Tag Archive: Vegetable

Protecting Fall Vegetable Crops after the Hurricane

Protecting Fall Vegetable Crops after the Hurricane

Figure 1: Rain and leaf wetness exacerbate bacterial spot and can lead to complete blighting or defoliation of the plant. Credit: Josh Freeman

As if the fall season wasn’t challenging enough from a pest and disease perspective, throw in a hurricane and it gets much worse. Luckily, the storm missed most of the Panhandle. Tomato and cucurbit producing areas in Gadsden and Jackson counties likely saw the greatest impacts from Hurricane Irma. The biggest problem was the wind and wind driven rain. It doesn’t take much rain when you’ve got 40-60 mph winds to drive that water into leaves. This factor combined with the plants getting beaten around can create quite a bit of leaf damage. These damaged areas can be just the foothold that some plant diseases need to get started in a big way. The first thing we noticed was bacterial spot of tomato moved into most fields, and in fields where it was already established, it moved up the plant. This is a pretty common progression with this disease; yellowing begins in the lowest leaves near the ground, and it progressively marches up through the canopy. Rain and leaf wetness exacerbate bacterial spot and can lead to complete blighting or defoliation of the plant (Figure 1).

The other major pathogen of concern for the fall is target spot, a fungal disease that typically shows up later in the season when the weather cools off some. Target spot also has the potential to get started in leaf tissue damaged by the wind and rain from Hurricane Irma. Producers should stay on a tight spray schedule, especially in fields that have more damaged foliage from the storm. A link to UF/IFAS tomato production recommendations is provided at the end of this article.

If you haven’t noticed the whiteflies yet, then you haven’t been outside since about July. And it’s not just in and around vegetable crops, they’re everywhere. I had a psychic moment and was concerned about them in April (seeStart Preparing Now for Whiteflies this Fall in Vegetable Crops) and my premonitions have certainly played out. Whitefly populations have been exceptionally high since producers started setting fall plants. Most tomato and cucurbit seedlings had whiteflies on them within hours of planting (Figures 2&3) which means they will need to be managed for 90 days or so.

Figure 2. Tomato seedling plagued by whiteflies shortly after planting. Photo by Josh Freeman.

Figure 3. Cucurbit seedling plagued by whiteflies shortly after planting. Photo by Josh Freeman.

For tomato producers the two major concerns are Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) (Figure 4) which is transmitted by whiteflies, and irregular fruit ripening (Figure 5) which is caused by whitefly feeding. TYLCV is already bad and it is still a long way to harvest. Unfortunately when plants are infected with TYCLV early they essentially stop growing and likely won’t produce any fruit. We have fields locally that have 40% infection with another 30 days before harvest.

Figure 4. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). Photo by Josh Freeman

Figure 5. Irregular fruit ripening caused by the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). Photo by Josh Freeman.

There are several links below to information about whitefly management. It is very important to rotate pesticide modes of action. It is tempting to rely heavily on neonicotinoids, but if we want to maintain these chemistries for the future, alternative modes of action should be used. We have wondered for the last several years whether TYLCV will become established and be a consistent problem in North Florida and South Georgia, and as of now it appears that during the fall it will be. If we continue to have mild winters it is likely that high whitefly populations may become normal during the fall, and it will be recommended that tomato growers rely heavily on TYLCV resistant varieties. These varieties are listed in the tomato production guide below.

Whiteflies also pose a serious problem for cucurbit and bean producers. Much like tomato, they transmit viruses, Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus and Bean Golden Yellow Mosaic Virus.  Whiteflies cause fruit quality issues such as light colored beans or squash from feeding damage. The other major pathogen to be on the lookout for is Downy Mildew. This generally comes on when conditions cool off, enabling the fungus to rapidly move through fields, especially when we get persistent foggy mornings that keep leaves wet for multiple hours. A link to the cucurbit production guide is also below.

