~J'SLETTrE~ . - Horticultural Sciences | Horticultural...

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?=~ 1 ,, ~ ~, ,------------------------~--,----------------- f[t~t-{;.::[~-: ·:±~1 INSTITUTE OF FOOD ANO FLOAIDA '~ -, ~~ ;~~~ 1. "\~ · ~ AGAICUL TUriAL SCIENCES COOPERATIV E i: ; ... ;:.:_ ,, 1FAS t.' UNIVEASITY OF FLOAIOA EXTENSION SEAVICE :r ·, ,··J '("~~ }--t-------- -------------- i' :2~~ --~ 4~: ~ VECGETARBAN NtE\~J'SLETTrE~ . . ".~~;~ :: w ~~ ~,r;, ~ ~~ ·~ ·~1 ,.. December 1, 1977 Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist Ja mes Montelaro Professor G. A. Marlowe, Jr. Professor J. F. Kelly Chairman J.M. Stephens Associate Professor R . D . William Assista nt Professor TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTI CULTURE) AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA @ ,4:J,f ?R0: ,1: Ja mes Montelaro , Pro f esso r and Exte n sion Vegetable Specialist 71/ J/, 'VEGE Th RI A!'l NEWSLETTER 77-12 !.N TEIS ISSUE: I. NOTES OF IN TEREST A. Abstracts for Papers Prese n ted at the 1 9 7 7 FSHS Meetings B. Commercial Production Guides C. Plant Science In-Service Traini ng for County Agents II. COMMERCI AL -VEGETABLE PRODUCTIO N A. How Big is This Tomato? B. A Greenhouse Vegetable Enterprise? So me Points to Cons i der C. Sweet Potato Root Cracking Problems D. Weed Con t rol f or Full-Bed Mul ched Vege ta b les II I. VEGETABLE GARDENIN G A. Sea we ed i n t he Vege tab l e Gar den B. Kno w You r Ve get a ble s - Celt u ce ~~0'.I'S: Anyone is f re e t o use th e info nnc1t i on i n thi s n e\·lsl et t er. \·;hen2ver p oss ib le , p le as e g iv e cr ed it t o t he aut ho rs. -: ,.; s.c 1 · -::t:1st!:·;t~ of fo od an ,J P,grir.u r~urJl $ci~nc £:S is ~n Eq u al En1ptO','Ol~n t 0 ;.)po n un i ty - J\ ffl nn :ativc Ar:tion Err ,p ~;Jy~ r ~~·J th or i:.: c tf t o pro vid~ rt'-:t?afc h, ~.:u·:a ~icn~1 i n f c;~oii 0n ~-· 1-d ot1 1;!r se:rvic •~s only to jndi ·,jdua l5 tl:ld ins tit uti on:; th at f u 1: ti t: 1 n \ ·/: :h ou ! re:1ard tn rac:·. c olor . s~x . or na!i cn~ I o:-i~:;n .
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Transcript of ~J'SLETTrE~ . - Horticultural Sciences | Horticultural...

  • ?=~ 1 ~ ,, ~ ~, ,-------------------------~--,-----------------f[t~t-{;.::[~-::~1 INSTITUTE OF FOOD ANO FLOAIDA '~-,~~;~~~1. "\~~ AGAICUL TUriAL SCIENCES COOPERATIV E i: ; ... ;:.:_,, 1FAS t.' UNIVEASITY OF FLOAIOA EXTENSION SEAVICE :r , ,J '("~~ }--t-------- --------------i' :2~~ --~4~:~ VECGETARBAN NtE\~J'SLETTrE~ . . ".~~;~ ::w ~~ ~,r;, ~ ~~ ~ ~1 , .. ~~4

    December 1, 1977

    Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist

    Ja mes Montelaro Professor

    G. A. Marlowe, Jr. Professor

    J. F. Kelly Chairman

    J.M. Stephens Associate Professor

    R . D . William Assista n t Professor

    TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTI CULTURE) AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA @

