Whole Leaf Tobacco

Krausen89 2020 First Grown (burley)

Krausen89

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https://photos.app.goo.gl/HzN2FnY375kZo9az5

12 burley plants (see link above). Let me know if the link doesn't work and i will get the pics uploaded individually.

First year growing tobacco and so far i had some trouble with slugs (also shown in pictures) but overall they did well through that. I now have aphids on them and using DE on them since its been pretty dry. didnt kill them off as much as i would like so i use 2-3 tsp in water in a handheld pump up sprayer and sprayed them all down and wiped off some of the really bad leaves. i will continue to do this and i will post further pictures directly to here.
 

Knucklehead

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I had never heard of anyone using diatomaceous earth on the leaves itself. Towards the end of the article, under safety considerations, are cautions against inhaling it. Personally, I know nothing about it except for the quick read I had in trying to find out if there would be a safety issue. The plants look good aside from the slug damage. Keep us posted and best of luck on your season.
 

Krausen89

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I had never heard of anyone using diatomaceous earth on the leaves itself. Towards the end of the article, under safety considerations, are cautions against inhaling it. Personally, I know nothing about it except for the quick read I had in trying to find out if there would be a safety issue. The plants look good aside from the slug damage. Keep us posted and best of luck on your season.
Thanks! you can dust the leaves or area around the stalk. alternatively you can mix it with water and spray the plants. once the water dries it leaves a coating ( DE only works when dry) It is used for other veggies as well. We had a good rain lastnight and it is all gone. i think i will be done with the DE as of right now and just stay diligent with the soap water for the aphids. DE is non toxic and basically crushed up sea shells from my understanding. Breathing in the airborne powder into your lungs is bad and will irritate throat and everything else. As Chinavoodoo said though, once it rains it gets washed away. For 12 plants its not that bad, prob not a good solution for those who have alot more than that.
 

deluxestogie

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DE is non toxic and basically crushed up sea shells from my understanding. Breathing in the airborne powder into your lungs is bad and will irritate throat and everything else.
Not to harp on the issue, but diatoms are micro-algae that leave behind a tiny, fossil silica skeleton (which is what diatomaceous earth consists of). It is similar in its inhalation risk to that of ultra-fine sand, and can cause effects in the lungs similar to those of rock dust. Just don't breath the stuff. Its action against garden pests depends on its razor-sharp surfaces lacerating slugs, and scraping the protective wax from the exoskeletons of insects--causing them to desiccate.


Scanning electron microscopy image of diatomaceous earth.

Bob
 

Krausen89

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I figure it isn't washed away. It just gets washed into the soil. For cut worms, i imagine DE still helps if it's in the dirt.

I bought it at the grocery store. People eat it for some reason. I wouldn't be afraid enough to treat it like asbestos.
Very True, it has to go somewhere.

According to WebMD uses include...
  • High cholesterol levels. Early research suggests taking diatomaceous earth might reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood patients with high cholesterol levels.
  • Constipation.
  • Health of skin, nails, teeth, bones, and hair.
  • Insecticide.
  • Removal of dead skin (exfoliation).
  • Source of silica.
  • Teeth cleaning.
  • Other uses.

Thats all new to me though.
 

plantdude

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They put DE in many toothpastes (acts as an abrasive) and its a standard component of many fish tank filtration systems. It's basically silica with some calcium carbonate tossed in (i.e. tiny seashells leavings, ever see the white cliffs of Dover?).

For people silica dust is bad and will be the next OSHA issued guidance for workplaces. It will be ranked slightly lower than asbestos and is already being regulated in the US workplace. Keep in mind even regular soil dust contains silica.

If your not breathing in the dust though silica dust/DE is essentially harmless. To put it in perspective water is deadly if inhaled, not so much otherwise. The same goes with DE. A lot of hype until you consider its mode of action.

For insects DE acts like little razors that cut up the exoskeleton and insides on soft bodied insects. It usually requires a decent amount to create a physical barrier - think of it as being miniature barbed wire for bugs. A gentle rinsing of the leaves would remove most of the silica/DE rendering it harmless (same goes for rinsing off standard soil/dust particles that contain silica). If a person digests DE/silica it passes just fine with no detrimental effects. The only issue is if it's in dust form and gets inhaled into the sensitive insides of our lungs.

