Planting Out the Baccy Plants

It is nice to have a change of subject and a bit of cheer. The dolorous happenings in parliament and the EU and tobacco control can be wearing on the spirit.

Friday was rather watery, but I managed to get a couple of hours to de-compact the soil on my baccy plots. It is a pity that we had no frost this year to expand the soil. As a result, the soil had compacted itself under the continuing effect of rain and cold. But it was not difficult to break up the surface to a depth of, say, six inches. It just took some effort to jab the spade into the soil, wriggle and lift and chop. But the soil was very damp. Nevertheless, I was able to prepare the plots for planting out.

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The plantlets have behaved very strangely this year. I do not know why. I germinated them in March, theoretically allowing two months or so for them to develop to a size ready for planting out in mid-May. The strange thing is that they have not grown any significant stature. Leaves have appeared, and then yellowed quite quickly, to be replaced by new green leaves, which also go yellow, and all terribly slowly. This is my fourth year, and I have found that nothing about these plants can be anticipated. They are unpredictable. Despite the weird behaviour of the foliage, the roots are good and plentiful.

It may be the compost which is causing the weird behaviour. Readers may remember that I bought four big sacks from a casual caller at my home. Good as the compost seemed to be at first inspection, I have found that it is not properly rotted down. But I was already aware of this, and so mixed it with seeding compost. Even so, the plants are being weird.

I decided that it would be a good thing to get them outside as soon as poss, which has been today. The forecast for today was awful, but it turned out to be a reasonably dry day. I was able to do the job. So here are some pics.

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That is plot 1.

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That is plot 2. You can also see clearly my ‘slug deterrent moats’ in both pics! Because of the rain in the last couple of days, I have not had to fill them with water artificially. Slugs and snails just love young tobacco plants. Why on earth they cannot be satisfied with all the other useless flowering stuff, I do not know.

And finally:

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2014-05-25 17.56.46

Every plant has its own little greenhouse in the form of two litre pop bottles. I have cut the bottom off the bottles and and forced them into the soil. They serve two purposes: a) to add a further level of protection against slugs and insects, and, b) to have a greenhouse effect.

As you can see, there are deep footprint impressions. I’ll leave them for a couple of weeks and then loosen the soil thereabouts.

 

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What is obvious is that there is no certainty about what might happen over the next few months. I suppose that that is part of the fascination. The worst that can happen is that the whole lot fail, in which case, other sources are readily available …….

 

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4 Responses to “Planting Out the Baccy Plants”

  1. legiron Says:

    You’re ahead of me as usual. Mine are still in the greenhouse. It’s not safe to put them outside in Scotland yet – there can be a frost in late May, one of which caught me out a couple of years back.

    • Junican Says:

      Well, Yes, LI. The question of altitude also arises. Even in Bolton, where I live is 600 feet above sea level. Surprisingly, that makes a difference. We very often have snow while the lower areas on the Cheshire plain have rain. It is surprising how much difference the 600 feet makes.
      I am concerned about the apparent delay in growth. It remains to be seen whether or not there are going to be consequences.

  2. nisakiman Says:

    I think your soda-pop cloches might have been more effective had you removed the labels. that would allow the plants to interact with the sunlight regardless of the angle of the sun. I’m not a gardener, so I’m speaking from a purely theoretical standpoint, but that’s the way it seems to me.

    • Junican Says:

      Correct. Most have them have no labels. I found that I was ten bottles short yesterday evening and so I prepared some more. I forgot about removing the labels until it was too late. I’ll take them off when I get round to it.

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