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Beginner Vegetables: What specifically is 'days to maturity?'

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lssfishhunter
Jonesville, SC
(Zone 7b)

May 31, 2012
8:30 PM

Post #9147081

I have been gardening for years and I am somewhat familiar with the term 'days to maturity' but I counted the days when I planted my Blue Lake 274 and the day that I first picked beans and it was 60 days. 'Days to maturity' on Blue Lake 274 is 41-50 days. So, what exactly is this term? I know that it differs for various planting zones. But, what is it? Is it from the time that the seeds are planted and small fruit is produced? Is it from the time the seeds are planted and time for picking? Am I totally wrong? Help. Thanks for the responses.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 1, 2012
5:07 AM

Post #9147290

Most often it is from date of planting altho some will use from emergence. Blue Lake 274 is usually listed at 55 days. It is an estimate based on field trials. But it actually varies with weather and climatic conditions. That is why a late planting will often catch an early planting. It is useful when comparing varieties from commercial developers. It is rare to find a variety listed with DTM under 50 days. Contender is one of earliest at 50 days. Bush Kentucky Wonder one of the latest at 59 days.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 1, 2012
8:18 AM

Post #9147566

I always add a week to ten days to whatever it says on the seed packet. That way I'm not disappointed :-)
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2012
3:27 PM

Post #9148129

Quick question. When they give the DTM on say tomatoes is that because some plants set fruit later or the fruit takes longer to ripen? Ive always wondered this but have never gotten an answer. Thanks!
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 1, 2012
4:03 PM

Post #9148181

A little of both. An early say 65 day tomato set at the same time under the same conditions as a 75 day tomato can be expected to ripen a week to 10 days quicker. sometimes because it has a small vine and sets fast, another variety may just ripen faster.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2012
8:33 PM

Post #9148507

Thank you! I know growth and days until harvest have a lot to do with temp, sun, soil conditions, etc. So at best its a guesstimate. Since I grow many types of tomatoes, and their DTMs vary a lot, thats where I notice the difference.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 4, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9151530

There's a good website in which a cluster of tomato blossoms was photographed using a stationary camera - then the same photo was taken almost daily, following the tomatoes all through pollenization, their growth while green, ripening, and finally rotting on the vine. It demonstrated why we get impatient (I do anyway) as tomatoes stay green a LONG time before ripening. I've lost the link to the website. Has anyone here got it?

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 4, 2012
9:43 AM

Post #9151620

Lisa - I remember the one to which you refer, but did not save the link.

If you go to You Tube and enter time lapse tomato growing, there are lots of them.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 4, 2012
5:18 PM

Post #9152409

Bee-I wasn't referring to a website??? I'm the one asking the question. HeHe

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2012
10:31 AM

Post #9154644

Farmerdill et al,
Is it too late to plant Contender green beans? We have about a good 90-100 days of heat ahead. I've been enjoying the Ky Wonder Green bean pickings from my seven buckets. But, they're growing under the patio cover, in buckets sitting close to the edge). They get sunlight on an angle, and have done their best to give what they can.

I'd like to start some more beans out in the proper sunshine. I tasted the Contenders from another gardener just last week, and I think I like them better than the Ky Wonders (shhhhh...don't let them hear you say that...).

LMK. Thanks!

Linda
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 6, 2012
12:17 PM

Post #9154742

I don't know Houstons climate that well. Here I don't plant again until late August for a fall crop. They can't take the temps here in late June - July - August. My early crop has maybe two more weeks before all the beans shut down for the summer.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2012
12:49 PM

Post #9154761

I see, Farmerdill. They don't/won't produce well in the Fires of Hades, Texas. Ok. I can do end of August too!

I think our temps run pretty much the same in the late-spring thru the end of summer seasons. We diverge at the winters, when you get sustained winter freezes, which we don't get many of.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 6, 2012
10:11 PM

Post #9155330

I have grown beans all summer long the only thing that kills them is the Spider Mites. GymGirl your climate is much different then mine tho. I have bush beans in containers this year. You might want to try long beans as they can most certainly take the heat, they need it. They can also take the humidity, which we dont usually have but the last 2 days have been the exception. I do not envy any of you that live with this humidity I cant take it. Im surprised that my tomatoes are still setting but what were flowers yesterday are tiny tomato buttons today.

