Tobacco Plants – year 3

I’ve been growing tobacco again this year. In my first year, growing them indoors (I have no garden) they eventually grew the full height of the window. In my second year, I started them late, and they hardly grew at all. This year I started them earlier, but they’ve only grown about half way up the window. I don’t know why my tobacco plants grow upward. Maybe I should clip off the growing tip to make them grow sideways?

I’m still using seed that Leg-iron sent me three years ago. After last year’s failure, I wondered whether the seeds were no longer quite as viable as in the first year. But given that the same seeds have done better this year than last year, they may be as viable as ever.

I’m a bit surprised that Leg-iron’s seeds are still viable. Because seeds (along with fruits and vegetables like apples and potatoes and carrots and tomatoes) have a very slight metabolism. They’re ‘ticking over’ and burning energy at a microscopic rate. And since tobacco seeds are so small, it’s a surprise to me that they haven’t used up all the energy stored in the tiny seeds.

I’ve also got a plant growing from some seeds that smokingscot kindly sent me. He sent two seed pods. One was a complete failure, but the other was a considerable success, and produced lots of plants. Unfortunately most of them died, and just one plant remains. And it looks different from Leg-iron’s Bulgarian climbing tobacco plants. It has bigger leaves, and hasn’t shown the same tendency to grow upwards. I still have half a seed pod full of these seeds, so next year I’ll see if I can grow some more.

One other experimental plant I’ve got this year is actually one of last year’s plants. It’s been suggested that tobacco is an annual plant, and dies at the end of the year. But I kept one of last year’s small plants, to see how it would do given another summer. And it did very well. In fact it did almost as well as the plants grown from seed this year. Which makes me think that tobacco isn’t an annual plant, and can keep growing from year to year. I’m thinking that I might retain my 2-year-old plant through the winter, and see whether it carries on growing in a third year.

And since one plant has survived for approaching two years, another experiment I might try is to chop down my current crop, and harvest the leaves, but then leave the stumps of the plants in their pots. Because after year 1, I found that many of the stumps left in the pots started growing new leaves before I finally disposed of them. Because if tobacco will just keep growing, year after year, maybe there will be no need for seed. And the same plant may produce new leaves and shoots, and regrow each year. But that’s an experiment for next year.

Several of the plants have flowered. In the past I haven’t kept the seed pods. This year I think I’ll collect them and try to germinate them next year.

Lots of interesting experiments in store!

But I still haven’t figured out what to do with the leaves after I’ve harvested them. Over the past two years, I’ve just tied the cut plants together, and hung them upside down in a cupboard. Doing this, the leaves stay green, but gradually dry out. And I’ve found that if this is ground down into small fragments, it’s perfectly smokeable when added to manufactured rolling tobacco. And in fact all my smokes these days are made up of a confection of various different kinds of tobacco.

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35 Responses to Tobacco Plants – year 3

  1. junican says:

    To grow well, tobacco plants need lots and lots of light. If you have a balcony, you could grow them in pots, but it is unlikely that you will get big leaves. Growing indoors is useless. I have a good-sized garden, and I have two plots for my baccy plants. One is in a sunny position and the other is more shaded. The plants in the sunny position far outgrow (in the sense of the size of the leaves) those in the shadier plot.
    For me, growing the plants and harvesting, curing etc is a hobby. The produce is not terribly great in quantity, but, combined with supplies of leaf from other sources – you know who – then my stuff brings a certain ‘je ne sai quoi’ into the taste.

    We continue to experiment. If you can produce only small quantities, you might as well cure the stuff very strongly, in which case you get value for your efforts in that you blend a small amount of your own, strong stuff with a large amount of stuff bought from you know who. What would be the point of producing weak stuff?


    The above is just a tiny slice of the potentials. Tobacco Control does not know what it has released.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Growing indoors is useless.

      No it isn’t. You might as well say that growing tobacco in a garden is useless as well, and what you really need is a farm. See Harley’s comment below.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Just saw my buddys tobacco barn today up the road on his farm………….300 foot long 3 stories tall and holds right near 600,000 pounds of tobacco in it. It needs another month and they start stripping and baling for market. I think its going to bring 1.65-2.25 a pound this year!

    That’s a few trips to anyplace ehh! With all the toys. Unfortunately its not all his just about 50,000 pounds is his. The rest is neighbors crops too!