In summary, take action, now. These pests and pathogens were likely already present in most fields, and their progression may have been hastened by Hurricane Irma. It is critical when using chemical control options for all the pests and pathogens listed above that  modes of action are rotated. These codes are listed in their respective production guides as well as on the pesticide labels. Chemical control options are generally limited, so it is important that we are good stewards of the tools that we do have.

UF/IFAS Publications and Resources referenced in this article:

 

 

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Author: Josh Freeman – joshuafr@ufl.edu

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue.
https://www.facebook.com/NFRECVegetable

Josh Freeman

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/15/protecting-fall-vegetable-crops-after-the-hurricane/

Fall Vegetable Production Workshop – Combating Insect Pests September 12, 2017

Fall Vegetable Production Workshop – Combating Insect Pests September 12, 2017

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017 UF / IFAS Extension Washington County will be providing a insect pest identification and management workshop for vegetable producers and home gardeners throughout Northwest Florida.

Entomology specialists from the University of Florida and Extension agents will be leading hands on sessions focusing on insect pest management in vegetable production. This workshop is relevant to anyone growing vegetable crops in any season, but will have a special focus on fall vegetable pests. 

Lunch will be provided and  CEUs for pesticide license holders will also be available.

Cost: $ 15.00

Address: Washington County Ag Center East Wing, 1424 Jackson Ave, Chipley FL 32428.

Time: 8:30am-3:00pm

Pre Registration required for count: Contact Nikki or Cynthia at 850-638-6180 or email Matthew Orwat at mjorwat@ufl.edu

or register online at eventbrite HERE !

Agenda

  • Welcome and Introduction  8:30am-8:35 Matthew Orwat, Washington County Cooperative Extension,  Amanda Hodges, University of Florida

  • True bugs in Fall Vegetables-Identification and Management                      9:00am-10:15am

  • Cowpea Curculio                                                                                           10:15am-10:30pm

  • Break                                                                                                             10:30am-10:45am

  • Whitefly Management                                                                                    10:45am-11:10am

  • Invasive Species problems in North Florida Vegetable Production        11:10am-11:30am

  • Invasive Stink Bugs and Related True Bugs                                                  11:30am-11:50pm

  • Lunch    11:50pm-12:30pm

  • Tomato leafminer Tuta absoltua                                                                     12:30m-12:45pm

  • Old World bollworm and Exotic Spodoptera Pests                                         12:45pm-1:05pm

  • Common Vegetable Plant Diseases in the Florida Panhandle                       1:05pm-1:35pm

  • Pest and Pathogen Walk                                                                                 1:35pm-2:05pm

  • CAPS Exotic Corn Diseases of Concern                                                         2:05pm-2:35pm

  • Sample Submission, Arthropod and Disease samples                                    2:35pm-2:50p

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/26/fall-vegetable-production-workshop-combating-insect-pests-september-12-2017/

Full Steam Ahead for Vegetable Garden Soil Prep

If you haven’t already, it’s time to prepare the garden space for the summer bounty of fresh vegetables. The following information will help you get started. Just remember, as the soil preparation goes, so goes the vegetable production.

Figure 1: Planting Vegetables in Prepared Soil.

Credit: Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS.

By far the most physical part of vegetable gardening is soil preparation. This is the foundation that your garden is built on, so let’s not cut corners at this stage. Plain and simple, poor soil prep will result in poor garden performance. Before you begin prep, it is a good idea to have a soil sample analyzed. With a soil analysis complete, a more customized fertilizer and application may be recommended for your needs. However, a complete fertilizer like 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 can be used as general purpose. Also, pH can be determined through this test. If the soil is too acidic for vegetables, then a liming requirement may be needed. pH is key information, especially regarding planting time. If one needs lime, it is recommended to wait at least a month before planting to allow the lime to adjust soil pH. Generally, a small amount of lime can be added to a garden space regardless, as lime also contains the vital micronutrients calcium and magnesium. Contact your local extension office for more information on soil testing.