Long story short, if your applying DE either mix it with water or wear a face mask and work in a well ventilated area if your dusting your plant. A gentle rinsing will remove the majority of it from your plant leaves, which is good if you are harvesting, otherwise that little rinsing means you need to reapply the DE again;)
 

plantdude

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I forgot to mention Silica is considered a micronutrient for most plants. It has been associated with disease resistance, stem strength and possibly water regulation within the plant. The silica and calcium carbonate from DE getting washed into the soil should be beneficial to the plant in the long run.
 

Krausen89

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Plants are doing good for the most part. Had a few really good rains and a few of them fell over so i staked them.

Is this a common problem? I dont remember reading anything about them falling over. They are technically not full sun and under shade. This might have something to do with it.
 

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plantdude

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Plants are doing good for the most part. Had a few really good rains and a few of them fell over so i staked them.

Is this a common problem? I dont remember reading anything about them falling over. They are technically not full sun and under shade. This might have something to do with it.
I think I spend half my time picking up plants in pots that have blown over:)
A few of my plants in the ground do that too when we have storms. From what I gather that is somewhat normal. I stake mine up if they do it too much. I've heard of some people running lines in between their rows to help support the plants but I've never tried it on tobacco. Maybe other more experienced tobacco growers than myself have some tips...
 

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The pots blow over because the rest of planet Earth is not attached to the plant. For in-the-ground blowdowns, I've found that the deeper the tilling, the greater the probability of blowdowns. If you get strong winds when the ground is amply moist, then expect blowdowns. And as you've done, just stand them up again, and stake them if needed.

In some areas (e.g. sandy soil in windy Florida), members have just gone ahead and placed a tomato stake for each plant at the time of transplant. My own experience is that it is less work for me if I just promptly stand up each of the blowdowns, instead of rigging anything against their all falling down.

Bob
 

Oldfella

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Not to harp on the issue, but diatoms are micro-algae that leave behind a tiny, fossil silica skeleton (which is what diatomaceous earth consists of). It is similar in its inhalation risk to that of ultra-fine sand, and can cause effects in the lungs similar to those of rock dust. Just don't breath the stuff. Its action against garden pests depends on its razor-sharp surfaces lacerating slugs, and scraping the protective wax from the exoskeletons of insects--causing them to desiccate.


Scanning electron microscopy image of diatomaceous earth.

Bob
Sorry about the late post but on rereading this it occurred to me that I should mention that one of my medical problems is SILICOSIS, comes from hard rock mining back in the day when breathing masks were for wosers. Real men didn't need them. I guess we were wrong. Lucky for me as I only need 3 inhalers, I wasn't at the mine long enough. Be careful with it, a mask is essential and keep children away.
Good luck with that.
Oldfella
 

Oldfella

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Plants are doing good for the most part. Had a few really good rains and a few of them fell over so i staked them.

Is this a common problem? I dont remember reading anything about them falling over. They are technically not full sun and under shade. This might have something to do with it.
I see a couple of ladders there. Is this so they can climb back up?
Sorry I had to get that in.
Cheer's Oldfella
 

plantdude

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That's part of the reason Osha is stepping in America. They realized milling plant material like rice and wheat hulls/stem/leaves all have very high silica counts, much like plain dust has from some mining operations. It's easy to pass off when you are young and you cough a little and think that's it, I got a job to do so keep working hard and don't complain. Do it long enough without the proper safety measures in place and it catches up eventually.

The truth is the cumulative effects of multiple things adds up over time, especially if you smoke a little (or a lot) as probably most of the people on this forum do. Tossing the new virus into the mix adds a whole new level of complexity. Personally I would like to save as much of my lung capacity for enjoying air and breathing in a few of the finer things in life, even if they are not necessarily on the politically correct agenda of what is acceptable:)

I think in the case of diatomaceous earth if it is worked with in a moist state (i.e. not easily aerosilized) and adequately washed off a leaf prior to curing it is pretty harmless. I've used it before and it's not the best insecticide but I feel better about using that than many of the "harmless" chemicals currently on the market that employ wetting agents as part of their formulation that often carry worse health effects than the active ingredient. I guess it comes down to personal choice for what a person feels comfortable using - and that's the real beauty of growing your own smokes or veggies. You get to make that choice instead of leaving it up to others.