  3. It is amazing that it has taken a few bloggers to get home-grown tobacco off the ground (literally). That’s how it appears, anyway. You would have thought the ability to grow it in the UK, even as far north as Aberdeenshire (Leg-iron Land), would have been well known, but like many things, it is a fact probably deliberately well hidden – in this case, to protect the HMRC tax racket. I don’t remember ever seeing tobacco being grown in the many television programmes over the decades.

    In the 1970s, as a teenager, I was an adventurous gardener (sadly, an interest totally lost in adulthood). While adults were sticking to ‘safe’ plants which everyone knew would grow, like root vegetables, lettuces and tomatoes, I was enticed by more exotic (for the Scottish gardener) plants. I tried growing sweetcorn (maize). I got tall plants, but the cobs were only a couple of inches long, so I threw them away, unaware that they were a bit of a delicacy eaten whole. But this was before the advent of wall-to-wall cookery shows when we only had three TV channels.

    The Thompson and Morgan seed range was ecstatically exciting for me. They had all manner of bizarre fruit and veg seed, like lemon cucumbers. I wanted to try their spaghetti squash (the flesh is like spaghetti), but never got around to it. They don’t sell either now. Just been on their website and they seem to be sticking to the safe products.

    Sutton’s do the spaghetti squash:

    Type “tobacco” into either site and you get nicotiana flowers, tomatoes and peppers. No tobacco. Wouldn’t be good for the company’s image.

    I had ambition, drive and ideas in those days. Still do to some extent, but the decades of striving to pay the bills, watching endless mindless telly (up until ten years ago) and worrying about (mostly) pointless matters can take all that away and next thing I know, I could be renewing my TV licence to watch Coronation Street and voting Labour again.

    Best get some spaghetti squash seeds and rekindle my youthful spirit of hope and taking (hopefully well-reasoned) risks, e.g. I left a four year degree course, aged 18, to start a business.

    It failed.

    But the experience enabled me to get my first proper job.

    • Rose says:

      Stewart, if you have any difficulty getting spaghetti squash seeds, tell me. I have been growing them for years. This years crop of Tivoli, bright yellow, has been especially good.
      The longer you store them the tastier they get and hopefully I will have a lot of mature seeds for next year.
      I don’t know why spaghetti squashes fell out of favour with British seed companies, they are delicious, but I suppose there are fashions in everything.

  4. On the same note, there is a “lost” garden in the north of England “which grew tea, tobacco and bananas”.

    Maybe Leg-iron will try bananas up there next?

    After all, the European country which produces the most bananas is Iceland, albeit in geothermally-heated greenhouses.

  5. waltc says:

    Nice piece on Farage in the (US) Weekly Standard. “None of the virtues you despise, all of the vices you admire.”

    • Frank Davis says:

      That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him described as “good-looking”, and with a photo to prove it. The media over here always pick unflattering shots of him to print.

    • beobrigitte says:

      “Our Nige,” as his supporters call him—personable, chatty, good-looking, beer swilling, chain-smoking—wants Britain, not the European Union, to run British affairs.

      Perhaps because Farage is personable, chatty, beer swilling and chain smoking the public can easily relate to him. (I wouldn’t call Farage ‘good looking’ but that’s unimportant; important is that he does his job!)

  6. Steven simon says:

    Just on a completely different topic.ive read that doctors are to receive £55 to diagnose studies have shown that smoking slows down dementia would it not it be cheaper to give patients a packet of cigarettes

  7. anonymong says:

    If you’ve got too many flowers they can be used to make a really rather pleasant wine.

    For curing what seems to be working well for me this year was:
    1) hang leaves up to dry individually and let them dry out properly
    2) Mist with water to soften then put bunches of leaves between boards and clamp together like pressing flowers
    3) Ignore in a warm place for quite a while

    I’m currently at stage 3 but it’s smelling promising, I then have a tobacco shredder which seems to work. The plants I ignored outside last winter didn’t revive so well but I may have to try pruning them right back and leaving them in the greenhouse to see how well that works.

    I want to try making cigars with this years crop as it did so much better than last year.

