Whole Leaf Tobacco

Oversize (gigantic) starting "trays"

DGBAMA

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May be usefull especially for Northern guys wanting an early start.

Large quantities of pots are expensive to use just for starting plants but we all know roots need room to grow so the normal 72 cell trays have limitations.

I made a 72ish tray tonight....2 pallets screws, string, and 32oz styro cups . the cups are a good size but would be a pain to handle in quantity without being knocked over. The string grid stabilizes and pallet is easily movable..

Plan is to break off the bottom of the cups when planting leaving the top just above the ground as a "collar" to protect the stem from insects as a side benefit.
 

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Traveling Piper

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May be usefull especially for Northern guys wanting an early start.

Large quantities of pots are expensive to use just for starting plants but we all know roots need room to grow so the normal 72 cell trays have limitations.

I made a 72ish tray tonight....2 pallets screws, string, and 32oz styro cups . the cups are a good size but would be a pain to handle in quantity without being knocked over. The string grid stabilizes and pallet is easily movable..

Plan is to break off the bottom of the cups when planting leaving the top just above the ground as a "collar" to protect the stem from insects as a side benefit.
I like this. A good sharp knife easily cuts styrofoam. Are you thinking that the entire cup will be rooted when you transplant?
 

deluxestogie

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Interesting idea. That tray should work well for you. I'm not so sure about leaving the "collar" of cups in the field. The styrofoam will deteriorate, fragment, and leave scattered bits of debris in your soil.

Bob
 

DGBAMA

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Bob, that might benefit my high clay percentage.

Piper, i figure more good dirt around the roots should reduce transplant shock. Plus the soil in my new place isnt that great. The more the roots can expand before planting cant do anything but help.
 

Traveling Piper

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Bob, that might benefit my high clay percentage.

Piper, i figure more good dirt around the roots should reduce transplant shock. Plus the soil in my new place isnt that great. The more the roots can expand before planting cant do anything but help.
Yeah, I think they’ll be happy. Do you plan to bury them any or more/less place them on top?
On a somewhat related note, something I’ve wondered is if they’ll make roots along the stem like a tomato plant?
 

deluxestogie

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I’ve wondered is if they’ll make roots along the stem like a tomato plant?
Tobacco plants will put out roots from buried segments of stalk, but not very effectively.

These photos, from 2013, were taken of plants that were shipped to me as transplants, but arrived quite bent. The primary roots were planted straight down, and the growth tip allowed to eventually curve upward. The crooks were constantly touching or beneath the ground for the entire growing season.









My conclusion was that, unlike tomatoes, there is no substantial benefit to buried stalk.

Bob
 

Traveling Piper

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Tobacco plants will put out roots from buried segments of stalk, but not very effectively.

These photos, from 2013, were taken of plants that were shipped to me as transplants, but arrived quite bent. The primary roots were planted straight down, and the growth tip allowed to eventually curve upward. The crooks were constantly touching or beneath the ground for the entire growing season.









My conclusion was that, unlike tomatoes, there is no substantial benefit to buried stalk.

Bob
Good to know--this is something I've been wanting to ask about.
I may try pinning and burying a couple up to the first leaf node joint just to see what happens.

Also, what's the nature of the tobacco root system? Do they have more of a spreading habit or are they a good balance between vertical and horizontal--like a tomato?
 

deluxestogie

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Tobacco has no taproot. With unlimited space of suitable soil, the roots seem to distribute evenly, down to about 2 feet, and will easily reach 3 feet from the stalk. But the greatest density is within the upper 12". So I would consider tobacco as having "shallow" roots. Nearby hoeing can easily damage them, once the plants have grown to at least 1/3 of their final size. When they encounter neighbors, then the roots are more constrained.

Chronically soggy soil results in even shallower roots. The same with hardpan too close to the surface.

Bob
 

skychaser

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I may try pinning and burying a couple up to the first leaf node joint just to see what happens.
We always break off the bottom set of leaves and plant them down to there. Roots will grow out of the tiny hairs on the bottom of the stem. It helps the transplants get a firmer grip in the soil and gets the roots they have down a little deeper where they don't dry out as fast.

Bob is right about them not having a tap root. When you pull up a tobacco, the root ball you see is only a small part of what they actually have. Most all of the roots will stay between 4" to 12" down and fine roots will spread out to 5'-6' or more from the base. I have no problems with hoeing them or running the tiller around and between rows as long as I stay in the upper 2-3 inches.

I grow on a south facing slope. One year I had a main sprinkler supply line blow out and blast water down a walkway and across a couple rows. It must have been blowing water out for hours before I discovered it. Due to the way it split and the down slope of the hill, it quite effectively washed away a large amount of soil and left a trench a foot or more deep running for several feet. All the plants were left standing with their undamaged roots showing. I was amazed to see the tangle of fine roots traveling in every direction and how far they went. It was a mess to repair but was cool to see.
 

Brown Thumb

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Tobacco plants will put out roots from buried segments of stalk, but not very effectively.

These photos, from 2013, were taken of plants that were shipped to me as transplants, but arrived quite bent. The primary roots were planted straight down, and the growth tip allowed to eventually curve upward. The crooks were constantly touching or beneath the ground for the entire growing season.









My conclusion was that, unlike tomatoes, there is no substantial benefit to buried stalk.

Bob
I’ll still bury mine up th there throat.
 
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