What does 'days to harvest' really mean?

maridyMarch 8, 2008

Hi, I am a complete newbie. Last year's pitiful crop was my first attempt. In inspecting seed packages, I see the "days to harvest" numbers and am not sure how to interpret that. I know it is only a guide, especially if the seeds are not from around my area. But my question is what the timing is based from. It is time of planting, time of germination, or some other baseline that it is determined from. I ask because I have some summer squash seeds that say 50-60 days. Does that mean I'll be eating squash two months(ish) after I plant it? And what about those plants that say you can start them growing inside about 8 weeks (56 days) before planting them outside, yet they have a "days to harvest" of 75 days? So, only 20 days left till harvest, or 75? Please help, it's all confusing and I'm trying to plan my garden for this year and need to know what to plant when. Thanks.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Normally for seeds started indoors and transplanted into the garden, the "days to harvest" is calculated from the transplanting date into the garden to the days the variety should mature and may be picked/consumed.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Thanks morz8, that's the first definite answer I've gotten on that question. It definitely helps with my planning.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 11:14PM
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yama(7b Ga)

"days to harvest" give you some idea of timing of harvesting.if weather is( or growing condition) not ferfect for the plants , it will take longer than stated days. growing veg in southern states or north makes different also makes different.
Since you are in northern state, days of harvest may be longer than Georgia or other southern states.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Really morz8? That wasn't my understanding. I've always thought days to harvest was from the time the seedling popped the surface of the soil.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 9:08PM
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days to harvest begins on the date of planting the seed.

It doesn't matter whether the plant is being started indoors or out. The days to harvest is the same.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 9:23PM
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Thanks, all, for clearing that up. I've wondered that myself. I just moved to WA and it's a whole different world here. So far I've done almost everything WRONG! Still learning....

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 12:40PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Annpat, many seed companies use the standard date of transplant to count days to maturity for seeds started indoors, ie Heirloom Seeds, Ferry Morse. Also explained in the Art of the Kitchen Garden, Gertley.

You can use date of germination for direct sown seeds. Of course both methods will vary to maturity depending on weather and are only approximate guidelines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Examples, Ferry Morse seed descriptions

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 8:07PM
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