    ,4:J,f ?R0: ,1: Ja mes Montelaro , Pro f esso r and Exte n sion Vegetable Specialist 71/J/, 'VEGE Th RI A!'l NEWSLETTER 77-12

    !.N TEIS ISSUE:

    I. NOTES OF IN TEREST

    A . Abstracts for Papers Prese n ted at the 1 9 7 7 FSHS Meetings

    B. Commercial Production Guides

    C. Plant Science In-Service Traini ng for County Agents

    II. COMMERCI AL -VEGETABLE PRODUCTIO N

    A . How Big is This Tomato?

    B. A Greenhouse Vegetable Enterprise? Some Points to Cons i der

    C. Sweet Potato Root Cracking Problems

    D. Weed Con t rol f or Full-Bed Mul ched Vege ta b les

    II I. VEGETABLE GARDENIN G

    A. Sea we ed i n t he Vege tab l e Gar den

    B. Kno w You r Ve get a ble s - Celt u ce

    ~~0'.I'S : Anyone is f re e t o use th e info nnc1t i on i n thi s n e\lsl et t er. \;hen2ver p oss ib le , p le as e g iv e cr ed it t o t he aut ho rs.

    -:,.; s.c

    1 -:: t:1s t!:;t~ of fo od an ,J P,grir.u r~urJl $ci~nc :S is ~n Eq u al En1ptO','Ol~n t 0 ;.)po n un i ty - J\ ffl nn :ativc Ar:ti on Err ,p~;Jy~ r ~~Jth or i:.:c tf to pro vid~ rt'-:t?afc h,

    ~.:u:a ~icn~1 in f c;~oii 0n ~-1-d ot1 1;!r se:rvic ~s only to jn di ,jdua l5 tl :ld ins tit uti on:; th at f u 1: ti t:1n \ /: :hou ! re:1ard tn rac:. c olor . s~x . or na!i cn~ I o:-i~:;n .

  • -2-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    I. NOTES OF INTE REST

    A. Abstracts for Papers Presented at the 1977 FSHS Meetings

    There were 30 papers presented in the Vegetable Section during the Florida State Horticultural Society meetings held November 1-4, 1977, at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Anyone wanting a single copy of the ab-stracts of the papers presented can get one by writing this office.

    (Montelaro)

    B. Commercial Production Guides

    Production Guides on Okra (Circular No . 175E) and Tomato (Circular) 98D) were revised recently. Only 3,000 copies of each guide were printed. County Extension offices will receive a small, but adequate supply of each guide for county needs . Agents are asked to use sound judgement in distri-buting these guides. Because commercial production guides contain infor-mation that home gardeners cannot possibly use, distribution should be re-stricted to commercial growers. Agents needing a few extra copies of any guides can ob ta in them from a limited supply retained by the IFAS, Publica- . tion and Distribution Center, Building 664.

    (Montelaro)

    c. Plant Science In-Service Training for County Agents

    The program for the Plant Science In-Service Training Session to be held in mid -Fe bruary (week of the 13 th) is being finalized now . The Friday morning s e ssion has been dropped. The Vege tab l e Crops Department is plan-ning for a three-day session on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Part of the program will be planned jointly with the Agronomy Department. Check the final pro g ram for exact dates an d topics to be discussed.

    (Montelaro)

    II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

    j.,._. Ho :.1 Big i s This Tomat o?

    The me tric system provides a much nee de d impro vem ent in the size classification of vegetables. The n ew siz e c ategories of tomatoes (ve ry small, s mal l, medium , larg e, and extra lar ge ) have replaced the old 5 x 6, 6 x 6, etc . , classes . A medium tomato cu n be expresse d in fractions of an inch, decimal p ortions of an inc h , or in the met ri c sy ste m as ce nt im ete rs. (The inch is equal to 2.54 centi me t er s) .