My wife was laughing the other day about how many class actions lawsuits there are going to be about regular cleaning products following the coronavirus in a few years. Even though she was joking I have a feeling she is probably more correct than she realizes. Most things that kill one form of life off are going to have effects on other forms of life. That's just the way it is.
 

plantdude

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My apologies krausen89, I've thrown in comments for what you already know on your post a few times without complimenting your plants yet. I like the stagerd row planting arrangement - the plants are looking good.
I'm still in the learning phase personally. I've noticed a lot of my young plant leaves seem a lot more susceptible to insect damage like I'm seeing on some of your early pics. I've noticed a lot of the bugs problems seem to resolve a little as the plants get a little larger but the onslaught persists. I fought off an initial cutworm infestation, followed by some sort of green worm that is similar to what attacks my cabbage and puts holes in the leaf, along with a massive flea beetle infestation, followed be a large gold colored flea beetle looking insect, followed by aphids, and now tomato hornworms. Apparently chewing tobacco is popular with insects:)
I found a recipe somewhere online (maybe this forum) that uses tobacco stems / leaves soaked in a gallon of water (I wrap a few tablespoons of cut stem and crappy leaf in chesecloth and let it soak overnight) with about 3/4 teaspoon of dish soap (or organic detergent) and a teaspoon of black pepper. I filter it back though a few layers of cheesecloth and apply it as a spray every three days or sooner if the leaves get wet. This recipe seems to slow the flea beetles down (especially on egg plants and peppers) and helps with the aphids (some of that may just be the mechanical spraying off of aphids though). However, It doesn't seem to do much for the worms or slugs. Just to throw it out as a possibility, It might be worth trying with your DE program if you ever have flea beetles.
 

deluxestogie

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Tobacco infusion is a nicotine solution. It's not a neonicotinoid or a nicotinoid. It's just the original nicotine. Spraying it on fruiting plants will likely affect pollinators (e.g. honeybees). Spraying nicotine on a nicotine producing plant is unlikely to impress insect herbivores that have adapted to consuming nicotine or its related alkaloids (e.g. solanine in green tomatoes, green potatoes, and parts of eggplant--all related to tobacco.). Also, a liquid solution of nicotine is a significant skin exposure and ingestion poisoning risk. Dish detergent in water can be an effective, though tedious remedy for aphids.

Bob
 

plantdude

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Tobacco infusion is a nicotine solution. It's not a neonicotinoid or a nicotinoid. It's just the original nicotine. Spraying it on fruiting plants will likely affect pollinators (e.g. honeybees). Spraying nicotine on a nicotine producing plant is unlikely to impress insect herbivores that have adapted to consuming nicotine or its related alkaloids (e.g. solanine in green tomatoes, green potatoes, and parts of eggplant--all related to tobacco.). Also, a liquid solution of nicotine is a significant skin exposure and ingestion poisoning risk. Dish detergent in water can be an effective, though tedious remedy for aphids.

Bob
I don't know if its the nicotine, detergent or black pepper but it sure seems to help keep the flea beetles off young tobacco leaves, egg plant and peppers. It does carry the risk of spreading TMV so I've just used my own tobacco to make it. I agree about the nicotine exposure risk, keep it off the skin, don't spray close to harvest time or on flowers where pollinators can come in contact. Nicotine actually is a pretty toxic chemical with a low LD50. It is dangerous. But, well, I'm an occasional tobacco user... :)
I've been using it on young plants and seedlings mostly. The flea beetles don't usually seem to bother older leaves so I'm wondering if young leaves have a lower nicotine content. It's the only "chemical" I currently use on the garden at all. I'm willing to gamble on adding a little extra nicotine, but like deluxe stogie is correctly pointing out it is still a chemical that should be used with caution and may have limited usefulness on the solanaceous plants.
 
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Oldfella

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Plants are doing good for the most part. Had a few really good rains and a few of them fell over so i staked them.

Is this a common problem? I dont remember reading anything about them falling over. They are technically not full sun and under shade. This might have something to do with it.
Nice healthy looking plants. Very happy there. Keep it up and you're gonna get some great baccy.
Oldfella
 
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