Linda- I would have to give it a try. LOL Cant you get some Contender seeds now and just sow a couple, saving the rest for later. Id have to try it. lol Like you said yours are partially shaded. But I do recommend the Asian long beans.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 7, 2012
7:09 AM

Post #9155559

I'm surprised to hear that you folks in warmer climates can't plant and grow warm-weather crops all summer like we can here. I guess being able to do that is our reward for enduring some cold winters. From May on, I can make successive plantings of beans, sweet corn, cukes, etc., any time. The only consideration is to allow time for things to mature and have a full bearing season, as we'll start to cool off a lot here in September and freeze in October. In mid-summer we often have some weeks when tomatoes won't set on because of high humidity and temps over 90, but tomatoes already set on are ripening at that time and more will set on later, so that's OK.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 7, 2012
7:17 AM

Post #9155573

Ozark,
I think it's our high humidity that makes it so challenging for us. The plants do fine with the heat, as long as we keep 'em hydrated. But, the pollen on most of the plants will clump from the perpetual, damp humidity, so, while the plants will grow, they won't produce much yield from lack of pollination.

There might be a run on electric toothbrushes soon!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 7, 2012
10:11 AM

Post #9155759

Ozark-my gardening experience is much like yours. Must years, time permitting, I garden and my plants produce all summer long, like you. But as I mentioned above I dont normally have high humidity. However, it seems like the midwest and east coast has high humidity too. Like you said, if the plants arent setting the veggies are ripening...drizzling today, a very nice surprise.
lssfishhunter
Jonesville, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 28, 2012
1:04 PM

Post #9185041

Very hot and very humid with little rain here--that's the problem! Very few people around here pump water out of creeks that run by their fields. But those folks can grow vegestables throughout the entire growing season. The rest of us have to pray for rain at the correct times so the fruit will have a chance to produce.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 28, 2012
9:37 PM

Post #9185661

I was wrong to post about my "all summer" gardening climate back on June 7. The past couple of weeks we've been in a heat wave/drought that's shattered all heat records for June. My truck thermometer said it was 107 today, and there's nothing but more of the same predicted for the foreseeable future!

My pole beans are turning yellow and giving up, and though I water with soaker hoses every day it looks like my garden is going to be confined to okra, corn, peppers, and tomatoes for the rest of the summer. In fact the peppers and tomatoes have green fruit set on from earlier in the month, but nothing is setting on now. I'll be lucky if I can get the existing peppers and tomatoes to ripen without losing them to sunburn.

OK, I shouldn't have bragged. I'm learning what it's like to garden in "Fires of Hades, Texas", and I don't like it!

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 28, 2012
11:44 PM

Post #9185699

Ozark don't take it personally, we all learn something new every day. Last year was my first year gardening, record heat, drought, & absolutely terrible production teaches quickly. The only thing that grew was the Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato & Okra. I think we only had 2 large tomatoes off of 6 plants.

I had planned on doing a fall garden but with this summer heat just going to hold back awhile. Already cut cuke stems on a couple plants & will let them die on trellis. Going to try to keep the tomatoes already in the ground. They're pinking up every day but some of the smaller toms I don't think will ripen in this heat. It's not impossible for us to have 100* temps. in September, so I think that's going to be too hot for broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and some of the other fall veggies.

Our warm, wet winter is the only thing that saved us this year, but we've only had about 0.06 inches of rain in Austin this June. Right now we're approaching almost 3.5" deficit for the month. Our area is back under a severe drought warning, after only coming out around January. Watering RB's and containers every day just to stay ahead.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 29, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9186011

kevcarr59
don't be discouraged ! Yes is very hot right now ... but you live in TX and I can guarantee you that you could veggie garden all year around.
This is my 4th year growing vegetables in Dallas, and so far the best. I dunno water much and I don't use any pesticides.
The secret is really to plant at the RIGHT time, otherwise the plant will suffer, produce no fruits and be attacked by bugs.
I did start a thread this year on the vegetable garden forum about 2012 Spring vegetable gardening. Have a look and write down the dates I started my seeds. I will keep this spring 2012 as a sample for my future planting. Everything I started and transplanted produced so much.
Now, it is too hot to start anything for the fall. You will just waist time and get frustrated ... and maybe give up !
I will start my seeds INDOOR on the first week of August for : broccoli, cauliflowers, kale, fennel, bok & pak choi.
My ideal transplanting date will be first week in September.
Good luck to ya and don't give up !

Note: my first year in Dallas I attended a class at the Dallas Arboretum and the title was "gardening in purgatory" ...

