacement associated with replanting as plugs have a lower mortality rate than bare-root transplants.

SeptF1.jpg (41527 bytes)

SeptF2.jpg (42038 bytes)

(Waldo and Duval, Vegetarian 00-08)


294b.gif (7326 bytes)

Fall Vegetable Gardens in Florida

While spring is the season most Florida gardeners prefer to have a vegetable garden, the fall is not far behind. While many of the warm season crops, especially the faster-maturing ones like beans and cucumbers, can be planted in September, most fall gardens will contain the cool season crops. These include English peas, the cole crops, beets, radish, lettuce, onions, and strawberries.

It is especially important that two crops of this group are started in the fall to ensure a harvest in the spring. These are bulbing onions and strawberries. Plants need exposure to the cool, short days of the winter to initiate bulbing in onions and fruiting in strawberries. For this reason, I am including the following planting chart for these two popular Florida garden crops.

ONIONS

Amaryllidaceae - Allium cepa

 

STRAWBERRY

Rosaceae -

Fragaria spp

Planting times:

  NF:     Sept-Nov (s)

  Nov-Jan (t)

  CF:     Oct-Nov (s)

            Dec-Jan (t)

SF:    Oct-N (s)

            Dec-Jan (t)

Planting time:

NF: Sep 20-Nov

CF: Oct-Nov

SF: Oct-Nov

Plant spacing: 12x36"

Plants/100' row = 100

Spacing:

Bulb 4x18"

Bunch 2 x18"

Multipliers 6x18"

Days: 60-90 (t)

Yield/100' row = 50#

Bulb varieties:

Granex

Pegasus

Sweet Dixie

Tropicana Red

Varieties:

Camarosa

Chandler

Dover

Florida Belle

Earlibrite

Oso Grande

Selva

Strawberry Festival

Sweet Charlie

Bunching varieties:

Beltsville

Perfecto Blanco

Multipliers (shallots)

 (Stephens, Vegetarian, 00-08)

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


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