To begin the garden prep, one will first need to remove the weeds from the space. The next step is to turn the soil. This will help aerate the soil and accelerate soil decomposition which leads to higher organic matter. Turing the soil will also eliminate any soil compaction issues that would stifle seed germination. With sandy soils throughout the Panhandle, one will most likely need to amend by spreading a rich organic compost in the space. An application of fertilizer can be mixed in at this stage as well. Always follow the manufacturer’s label regarding application directions. Once complete, the soil should then be turned by digging down six to eight inches. A large garden will require a motorized tiller, but hand-held implements should be fine for smaller spaces.

After the soil is turned, be sure to break up any clods and rake so that the area is level. The soil should be of a fine texture by this point. Again, this makes seed germination much easier and will assist in further root development of transplants.

To have a vegetable garden that all will envy, it begins with soil prep. Remember, not only does a vegetable garden provide nutrition, but it also provides for exercise, a feeling of accomplishment and even could save you a few bucks. Please contact your local county extension office for more information.

Supporting information for this article can be found in the UF/IFAS EDIS publication: “Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide” by Sydney Park Brown, Danielle Treadwell, J. M. Stephens and Susan Webb: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02100.pdf

Information on garden plot preparation was also provided by Emeritus Vegetable Specialist Jim Stephens, of The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science.

UF/IFAS Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

 

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Author: Ray Bodrey – rbodrey@ufl.edu

Gulf County Extension Director, Agent II Agriculture & Natural Resource, Horticulture, Sea Grant

Ray Bodrey

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/24/full-steam-ahead-for-vegetable-garden-soil-prep/

Vegetable Gardening Makes Sense and Saves Dollars

Vegetable Gardening Makes Sense and Saves Dollars

 

Wakulla Master Gardener Bill Osborne shows off some of the peppers he grew.

Wakulla Master Gardener Bill Osborne shows off some of the peppers he grew.

Vegetable gardening has many highly desirable benefits. These positive features range from being a good source of exercise, an opportunity to produce fresh produce which may be hard to find in retail establishment, and being able to assure it is produced in a specific way.

In many cases it is difficult, and sometimes tedious, to place an accurate assessment of the economic value on producing vegetables for home consumption. Household budgets in 21st century are problematic enough without literally bean (or some other vegetable) counting to measure profit or loss in the home garden.

As part of an effort involving UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Master Gardeners, some popular vegetable categories have had their production assessed. All were grown in the demonstration garden at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office on Cedar Avenue in Crawfordville and Master Gardener Bill Osborne coordinated the project.

Several pepper cultivars and an heirloom squash cultivar was chosen to assess. They were selected based on their potential for producing over a long period of time during the summer months.

For the home gardener this means the potential for of eating fresh produce as it matures all season long. It minimized or eliminates the need for preservation expenses, which add to the cost of home production.

Each plant was grown under identical conditions in mushroom compost. The production would qualify as organically produced, but this was not part of the original assessment objective even though it would raise the end value of the useable vegetables.

The cost of the raised growing beds calculated out to approximately $ 15 per plant, but the expense could be spread over several years. This would reduce the annual expense to about $ 5.00 per plant for necessary growing inputs to establish the garden.

Values are always a tricky component to establish and necessitate certain assumptions. The prices used in this study were a composite of Big Bend area grocery store and super market prices. Each was rounded to the nearest quarter-dollar to keep calculations simple.

The results are reported on the chart included with this story. The big winner economically was the lemon squash with a retail squash prices averaged $ 2.25 per pound.

If consumed fresh, each lemon squash plant produced a $ 65.25 value with $ 5 of expense. The home gardener netted $ 60.25 saved in their food budget

Conventionally-grown specialty peppers averaged $ 4.50 per pound, with organic receiving a much higher price. The big economic winner was the Giant Marconi cultivar producing 10.5 pounds. When expenses were removed, the plant produced $ 42.25 of retail value.

Close behind was the Mesilla cultivar with 10.12 pounds of production. Its retail production value netted to $ 40.50 per plant.

veg-gardening-econ-chart

While eating fresh vegetables is a healthy practice, successfully growing them can be a helpful practice for the family budget.

