I am rather reluctant to shout, “WE HAVE GERMINATION!” Last time I did that, it turned out to be a ‘premature ejaculation’. (It is reasonable to claim to ‘ejaculate’ words, isn’t it?)

This year’s germination programme has been a mess, I must admit. In the last four years, I have used my old, decrepit propagator to do the business. Here is a pic:

Propgtr 2013-01-18

A cheap, unheated propagator containing 40 cells. Sadly, the cells structure started to fall apart:

2014-03-21 13.09.23

Clearly visible.

I don’t know why, but it worked perfectly. You can even see seedlings in that pic. All I had to do was put seeds in each cell, put the top on, place the propagator on the shelf in the kitchen over the radiator and up popped the seedlings.

So what has caused the problem this year? I honestly do not know. I used the same propagator but without the cell structure – just filled it with compost, sprinkled seeds on the surface, as usual, and put the whole thing in the heated propagator. Nothing happened.


Cutting a long story short, I think that the surface of the compost was drying and so were the seeds. I don’t know why it should be different this year. Could it be that I have left it later this year than usual? Perhaps. Could it be the equipment? Perhaps. Certainly, I have evidence that that the drying out of the surface has been the main problem since germination has occurred at the edges of the containers, where the droplets of water run to when I open the containers.

But I am happy to report that the problem seems to have been resolved. I adopted a tip from Audrey Silk. Instead of putting lids on the containers, I covered them with cling-film. Thus, I was able to have a ‘depression’ in the surface of the film so as to channel evaporated water into the middle of the container so that it made big enough drops to fall onto the surface of the compost. This has been the result:

2015-04-04 01.23.42

Odd, is it not?, that the germination is almost entirely on the right-hand side? And notice the cracks in the surface of the compost. that suggest that the whole thing is too warm.

It really is a difficult decision. There are far more seedlings there than I need, plus, some other containers have seedlings, but they are tightly clustered together.  The question is, should I take the container out of the heated propagator, remove the cling-film, and expose them to normal temperatures, air and sunlight? But temperatures, at this time of year, are not normal! They are cold!

OK. I’ll give them one more night in the heated prop. I’ve misted the surface so the seeds should be damp.

As an experiment, I have placed the other three containers (which have some seedlings at the edges) in different places, some warmer than others, and also replaced the lids with cling-film. I sprinkled addition seeds over the surface a couple of days ago.

It is perhaps an important thing to suffer failure. Is it true that we learn more from our failures and disappointments than from our successes?


All being well, I should have as many plants as I need in due course. Ideally, I would be planting out in mid-May, but a delay is not that important since it is the huge bottom and mid-plant leaves which are important. The small, late leaves, at the top of the plant, are not that important.

How fascinating!


Tonight, I tried out smoking a blend of certain tobaccos. Regular readers will know that I changed my curing method. I’ll not go into detail tonight. Suffice to say that I made a ‘curing box’ so as to be able to control temperature and humidity reasonably well.

All I can say, without going into detail, is that the stuff which has come out of the curing-box experience is as good as I can reasonably expect, and better than the ‘wadding method’. I am not kidding or wishful thinking. I mixed my stuff with Lemon Virginia with a ratio of 1 to 2 – one part my own and two parts Lemon Virginia. I can find no fault with the blend at all. The smoke does not stink, it is not harsh, there is no nasty after-taste.

Not only that, but my creations last far longer than do tailor-made cigs. I am talking about 15 minutes as compared with 7 minutes. Part of that is because there has ceased to be ‘quality control’ of tailor-made cigs. Thus, tobacco companies can use ‘expanded’ tobacco to make cigs. Thus, there is less and less actual tobacco in the cigs. There are no quality controls regarding the weight of tobacco in the cigs – or the ‘quality’ of the tobacco leaf from which the cigs are made. Tobacco Control have ensured that only the most toxic of tobacco will be used. By that I mean not that the tobacco itself is toxic, but that no effort is required to ensure that it does not contain incidental toxins and elements, absorbed by the plants from either the air of the soil.

Not that it matters since the quantities are so tiny that they are harmless.

Even so, Tobacco Control is using POWER to make things worse. Cigs are becoming potentially more and more out-of-control, and I mean that Tobacco Companies are no longer accountable for the quality of their products. For example, the EU apparatchiks have let the TCs off by taking to themselves the control of ingredients. By doing so, they have taken responsibility.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When the Australian Government demanded PP, the Tobacco Companies had the right, because of the generality of PP, to act together. They should have acted together to cease the supply of their tobacco products to Australia until the ramifications of loss of trademarks, intellectual properties, etc, had been sorted out.

But Tobacco Company Executives are incredibly clever, much more so than the people who use their products. In fact, they are so clever that people who use their products are slaves for all intents.

Both Tobacco Control and Tobacco Companies are ill. One proposes that miasmas from swamps causes malaria, while the other blames mosquitoes. Which does what, and does it matter?





2 Responses to “Germination===Blending”

  1. Ed Says:

    Glad to see your seeds finally emerging. Mine came up too, but boy are the seedlings tiny! Ended up buying a few more varieties which caught my eye, so I think I may have caught the growing bug for tobacco already. 🙂

    Just hope we get some decent weather!


    • junican Says:

      Since I posted that, I have had two more trays also germinate. I put them in the hot water cylinder cupboard, covered with clingfilm and pretty damp. They have done well in that situation, even though they were in the dark.
      But, yes, the seedlings are tiny. Things have worked out in a peculiar manner this year. Last year, I had plants ready to go outside by mid April! We are nearly there, and all I have is tiny seedlings.
      It should not matter, provided that we have a decent Summer.

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