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Northwood seeds

Extended seed starting

dvick003

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#1
I have heard that tobacco seedlings will limit growth to the container they are in. I am hoping to start some seedlings now because I don't know if they will be viable when spring rolls around next year. Is it possible to do this and how should I care for them? Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
 

DGBAMA

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#2
Properly stored tobacco seed is good for many years. Do you know how old yours is? Why do you think it might not be good next spring?
 

Knucklehead

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#3
For seed storage, think opposite of germination conditions. Cool, dry, dark. GRIN refreshes their seed every ten years. I have grown plants from seed that were 14 years old and still had excellent germination.
 
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#4
The idea that tobacco will limit themselves, isn't entirely true. It's more like, they don't grow as well because their roots run out of room. Long term, the roots will get so thick that the plant will never have potential to grow well, even after transplanting. The plant may not get very big, but it still ages.

I would suggest instead, that you bring a couple plants to maturity in pots if you feel the need to. If you aren't concerned about harvesting the leaf, just seed saving, you can easily flower a tobacco plant in a 1 gallon pot. So long as you have adequate soil, light and fertilizer.

Along the lines of what DGBAMA said though, if your seed is viable now, properly stored, it will be fine next year.
 

deluxestogie

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#5
1. Follow Knucks' advice on the seed.
2. I have maintained tobacco seedlings in 3-1/2" pots, as well as 8" pots, for as long as 3 years, simply pruning them whenever they got too tall. Last season, I transplanted several of these elder seedlings to a garden bed. Some grew to normal size, with normal-size leaf. Some died of shock. These tiny, potted tobacco plants can be treated just like ordinary house plants: keep in a sunny window, water from time to time.

http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3682-deluxestogie-Grow-Log-2014/page14#138
http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3682-deluxestogie-Grow-Log-2014/page21#210
http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/3682-deluxestogie-Grow-Log-2014/page28#273

The elder Dominican Olor, held in a 3-1/2" pot, performed best, when transplanted to the garden bed.

Bob
 

dvick003

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#6
Ok. I was afraid that tobacco seed was pretty perishable. That makes me feel better but since I can't grow a bunch, I might try growing a couple in pots this year just to get the feel of caring for tobacco in preparation for next growing season. Bob, by pruning you mean cutting the stalk or branches or both? I can grow a good garden but have never been taught or shown how to properly prune anything...
 

deluxestogie

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#7
With tobacco, you should remove all suckers, so only a single stem grows. In an indoor pot, when the stem gets too tall, just cut it off about 1" above the soil, then allow a single new sucker to grow. Repeat at ~1" above the start of the new sucker as needed.

These are photos of two aged transplants. The Olor had lived in a 3-1/2" pot, and the Havana 38 in an 8" pot prior to transplant.





Below, are views of the elder plants (and a closeup of the Olor stalk) later in the season.





Bob
 
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#9
Interesting pictures, Bob. I have a related question. If after one has harvested from a plant and instead of removing the plant, can one just cut it back to let one sucker to grow for next year? I know that tobacco plants can survive over winter here in Southern Cal. Will an old plant perform as well as a new seedling?
 

deluxestogie

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#10
Nicotiana tabacum is a perennial plant. If the roots don't freeze, a new plant will emerge when the weather warms (or at any time, in a sub-tropical or tropical environment). As with chicken and beef, the young tobacco plants seem to yield the best product.

A second issue with overwintering tobacco is that doing so increases the risk of subsequent disease, as a result of the previous year's pests being added to the present year's pests.

Since germination and transplanting are a mere fraction of the work required between seed and cigar, it seems like a questionable trade-off: save a bit of labor; get a lower quality tobacco.

Bob
 

DGBAMA

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#11
Nice reply Bob. Having grown 30+ varieties now, my experience is that each sucker crop is a noticeable amount smaller than the yield of the original plant. Except one, a Prilep variety I did for grow out last year, P12-91, the sucker crop that grew was for all reasonable purposes, essentially identical to the original plant.

1 out of 30 is not good odds of getting a great crop for all the work involved, so I also would recommend starting fresh plants each season.
 
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#12
Thanks for the responses. There is nothing like first hand experience. I'll stick with growing new seedlings.
 
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