  • -3-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLET'l'ER

    The following conversion table has been prepared for your reading interest and reference use. The approximate distribution of Florida tomatoes as reflected in state pack-out fig ures for the past few yea rs has been: very s mall 0.1%, small 10.7%, medium 36.1% , large 30.9 % and ext ra large 22.2%.

    Name Used

    Ve r y

    Small

    Small 1

    2

    .Medi urn 2

    Large 2

    Extra La rge 2

    * Oz. = Ou nces

    So me Co nv ersion Factors Related to the New Tomato Size-Weight Categories

    Fr act io na l (i n ches )

    7/ 8 - 2 1/8 1/8 - 2 9/32 9/32 - 2 17/32

    17/32 - 2 28 /32 28/ 32 - 3 15 /32

    Designation

    Dec imal (inches)

    Metric (cm )

    1.87 - 2.12 4.76 - 5.40

    2.12 - 2.28 5. 40 - 5 . 79

    2.28 - 2.53 5.79 - 6.43

    2.53 - 2.87 6 . 43 - 7.30

    2.87 - 3.4 7 7.30 - 9.84

    (Marlowe)

    Weight Average

    (Gram) (Oz .. )*

    75

    93

    120

    143

    177

    2.6

    3.3

    4.2

    5.0

    6.2

    B . A Greenho u se Vegetable Ent erprise? Some Points to Consider.

    Interest in greenhouse vegetable pro du ction has increased markedl y in the southeasternUnited States during the past five years. Some growers desire to ext en d their harvest season to retain market o utl et s . Others wist to have mo re control over the growth of high va lu e cro ps . 'I'he most comrnon reason, however, is to receive the high prices usually associated with out-of - season production.

    Greenhouse production, one of the most challenging, and de ma ndi ng typ e~ vegetable growing , should be exa mined clo se ly befo re a grower co mmits hi ms e J and h is va luable resources to th i s endeavor .

    This specialist, wor k ing with greenhouse vegetable production since 19~ has see~ ma ny succ e ssful op er ations a s well as many failures. The differenc be twee n th ese two extreme s can be expressed in thr ee li tt l e words : Attentior to de tai ls . The most freq ue nt spC?.cific c a use for complete failure is pla nt c:J.s ea sc. A missed spray, p o or sanitatio n , e xcess hu midity due to po or v en tj la ti on ca::1 all con tr ibute t o dis ea s e development. . In the future, en er9 y co~ Day become p roh ibi t ive.

  • -4-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEl7SLET'I'ER

    The properly ope rate d greenhouse provide s ''rea s on able control " of temperature, soil moisture, ~u midity, nutrition, sp a cin g , CO2 l evel , and many other f actors except sunlight . The "ide al " conditions one trie s to provide the tomato , cucumber , or lettuce also provides an excelle nt enviro-ment for plant diseases, i nsects , and nematodes . Many new techniques have been devised to by-pass potential so il-borne pests . Growing crop s in sterilE vermiculite - peat media , hydroponics (solut ion, sand , or gravel) and the tube me th od or nutrient film technique a re examples . Each method has. advantages and disadvantages . A well fumigated sand y lo am soil , for example, will buf-fe r an error in fertilizer appl i cation much more than a similar mis t ak e in hydroponics .

    Specific points to consider for the po tential greenhouse operator are realistic yields , market outlets (time and qu an tity) , cost/price re l at ion-ships, te ch nolo gy, and attitude .

    A . Yield

    A great deal of legend often surround s g reenhou se yield s . Exceptional greenhouse t omat o, cucumber, pole bean, an d lettuce yields do exist , but beginn er s should consider " average yields" of experienced growers as targets ra th e r th a n yields qu oted from demonstration or research trials . Greenhouse tom a to growers usually consider 12 to 1 5 poun d s of tom a toes per p la nt for a spring crop and 6 to 9 pounds for the fall crop as average and respectable yields .