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 29, 2012
9:25 AM

Post #9186125

drthor,

I would be very skeptical to use this past winter & spring as a baseline for a planting schedule. With the abnormally warm temperatures and drought-busting rainfall, we got a great start for this year, but now were back into a hot, dry summer. With the great start, we were lucky to have transplants in the ground about a month earlier than last year. This would be an exception rather than the rule.

I'm not discouraged in the least about this fall, but I'm planning more for next spring. In the works is a caterpillar tunnel for my tomatoes, and a lot bigger garden, about 4 or 5 times the plants & size. I have the space & time to do it so I plan on doing some local markets in the area. Had a blast doing one local market a few weeks back & that was just some extra veggies we had not given to the neighbors.

These past 2 years would be the opposites of the spectrum, absolute drought & heat, then a warm, wet winter and an early spring, and now a hot, dry summer. It was a great learning experience.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 29, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9186177

Kev,
Drthor's advice for the spring planting timing is good. Based on her schedule, I now have a clearer idea of when to start my spring seeds. Never could get the timing right. Thanks, drthor!

Regarding the fall/winter brassicas, here's my plan.

Since I usually start my seeds indoors anyways, I'm going to start 1/3 of my broccoli, cauliflowers, and cabbage seeds tomorrow in the APS 15-cells (this is an experiment to see just how early I can possibly start them and be successful). I've seen whole community gardens around Houston with almost full-size heads of cabbage by mid-September! So that means they HAD to start seeds indoors somewhere, at least by the beginning of June.

Here's my schedule from last year:
8/6 & 8/6/11: I sowed seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, Chinese cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, mustards & collard greens
9/2/11: potted them up to the drinking water bottles
9/17/11: hardening off for 9 days
9/29/11: Everything transplanted to the garden

My schedule was off several weeks because I thought it was too hot for the seedlings to be transplanted out. This season I'll make that adjustment, and get them out for hardening off at 6 weeks, and transplanted out by week 7 or 8. I have purchased floating row cover to help keep the moths off the seedlings at transplant time. It'll still be warm, and they'll still be lurking.

As long as the seedlings are kept properly hydrated, they'll make it through the tail end of the heat. Once the weather starts cooling off, they'll have developed a good root system, and will take off like bullets!

P.S. Cricketsgarden is following the Farmer's Almanac for the Southeast, and it's predicting an earlier cool spell, beginning September/October. That would be GREAT!

This message was edited Jun 29, 2012 11:58 AM
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 29, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9186194

Here's where folks further South have an advantage - your longer growing season in the fall. If I transplanted anything to the garden in September, it'd freeze in October.

Normally that works out even because I can plant successive rows of 'cukes, beans, and so forth all summer so long as they have time to get finished by, say, the first week of October. Not this year - it's been 50+ years since we had ONE day in June here hit 100 degrees, and now we're getting 104+ every day with much more forecast for July.

So I'm kinda getting the worst of both worlds - too hot to plant anything, until there's not enough time left before first frost in the fall. But hey, I've got okra and corn! lol

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 29, 2012
10:09 AM

Post #9186200

So, Ozark, let's do some cooperative gardening!

You grow all the okra you can and send me a crate. I'll grow all the cabbages and greens, and send YOU a crate!

I'm finally getting my neighbors to see the wisdom of us not all growing the same thing in each yard. This way, the veggies we individually grow to perfection can be shared around for a greater yield and variety!

Linda
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 29, 2012
1:12 PM

Post #9186457

"You grow all the okra you can and send me a crate. I'll grow all the cabbages and greens, and send YOU a crate!"
-----------------------------

I may take you up on that, Linda. I think I made a serious miscalculation when it came to planting okra this year.

I love okra so, for the past several years I've never raised QUITE enough in the garden. Last year I planted equal amounts of five okra varieties, and found that the enormous multi-branched Stewart's Zeebest plants produced as many pods as the four other varieties (Cowhorn, Perkins Long Pod, Hill Country Red, and Betty's White) combined. So this year I planted only Zeebest - 33 plants in rows 6' apart.

