green~acres
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Days to Harvest ??

Hi all,, if the days to harvest are 68 days, is that from the day the seeds were planted or the days from when the seeds sprout?
Thanks, Julie

TZ -OH6
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Depends on the vegetable. For those normally started indoors like tomatoes the DTM is from the day planted out, assuming a certain size/age (about 6 weeks old for tomatoes). For corn, which is direct seeded, the DTM is from germination date.

green~acres
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It is for carrots. How will i know when they are ready to harvest without having to dig them up?

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rainbowgardener
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Carrots once they are maturing typically have their shoulders out of the soil so you can see how big they are. But you can harvest them any time. I don't thin mine until they have at least tiny carrots, so that I can eat the thinnings. After that you can eat them at baby carrot size when they are more tender and sweet or you can let them grow as long as you want, just get them out before the ground freezes....
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jal_ut
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Too many variables. Days to harvest may work in the field where the variety was first developed, but it will be different in your garden. Here 72 day tomatoes take 120 days. It depends a lot on how hot the days get.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

wordwiz
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jal_ut wrote:Too many variables. Days to harvest may work in the field where the variety was first developed, but it will be different in your garden. Here 72 day tomatoes take 120 days. It depends a lot on how hot the days get.
This is why I like Growing Degree Days. 2100 GDD is the same, whether it is in Oregon or Florida. This is one of my projects this year - record the GDD when the seedling is transplanted or the seed sprouts, when they first blossom and when the first mature fruit happens. I'm sure there will be variations based on rainfall and bright sunshine vs. overcast days (even if the temps are the same), soil fertility, etc., but I expect fairly close figures.

Mike

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I would recommend you keep the carrot tops covered unless you want green shoulders. :(

Eric

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James, that's a good point. I always wondered about that. My stuff sure isn't ready when the packet says it will be !
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green~acres
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Thanks for the replies everyone.,,,good advice.

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digitS'
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And, the Weather Service even keeps track of the [url=https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/cdus/degree_days/grodgree.txt]Growing Degree Days for you, if you live near one of their recording stations.[/url] Their table is calculated on corn's baseline temperatures but that is probably about what other warm-season crops require.

I used to have no idea what days-to-maturity meant. It seemed to be based on moonbeams, or something. As in Jal's garden, from the time of setting out that 72-day tomato - I am still looking at nothing but green fruit weeks beyond 72-days! (With an 80-day tomato - I'm probably looking at only green fruit as the sun sets on the night for our 1st killing frost :cry: .)

Edmonton gardener Lois Hole wrote a book where she tells us what days-to-maturity is supposed to mean. I think it was her Tomato Favorites book. It was something like "days with an average temperature above 70°F."

Since we get only a handful of June days with an average temperature above 70°F here - Spring days don't hardly count at all in that scheme. So, the seed companies add in the moonbeams for good measure.

Yes, Growing Degree Day information for garden varieties would be very helpful!

Steve :wink:
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Well, I'm a keep it simple type. You can track all that growing degrees stuff and make charts and graphs or you can eat your carrots when ever you feel like it! :) I mean if you are a commercial grower bringing things to market then you want a certain size, but if you are a backyard gardener, growing for yourself, who cares?

Some things need to get to a certain ripeness, but things like carrots, onions, turnips, don't get riper, they just get bigger and you can eat them whatever size you want.
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gixxerific
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Yes good point James. You have to take all things into consideration with the stats on plants. That includes height, DTG everything. Too many variables all those stats are generalized or are decent stats for a specific climate which we well know many of use are way different form the others.

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jal_ut
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The days to maturity info on a seed packet is useful though when you are shopping. It gives you an idea which varieties will be the earliest. Also, later varieties often give larger fruit. So it gives you some things to consider as you gather up your seed.

Tomatoes are a real mystery though. Like I said they take much longer than is stated on the pkg.

120 day pumpkins and squash will mature here though. Go figure. I plant them on May 5 and by mid September they are ready.

If a cucumber is said to be 65 days, that just tells you it will mature earlier than those 120 day pumpkins. :) Depending on your climate, it may even be ready in 65 days. Cukes planted fairly early will likely take a few more days than some planted two or three weeks later when the weather is warmer.

For the most part it is nothing to lose sleep over. When its ready, enjoy!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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digitS'
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Here is an example of how a major seed company's days-to-maturity rating can be misleading.

For comparison, Big Beef has been in my garden for about 10 years now. It is said to be a 73 day tomato and always does well for me.

I grew Health Kick in the tomato patch one year. It is usually listed in catalogs as 75 days.

The Big Beef began to ripen as usual, about mid-August. Plenty of red fruit just kept coming.

Frost showed up in mid-September and not 1 Health Kick tomato had ripened! The plants were loaded with fruit, not one even had a blush. Two days apparently represented 3+ weeks for the variety, that year.

Steve

edited to add: if you search online for growing degree day info, indeed you will find a little from Florida and California. but, universities in Manitoba, Montana and North Dakota have quite a lot of information.
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

wordwiz
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rainbowgardener wrote:Well, I'm a keep it simple type. You can track all that growing degrees stuff and make charts and graphs or you can eat your carrots when ever you feel like it! :) I mean if you are a commercial grower bringing things to market then you want a certain size, but if you are a backyard gardener, growing for yourself, who cares?
I guess I do, as much as I do about the best medium to sow seeds in, what kind of lighting works best, whether a determinate or indeterminate is ideal for my garden, what a soil analysis says I need to do. Nothing wrong with stumbling and bumbling through raising a garden - don't get me wrong. But I really believe the more one understands the processes that produce, uh, produce, the higher the likelihood of success.

Your mileage apparently varies - nothing wrong with that.

Mike

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