Leek Cultivation Guide for Florida

Chinese leek (A) and a quarter for scale (B). Credit: Guodong Liu, UF/IFAS

Leek (Allium porrum L.) is a member of Amaryllidaceae, a family with ornamental crops, like amaryllis, and with vegetable crops, like onion. Leek is a highly demanded vegetable because of its flavor and nutrient content. Although there is great potential for leek to be grown commercially in Florida due to demand and appropriate climatic conditions, the United States does not currently produce a significant quantity of leek compared to countries such as Indonesia, Turkey, and China. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu, provides a basic guide to cultivation of leek in Florida, as well as information on its agricultural, culinary, and medicinal uses.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1388

Implementing the Five Rs of Nutrient Stewardship for Fertigation in Florida’s Vegetable Production

Diagram of root zone fertilized with drip fertigation (left) and dry granular fertilization with drip irrigation (right). This diagram illustrates how a fertigation system is able to confine nutrients to the root zone. Because the nutrients are supplied with irrigation and in small quantities, they are less likely to leach and more likely to be taken up by the crop. Conversely, granular fertilization supplies the soil with a larger quantity of nutrients at one time, thereby enhancing the likelihood of leaching. Credits: Mary Dixon, UF/IFAS

The five Rs of nutrient stewardship is a mnemonic device used to emphasize accuracy and precision for nutrient management so as to apply the (1) right source of fertilizer at the (2) right rate at the (3) right time in the (4) right place with the (5) right irrigation. Because the majority of Florida’s soils are sandy, this fifth R is imperative for sustainable nutrient management for commercial crop production. These main points of nutrient management (source, rate, time, place, irrigation) may help enhance sustainability by reducing pollution by eutrophication, nitrogen loss through ammonia volatilization, and climate change from soil greenhouse gas emission. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1386

Production Guide for Choy Sum: An Emerging Asian Vegetable in Florida

Cooked choy sum. A) Flowered choy sum chopped into pieces and stir-fried with dried chili pepper. Credit: Yi Wang; B) Purple choy sum chopped and stir-fried with garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. Credits: Yi Wang, Kaijiang, Sichuan, China

Choy sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, is a leafy vegetable that has been widely cultivated in southern China for more than 1,000 years, and is currently cultivated and consumed by a growing population in the western world. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Yanlin Wang and Guodong Liu, provides a brief overview of choy sum and its cultivation, as well as some suggestions for how to include it in a meal.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1380

Daikon Radish Cultivation Guide for Florida

Healthy daikon radish foliage (A) and root (B) at approximately 6 weeks. Credits: Mary Dixon, UF/IFAS

Daikon radish is a versatile vegetable crop in the mustard family. It produces a large, white, cylindrical fleshy root weighing up to 4-7 lb. Daikon radish is an especially common vegetable in Asia, particularly Japan, and it tends to be less spicy than other garden types of radish. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides a primer on cultivation of daikon in Florida, including sections on propagation, growing conditions, pests and diseases, and agricultural, culinary, and medicinal uses. Written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1370

Florida Cultivation Guide for Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach flower. Credits: Chunfang Li, FDACS-DPI

Malabar spinach (Basella spp.) is a nutritious vegetable in the family Basellaceae. Malabar spinach goes by many names, including Indian spinach, Ceylon spinach, vine spinach, and climbing spinach. Malabar spinach has long been established in cultivation in China and India. This spinach is a novel crop to Florida and is currently grown only for niche markets. However, Florida’s suitable climate coupled with Malabar spinach’s great taste and nutritional quality suggest that this crop has great potential for commercial cultivation. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department describes in brief how to grow Malabar spinach, manage pests, harvest, and market it. Written by Yuheng Qiu and Guodong Liu.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1371

Fertigation via Center Pivot Irrigation for Commercial Potato Production in Florida

Red potatoes. Vegetables, food, nutrition. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Potatoes are an important crop in the United States, and Florida is ranked the 7th producer nationwide for potato production. In Florida, potatoes are mainly planted on sandy soils with low nutrient- and water-holding capacities. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in these soils. Adopting efficient fertilization methods such as fertigation is imperative for minimizing leaching and improving use efficiency of nitrogen. This new 12-page article provides step-by-step guidelines for fertigation practices for commercial potato production. Written by Xiangju Fu, Guodong Liu, Lincoln Zotarelli, Steven Sargent, Kati Migliaccio, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1361