They're just a little above knee-high and unlike last year, they're producing their heads off early. I'm getting 2 or 3 pods off each plant, every day - they won't let me skip a day picking, and it's only the end of June. I can only imagine what they're gonna do later in the summer when they're shoulder-high multi-branched okra TREES, six feet across, like the ones I had to pull out of the ground with a tractor last fall. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a serious okra surplus. We're already freezing okra and I've been roasting some coated with olive oil on the BBQ with smashed new potatoes. GOOD.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 29, 2012
1:24 PM

Post #9186478

What time is dinner??!!!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 4, 2012
1:00 PM

Post #9192948

Okra pickles! 6' ? You could expect 12' tall from okra, need a cherry picker to harvest- they love heat just add water!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 5, 2012
10:34 PM

Post #9194876

So far I think this has been one of our cooler summers. Ozark we don't have temps in the 100s like you are now all over TX. Hardly ever here. I have freezes in my area into April. If i plant out too early the soil isnt warm enough, even if i can protect the plants. This is a huge state, there is no way to generalize for this large an area. The zone is only for how cold it gets not when or for how long.

I would be very cautious in recommending when is best to plant for what area. Only you know your microclimate. For me the only thing planting out early has got me is a longer DTM. and I can't keep covering and uncovering plants but each day my thermometer reads around 92* now.I don't think that's bad for Tx in the summer, I have tons of green tomatoes on the vine and my fall crop is always my best.

kev-I would check for Spider Mites on your beans. If you have webbing you have SM but even if you don't see webbing they could still be the problem. I grow long beans and in the last few days they have grown to the top of their trellis. They are a sure thing in a hot area.

Could somebody tell me how to get rid of the dang weeds and the house crickets? I wondered what was eating the leaves of my pepper plants. Sheesh...

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 5, 2012
11:20 PM

Post #9194890

Crickets, they do tend to swarm. Weeds as in which particular ones- some of em are impossible, others just compost, ummm, I have seen little boxes set aroun warehouses that crickets like to hide in- not sure what was inside the boxes- sticky pad or poison, but they do work. I imagine anything that will kill a June bug ( Japanese beetle) will get a cricket, remove anything laying around on the ground that let's crickets hide from the sun in daytime...
Garden_Sass
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 6, 2012
4:27 AM

Post #9194970

Gymgirl wrote:Farmerdill et al,
Is it too late to plant Contender green beans? We have about a good 90-100 days of heat ahead. I've been enjoying the Ky Wonder Green bean pickings from my seven buckets. But, they're growing under the patio cover, in buckets sitting close to the edge). They get sunlight on an angle, and have done their best to give what they can.

I'd like to start some more beans out in the proper sunshine. I tasted the Contenders from another gardener just last week, and I think I like them better than the Ky Wonders (shhhhh...don't let them hear you say that...).

LMK. Thanks!

Linda


Up here near Austin we plant a fall crop of green beans from the middle to end of August...

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 6, 2012
10:49 AM

Post #9195399

Thanks, Garden_Sass!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 7, 2012
10:04 PM

Post #9197353

The weeds are mostly grass and one other kind. I think the spring rain got them going but I can't keep up with them, they have never been this bad.

The crickets are in the house, mostly. I thought they were a type of grasshopper but learned they are house crickets. They are eating my plants. Neem oil makes them stronger. Lol

GG-IMHO I would sow the beans now and some later. We still have a good 3 months of summer left and the seeds are cheap. Most beans have a short DTM I don't think you have anything to lose. We never know what the weather is going to be like so I'd give it a try. Those kind of veggies that have a short DTM,don't take up much space and are easy to grow I plant just about anytime during the summer. I guess I figure ice git nothing to lose. Just watch out for Spider Mites.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2012
4:31 AM

Post #9197464

Crickets- sticky side up duct tape- they stick. Take a glass jar and wrap it so it's darkinside, bait with molasses a bit of boric acid and soap, Mt regularly.forget how you cover the jar, and crickets WONT climb the shiny side of duct tape by the way. Add soap to your neem oil.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2012
4:41 AM

Post #9197469

Not thinking straight- still recovering from food poison, sheesh. Water & molasses, dash of soap, fill jar abt 1/4 to 1/3 full, set out where seem.they are drawn to humidity. Can use talc powder or even med foot pwd to dust along edges of floorboards. They say you can make a bait of cornmeal or beer and boric acid, but that can be dangerous to ppl, pets and wildlife. The powders help dry out areas that hold damp...
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 8, 2012
11:19 AM

Post #9197825

Drthor: Could you post the time-line for planting seed for the spring garden? I cannot access your thread.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2012
1:47 PM

Post #9197976

behillman
here it is:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243646/

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