An Update on the Baccy Plants

It isn’t very long since I last posted an update, but the fine weather has made a significant difference. One of the main things, as I have said before, as regards tobacco plant growth is soil temperature. On several occasions, I have mentioned that I have taken the temperature of the soil in my plots (using an ordinary small thermometer) and found it to be around 15°C at best. Yesterday, after only a couple of days of fine weather, the soil temp was over 22°C (at about 4″ (10 cm) below the surface). That’s more like it! Although tobacco plants grow best at a soil temp of around 30°C, 22C is quite adequate to get optimum growth within reason. Here are some pics which I took today:

2013-07-08 15.29.32

The ruler in the pic is for scale – it is 30 cm (1 foot). That is the best plant in Plot 2 (the one with most shade). As you can see, the leaves are really developing well and gaining rapidly in size.

Here is a pic of the full plot:

2013-07-08 15.29.50

You can see that the plants at the top-right of the pic are least well developed. That is not surprising since they were the ones worst affected by my crass decision to plant out in mid-April. They are in the coolest and most shaded part of the plot.

You can compare that pic with this one, which I took less than a week ago:

2013-06-23 19.19.27

Plot one has not developed nearly as well, but is doing fine. Here is the best plant in that plot:

2013-07-08 15.30.31

That is really very good, isn’t it?

And  here is the rest of the plot:

2013-07-08 15.31.02

The best plant is the one in the top centre of the pic. the camera, of course, gives a false impression of what the plot looks like to the naked eye. In the pic, the plants look much further away and smaller than in reality.

What I have found very pleasing is that the plants have started to grow taller. That is, the stalks (the ‘trunk’ to which the leaves are attached) are stretching in length. This has surprised me because, according to theory, plants only grow taller by adding cells to the ‘growing point’ at the tip of the plant – like building a wall higher by adding more and more layers of bricks. But it seems that I must have misinterpreted what the website was saying. It may well be true that layers of cells are added to the tip, and that it is from this new growth that new leaves emerge, but it is beginning to become apparent that the stalk does stretch so that the stalk gets taller all along its length – provided that the conditions are right. I’m keeping an eye on this. Readers will know that I like to be as precise as reasonable, and so I have measured the distance between the leaves near the bottom of the stalk of two of the plants. I want to see if that distance increases. It need only be a few millimetres. That would be enough to confirm that the stalks do lengthen all along the plant. If that is so, then the full height of the plant can change, depending upon weather conditions, soil temperatures and so on. What is really heartening about this ‘discovery’, if it is correct, is that the plants which I thought would be permanently stunted have a real chance of growing to full size.

Watch this space!

7 Responses to “An Update on the Baccy Plants”

  1. jools68 Says:

    Mine dont seem to be growing much,another week of sun hopefully will help! last yrs looked bigger by now lol

    • junican Says:

      I have been fortunate in that my bad decision has not completely destroyed the plants. Thankfully, they are off to a flying start. I should imagine that you have been far more sensible than me and waited longer before planting out. Your plants may be smaller than last year because the soil has only just started to come out of the fridge.

  2. Moss. Says:

    Junican, some of my plants are already in bloom, and the leaves are quite large. What is quite noticeable is the varying difference in the size of the plants. I’m not really concerned about the difference in sizes because I’ve planted quite a number of plants and I’m happy with the harvest-able number of good plants. This year I was mainly interested in producing my own seed ready for next year. For the life of me I can’t show you any photos because I just don’t have the knowledge of bringing them from album, and placing them within my comment – anyone help? One picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve already started harvesting the lower leaves.
    Last time I commented about the plants, they were little over two feet in height and budding. Fortunately, the buds didn’t open until further height had been gained. Also, I haven’t seen any of Rose’s bees on the flower heads – plenty bees buzzing around, but haven’t seen them visiting the flower heads. I’m wondering if the plants are self-pollinating – anyone know?

    • junican Says:

      An easy way to send a picture is to use email. I can download the pic to the comment if you ask.

      Send an email to bscjunican@yahoo.co.uk. and attach the picture. I shall pick it up and put it in the comment. But you must tell me that you have sent an email to bscjunican, otherwise I might not know.

      What this means, in effect,is that I can ‘lift’ any pic which you send me and put it where I want.

  3. qdant Says:

    Looking Good, after your cold weather scare !
    here’s mine
    http://teddytourteas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/9th-july-another-photo-update.html
    cheers Danny

  4. qdant Says:

    Hi, I commented a couple of days ago but it seems to have been lost ? I’ll try again

    That’s good news, they’ve picked up after your cold weather scare,
    here’s a view of mine, over near Colne :-
    http://teddytourteas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/9th-july-another-photo-update.html

    • junican Says:

      Hello D.
      For some reason, you comments went into spam. I don’t know why since one link is permitted. Oddly, they did not appear in my email either.
      I’ll have a look at the spam filter.

      Yours are looking good. This fine weather is doing them no end of good.

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