Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is a relatively new technique that appears to be a promising tool for soilborne pest management and crop production improvement. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is intended to introduce ASD for Florida vegetable growers. Written by Bodh R. Paudel, Francesco Di Gioia, Qiang Zhu, Xin Zhao, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Marilyn E. Swisher, Kaylene Sattanno, Jason C. Hong, and Erin N. Rosskopf.
Plant-parasitic nematodes pose a problem in agricultural systems by feeding on crops, therefore affecting their yield. Fluensulfone is a chemical that can be applied using various methods to manage the impact of plant-parasitic nematodes on crop production. This 6-page document discusses the characteristics and use of fluensulfone as a tool for nematode management practices. Written by Gilma X. Castillo, Monica Ozores-Hampton, and Pablo A. Navia Gine and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2018.
Powdery mildew, which is caused by the fungus Leveillua rutae (syn. Oidiopsis haplophylli) on nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.), was found in southwest Florida for the first time in 2015 (Fayette et al. 2016). This two-page fact sheet describes the pathogen, its symptoms, and how to manage it. Written by Pamela D. Roberts, Katherine E. Hendricks, Francesco Di Gioia, Joubert Fayette, and Monica Ozores-Hampton and published by the Plant Pathology Department.
Summer squash is an important vegetable crop in Miami-Dade County. It is grown annually on about 6,000 acres and sold nationwide during the winter in the fresh market. This 16-page fact sheet describes the varieties of summer squash, land preparation and transplanting, what fertilizer to use, irrigation and freeze protection, disease management, insect management, weed management, harvest, and crop rotation. Written by D. Seal, S. Zhang, M. Ozores-Hampton, P. Dittmar, Y. Li, W. Klassen, Q. Wang, and T. Olczyk and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
When raising crops on calcareous soils, growers need to know how much calcium carbonate is in the soil before they can employ any management practices. Growers can test the level of carbonate in their soils using store-bought vinegar and other household supplies. This 3-page fact sheet explains the chemistry behind the vinegar test and instructions for performing the test and interpreting the results. Written by Qiang Zhu, Monica Ozores-Hampton, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, June 2015.
In terms of acreage, snap beans are the most commonly grown vegetable in Miami-Dade County. This 2-page facts sheet outlines the impact of fertilizer use and local weather and soil on snap bean production in this region. Written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, Qiang Zhu, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, May 2015. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1261
Hand pollination is a technique that is used for breeding new tomato varieties with desirable characteristics such as plant vigor, disease resistance, and uniform fruit quality and plant growth; since tomatoes have complete flowers and are self-pollinated, it usually is unnecessary to hand pollinate the flowers for fruit production. This 4-page guide illustrates selection and emasculation of flowers from the plant receiving pollen, pollen collection and drying, and pollination of the stigma. Written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, August 2014. (Photo credit: Monica Ozores-Hampton)
There 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)
In response to the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Florida Restoration Act of 1999, a series of best management practices (BMPs) was implemented to improve surface and ground water quality. BMPs are cultural practices that, when implemented as a plan, help reduce the environmental impact of production while maintaining yield and quality. One of these BMPs includes the use of controlled-release fertilizer, which is an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer. This publication describes the common enhanced-efficiency fertilizers and the factors affecting their use in Florida vegetable production. This 9-page fact sheet was written by Luther Carson and Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2014.
The jalapeño is derived from the Capsicum genus of the family Solanaceae. Jalapeños are members of a diverse group, which also include ancho poblano, cayenne, serrano, Anaheim, banana, Asian, habanero, and Hungarian wax peppers. Hot peppers are classified by their heat and shape. The heat of the pepper comes from the chemical compound capsaicin, which is measured by the Scoville scale. This 8-page fact sheet is a guide of jalapeño and other hot pepper varieties used in Florida was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton and Gene McAvoy, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2014.
Eggplants are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Cultural practices employed in eggplant production are similar to tomatoes and peppers. In south Florida, where winters are mild and freezes are infrequent, eggplants are planted from August to March. This 5-page fact sheet is a guide to eggplant varieties commonly used in Florida. Written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2014.