    Who knows at this rate I might even actually start smoking :)

    • Rose says:

      I used a seed propagator with leaves wrapped in towels, it’s cold up here and hung leaves have a tendency to get spots of black mold when they get to the yellow stage.
      Taking them through to the brown leaf/ white ribs stage in the propagator before hanging them seems to work a treat.
      But I think after doing all that aging is key.
      Two years in a dry place seems about right before shredding.

      • anonymong says:

        For air drying air flow seems to be critical. I tend to hand my leaves from strings on the ceiling in my main room near the wood stove, so plenty of air flow and fairly warm/dry conditions and never had a problem with mould.

  8. Rose says:

    Because after year 1, I found that many of the stumps left in the pots started growing new leaves before I finally disposed of them

    Tobacco plants grow suckers which are usually removed to grow bigger leaves.
    Suckers will grow reasonably sized leaves and new flowers but the leaves are rather thin.

  9. carol2000 says:

    Can you get your hands on this 48″ x 25′ double reflective insulation? It stands by itself when curved, and will make the most of whatever light you can get.

    • carol2000 says:

      It’s not suitable for outside, though, because the reflected light tends to be concentrated in some spots and outdoor sunlight is so strong it burns the leaves.

      I planted only ordinary things this year. Actually, my plants are peppers (and 2 mums and a salvia) from last year that survived the winter, many volunteer nicotianas, and three volunteer tomato plants from the neighbors. It went down to 27F (-5C) last night. They forecast 34F, but I was wary that they’d change their minds in the middle of the night as they did last week, so I put the covers on. They should be OK.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        To grow good quality tobacco you need a hot humid climate and plenty of sunshine.


        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Other wise they will grow straight like Jacks beanstalk and produce small leaves……….for the most part.

        • Rose says:

          That’s for commercial growers, Harley, if you are growing them as an ornamental in your garden the blossoms are far too lovely to lose and they attract lots of bees.


          Perhaps Frank would be kind enough to grab that picture and post it here to prove my point.

        • carol2000 says:

          That’s what they always say, BUT – I figure that once the plants have decided to bloom, just as soon as you remove one attempt they’ll simply put their energy into another. Also, I’ve noticed that leaves start getting smaller on practically all plants once the summer solstice is past.

        • carol2000 says:

          Rose – and the colder the nights are, the pinker the flowers get. Don’t go below freezing, though.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Miss Rose if flowers is what your after yes indeed. But most of us who grow are only doing it because of high taxation. Since we are in it for the tobacco itself to smoke and beat rip off taxation topping is the best way to improve your yield by as much as 80% from some of he photos that have been posted of the last few years…………..

      • carol2000 says:

        They all made it. I’m keeping them outside until the last possible date because it’s the only way I’ve found to get rid of spider mites. Last year, I had some peppers that I brought in early and others that stayed out until they actually got some frostbite. They were in different rooms. The frosted ones dropped all their leaves (and grew new ones), but they never got spider mites, while the other ones did. The frosted ones produced peppers all winter, while the others only did at first and then suffered, and one died.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Health spending crisis isn’t real

    Oh dear, what an embarrassment. Thank heavens so few journalists noticed. Last month one of the federal government’s official beancounters, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, issued its report on total spending on health in 2012-13. It didn’t exactly fit with what the government has been telling us.

    As you recall, the minister for Health, Peter Dutton, got an early start this year, warning that health spending was growing “unsustainably”. (Blame it all on Gough Whitlam, whose supposedly too expensive Medibank Malcolm Fraser dismantled, only to have Bob Hawke restore it as Medicare.)

    The report of the Commission of Audit soon confirmed that health was prominent among the various classes of government spending growing – and projected to continue growing – “unsustainably”.

    Something would have to be done.

    In the budget we found out what the something was. A new “co-payment” of $7 a pop on visits to the GP and on each test the GP orders. The general co-payment on prescriptions to rise by $5 to $42.70 each.

    And the previous government’s funding agreement with the states to be torn up, with grants for public hospitals to rise only in line with inflation and population growth.

    Sorry, but it was all growing “unsustainably”.

    So how unsustainable was the growth in 2012-13? Total spending on health goods and services was $147 billion, up a frightening 1.5 per cent on the previous year, after allowing for inflation. This was the lowest growth since the institute’s records began in the mid-1980s, and less than a third of the average annual growth over the past decade.

