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NEWB question about days till harvest

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NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  pelujilla on 3/31/2011, 10:08 pm

Umm what exactly does days till harvest mean?
From the day the seedling sprouted? From the day the fruit appears? How will I know when to pick my veggies? study
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/31/2011, 11:09 pm

Such a good question because how does the seed packet know I had a late freeze? Or, that I had a hot summer and never harvested my lettuce because it bolted too early?

These are ballpark averages. What are you growing? We can likely give you some indicators to look for. That would probably be the place to start.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  middlemamma on 4/1/2011, 12:56 am

Whatever you do....don't listen to the packet!

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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  pelujilla on 4/1/2011, 8:42 am

@middlemamma wrote:Whatever you do....don't listen to the packet!

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lol!

I have tomatoes (Big Boy, Better Boy, Red Cherry)
I also have Peppers (California Wonder and Bell Red)
Cucumbers (Burpless)
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  camprn on 4/1/2011, 8:50 am

With transplants, the number of days to harvest is a guideline from the date of placing the plants in the garden, not from when the seed was planted.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  walshevak on 4/1/2011, 9:42 am

when the maters turn red, the peppers stop getting any bigger and the cukes are about 1 1/2" in diameter. Cukes will suddenly grow fat and full of seeds if not watched. That's what I look for, but of course, that's optimal. Use your best judgement about what you would buy if at the store. And learn from each thing you pick.

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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/1/2011, 9:50 am

It's kinda like a due date for when the baby is coming, it's an aprox estimate of when you can harvest. For mine I wrote the day of transplanting, or direct sowing. Wrote down estimated days to harvest. Then went here http://www.vpcalendar.net/Julian_Date.html

Example, I planted beets on February 20th is the 51st day of the year. Let's say the estimated days to harvest is 50-80 days. Adding 50 to 51 is 101, adding 80 to 51 is 131 days. Day 101 is April 11th and day 131 is May 11th. So sometime between April 11 and May 11, I should be pulling up beets. We did have a bit of a cold snap and even though beets are a cold crop they slowed just a bit in their growing so it will probably be closer to mid May before I am pulling them up. When I plant I write all this down, if I don't I'll forget. I use boxes similar to what is in the back of Mel's All New SFG book to pencil in all this info.

This may be way too much for some, but this is what works for me, if I don't write down estimated harvest date, I will forget and pull them up too soon, or forget they are in the ground...... I'm so easily distracted.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  pelujilla on 4/1/2011, 7:21 pm

Thanks: I wrote down the estimated harvest dates in my book. Can't wait.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  Lollypop9 on 4/3/2011, 1:39 am

so can I NOT harvest anything from my plants until I am within those dates? ie== take some leaves of spinach or lettuce?

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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  Lollypop9 on 4/3/2011, 1:40 am

I ask for my herbs too--I have cilantro in my window seal that I will put outside later in the season--but can I harvest from that?! what about the rosemary?

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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/3/2011, 8:33 am

Hopefully someone else will pop in and assist us, I personally think it depends on the plant. I have some spinach that had about 5 leaves the other day, I pulled one or two from 2-3 plants, just to sample, same with my lettuce. If you do that, pull just a few of the outer leaves. I know of some that have already pulled the lower leaves of their basil and they have done fine. I seriously doubt you wll do major harm and/or kill your plants. Leave things like broccoli alone until the top head is ready or you already have a few side shoots, otherwise the side shoots could be a tad bitter, or maybe I had a bad plant a few years back. Hope I helped.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  camprn on 4/3/2011, 8:58 am

@Lollypop9 wrote:so can I NOT harvest anything from my plants until I am within those dates? ie== take some leaves of spinach or lettuce?

You most certainly can harvest leaf by leaf if that is what you want to do! I harvest my pick and grow again with spinach, chard, kale, lettuce and to some degree beet greens.

I do not pull on the plants as I had a few too many simply pull out of the ground. I use scissors to harvest leaves.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/3/2011, 9:04 am

Thanks for jumping in camprn, I figured what I was doing was okay, but was hoping someone else would join in and confirm. Heck I sit in the dirt by my box and nibble.
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/3/2011, 9:24 am

@camprn wrote:
@Lollypop9 wrote:so can I NOT harvest anything from my plants until I am within those dates? ie== take some leaves of spinach or lettuce?

You most certainly can harvest leaf by leaf if that is what you want to do! I harvest my pick and grow again with spinach, chard, kale, lettuce and to some degree beet greens.

I do not pull on the plants as I had a few too many simply pull out of the ground. I use scissors to harvest leaves.

THIS^^

And, to the newest gardners joining us here......not that we are old:

Different plants harvest differently. Some we pull up and out of the ground. Some we just take the leaves. Some, we take both....but at different times. Research is important so you can learn your plant. Mel's book does a great job of laying out some of the most popular veggies in gardens.

I will recommend another spot that educated me pretty well BEFORE I found Mel's book. Honestly, I prefer the book now. But, I will go back here from time to time for stuff I can't find in the book. http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/directory.cfm

Again, though, like the others have said......harvest dates are just a "guide." We have to learn what indicators to watch for and adjust our calendars to these. Writing in a calendar is a great idea. I do something crudely like this myself, but not nearly as elaborate (because I'm lazy).
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Re: NEWB question about days till harvest

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/3/2011, 9:31 am

BYBG is right, that date is just a guide, like a due date for a baby. I liked to never convince my husband that our first child would not be born on that due date day, but would more than likely come late. He came 2 weeks early, my husband actually tried to tell me it was not time, I'll save the rest of the story for another time and post.

I wish I had the abilibty to load pictures on this computer so I could post a picture of me sitting at my salad bar eating lettuce and broccoli.
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