    B . Market Potential

    1 . Time . Is there a unique perio d in t he tomato marketing sequ e nce in which greenhouse prod uct ion fits? A brief lo ok at the major, fresh market tomato producing sources may b e of interest .

    Table 1 . Usual Harvest Dates and Production of Fresh Market Tomatoes

    Prod. 1 000

    State CNT Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun J ul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    Fla. 7387 XXX XXX XXX xx XXX XXX xx XXX XXX Cal . 688 5 xx XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX s .c . 555 X XXX XXX XXX N . J . 5 56 XXX XXX XXX XXX Ala . 518 XXX XXX XXX xx 'I'ex . 422 X XXX xx xx :,xx xx Mich. 4/. 2 X XXX XXX XXX Ark . 350 XXX XXX XXX xx t "!. y . 3-19 xx XXX XXX XXX Ohio 192 X XXX xx xx XXX xx Hex . 6709 XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX xx

    Fro m USDA l\gricultural Handbo ok 507 , 1977 .

  • -5-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    These figures show that target periods may exist for additional pro-duction and that much depends on weather conditions in field growing areas.

    2 . Quantity. How many pounds of t oma toes do Americans eat? According to USDA report in 1976, the average American consumed 33 pounds of tomatoes, about 12 pounds fresh and 21 pounds in the processed form .

    The following text-table shows that only 81% of the potential consump-tion is being supplied in the listed sources. How much of the missing 19% is being supplied by home garden production? Does this in dicate a place fo1 more high quality tomatoes possibly from gr ee nhouse production?

    Fresh .Marke t Tomato Production and Consumption Florida, Other U. S ., and Mexican Importation

    Fla Oth er us Mexico Prod. Million Lbs. 720 630 690 U. S. Consumption, mi ll ion pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . Percent Supplied 29 25 27

    From Florida Tomato Com.~ittee Yeurbook, 1976.

    C . Cost/Price Relationships

    Total

    2040 . . . 2520

    81

    The price the grower needs to receive for his vegetables is directly related to his investment, product i on, and marketing costs . Many field tomato growers in Florida feel that their break-even cost per pound is approximately 16-18 c ents ; whereas, an Indiana study showed that greenhouse growers must get yields o{ at least 50 tons per acre and receive prices in excess of 27 cents per pound i n order to we ar a happy smile.

    A Tennessee study comparing two of the more "modern" greenhouse produc-tion methods shows that annual yields of 11 tons per house per year requiret prices in the 50 cent range to allow significant returns to original invest-r.1ent .

  • -6-

    THE VEGETARIAN NE\'JSLETTER

    Comparison of Two Greenhouse Production Systems (Brooker , J. R., 19 75 . TVA Greenhouse Veg. Workshop)

    Factors

    Initial Investment, $ Annual Oper. Cost, $ Yield, Spring

    Fall Total

    Return above cash op er ating [email protected] 40 at price per lb @ 50

    D. Technology

    Growing Space: Hydroponics

    22,781 8,647

    13,094 9,4 24

    22,518

    9,007 11,259

    3276 sq. ft., 992 plts. Media Method

    14,613 9,525

    12, 301 8,732

    21,033

    8 ,413 1 0 ,516

    Knowledgeable greenhouse operation is the result of continued observa-tion, learning, reading, listening, sha ri ng , and testing of new procedures in a cautious, methodical way . Professional greenhouse vegetable growers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan attend frequent short courses , participate in research projects, and -try to se cu re (and study) the most important green-house pub li cations ava i lable .

    Attitude

    A successful greenhouse enterprtse represents a serious coroJnitment of time, resources, and energy . The determi na tion to look after every necessar detail when it should be dealt with and in the right wa y is t he pr io rity approach of the professional. Tomato flowers mu st be vibrated daily , European cu c umber male flowers must be r~ uo ved when they develop and the pro per fungicide must be applied when needed . As one old t imer put it, green-house success is 50% resources; 50% hard work , 50% luck, and 50% stHying on top of things!

