I try not to spam this site much with discussion of my web project (gardenregister.com, but I’m hoping to collect as many bloom dates on this thread as possible.
I’ll be dumping that info into my database that is available to all members of the site. My goal is to have an in-depth record of what varieties bloom together, in what order, and approximate timing by zone and/or last frost.
Chris, I don’t know about other people from the eastern half of the country, but a number of abnormal weather factors have made at least part of my bloom times wonky this year, and not by a little bit. Would posting them skew your tabulations and give misleading results? For instance I have apple that has been blooming since January first and apparently experienced no cold injury.
Great question, and one I’ve waffled over. However, since the site is an open platform, I’ve decided to just accept all data, and develop the algorithm such that it rejects extreme outliers. I still think there’s useful information to glean even if it’s just a list of which varieties are more susceptible to early blooming, and possibly less suitable to areas with cold snaps. Also, even if I can’t predict dates, there’s got to be a strong correlation between relative bloom sequence of different cultivars.
I’ve done similar tests with fruit harvest data (I’ve collected several hundred data points from Growing Fruit and GardenWeb), and there’s definitely interesting trends in the data, even with outliers and weather impacts between different years. I’ve undertaken similar projects with financial markets, and have discovered trends that others claimed weren’t there. Once I get the data I’ll have a better idea what to do with it.
It would be useful to include a record of rootstock (if known) along with cultivar. Some rootstocks (e.g., Citation) are known to induce early fruit ripening, there might also exist an effect on the bloom dates.
Starting this year, I’m keeping bloom records on all my fruit trees (and will also record ripening dates). I will log all my data on your site when bloom is over.
I believe that all correct data are useful. Weather records are available for all locations, so if bloom data will be available, correlations between bloom time shifts and weather patterns can be revealed, adjustments for bloom dates computed, etc.
Rootstock is one of the data points users can enter. Some others: date planted, ground vs container growing, first leaf date, leaf fall date, harvest dates, avg fruit size, brix, number of fruits harvested, flavor rating. There are others beyond that list and I add more periodically when I discover other data points that seem relevant.
And your point about all correct data being useful is correct. I’m able to weed out funny looking data from the back end and assume I’ll have to do that from time to time.
Thanks for your willingness to help out! Looking forward to seeing you over on the site.
It seems to be fixed now. After entering a few trees I’m curious as to why there are so many zone options? When entering a new variety most growers advertise the tree is viable in zones 4-9 or something similar. You don’t give an option to select zone 4, only 4a or 4b. I understand that groups have subgroups but not all varieties are listed that way. Just a thought.
Speedster, I hear what you’re saying. However, there’s only one table in the database where I have zones stored… the same one for plant types and user location.
I suppose I could translate the zones for that form, but that’s lower on my priority list at the moment. I should also mention that’s an optional field. It just helps me keep up the database if users are supplying some of that info. If you’re creating a lot of records you can just skip the zone.