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Northwood seeds

question on seed starting and getting something in the ground

chris m

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#1
Ok this is my first year grow . Now I have grown vegetables from seed for years from basic stuff to heirloom . I have started seed in there trays no grow lights or seed tray heaters . Thinking this was my problem and didn't start tobacco till April . Next year will be earlier so will have better luck . I did make mistakes this year and everyone does. No coffee grounds in your seed mix it will mold . So did I miss the memo about using grow lights . The seed really didn't do very well at all but they were all from good stock and they are doing well . What I did to start was seed two 6 pack trays one variety per cell. Next year fewer seeds per cell and thin out so next year one 6 pack per variety. So with the cells I pulled a few seedlings and planted them to paper cups with holes on the bottom . what I'm looking for is to find out what I did wrong so I can seed to ground with no problems. Because I would like to give back . Because of all the seed I got from the members of this group . Thanks Chris
 

DGBAMA

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#2
Chris,

I don't even transplant to cups anymore. I got enough 72cell trays for the number of plants I start and seed directly into each cell, approx 4-5 seeds. When they sprout, I thin a couple a week, leaving the strongest in each cell, until each has only one.

when the plants start to hang over eachother, they begin getting "haircuts" clip off about 2/3 of each leaf that hangs over an adjacent cell. about 2 weeks before planting, I quit the haircuts and let them grow a couple good leaves which will be with them at transplant.

I get the "moss green" on top of a lot of my cells, doesn't seem to hurt anything but indicates maybe a little too much moisture or could just be the starting soil.

Even though it is late for this year, if you have enough extra seed, it wouldn't hurt to set up your starting area and run a couple "trials"; say 8 weeks each with the goal of just reaching plantable size. This way you get your starting process "down pat" and are ready for next year.

If you need some seed to "practice" with, let me know. I have more than I will ever use.
 

chris m

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#3
Yes I was thinking just seed light each cell and thin . Some of the seedlings were two plants together . Will do think I have seed left to do a trial run tomarrow
 

BigBonner

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#4
Here is a picture of plants that we transplant into our tobacco fields . These are grown in 200 cell float trays . They can be transplanted when smaller than in the picture .
The plant has been trimmed because if you don't the trays will be too crowed and cause smaller plants to die off from lack of air and sunlight . This also prevents rot and diseases from getting started .
Find a good lose soil .
Fill trays with soil .
Place seeds on top and do not cover seeds with soil . A light dusting may be ok but too much is not good . Keep out of wind .
Keep seed moist but not too wet
Keep them warm but not too hot . Cold so long as they don't freeze I believe 75 degrees is the idea temp .
Forget fertilizer until they are about a the size of a quarter . I believe that a good soil should be enough to take care of seed until they reach a good size . Over fertilizing is the worst mistake .
Too much fertilizer will cause Burn or rot, Long spindly plants , Over growth of bigger leaves but make the plants very tender and will snap off easily .


DSCN1861 (640x480).jpg
 

Smokin Harley

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#6
Chris. I'm in IL about 2 hours almost straight west of you and not sure if we share the same zone but I started my seeds in mid April as well and most of mine did just fine.
I did however use jiffy mix,72 cell starter trays(but I did buy some Haxnicks Rapid RooTrainers to try for next year) bottom heat mats ,full spectrum fluorescent lights . I didn't plant in mass but only a slight sprinkle of seeds atop the soil and still ended up having to thin out .
I did at first over water ,which I will make sure not to do again. I just looked at my plants still in the flat and the Ct Shade I have are almost a month and a half old and the seedlings of other varieties only 3 weeks old are bigger and healthier than those. Not sure what was up with CT but I will be getting a hold of the seed company about it.
A seed has requirements before it will sprout. It has to have a constant minimum temperature and moisture . Once sprouted , it requires light more than heat to fulfill the chlorophyll manufacturing. As long as they are sprouted ,the temp (night) can be lower than when they were sprouted ,just make sure its above 40.
When you do first fertilize, make the first few a very low dose ...if the package calls for lets just say 1 tablespoon per gallon , only mix one TEASPOON per gallon.
Really, you actually still have time to reseed...Its only June 3rd and you could probably sow seed now and get them in the ground by July 4th. My seedlings that were sown 3 weeks ago will go in by Fathers Day. They should catch up . If they dont,its ok. They're just back up plants anyway . I just want to see how they do planted out later than the rest and see how they take a midwest summer and fall temps. Some tobacco plantations plant a rare late 3rd crop and get a wonderful "Especial" tobacco just by having the longer daylight hours and cooler night temps . Maybe I'll get more wrapper out of the late batch. Maybe it'll have more flavor. I'm not really sure, but I'm experimenting.
I have some seed left so next year if you want to try some of what I'm growing just let me know and I'll send you some.
 

deluxestogie

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#7
For late plantings, there may be enough time to produce a good quality leaf, but you also need to consider the curing conditions at harvest time. In some locations, the weather is cold and damp enough after a late harvest to present significant curing difficulties.