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Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He works with small and medium sized producers in the Big Bend region of north Florida on a wide range of topics. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/11/03/vegetable-gardening-makes-sense-and-saves-dollars/

Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference Highlights

Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference Highlights

The Panhandle Ag Extension Team hosted the inaugural Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference on Tuesday, October 11.  The conference featured three concurrent session tracks for participants to choose from, a keynote address on whole farm business profitability, and a locally sourced lunch cooked by the Jackson County Master Gardeners.  More than 120 people attended the conference.

Trade Show Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference.

Participants of the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference enjoying the trade show. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

The conference was sponsored by 18 different businesses and organizations.  A Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block Grant provided funding for the educational resources for the conference.

Dr. Pete Vergot welcomes attendees to the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. Pete Vergot welcomes attendees to the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. Pete Vergot, Northwest District Extension Director, welcomed attendees to the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference by sharing his first-hand experiences about growing up on a vegetable farm in Michigan.

Extension Agent Bob Hochmuth reviewed various hydroponic media during a Protected Ag session at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Extension Agent Bob Hochmuth reviewed various hydroponic media during a Protected Ag session at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

The Protected Agriculture sessions were organized by Leon County Extension Agent Molly Jameson.  Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Extension Agent  is a vegetable production specialist.  He spoke to participants about different hydroponic production systems and about fertilizer management.

Members of the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance presented during a Protected Agriculture session at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Members of the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance presented during a Protected Agriculture session at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Tallahassee’s Red Hills Small Farm Alliance members Herman Holley, Katie Harris, and Wayne Hawthorne discussed their farming and marketing experiences with attendees at one of the Protected Agriculture sessions.  The Red Hills Small Farm Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit organization that assists small farms in the Red Hills Region with production and marketing.

Dr. Jeff Williamson presenting on blueberry varieties at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Matt Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. Jeff Williamson presenting on blueberry varieties and production at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Matt Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension.

The Fruit & Berry sessions were organized by Washington County Extension Agent Matt Orwat.  UF/IFAS Blueberry Specialist Dr. Jeff Williamson talked to participants about blueberry production practices and blueberry varieties.

Dr. Violeta Tsolova presenting about grape varieties at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Matt Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. Violeta Tsolova presenting about grape varieties at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Matt Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension.

Dr. Violeta Tsolova gave participants an in-depth review of grape varieties suitable for North Florida.  Dr. Tsolova is a Viticulture Specialist at Florida A&M University.

Dr. Ayanava Majumdar presenting at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference.

Dr. Ayanava Majumdar presenting at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference.

The Diversified Agriculture sessions were organized by Dr. Josh Freeman.  Dr. Freeman is the UF/IFAS Vegetable Specialist housed at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research & Education Center in Quincy, FL. During one of the Diversified Agriculture sessions, Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, from Auburn University, taught participants about various Integrated Pest Management strategies for insect management in vegetable crops.  Dr. Majumdar also presented in one of the Protected Agriculture sessions.

Participants lining up for Southern Craft Creamery ice cream at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

Participants lining up for Southern Craft Creamery ice cream at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

After the morning sessions were complete, the attendees of the conference were treated to a home cooked meal prepared by the Jackson County Master Gardeners. The lunch featured squash from farmer Allen Childs in Sneads, FL and peas from J&J Produce in Cottondale, FL.  The lunch was capped off by ice cream from Southern Craft Creamery in Marianna, FL. Snack breaks included chocolate milk from the Ocheesee Creamery in Blountstown, FL.

Keynote Speaker Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm, East Montpelier, VT) talked to participants about building a farm business. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

Keynote Speaker Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm, East Montpelier, VT) talked to participants about building a farm business. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

To kick off the afternoon events, Farmer Richard Wiswall from Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT talked to participants about managing a successful farm enterprises.  He shared his experiences about starting with a small farm and growing over time as finances allowed.  Richard also led a farm business seminar in the afternoon.

