Northwood seeds

Touching them makes them hard...

DistillingJim

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#1
I was reading a gardening book the other day that was referring to growing from seed (general, not tobacco related). Something it suggested was lightly touching new seedlings every day with either your finger or running a sheet of paper across a planting tray. Apparently this helps the seedlings to harden up and do better when transplanted. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

greenmonster714

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#3
My two cents. It's believable. I mean plants will react to music and human voices so why not touch as well? To me we are the ultimate companion for plants we raise. We feed, water, and care for them. Maybe that triggers a positive force in them. I dunno. I'm sounding like a tree hugger but I can't help but feel that somehow they feel our presence. There's probably some pretty in depth studies on that subject out there.

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing that.
 

SmokesAhoy

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#5
I put them out so they can get sunlight and wind when it isn't too cold. The difference in stalk strength is dramatic.

They go from being top heavy sprouts always falling over and resting on the biggest leaf to standing under their own power in a week. If I didn't let them out I'd get an oscillating fan for them no question about it.
 

DistillingJim

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#9
Maybe its in my head, but I've been giving them a gentle rub the last few days and they do seem a bit firmer for it. Might keep it up.
 

Charly

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#11
I agree with you all, I am sure the plants need some aggression (hot sun, wind, touching hand...) to help them becoming stronger, it's just a response to the aggression.
 
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#12
Reviving a bit of an oldie, but in the science world we call this thigmomorphogenesis. Thigmo (Touch) morpho (shape) genesis (create). Plants respond to touch in nature as well as captivity. Look at the roots of wild trees exposed to prevailing winds and you'll see the roots are longer on the windy side, strengthening the plant by "pulling" it into the wind. This is very true and requires little belief as it happens to every plant in nature.

I assume that by tricking the plant hormones (which is what you are essentially doing) into strentghting the stalk, you are potentially robbing yourself. The plant might put more emphasis in withstanding the external forces and less in leaf production. Although, it might spur the plant into a rapid growth, which would require more nutrients to sustain the growth.

the first part is understood. The second is speculation.
 

deluxestogie

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#13
All you have to do is touch my leaf
To show me you mean no grief
And something happens to me
That's some kind of wonderful
Any time my auxin world is blue
Circumnutation just might locate you
And every thing seems to be
some kind of wonderful


Bob (with apologies to Ms. King and Mr. Goffin)
 

L610

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#14
Plants are very sophisticated when it comes to experiencing the world and communicating with each other and other creatures. From what little I have learned it appears they experience/communicate almost entirely through chemical signals (finding food, recognizing close genetic relatives, predators, friendly insects etc...).

If we actually touch the leaves it likely does have a strong effect, they probably recognize our chemical signature and decide whether we are friend or foe out to eat/harm them or beneficial.

I had to thin some seedlings in trays the other day and felt guilty about it, I also wondered if the plants saw me as an evil threat afterwards if they perceived me killing all of the other seedlings in the tray with scissors. Next time will scatter fewer seeds as it made me feel bad to cull the extras.

Here is a documentary on their experience and communication. At the 16:00 min mark it talks about wild tobacco and how sophisticated it's system of perceiving threats is.

 

L610

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#16
It's probably not particularly useful to anthropomorphize plants.

Bob
I am not overly fond of humans therefore I do not anthropomorphize. However if an organism reacts to threats they are by definition conscious.

And I will agree it has a downside, especially when it comes to thinning seedlings or harvesting.
 
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#17
I am not overly fond of humans therefore I do not anthropomorphize. However if an organism reacts to threats they are by definition conscious.

And I will agree it has a downside, especially when it comes to thinning seedlings or harvesting.
I understand that there are different ideas about what constitutes consciousness, but pseudoscience and hallucinogens aside, psychological research points to the neural pathways in the brain that form short term memory.

 

deluxestogie

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#18
"Threat" is a cognitive construct assembled from a constellation of present stimuli and memory. Without a central nervous system, an organism cannot perceive "threat", but may perceive stimuli. An amoeba reacts to noxious stimuli. It is not conscious.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956087/

My tobacco grows wonderfully, despite my unkind habit of smoking a cigar while I tend the plants.

Bob
 
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