Bok Choy, an Asian Leafy Green Vegetable Emerging in Florida

Bok choy plants with green petioles

Asian vegetable crops are rapidly expanding in Florida in the last decade due to their health benefits combined with their high profitability. These crops can help increase vegetable growers’ income and diversify Florida’s crop production, and they are new to most Floridians. This new 5-page article provides a general overview of bok choy for vegetable growers, crop consultants, certified crop advisors, Extension agents, and graduate students. Written by Hai Liu and Guodong Liu and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1337

UF/IFAS Standardized Nutrient Recommendations for Vegetable Crop Production in Florida

Soil testing is a scientific tool for effective nutrient management that provides an estimate or an index of the available nutrient-supplying capacity of the soil. This 9-page publication presents the fertilization recommendations for vegetable crops based on soil tests performed by the IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL). Written by Rao Mylavarapu, George Hochmuth, and Guodong Liu and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, December 2017.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv002

Luffa: an Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida

The fruit of angled luffa have a longer shelf life and are more tolerant to shipping than those of smooth luffa. The angled luffa is more popular in Florida's commercial farms for Asian vegetable crops. Credits: Guodong Liu, UF/IFAS

Luffa is the genus name of several tropical and subtropical plants in the cucumber family. Alternatively spelled “Loofa” or “Loofah,” the name is derived from the plant’s use as a material for sponges and dish cloths for bathing and cleaning dishes. This six page fact sheet describes the two types of Luffa, how to cultivate them, and what they can be used for. Written by Yucong Xie, Guodong Liu, Yuncong Li, and Kati Migliaccio and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1285

Pond Apple: A Tree Species Adapted to Salt Stresses

Figure 1. Pond apple seedlings. Credits: Guodong Liu, UF/IFAS
Soil salinity is a naturally ocurring problem for growers, gardeners, and homeowners in Florida. As sea-levels rise, seawater intrusion causes salt stress to plants grown in coastal lowland areas. This three-page fact sheet introduces a salt-tolerant species, pond apple (Annona glabra L.), which has great potential to be used in high-salinity coastal landscapes. Written by Guodong Liu, Yuncong Li, Kimberly Moore, and Kim Gabel and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1281

How to Chemigate Salinity-Stressed Plants with Hydrogen Peroxide to Increase Survival and Growth Rates

Figure 3. Oxygen fertilization saved bald cypress plants flooded by 8 PPT sodium chloride for four days. Left plant: no oxygen fertilization, no salinity, growing well; middle plant: no oxygen fertilization, 8 PPT salinity stressed, died; right plant: oxygen fertilization, 8 PPT salinity stressed, growing well.

Man-made activities can induce climate change and global sea-level rise, posing threats to the survival and growth of coastal vegetation in Florida. This three-page fact sheet explains how to ensure plant survival and facilitate the growth of coastal vegetation threatened by sea-level rise and the resulting oxygen deficiencies and saline stresses. Written by Guodong Liu, Yuncong Li, Kimberly Moore, Kim Gabel, Lei Wu, and Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1280

Tong Hao: an Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida

Figure 5. Tong Hao leaves in stir-frying.
Tong Hao (Glebionis coronaria) is a member of the daisy family and therefore a relative of lettuce. It is an important vegetable in Asian communities. Grown in China for more than 900 years, Tong Hao is a branched annual leafy herb that can be cooked and eaten. This four-page fact sheet provides background information about Tong Hao, including information on growing, harvesting, and cooking it. Written by Guodong Liu, Qingren Wang, Bonnie Wells, Yuncong Li, and David Dinkins, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1276

Practices to Minimize Flooding Damage to Commercial Vegetable Production

Figure 2. Flooded squash plants.
Flooding is a major risk for commercial vegetable production in south Florida, especially in the south Dade County area. Flooding causes oxygen deficiency, or hypoxic stress, causing the plants to produce less energy. This shortage in energy prevents the absorption of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. This four-page fact sheet discusses several different management practices for overcoming flood damage, including the use of nitrogen and potassium fertilizers, oxygen fertilizers, growth regulators, and fungicides. Written by Goudong Liu, Yuncong Li, and Xiangju Fu, and published by the Soil and Water Science Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss425