    (Mar l owe)

    C. Sweet Po ta to Root Crac k ing Problem s

    Vegetable extension sp ec ial ists in Florida ha ve noted more t ha n usual ro(r t c r acking problems in s wee t potatoes this fa ll. Cr acking may af fe ct ~o s t roo t s in a p la nting, b ut is mos t severe on the la rge r ones . Se ver ely crac ke d roots must be disca rd ed or s ol d at mi n imal p ric e s as cul l s.

  • -7-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    Solution of the problem is not an easy one . We called on the knowledge and expertise of extension specialist in Georgia in our quest for an answer. They , too, have observed this problem on a number of occa-sions in Georgia . Their observation agreed with ours to a large extent. Root cracking can be attributed to: (1) variety , (2) uneven growth patterns and (3) soil pests.

    Research and extension workers in Georgia have noted a difference in cracking among varieties . Georgia Jet , a variet y popular in that state unti two or three years ago, is much more susceptible to the disorder than its replacement , Red Jewel. This observation has be e n verified in field plant-ings over the state and in test plots i n Gainesville.

    Uneven growth patterns can result from fluctuations in moisture supply during the growth period . The problem is most serious during root enlurge-ment . Retarded root growth apparently result in a physical change in root ~issue . Upon resumption of growth , such roots are subject to severe crack-ing . This was confirmed in field observations last summer where irrigated sweet potato crops showed considerably less cracking than unirrigated plant-ings.

    Soil pests, especially heavy populat io ns of rootknot nematodes, are }~nown to cause severe cracking . It is possib le that certain root-feeding, soil-borne insects can contribute to root crac ki ng in sweet potato , also. ?wo or more of the three factors discussed above may interact to increase the severity of cracking.

    In summary, growers should use every tool a t their command to reduce or e ve n eliminate cracking in sweet potatoes . This can be done by (1) planting crack-resistant varieties like Red Je we l, Centennial , etc . , (2) using irrigation during droughty period s to avoid uneven growth patterns, and ( 3) applying an insecticide broa_dcast and mixed into the soil followe d by f~~igation for insect and nematode control before planting . Reco mmenda~ ~ions on materials and rates can be obtained from the local county a gr icul-tural extension agent~

    (Montelaro)

    D. Weed Control for Full - Bed Mulched Vegetables

    Vegetable production using fu l l - bed plastic mulch continues to increasE in Florida. Present l y , most tomato production and increasing acreag es of pepper a nd eggplant are being produced with plastic mul c h. In a dd ition to providing a uniformly controlled soil environ men t , the bl ac k ( or \-ihi te o n black) plastic mulch prevents g erm ination or growth of ma ny v;eeds. However, waeds ca n grow through the plant hol e and betw ee n mulched beds in th e wat er or trac t or furrow . Al so , nutsedge can pierce an d gr ow through the plastic. ':i'r:.e following information is intende d to assist gr owe r s in perfecting their nti rc weed management syst em when producing vP.getab le s with full-bed pl astj :-:1ulch .

  • -8-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    Control perennial weeds before bedding -- The best time to control nest perennial we eds in vegetable fields is during the fallow season. Aggressive management systems and non-selective co ntro l measures can be aimed specifica lly at reducing infestations of perennial weeds during the sununer fallow when most weeds are growing r apidly . Additional information relating to control of nu tsedge and perennial grasses in vegetabl es was published in the Vegetarian Newsletter issues 77-4 , 77-5 , and 77-9.

    Multi-purp ose soil fumigants and weed control - The proper application of multi-purpose soil fumigants under plastic mulch will reduce weed growth th ro ugh the plant hole and nutsedge infestations in the b ed . The key to effective pest co ntrol using multi-purpose soil fumigants is prop er soil moisture. All too often , the soil is too dry (or too wet ) an d control is erratic .

