The Vegetarian Newsletter

A Horticultural Sciences Department Extension Publication on
Vegetable and Fruit Crops


Eat your Veggies and Fruits!!!!!


Issue No. 559 July 2010


Featured Articles

 

Announcements & News

The electronic version of the 2010-2011 Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida is available online!  Click here to see it now.

The 2009 Tomato Institute Proceedings are now available on-line. Click here to view them now.

EPA's 2009 Methyl bromide Allocation Rule is available, click here to view.

Monthly Climate Summaries are now available at www.AgroClimate.org - click on the state you want to view: Florida, Georgia or North Carolina.

Visit our archives. All of our archived issues from 1950-1999. These archived issues are full of interesting bits of knowledge. Click here to check out the topic of your interest now.

New EDIS Horticulture Publications

Our latest publications are now available on EDIS: 

HS1175 Managing Yellow and Purple Nutsedge in Florida Strawberry Fields" is avialbe at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1175 -
This 3-page illustrated fact sheet by Andrew W. MacRae, gives management guidelines for these perennial weeds that are well adapted for growth in plasticulture production systems.

" Florida Pusley Biology and Control in Fruiting Vegetables, Cucurbits, and Small Fruits" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1172 - This 3-page illustrated fact sheet by Andrew W. MacRae, describes this drought-resistant annual with hairy leaves and stems that is common in row middles, strawberry production fields, and organic mulch for highbush blueberries — classification, seedling identification, mature plant, management considerations, and classical control.

"Microgreens: A New Specialty Crop" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1164 - This 3-page illustrated fact sheet by Danielle D. Treadwell, Robert Hochmuth, Linda Landrum, and Wanda Laughlin, provides an overview of this new type of market crop and its production. Includes references.

"Homeowner Detection of and Recommendations for Mitigating Redbay Ambrosia Beetle-Laurel Wilt Disease on Redbay and Avocado Trees in the Home Landscape" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1179- This 4-page illustrated fact sheet by Jonathan H. Crane and Jason A. Smith, provides homeowners with an update on redbay ambrosia beetle-laurel wilt disease in Florida, how the beetle and pathogen are spread, symptoms of infestations, and recommendations for homeowners. Includes references.

"American Black Nightshade Biology and Control in Fruiting Vegetables, Cucurbits, and Small Fruits" is available at:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1176
- This 3-page illustrated fact sheet by Andrew W. MacRae, describes this weed common in fruting vegetable fields, cucurbit, and strawberry production — classification, seedling identification, mature plant, management considerations, and chemical control.

"Goosegrass Biology and Control in Fruiting Vegetables, Cucurbits, and Small Fruits" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1178 - This 2-page illustrated fact sheet by Andrew W. MacRae, describes this large grass common in mulched row crops and blueberry production fields — classification, seedling identification, mature plant, management considerations, and chemical control. Includes references.

"Homeowner Considerations Prior to Selecting a Weed Control Product" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1177 - This 3-page fact sheet by Andrew W. MacRae and Marina D'Abreau, coaches homeowners to consider weed type and location in the landscape in selecting a herbicide as part of an effective weed management program.

"Protected Culture for Vegetable and Small Fruit Crops: High Tunnels for Strawberry Production in Florida" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS407 - This 4-page illustrated fact sheet by Bielinski M. Santos, Teresa P. Salamé-Donoso, Craig K. Chandler, and Steven A. Sargent, presents the results of research comparing the effects of high-tunnel and open-field production on the growth, fruit earliness, and yield of strawberry cultivars in Florida.

"Hydroponic Vegetable Production in Florida" is available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS405 - Revised! This 8-page fact sheet by Dr. Richard Tyson, Robert Hochmuth and Dr. Daniel J. Cantliffe, is a guide to hydroponic vegetable production in Florida. Includes history, marketing considerations, growing systems, seasonal limitations, and economic considerations.

Other sources of horticultural information.
Direct link to the BMP Manual for Vegetables & Agronomic Crops in Florida

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Saving Seed or The Case of the Decapitated Zinnias

By:  Dan Mullins IFAS Extension Agent IV Santa Rosa County

Santa Rosa County Extension Office, IFAS, University of Florida, Milton, Florida.

 

Establishing Extension demonstration plots in public places is sometimes risky business. So it was during the spring of 2010 at the office in Jay, Florida.

The Jay Extension office is located in the heart of the row crop production area of northern Santa Rosa County. The building is next door to the tax collector's office. As a result, almost every adult resident of northern Santa Rosa County who purchases a tag for their vehicle or otherwise pays taxes passes by the entrance to the Extension office at least once per year.

Such a high traffic area is made to order for an Extension demonstration so seasonal plantings of vegetables and flowers are constantly on display. This spring the demonstration consisted of spotted wilt resistant tomato varieties such as Amelia and Crista, alternated with groups of “State Fair Zinnias” for color and interest.

The goal of the demonstration was to introduce growers to more wilt resistant tomato varieties and in the case of the Zinnias, to show this flower's potential as a cut flower crop.

By mid-June the tomatoes were beginning to ripen and some had already gone missing, as expected. Strangely, some new zinnia flowers were also missing – not broken off, but neatly cut immediately below each bloom. This left the entire stem in place, minus the flower (see photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Zinnias alternated with tomatoes in a 2010 demonstration planting at the Jay Extension office)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(All yellow Zinnia flowers were removed for seed by a resident.  There are six missing flowers in this photo.  Note the neat job of clipping.)

After careful study and some detective work, it was learned that a local resident had clipped the flower heads in order to obtain seed. Further investigation revealed that flower heads of only one color were missing. The perpetrator therefore believed that by selecting flowers of a particular color, the resulting seed would produce zinnias of that same color.

Aside from the fact that it's wrong to steal flowers, there are a couple more associated problems. First, the flowers were removed during their most colorful stage and at a time that they were being pollinated. The seed were therefore not yet mature and most will not germinate.

I wish that I could say that the Zinnia variety used is a hybrid and will not come “true” from seed. This however is not the case. “State Fair” is a tetraploid variety – in fact the first tetraploid Zinnia ever developed. As a tetraploid it has double the number of chromosomes that earlier zinnias had, and will produce relatively “true” from seed. This would not be the case with most of the Zinnia varieties developed since the early 50s as they are F1 hybrids.

This experience is being used to discourage residents from saving seed of the newer varieties, which are mostly hybrids. Only “pure lines”, often called open pollinated varieties, produce offspring from seed that are like the parent. This is assuming that a particular open pollinated vegetable is not allowed to cross pollinate with another variety.

 


Horticultural Sciences Department, 1117 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690
Phone Number: 352-392-1928 - Fax Number: 352-392-5653