Ask a Question forum: days to maturity

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 3, 2014 12:45 PM CST
There are all different answers as to what "days to maturity" means. Days from planting seed, days from planting seedling, days from blossoming, days from fruit setting.....? Has anyone ever actually timed this in their own yard? What did you find?
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 3, 2014 1:06 PM CST
It's different for different plants. For example 24 - 26 weeks for Cassia alata to go from seedling to blooming. 6 - 8 weeks for Ipomoea nil to go from seedling to blooming.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
May 3, 2014 1:39 PM CST
Anne, I think what texaskitty is asking is what is generally meant by "days to maturity." I wonder about that, too. If a seed packet says "90 days to maturity" does that mean 90 days from the time you stick the seed in the ground, or from the time it germinates, or what? I can't think of a specific example, but it sure seems like it takes a lot longer to harvest some things than what the seed packets tell you. This question might better be asked over in the edibles forum, since it seems mostly relevant to plants you plan to harvest. Maybe?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
May 3, 2014 1:50 PM CST
Yeah .. I kind of misunderstood .. though I'm thinking it means from seedling to harvest .. I don't think they are counting in the time it takes for germination.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 3, 2014 1:52 PM CST
I debated the edibles versus ask a question. Maybe someone with power will move it.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 3, 2014 3:14 PM CST
Well, I'm glad you asked it here, because it is something I've wondered about myself. And I don't spend a lot of time in the edibles since I mostly grow flowers, so I'd have missed it there. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 3, 2014 3:21 PM CST
That's why I decided to put it here, more readers. BUT, now it seems none of the veggie growers read this. Rolling on the floor laughing
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 3, 2014 3:27 PM CST
I always thought that 'days to maturity' means from the time you transplant the seedlings out into the garden.

It's an average in any case, so doesn't mean much. Varies greatly from zone to zone, with weather, night temps, and humidity (among other things) making a difference. All it really means is you will get fruit sooner from an early bearing type.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 3, 2014 3:45 PM CST
I think your right. I usually just add a month to the days to maturity, as my veggies are not precocious.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Duane Robinson
Kerrville, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas
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Poohdaddy
May 3, 2014 7:48 PM CST
The general definition that we use in teaching our Plant Propagation classes for MG's is that for seeds grown in seed starters it is from the date that you transplant the seedling. For seeds that are directly sown in the ground/garden it is from the date of germination. And of course, we add the disclaimer that it does depend some on environmental conditions like weather, soil fertility, etc.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 3, 2014 7:53 PM CST
Okay, thanks. I'll have to add two months, I guess. My watermelon, which i planted in the ground march 15th, and are 90 days to maturity, are now 2" tall. It has been cool.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 3, 2014 9:35 PM CST
Yep, you might have planted those babies a bit too early for this wacky season we've had. Hope they jump up now that it's warm!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: David Reaves
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Vegetable Grower Region: Texas Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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david_reaves
May 4, 2014 12:42 PM CST
TK,

Depends on if it is transplanted or direct seeded. The general convention is days to maturity for direct seeded is from the time the seed emerges to first fruit. Transplants are generally counted from the time they are transplanted. Your milage may vary though. The plant growth depends on temperature, water, sun, soil, nutrients, and anything else you might vary. The numbers are a guideline at best.

Post message edit: My tablet crashed before I finished my message last night. When it charged this morning I finished the answer I had started. A couple of good answers before mine...
[Last edited by david_reaves - May 4, 2014 12:45 PM (+)]
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 4, 2014 1:50 PM CST
But thank you for the answer.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
May 5, 2014 5:51 PM CST
I agree that "it's only an average". Within one seed catalog, if that company trials most of the seeds they sell, they should be consistent with the exact microclimate in that vendor's trial spot.

Otherwise, you have to look at the other varieties in the same seed catalog, and guess that the middle numbers are "mid-season" varieties. Then you can guess that the ones with shorter DTM will mature that many days faster than THEIR middle numbers will be around that much faster in your yard, compared to YOUR middle numbers.

For species where "warmer means faster", like tomatoes, it might be possible to give more meaningful information using accumulated "degree days" or "heat days" - adding up the number of degrees above 50 F (or some other base temperature).

For example, if the mean temperature one day was 51F, add 1. If the avg temp was 60, add 10. ("Mean" being taken as daily max minus daily min over 2 ... not and hourly average or anything fancy.)

But no one does that! And of course it fails when the temperature gets hot enough to stress the plants.

http://www.weather.com/outdoors/agriculture/growing-degree-d...
Name: David Reaves
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Vegetable Grower Region: Texas Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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david_reaves
May 6, 2014 7:38 AM CST
I'm thinking of writing an article on hardiness zones, days to maturity, and warming degree days. I think it would be a lot more useful to use warming days, so people need to understand the concept.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
May 6, 2014 7:55 AM CST
I would like to read that
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 6, 2014 9:30 AM CST
Sounds like a good subject for an article!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 6, 2014 2:09 PM CST
I found that thread, and I'm lurking eagerly! I don't have any information to contribute since I didn't keep records the one year I grew tomatoes in coastal WA.

Edibles and Preserving forum:
Days to Maturity, Growing Degrees
The thread "Days to Maturity, Growing Degrees" in Vegetables and Fruit forum


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 6, 2014 6:52 PM CST
Warming days sounds great, but I was just in Utah, planting my daughter's garden . . . they had many days in the 70's before I arrived, and two days where it snowed in the mid-day and went down close to freezing at night while I was there. Last Sunday the high was 81 and the low was above 60.

Even your warming days can't stop the plants from reaching a screeching halt in weather like that, right? Wish I'd been able to save two of the nice little tomato plants I'd raised from seed and 'imported' in my suitcase from Florida for their garden. Rolling my eyes.

Jmho, each gardener needs to learn their personal growing space and plant a few different varieties to compare, then record accordingly. Each year will be different but if you record for long enough, a pattern will emerge, and good varieties will present themselves. Also we will be able to compare the 'days to maturity' on the seed packet to what actually happens in our own space.

I grow my tomatoes through the fall and winter here in FL. One cold front can make a difference of at least a couple of weeks in the 'days to maturity' number because a night in the low 40's brings the plants to a halt and also stops fruit set. It comes down to the vagaries of weather, I think. Sometimes our first 'cold' front here is in October, and sometimes it's in January.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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