    Multi-purpose soi l fumigants move throughout the soil as a gas . Effec -tiveness under plastic is enhanced because le tha l amounts of th e gas can concentrate at the soil or bed surface under the plastic . However , if the soil is too wet , the gas cannot move throughout the soil . Al t hough the gas can move rapidly in dry soils , the weed seeds and nutsedge tubers may be ?artially dormant. Effective control depends on fully imbib ed seeds or tubers . Therefore, soils should be at or sli gh tly below field capacity for ::1axm.urn results .

    Herbicidal suppression of nutsedge at bedding - For tomatoes, peb ulat e (Tilla.m) can be applied over the false shoulder before the complete bed is shaped . Because pebulate is volatile, form the rem a inder of th e bed imme-diately and coverwithplastic mulch . Suppression of nutsedge and suscep-tible weeds will concinue for 4 to 8 weeks under normal planting conditions in Florida . However , do not app l y pebulate to tomatoes pl an ted near pepper or eggplant fields .

    Weed control in plant holes - Weed seeds sometimes germinate and grow through the plant hole in the pl as tic . Proper application of mo st multi-purpose soil fumigants will reduce growth of mo st weeds at the p lant hole . Otherwise, th e following herb i cides may be applied on the bed su rface b eforE layi~g the plastic mulch :

    Herbicid e Tomato Pepper Egspl an t

    Diph ena,Tiid (Enide) Yes Yes No Trifl ura lin (Treflan) Yes Yes No Pebul ate (Tillam) Yes No No DCPA* (Dacthal ) No No YP.s

    * Apply towilrds base of plant after transpl an ting . (Use on a t rial basis) .

  • -9-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    Weed control between mulc hed beds - In soils containing so me clay such as in Quincy, cultivation between beds should be considered to break the crust on the soil surface a nd enha n ce water infiltration rather than pro motE run-off . Otherwise, most growers prefer herbicides b ecause th e risk of tea : ing the plastic mulch is reduced .

    Two types of herbicid es c an be applied to control weeds b etween mulche, beds . First , se veral residual, soil-applied herbicides are registered for us e in tomato, pepper and eggplan t. The se herbicides mu st be applied b efor, the weeds begin to germinate, or control will be poor to erratic.

    Herbicide Tomato Pepper Eggplant

    Diphen ami d (Enide) Yes Yes No Chlora.i-nb en (Amib e n) Yes Yes No Pebulate* (Tillam) Ye s No No

    * Apply to soil near shoulder and "bed -o ver ., or cover with un tr eated soil fro~ tractor furrow to s up pr es s weed s along the mulch edge.

    Th e sec ond h e rbicide group con si sts of poste mergence, contact - type , he rbicides . Paraquat is the only herbicide in th is group registered for use between full-bed mulched tomato es and peppers, but not eggplant . The ch emical sh oul d be applied with a n onionic surfactant such as X-77, surfact ant WK, Triton X-10 0, Twee n 20 and man y others to help wet the weed fo li age Us e a shielded boom to avoid drift of Paraqu at to the crop . Apply wh e n we e are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) tall. Poor con trol will always result if wee are sprayed when 4 inches (1 0 cm) or tal ler . In some cases, p ara qu at c an b ta nk - mixed with residual herbicides such as Chloramben . However, be sur e to check the label before tank-mi xi ng herbicides for application to vege-tabl e s.

    (William)

    III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

    A. Sea we ed in the Vegetable Gar d en

    In sorr.0 parts of F lor ida , particularly in th e key s a nd oth er c oas ta l ?.r eas , g2rdener s have relied for many y ears on sh or el inG deposits of se a-.,;e-ca to ir:1provE! sa ndy or sh e lly soils. Liber a l additions of th e d eca yed s eaweed have alw ay s given good results . The la ck of ava il ab le topsoil i n th e key s ha s made tha t are a al mos t compl e tely dep e ndent on seaweed as a so5 b ase fo r growing vegetab le s in ga rd en s.

