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Oldfellainspain 2024 Grow Log.

oldfellainspain

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Ten days after transplanting and plants are still wilting in the shade. Some are only just hanging on. Soil moisture one inch down seems okay, moist but not too wet. RH is 25% at the moment and has been for quite a few days. I think I've transplanted too early and the root systems aren't big enough to cope with supplying the leaves with enough water when the humidity is this low. Thoughts please. I can put up photos later when camera battery is charged.
 

Old Gasman

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I dont know whether this is any help at all but here goes. I grow my plants in buckets not bags and when I fill my buckets up the compost is just moist. When I transplant into the buckets I disregard the size of the container, I just water according to the size of the root ball so consequently each plant just gets a splash of water. I realise the climate is different where you are but I'd be inclined to give them less water but more often and just from the top.
 

deluxestogie

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Look up "perched water table". Whatever water you add, whether from the bottom or the top, settles at the height (in the container) determined by the competition between gravity and the wicking properties of the soil. So "just a splash of water" may be descending below the reach of the roots.

Bob
 

Old Gasman

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I must admit that I'd never heard of "perched water table" but as all my buckets have drainage holes I just treat them the same as I would my house plants, just a splash of water when my eye and finger tells me they need it.
 

Knucklehead

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Ten days after transplanting and plants are still wilting in the shade. Some are only just hanging on. Soil moisture one inch down seems okay, moist but not too wet. RH is 25% at the moment and has been for quite a few days. I think I've transplanted too early and the root systems aren't big enough to cope with supplying the leaves with enough water when the humidity is this low. Thoughts please. I can put up photos later when camera battery is charged.
I would be tempted to give them one good thorough soaking and see what happens. At 25% humidity and good temps the soil is going to dry rather rapidly.

edit: if those black bags are exposed to sunshine, they are going to dry out even quicker. Black absorbs.

edit: then let the soil completely dry out so the roots will have to spread deep searching for moisture. Watch for wilt, water Again.
 
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Knucklehead

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Deluxestogie, Knucklehead and Old Gasman. Thanks for your input. Will do some experimenting over the next couple of days and see what happens. First thing I want to do is find out the height of the perched water table. I've been doing lots of reading on that subject.
Do you keep the soil moist or do you let the soil dry out before the next watering?
 

oldfellainspain

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At the moment I'm trying to keep the soil moist (not wet) all the time. I'm always guilty of overwatering. I'm now probably guilty of underwatering.
 

oldfellainspain

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Growbags sit in a 3" deep tray. 5.5 inches of potting soil/perlite 4:1 in each bag. Plants with small shallow root ball at the moment. Best way to water?
Struggling here. I'm over thinking all the time.
 

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Old Gasman

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I'm far from expert at tobacco growing but I think 5 1/2" depth isn't enough. As I've said before, I grow mine in cheap builders buckets at a quid each and they're about a foot deep and by the end of the grow season the whole bucket is just filled with root ball. As for the watering I just water mine from the top and I try not to overdo it. It may not be right but it works for me.
 

oldfellainspain

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Thanks for reply Old Gasman. You've obviously found the sweet spot for your conditions. With so many variables, asking advice on watering is a bit of a no go. I'll continue to look for the sweet spot. I'm going to experiment on what I've got, so as to be better prepared for another grow. Seeds can go into seed mix tomorrow morning. I'll leave them to grow bigger than the last bunch, hopefully with a better root system when I transplant.
Hopefully some of my existing plants will survive while I try to get it right. The RH has risen quite a bit as well, that might help.
 

oldfellainspain

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I'm really keen to try bottom watering 4 bags in a tray. I need to move them around to keep up with the sun. Moving 4 trays 4 times I can get my head around. Moving 16 bags one by one 4 times is okay at first, but you soon get fed up with it. We will see.
 

ProZachJ

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I'm a big fan of drip watering, especially when growing in containers. You could get some low pressure drippers and a small submersible pump and set up a reservoir off to the side of your pool. Sorta a deconstructed version of this.