Eggplant has a colorful heritage. It was first domesticated more than 4,000 years ago. Ancient Chinese crossbred varieties with different shapes and colors. It migrated to Egypt during the 9th to 12th centuries AD, the Moors introduced eggplant to the Spanish, who took the eggplant to South America around 1650, and in 1806, Thomas Jefferson introduced the eggplant to the United States after receiving the fruit from a friend in France. As opposed to the modern-day hybrid cultivars, heirlooms are old cultivars generated by handing down seeds from generation to generation. This 6-page fact sheet is a guide to heirloom eggplant varieties used in Florida. Written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2014.
Miami-Dade County is the primary production region for fresh-market bush snapbeans with 57% or 18,696 acres of the Florida bean acreage. Production costs vary from $16.53 to $21.87 per 30 lb. bushel or $4,046 to $4,711 per acre. Acceptable yields range from 185 to over 300 bushels per acre. Snapbeans produced in Miami-Dade County are sold nationwide for the fresh market starting just before Thanksgiving and continuing through the winter and spring months. This 9-page fact sheet was written by S. Zhang, D. Seal, M. Ozores-Hampton, M. Lamberts, Y. Li, W. Klassen, and T. Olczyk, specifically for growers in Miami-Dade County as a supplement to The Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida (SP170). Published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2014.
Here is a guide of the popular pepper varieties used in Florida. The popularity was assessed from a survey among seed suppliers, which include Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Burpee, High Mowing Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Tomato Grower Supply Company, Seeds of Change, Territorial Seed Company, and My Patriot Supply. When organic seeds were available, the USDA logo was inserted. The relative Scoville rating, which measures a pepper’s pungency, was also included when it was available. This 15-page fact sheet was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2014.
Enhanced-efficiency fertilizers are a group of fertilizers that reduce the risk of nutrient loss to the environment and subsequently increase fertilizer use efficiency. This increase may be accomplished through maintaining nutrients in the root zone by physical barriers, reduced solubility, or retaining nutrients in a less leachable form. This 7-page fact sheet examines laboratory, growth chamber, greenhouse, and field methods for measuring nitrogen release in controlled-release fertilizers. Written by Monica Ozores-Hampton and Luther C. Carson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, August 2013.
Grafting is a horticultural technology that combines two plants, the scion and the rootsock, to create a plant with desirable features from both parts. In the United States the use of vegetable grafting in field production remains limited, although 70% of the total hydroponic greenhouse tomato area uses grafted seedlings. Large, commercial grafting operations use controlled-environment growth chambers, but the high cost limits their use in most small-scale grafting operations. Healing chambers are an alternative solution that provides proper healing at a lower cost for growers and researchers. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton and Aline Coelho Frasca, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2013.
Alternatives to the traditional production system that reduce production cost would be economically beneficial to the Florida tomato industry. Compact growth habit tomatoes are determinate varieties with a unique architecture that may provide the basis for a viable alternative production system for Florida. These tomatoes have low growth and spreading characteristics, forming compact plants that hold fruit above the ground on short branches. They do not require staking, tying, or pruning, so they may be used by the Florida mature-green fresh-market tomato growers to reduce labor costs. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, Aline Coelho Frasca, John Scott, and Samuel Hutton, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2014.
Water-repellent soils are unable to effectively adsorb or retain water. On these soils, water may simply pool on the surface or may move down preferred pathways, leaving large amounts of soil dry even when a large volume of water is applied. Thus, managing water and nutrients in sandy soils is often challenging. This 6-page fact sheet provides an overview of surfactants and how they may be used to better manage water and nutrients in sandy soils for vegetable and fruit production. Written by Guodong Liu, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Gene McAvoy, Ben Hogue, and Crystal A. Snodgrass, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2013.
Blossom drop and reduced fruit set in tomato can seriously impact yields. Growers in Florida routinely experience such problems and inquire about the cause and possible preventative measures to reduce flower loss and improve yields. The problem can be frustrating and difficult to manage in some situations. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, Fnu Kiran, and Gene McAvoy, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2012.
Heirloom tomatoes have seen a rebirth in popularity because of increasing demand for fresh, fully ripe, tasty tomatoes. A tomato must meet three criteria to be considered an heirloom variety: The variety must be reproduced by seed, must have been cultivated for more than 50 years, and must have a history. Heirloom tomatoes are known for their singular taste, shape, and color, which include purple, orange, and yellow, in addition to the common red tomatoes. This 9-page fact sheet was written by Monica Ozores-Hampton, Charles S. Vavrina, and Aline Coelho Frasca, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, February 2012.