  • .. .. -1 0-

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    Florida is not uni q ue in the use of ocaweed for soi l improvement . It has b een used succes sf ully in many countries of t he wo rld. Sci e ntists in s uc h countries as Japan , Norway , Franc e , and Russia have stu died an d analyzed the ch emic a l c ompo s ition of seaweed . Sinc e th er e a re several s p ec ie s of s ea we e d, and since co mpo sition varies among species , locations and even t im e of year , it is difficult to generali ze the conten t s of s e awee d Howe ve r , all of the studies show that most se awe ed s a re very si milar t o c ow na nur e i n the conte nt of the major plant nutrients nitro g en, phosphoru s , and p otass i um . Seaw e ed contain s on the avera ge about . 5 to 1 . 5% ni t ro ge n and 4 to 10% potassium , but only . 1 % phosphor u s . In addit i on , seaweed may con-tain a s mu ch as 2% calcium and 4% magnesium . It is rich in trace elements such as boron, copper, ir on, man ganese , rnolyd en urn, and zinc , which are essential for plunt growth.

    On the other hand, seaweed also cont a ins such s a lt s as sodiu.'11 chlorid e whic h may be harmful in lar g e quan ti ti e s to plants . Most o f th e salt may b e washed away by l ea ching rainfall o r by drenching with a hose .

    One should keep in mind that the nutrients cont a in e d in se awe ed are slo wly av a il ab le to plants. Th e seaweed must be well rotte d or s hr edd e d b efo~e it is applied t o the soi l .

    In summary, seawee d a s fou nd along the c oa st of Florida app e ars to . be an available form of fertilizer and soil c ond i tioner for Florida gardens . I f u se d properly it can f ur n ish pl an ts with most of the nutrients need e d for good g rowth . It is a fair sou r ce of nitrogen , a go od s ou rc e of potas-si um, an d an excellent - s ource of trace el emen ts . However , it i s v ery lm1 i n phosphorus .

    To use it , one sho u ld first wa sh it t hor ou ghly to l each ou t th e s a lt, th en dry a nd shred the ma t er ial be fore co mpos t ing it or applying it to the garden p lo t. Allow a month or longer for the org a nic material to decompose su fficient ly to release its ch emic al s in a fo rm the vegetable plants can us e . Like o th er organic ma t eri a ls such as c ow manur e , liberal qu antities (2 5 to 50 # per 100 square feet of soil) sh ould b e ap p li e d. Th en , the ammended s oil may be watere d an d f er tili zed as ne ed to make veg etab l es gr ow where otherwise impossible or very difficult .

    (Stephens)

    B . ~no w Your Vegetables - Ce ltuce

    Cel tu ce (Lactuca sativ a v ar . asparagin a) is known al s o a s s t em l ettuc e c elery l et t uce , and asparagus l e ttuce. It l ook s l ike a cro ss b ~~we e n cel e~ an d l e tt uc e . This type o f lettuce is gro wn for th e e dible e nl a rg ed se e d s talr~ . The outer l eaves r ese mble loose l e a f lettuce, but a r e a lighte r g rc Th e se l e av es may be eate n in s al~d s at a young t ender s tage . Howev e r , th e y b e c c~e bi t t er an d unpalatab l e rat he r quickly due to the f on na t i o n o f a mi l k sa _?.

  • - 11-. . ~ . .. . . . .

    THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

    Soon after the d e velopment of the outer leaves, a central stalk beuring _i2y leaves at the top starts to elongate . Allowed to grow , this flower stalk wi ll reach 4 to 5 feet in height . It acts very much l i ke regular let-t~ce bolting to seed . The outer edges of the round stern contain the bitter milky sap .

    When the stem is about 12-18 i n ches long, it should be cut off down in-to the leafy portion of the plant , being sure to peel the outer skin , remove-ing the portion containing the bitter sap . The soft , translucent green central core is the edible part . It may be eaten fresh , either sliced or diced into a salad . The flavor is so mewh at like a cucumber , yet different . In Chi