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oldfellainspain

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I'm a big fan of drip watering, especially when growing in containers. You could get some low pressure drippers and a small submersible pump and set up a reservoir off to the side of your pool. Sorta a deconstructed version of this.

View attachment 49985
I've been following your grow blog. Very organized and informative. Like all the comments so far.... thanks.
 

Knucklehead

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Growbags sit in a 3" deep tray. 5.5 inches of potting soil/perlite 4:1 in each bag. Plants with small shallow root ball at the moment. Best way to water?
Struggling here. I'm over thinking all the time.
I have better luck allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. If there is always moisture the roots have no reason to spread further looking for moisture. There will be a small ball of roots at the top of the soil. By allowing the soil to dry out, it forces the roots to expand and go deep in search of moisture. Bigger stalks and leaves need a larger, stronger root system for support. Looking at your last photo reminds me of last year when we were getting alot of rain, the soil was saturated and the pool had 2" if water as a reservoir. My leaves looked like yours. I kept pumping the water out of the reservoir and they recovered. The same happens when my tiny seedlings are in the 1020 cells. If I keep the soil moist, I end up with a small root ball at the top of the soil. If I let them completely dry out between waterings, the roots expand searching for moisture and fill the cells at transplant time and the seedlings are larger, the roots hang out the drain hole, and easier to transplant.
 

deluxestogie

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Keep up the good work, @oldfellainspain!

Tobacco is a remarkably adaptive weed. Given unimpeded ground width, the roots will spread to as much as a 24 inch diameter. With sufficient ground width, the roots typically grow downward to no more than about 12 to 15 inches deep. Once you place restrictions on the width or the depth available, as when growing in a bucket or bag, the roots will adapt, and the resultant plant size will equally adapt.

From an experimental standpoint, making the smallest changes and as few changes as possible, will allow you to find the sweet spot for your chosen conditions. I've always been delighted at how robust a tobacco plant grows from a mere coffee can planter. With enough financial expenditure, you can even grow tobacco in a number of artificial environments (maybe on the International Space Station).

Aside from some tobacco diseases, once your tobacco has survived a month, it's hard to kill.

Bob
 

oldfellainspain

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Been busy. I've made sledges to go under the four trays. This raises them off the floor enough, so as to be able to slide a shallow tray underneath. I've drilled a hole in each tray, plugged with tapered corks. I can now drain off excess water easily. I put one inch of water in one tray and left it over night. This morning I drained off what little water was still in the tray. A bit difficult to say for sure but I would say there is a perched water table of 1.5 inches. Soil is slightly moist above this level and dry at the surface. If I water from the top slowly and let it drain down until water runs out of the bag, allowing no water to sit in the tray, do I run the risk of over watering? Is this what you are suggesting Knucklehead? A good watering from the top, then drain and allow to dry out?
This morning the plants seem to have recovered a bit, but oldest leaf on each plant is yellowing at the tip.
 

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Knucklehead

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Been busy. I've made sledges to go under the four trays. This raises them off the floor enough, so as to be able to slide a shallow tray underneath. I've drilled a hole in each tray, plugged with tapered corks. I can now drain off excess water easily. I put one inch of water in one tray and left it over night. This morning I drained off what little water was still in the tray. A bit difficult to say for sure but I would say there is a perched water table of 1.5 inches. Soil is slightly moist above this level and dry at the surface. If I water from the top slowly and let it drain down until water runs out of the bag, allowing no water to sit in the tray, do I run the risk of over watering? Is this what you are suggesting Knucklehead? A good watering from the top, then drain and allow to dry out?
This morning the plants seem to have recovered a bit, but oldest leaf on each plant is yellowing at the tip.
I'm not sure after seeing the photo. Do you allow them to dry out between waterings or do you keep them moist all the time? They need to dry out between waterings to encourage the roots to go deep searching for moisture.
 
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