Implementing the Four Rs (4Rs) in Nutrient Stewardship for Tomato Production

Freshly picked tomatoes.Fertilization plays a critical role in tomato production across the state of Florida. However, appropriate fertilization management depends on four major components (4Rs): right source, right rate, right placement, and right timing. Farming practices that follow the 4Rs can provide nutrients for optimal tomato productivity while minimizing the risk of nutrient losses and adverse environmental effects, both of which are important to the development of agricultural sustainability. This 6-page fact sheet discusses the 4Rs as well as conventional dry source fertilizers, controlled-release or slow-release source fertilizers, and liquid source fertilizers. Written by Qingren Wang, Guodong Liu, Kelly Morgan, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1269

Bitter Melon: An Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida

Six-foot tall trellis systems provide support for bitter melon vines.Bitter melon is a tropical and subtropical vegetable crop with long climbing vines which is widely cultivated in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. The unripe fruit is used as a vegetable with a pleasantly bitter taste. This 7-page fact sheet provides an overview of this plant as well as recommendations for individuals in Florida who are interested in growing it. Written by Guodong Liu, Qingren Wang, Yuncong Li, David Dinkins, Bonnie Wells, and Yuqi Cui, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, December 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1271

Long Squash: An Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida

Long squash vines on trellis.Long squash is an annual, vigorous, and herbaceous crop that was brought to the Americas by Paleoindian populations from Asia before the arrival of Columbus. This 4-page fact sheet provides an overview of this plant as well as recommendations for individuals in Florida who are interested in growing it. Written by Guodong Liu, Yuncong Li, David Dinkins, Bonnie Wells, Qingren Wang, and Yuqi Cui, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, December 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1272

Long Bean: An Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida

Dark green pods of long bean.Food diversity, nutritional food supply, and profitability are the priorities of agricultural and horticultural industries. To diversify vegetable products and increase the Florida vegetable industry's competitiveness, a number of new vegetable crops are rapidly emerging in the state. Due to Florida's favorable climate, these vegetable crops grow well and have high market potential. The objective of this 6-page fact sheet is to provide a general overview of long bean, one of the Asian vegetable crops grown in Florida. Written by Kshitij Khatri, Guodong Liu, Qingren Wang, Yuncong Li, David Dinkins, and Bonnie Wells, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1268

What is 4R nutrient stewardship?

A man checks fertilizer levels on a tractor on a farm
A new and innovative approach to Best Management Practices for fertilizer application known as 4R nutrient stewardship is available, to ensure the environmental, social, and economical sustainability of commercial crop production. This 3-page fact sheet focuses on the basic concepts of the 4R nutrient stewardship principles for commercial crop production. Written by Guodong Liu, Kelly Morgan, Yuncong Li, Lincoln Zotarelli, James DeValerio, and Qingren Wang, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1264

Controlled-Release and Slow-Release Fertilizers as Nutrient Management Tools

UF/IFAS recommends nutrient management practices that will reduce harmful nitrate levels in the river, springs and groundwaterThere are many fertilizer sources available for commercial crop production. The characteristics of each fertilizer type determine whether its use poses an advantage or a disadvantage to a farmer. This 6-page fact sheet focuses on how to select the right fertilizer to enhance profitability and satisfy best management practices (BMPs). Written by Guodong Liu, Lincoln Zotarelli, Yuncong Li, David Dinkins, Qingren Wang, and Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2014. (UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1255

Soil pH Management for Optimum Commercial Fruit Production in Florida

Figure 2. A schematic diagram of soil pH adjustment with lime, sulfur, and nitrogen fertilizers. Liming, sulfuring, and fertilizing can all adjust soil pH. Liming increases the plow layer pH; sulfuring may decrease the plow layer pH. Nitrate nitrogen increases root zone pH; ammonium nitrogen reduces root zone pH.Soil pH is one of the most important soil chemical properties and affects nutrient bioavailability and microbial activity. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview for faculty, crop consultants, crop advisors, fruit growers, and students who are interested in fruit production. The crop response to soil pH varies due to crop genetic diversity. Soil pH determines nutrient bioavailability and hence fruit growth, yield, and quality. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Guodong Liu, Rao Mylavarapu, Ed Hanlon, and Wei Chieh Lee, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, April 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1234