Whole Leaf Tobacco

Ways to start tobacco seedlings

BigBonner

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Here is a method I just made . It is one seed at a time and so far it seems to work well .
The only worry that I have is the tiny seeds . I sometimes wonder if Im pushing dust .
I use a pair of reading glass's to see better with . A more powerfull pair might be better .
Here is what I did .
I went to lowes and bought plexiglass one quarter inch thick . It can and probably should be thinner . I made mine 4" wide and 26" long to fit the lenght of my float trays .I cut pieces 1.5" for the ends and sides
I drilled one hole at each place I want a seed to drop . I offset the holes to one side of the glass . The reason I did this was to pour seed onto the flat surface , scattered the length of the seeder .
I glued the sides on and made a tray . I covered the bottom with masking tape so this would show the seeds better . If left clear it is very hard to see the seeds .
I cut a stiff piece of paper and wrapped the end with masking tape ( This part needs more work ) .
I place the tray over my soil filled float tray and I rake one seed in each hole . Then I move the tray one section at a time until the tray is finished .

Even though I will not get no way near 100% it should still work
This can be mad in a 4"x" square or any size for different trays or a single seed cup.

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AmaxB

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I put my seeds in a damp paper towel, then in a zip lock bag and put on top of the water heater. I don't do this to my tobacco seeds because I usually plant way too many varieties to keep track of.
I like the water heater idea been seeing 70 - 80F for starting seeds an my wife keeps this place like 68F so it will work for me.....
 

Beren

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I seeded experimenting with 6 different orientals, using two different methods. Egg carton and plastic trays divided in 6 with clear plastic cover. I had a number of seeds leftover and tossed them into a pot with a plant that I hardly ever water, kinda a neglected pot. The plastic sprouted first but 2 of the orientals did not sprout at all. The egg carton was a couple of days behind the plastic with some patchy areas in all of them. The ones that I through into the neglected pot seem to have all come up as there is now a nice layer of green. The soil had gotten watered twice in two weeks and had dried out completely for 3-4 days between watering... lol
 

Knucklehead

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Revisiting this thread years later I have changed the way I start my seedlings. I overseed directly to the cells in the 1020 trays after the soil has taken up moisture from the bottom. Then I mist water on the seed. They stay there until sprouted and then I thin out all the seedlings except the one strongest in each cell with tweezers. The seedlings remain in the cells until transplant to the patch. I do not move the seedlings to larger cells or pots.
 

Charly

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Revisiting this thread years later I have changed the way I start my seedlings. I overseed directly to the cells in the 1020 trays after the soil has taken up moisture from the bottom. Then I mist water on the seed. They stay there until sprouted and then I thin out all the seedlings except the one strongest in each cell with tweezers. The seedlings remain in the cells until transplant to the patch. I do not move the seedlings to larger cells or pots.

If I can reduce the number of different strains I grow each year, that's the method I would like to use.
But right now, I am sure some seeds would jump from one cell to the next ... and I wouldn't know which is which...
 

Knucklehead

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If I can reduce the number of different strains I grow each year, that's the method I would like to use.
But right now, I am sure some seeds would jump from one cell to the next ... and I wouldn't know which is which...

Using the 1020 trays, the cells are divided into packs of 4 or 6. I separate the 4 or 6 packs and carry 1 pack of 4 or 6 cells away from the others to a table, where I can seed only the 4 or 6 cells in that pack, then insert the pack into the water tray with the other packs. This way you can have as few as 4 plants per variety and keep them separated. This worked well when I had my huge seed grow out in 2014 of 70+ varieties of a minimum of four plants each. I keep the seedlings on the heat mats until I take them outside to harden them off. The manufacturer says the mats hold about 10F over ambient temperature.

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Charly

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So I will have to buy some 1020 trays.
My home made trays contain tooo many individual cells (between 105 and 136 on each tray)
 

Knucklehead

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So I will have to buy some 1020 trays.
My home made trays contain tooo many individual cells (between 105 and 136 on each tray)
I have used both 48 and 72 cell trays and kept them in the cells from seed to patch. I think Bob did a comparison with keeping the seedlings in the cell or transferring to larger pots. The ones in the larger pots were larger at transplant but the ones in the cell caught up to them in the next few weeks and you couldn’t distinguish them at harvest time. It saves labor and $$ to just keep them in the cells without hurting them any in the long run.
 

deluxestogie

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My experience with 48-cell inserts vs. 72-cell inserts is the following:
  • 72-cell inserts require less shelf space per plant, a consideration when producing a huge number of transplants
  • 72-cell inserts require more frequent clipping, in order to prevent shading of adjacent plants
  • 72-cell inserts require more frequent addition of water into the underlying tray
My preference is to use 48-cell inserts in my 1020 trays.

Bob
 

Knucklehead

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What's the volume of a single cell in a 1020 tray?
It depends on the number of cells per tray. The wet and dry volumes are listed in the chart below:
 
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eebenz

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I started my seeds two days ago in ziplock bags. Three varieties this time: Yellow Twist Bud, CT Broadleaf and Durman 904.

I have started seeds previous years in soil and a long time ago using piece of styrofoam covered with toilet paper floating in water, but never in ziplock. So I have two questions:
-Do you keep the zip lock bags open or closed? If closed, how often you open them to prevent mold?
-How big you let the sprouts grow before transplanting to soil?

This method is interesting but I'm still not completely sure. I guess I'll put today some seeds in soil too to compare results
 

MadFarmer

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I started my seeds two days ago in ziplock bags. Three varieties this time: Yellow Twist Bud, CT Broadleaf and Durman 904.

I have started seeds previous years in soil and a long time ago using piece of styrofoam covered with toilet paper floating in water, but never in ziplock. So I have two questions:
-Do you keep the zip lock bags open or closed? If closed, how often you open them to prevent mold?
-How big you let the sprouts grow before transplanting to soil?
Tobacco seeds are so small I would only use the baggie test to check for viability.
You can move them out of the bag as soon as the root pops.
 

eebenz

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I had the tobacco seeds in bags and they started very nicely. However when I transferred them to soil, growing stopped and they slowly died. Same happened with chilis (Naga Morich). It seems to be a big shock to tiny plants to go from water to an environment full of nutrients and microbes and whatnot.

Now I have tobacco seeds started in soil w/ bottom watering and they already look so much healthier :)
 
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