Mack Glass welcomes Citrus Tour participants to Cherokee Satsuma's packing house. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

Mack Glass welcomes Citrus Tour participants to Cherokee Satsuma’s packing house. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

Attendees had to make a difficult decision when choosing between an afternoon tour, a farm business discussion, or a hands-on vegetable grafting demonstration.  Participants on the Citrus Tour got to see Mack Glass’ packing house and his satsuma grove south of Marianna.

Grafting tomato transplants at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

Grafting tomato transplants at the Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Photo Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Extension.

UF Grafting Specialist, Dr. Xin Zhao, came in town to teach participants how to graft vegetables.  Participants got to practice grafting tomato plants.

Participants of the Protected Agriculture Tour visited Fox Family Farm in Cottondale, FL. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

Participants of the Protected Agriculture Tour visited Fox Family Farm in Cottondale, FL. Photo Credit: Libbie Johnson, UF/IFAS Extension.

The Protected Agriculture Tour visited Fox Family Farm in Cottondale.  Fox Family Farm utilizes high tunnels to grow heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables.  They are a Certified USDA Organic Farm.

The Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference was a success thanks to the volunteers, sponsors, and Extension Agents and Specialists that made it all possible.  We are looking forward to the next Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference.

 

PG

Author: Matt Lollar – mlollar@ufl.edu

Matt Lollar is the Jackson County Horticulture Agent. He has 5 years of experience with University of Florida/IFAS Extension and he began his career in Sanford, FL as the Seminole County Horticulture Agent. Matt is originally from Belle Fontaine, AL. He earned his MS and BS degrees in Horticulture Production from Auburn University.

Matt Lollar

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/22/panhandle-fruit-vegetable-conference-highlights/

Two Weeks Left to Register for the Fruit & Vegetable Conference – October 11

Two Weeks Left to Register for the Fruit & Vegetable Conference – October 11

PFVC1

The Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference is just around the corner. 

The conference will provide a great opportunity for networking and sharing practical farming knowledge that can help farmers from across the region. This event promises lots of learning opportunities for everyone, from prospective to experienced farmers, and from rural to urban settings.

Come network and learn with the UF/IFAS Extension and Research personnel, fellow farmers, and industry representatives. Register today to reserve your place at this exciting event.

Date: October 11th            Time: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Location: Jackson County Agricultural Complex, 2741 Penn Ave. Marianna, FL 32448

Activities:

Tradeshow

Educational Session Tracts:

  • Diversified Crops – The Diversified Crops sessions will feature presentations on Integrated Pest Management, fertilizer recommendations and application in vegetable crops, and marketing and cost assistance programs.
  • Protected Agriculture – The Protected Agriculture sessions will feature presentations on protected agriculture production and insect pest control from the perspective of researchers, extension agents, and farmers.
  • Tree Fruit & Berries – The Tree Fruit and Berries sessions will feature presentations on blueberry production, grape production, and satsuma production.

The lunch will feature fresh and delicious food from local farms.

KeynoteSpeaker: Richard Wiswall

Book photo 2Richard Wiswall and his wife Sally Colman own and operate Cate Farm in Vermont. Richard , the author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff – and Making a Profit, likes to share his knowledge with other farmers, and often gives talks and workshops on the often neglected business side of farming.

 

Educational tours and workshops

  • Tour 1: Protected Agriculture Tour – Fox Family Farm, Cottondale, FL

  • Tour 2: Satsuma Tour – Cherokee Satsumas, Marianna, FL

  • Workshop 1: Vegetable Grafting 101

  • Workshop 2: Determine Your Costs of Production – Farm Budgets Made Simple

 

Register today with the following link:

Panhandle Fruit & Vegetable Conference Registration

 

PG

Author: Matt Lollar – mlollar@ufl.edu

Matt Lollar is the Jackson County Horticulture Agent. He has 5 years of experience with University of Florida/IFAS Extension and he began his career in Sanford, FL as the Seminole County Horticulture Agent. Matt is originally from Belle Fontaine, AL. He earned his MS and BS degrees in Horticulture Production from Auburn University.

