Planting by the Stars - Experimental Procedure

At its most basic, similar seeds are planted in similar soils at different times. Experiments from across the world will have so many differences between eachother. However, it is important to recognise the potential variables within each trial, wherever it takes place, and to try and avoid mundane influences.

So, there are a few non-negotiable points. Within a trial

  • Seed from the same source and, preferably, packet must be used in each planting  [more...]
  • F1 hybrid seeds are not used   [more...]
  • The same fertility regime and doses must be used across the trial plot   [more...]
  • The soil on the experimental plot must be as uniform as is feasible   [more...]
  • The time of each planting must be recorded as soon as possible after planting for accuracy. (Don't guess a month later!)   [more...]
  • Any irrigation, if it has to be used, must be applied as equally as is possible between planting areas   [more...]
  • Care of the crop on the trial field needs as much thought as the planting   [more...]
  • Planting plots should have as equal as possible access to shade and light   [more...]
  • Harvest must compare like with like as far as is possible  [more...]
  • With subjective results such as taste, results must be described not just expressed. [more ...]
  • If crops are to be stored they must be stored in similar conditions and well identified.   [more...]

In addition there are several things that, whilst not definitely crucial, are desirable;

  • Organic fertility should be the source of nutrients for the soil. [more...]
  • Humus needs to be nurtured as it is the heart of the soil. [more...]
  • Other biodynamic methods may be required. [more...]
  • Manure and compost needs to be mature. [more...]

When submitting data you will be asked for the following bits of information about the experiment;

  • The nearest place [more...]
  • Details of the soil - eg loam over clay etc [more...]
  • How the soil is managed - eg organically, chemically, biodynamically ... [more...]
  • .... and if biodynamically, the preparations used [more...]
  • Details of the plant - type, variety, number planted in each planting [more...]
  • How many plantings were undertaken in the trial [more...]

For each planting we would like the following information;

  • Time and date of sowing/planting out   [more...]
  • Timezone - eg was daylight saving in force  [more...]
  • The (general) weather in the three days before sowing  [more...]
  • The weather at the time of sowing [more...]

For the outcome of each of these planting we would like, some if not all of the following information;