It may be worth a try.

Bob
 

BigBonner

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#8
For late plantings, there may be enough time to produce a good quality leaf, but you also need to consider the curing conditions at harvest time. In some locations, the weather is cold and damp enough after a late harvest to present significant curing difficulties.

It may be worth a try.

Bob

Last year after I cut and housed my burley tobacco crop . It was around November the 4th we had a freeze . It froze a big amount of my tobacco hanging in my barns .
This was my first time I ever had tobacco freeze in the barns 5 weeks after harvesting . It won't hurt tobacco after it has browned / dried But if there is some live green in the leaves it will freeze that part of the leaf .
 

chris m

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#9
Thank you all for the help seeded six 6 packs with one variety per pack light and will thin from there misted and in a window with glad wrap
What was rere planted Havana ,little dutch,Ct shade,comstock Spanish ,pa red and Fla sumatra.
 

Smokin Harley

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#11
Chris ,how much Ct Shade seed do you have left..I have other seed if you'd like to trade for next years crop as long as you have enough for yourself. PM me
 

chris m

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#12
Well everything is down to 2-3 seedling and up to the three leaf stage still smallbut better than it was . May go to a different seed starting soil for next year . Will have a lot of variety to plant and still have room for some grow outs as well may keep it at 15-16 varieties for next year and get this grow past me. .
 

Smokin Harley

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#13
down to only 2-3 seedlings...what are you doing? please list everything youre using and everything youve done so far.

I used heat mats , jiffy starter soil , 2- 72 cell flat packs(using RooTrainers next year)and a cheap overhead fluorescent light with 3 full spectrum daylight tubes. I kept water under the cell packs but found I had root rot and lost many. Next grow I will only bottom water to soil moisture and then allow to dry before watering again. Once a week I fertilized with 1/4-1/2 strength Miraclegro and added a pinch of epsom salts. Temperature at the cell pack soil line was 80-90* .Planted out when plants were almost 3 inches wide.
 

chris m

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#14
Yes 2-3 seedlings per cell . The six six packs in a tray in the window . Water from. The bottom . Forgot what the seeding mix was. Next year it will be jiffy mix under a grow lights 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt in the water and no miracle grow this time
 

rustycase

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#16
What Larry says in post #4 !
...one note, though... He's got a nice greenhouse.
For the little bitty plants, a clear plastic tent enclosing the grow may be best to control humidity in their environment.
There's aisles of shelves in every hardware store across the country with all sorts of things plants generally get enough of...
rc
 

Smokin Harley

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#17
natural light on a window sill may not be enough to get your plants to where they should be. Tobacco needs some pretty long days of direct (sun)light to grow as they should. Get a cheap fluorescent light fixture with full spectrum tubes and mount it on chains or wire or something like that so you can lower it as close as possible to the cell packs/plant tops. As they grow , raise the light. Keep the soil surface temperature at 80*F, I just lay a cheap plastic thermometer on top of the flats. Also if that clear tray has sitting water and the cell pack soil is wet, take the bottom water away, or you've got a root rot invitation. Tobacco doesn't need much moisture,kind of odd how such a tiny seed can develop into such a huge plant and not require amounts of water you'd expect from a tomato plant. How old are those tiny seedlings...as in how long since sprouted. Don't use epsoms yet, those plants aren't big enough yet. heres another water question- are you using water from the house or natural rain water. If house water, has it been through a softener system or is it untreated hard water?? I had Ct Shade never get much bigger than that after almost 6 weeks. Still unsure what happened.
I don't use the clear plastic cover that comes with the flats, seems to hold too much moisture and again a root rot /damping off invitation.
 

Smokin Harley

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#19
get yourself some heat mats too. keeps them growing on those snap cold nights.
I had my lights on 24/7 for like over a month but I think next year as soon as they have first true leaves I'll put the lights on a timer but leave the heat mats on.
 

DGBAMA

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#20
get yourself some heat mats too. keeps them growing on those snap cold nights.
I had my lights on 24/7 for like over a month but I think next year as soon as they have first true leaves I'll put the lights on a timer but leave the heat mats on.
Getting the lights on a timer cycle REALLY helps. They need their "sleep time" too.

Mine stalled at dime sized first leaf this year for a couple weeks, then I realized my lights were still on 24/7.
 
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