Matt Lollar

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/24/two-weeks-left-to-register-for-the-fruit-vegetable-conference-october-11/

My Fall Vegetable Garden

My Fall Vegetable Garden

Direct seed root crops and many leafy greens, such as arugula and spinach. Photo by Molly Jameson.

Direct seed root crops and many leafy greens, such as arugula and spinach. Photo by Molly Jameson.

Fall is fast approaching, and that means my favorite season for gardening has arrived! September is the month we get to start all of our fall favorites. For me, this means starting lettuce, kale, broccoli, and collards by seed in flats indoors. I use full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, which mimics natural sunlight. In a couple of weeks, I will direct seed arugula, carrots, mustards, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips into my raised beds.

Seed many brassicas and lettuce into flats. Photo by Molly Jameson.

Seed brassicas and lettuce into flats. Photo by Molly Jameson.

But before I get started direct seeding, I will first need to do some garden cleanup. Sadly, this means I will need to say goodbye to my basil and okra, which are still hanging on despite the heat (and despite the hurricane!). Then it will be time to add a fresh layer of compost. Additionally, I will be adding worm castings, which I have been creating for my fall garden in my home worm bin all summer. There is no better feeling then growing brassicas and lettuce from seed, digging small holes, adding homemade fresh worm castings to each, and planting the eager seedlings.

Grow many greens for the fall season. Photo by Molly Jameson.

Grow a variety of greens for the fall season. Photo by Molly Jameson.

Fall is a wonderful time to garden in zone 8b – generally less pest pressure and a chance to plant hardy leafy greens that can be harvested all the way into spring. Of course, I always keep frost cloth around, in case temperatures dip below freezing for extended periods of time. In which case I will be sure to carefully cover my lettuce and Swiss chard, making sure the cloth is well secured.

I love my tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash, but they usually involve staking and the ever imminent threat of caterpillars and intense heat. In the fall, most crops hold themselves off the ground, and I certainly cannot wait to pull on a jacket in the crisp early morning, come out to harvest kale and spinach leaves, and add them to my breakfast smoothie and veggie omelet.

For more information:

Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide

 

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Author: Molly Jameson – mjameson@ufl.edu

Molly Jameson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/16/my-fall-vegetable-garden/

The Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida: The Go-to-Guide for Vegetable Farmers

The Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida:  The Go-to-Guide for Vegetable Farmers

Figure 1 freeman 3The recently updated Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida (VPH) is the go-to-source of information on vegetable production.  So you need to know how to control leafminers in sweet potato? It is in there! Maybe you have a problem with Cercospora leaf spot in okra? Need some weed management options in tomato? That is in there too! You will also find information on weed management in watermelon, disease control in squash, and on and on.  You will be hard pressed to find a better desk-top or truck-seat reference guide for vegetable production.

The Vegetable Production Handbook has production recommendations for most of the vegetable crops produced  commercially in Florida. For each crop group there are recommendations for varieties, planting date, plant spacing, soil fertility, weed, insect, and disease management. Always remember to consult pesticide labels before making any application. Links below are to the entire VPH document, as well as the UF/IFAS Extension website that has each individual chapter listed

Freeman Crop IndexInformation in the VPH is derived from the research and years of experience of a team of UF/IFAS specialists.The VPH Team is made up of specialists in horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, nematology, weed science, and soil science.   The 2016-2017 edition is now available online, or as hard copies available to commercial growers at your local County Extension office. The authors and editors hope you will utilize this valuable resource to contribute to the success in the current and coming growing seasons.

Links to the Vegetable Handbook online:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vph (by crop)

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/cv/cv29200.pdf (complete 371 page handbook)

 

PG

Author: Josh Freeman – joshuafr@ufl.edu

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue.
https://www.facebook.com/NFRECVegetable

Josh Freeman

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/27/the-vegetable-production-handbook-of-florida-the-go-to-guide-for-vegetable-farmers/

Using the Linear Bed Foot System for Vegetable Fertilization

Using the Linear Bed Foot System for Vegetable Fertilization

Some production systems, particularly vegetables, utilize wide row spacing (anywhere from 4 to 8 foot wide). In these systems it is of economic and environmental importance to fertilize the crop root zones evenly, and not fertilize the row middles, where nutrients will go to waste or could even become a pollutant. The linear bed foot method (LBF) is utilized in order to help growers with mulched beds apply the correct amount of nutrients based on soil test recommendations.

Plastic mulch-bed systems utilize the linear bed foot method. (PC:Blake Thaxton)

Plastic mulch-bed systems utilize the linear bed foot method. (PC:Blake Thaxton)

Different row spacing are used by growers, so the LBF system standardizes the rate regardless of the chosen row spacing. The LBF system uses the fertilizer recommendation, usually expressed in a pounds to the acre (lbs of NPK/Acre) format, and the “typical row spacing” for the crop being grown. The “typical row spacing” can be found in Table 1 below, and will also be supplied by UF/IFAS extension soil testing reports.

Using this information, you can calculate that in an acre planted with a six foot row spacing (center to center), 100 linear bed foot will fit 72.6 times.

  • 43,560 square feet in an Acre/6 ft row spacing = 7,260 LBF
  • 7,260 LBF/100 = 72.6 (100 ft of row)

On the same acre a grower could have 100 linear bed foot fit 108.9 times with a four foot row spacing.

  • 43,560 square feet in an Acre/4 ft row spacing = 10,890 LBF
  • 10,890 LBF/100 = 108.9 (100 ft of row)

Although, there will be more total fertilizer applied to the field with the 4 foot row spacing, each 100 foot of row will receive the same amount of fertilizer regardless of the row spacing.

Once the grower has a fertilizer recommendation based on soil testing, that information can be used to acquire the amount of fertilizer to apply per 100 linear bed foot (or 100 feet of row). The fertilizer recommendation will be expressed in pounds/acre. This number can be converted to the lbs/100 linear bed foot by using Table 2 below. Using this conversion table will allow growers to apply the same amount of fertilizer per plant, regardless of the chosen row spacing. This is accomplished by expressing the amount of fertilizer to be applied in 100 linear bed foot increments.

Read more about the Linear Bed Foot system and additional examples of how it is used in the following UF/IFAS publication:

Calculating Recommended Fertilizer Rates for Vegetables Grown in Raised-Bed, Mulched Cultural Systems

 

PG

Author: Blake Thaxton – bthaxton@ufl.edu

Santa Rosa County Extension Agent I, Commercial Horticulture

Blake Thaxton

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/27/using-the-linear-bed-foot-system-for-vegetable-fertilization/

NFREC Vegetable Field Day October 5

NFREC Vegetable Field Day October 5

NFREC in Quincy , tractor, tour, trailer, field, farm.The North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy will be hosting a Vegetable Field Day from 9am-3pm on October 5th at 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351-5677, Phone: (850) 875-7100

Topics to be covered during the event will be disease and nematode management in tomato, watermelon, cucumber, and cantaloupe. Tomato and watermelon varieties for spring and fall seasons will also be discussed. Weather permitting, field plots will be visited to see disease management results first-hand.

This event is free of charge and will include a catered lunch. No registration is required but we request you RSVP to Josh Freeman at joshuafr@ufl.edu to determine a head count for lunch. If you are interested in sponsoring this event please let Josh know that as well.

 

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Author: Josh Freeman – joshuafr@ufl.edu

Dr. Freeman’s program focuses on vegetable and melon cropping systems important to the state and region. Much of his research and extension efforts are focused in the area of soil fumigants and fumigant alternatives for soil-borne pest and weed management. Many of the vegetable crops in Florida are produced using the plasticulture production system. For decades growers have relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide for pest management. This chemistry is no longer available and Dr. Freeman’s program is addressing this issue.
https://www.facebook.com/NFRECVegetable

Josh Freeman

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/26/nfrec-vegetable-field-day-october-5/

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