    Allow for growth in the population, and average annual health spending of $6430 per person was actually down a touch in real terms.

    It gets better (or worse if you’ve been one of the panic-merchants). That $147 billion is the combined spending on health by the federal government, state governments, private health funds and other insurers, plus you and me in direct, out-of-pocket payments on co-payments and such like.

    So total spending may not have grown much, but the federal government’s share of the tab rose faster than the rest, right? Err . . . no. The opposite, actually.

    The feds’ health spending in 2012-13 actually fell by 2.4 per cent in real terms. The states’ spending rose by 1.5 per cent, but that left the combined government spend falling by 0.9 per cent.

    So it was actually the private sector (including you and me) that accounted for most of the overall increase in spending. This is a big problem for government?

    By my reckoning, out-of-pocket payments by individuals rose by 6.9 per cent in real terms. The pollies seem to have been doing a good job of shunting health costs off onto us even before the latest onslaught.

    So, all very embarrassing for the three-word-slogan brigade. Or would have been had the government’s spin doctors not had the media off chasing foreign will-o-the-wisps at the time. Easily diverted, the media.

    But let’s be reasonable about this. One year of surprisingly weak growth in total health spending – and falling federal spending – doesn’t prove there isn’t longer-term problem. Government health spending has grown pretty strongly in previous years, and the latest year’s moderation may be the product of one-off factors rather than the start of a new moderate trend.

    Actually, the real fall in federal spending seems to be largely the product of savings measures taken by the previous government, particularly its tightening of rules for the private health insurance rebate – which the Coalition fought so hard to stop happening.

    Even so, when you look at the trend of spending in recent years revealed by the institute’s figures, it does suggest that health spending may not grow as strongly in coming years as we’ve long been told to expect.

    The spectre of ever more rapid growth in public spending on health care – to the point where health spending comes to dominate the federal budget – is one the federal Treasury has been warning of in each of its three “intergenerational reports” since 2002. The state treasury versions of this exercise portray health spending positively overrunning state budgets, crowding out all other spending.

    Federal Treasury has explained its dramatic projections in terms of the ageing of the population, developments in medical technology that invariably are much more expensive than the technology they replace, and the public’s insatiable demand for immediate access to whatever advances medical science has come up with.

    But Treasury’s figures are essentially mechanical projections of past growth trends over the coming 40 years, meaning just a small reduction in the assumed annual rate of growth can make a big difference.

    The institute’s latest figures show the federal government’s real spending on health grew at an annual rate of 4.8 per cent over the five years to 2007-08, but by just 4.1 per cent over the five years to 2012-13.

    Perhaps more significantly, they show that whereas the prices of health goods and services rose faster than the prices of all domestic goods and services by 0.7 per cent a year during the first five-year period, during the second period they rose by 0.2 per cent a year more slowly than other prices.

    In other words, the long-feared problem of “excess health inflation” seems to be going away. It will be interesting to see Treasury’s latest prognostications in next year’s intergenerational report.

    Read more:

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    EU Tyranny: New Law against Democratically Dismantling EU from Within

    by Timon Dias
    October 22, 2014 at 4:00 am

    It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.

    A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents “anti-Europe.”

    Two years ago, the European Commission proposed a law that would authorize an “independent authority” within the European Parliament [EP] to decide whether EP parties would receive an official legal status as EP parties. This legal status is needed for a party to obtain EP party subsidy, which is designed to cover 85% of party expenditures.

    Despite a British and Dutch lobby against the law, it was passed by the EP on September 29, 2014.

    Among the demands parties have to meet are that of “internal party democracy” and that they must “respect the values on which the European Union is based.” Among these values are: “pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men.” In addition, the parties must be active in at least 7 out of 28 EU member-state countries.

    The law states that: “decisions regarding a party’s respect for values on which the EU is based, may only be taken following a special procedure and in cooperation with a committee of independent prominent individuals.”

    Although the law does not specify the composition of this illustrious special committee, it is highly probable that Martin Schulz, the EP’s chairman, is among them. Schulz is a German socialist who was reelected as EP chairman even though he was absent during the parliamentary debate for the position. Schulz is also known for strongly condemning the content and distribution of a film critical of Islam, “Innocence of Muslims,” and for his disproportionate criticism of Israel.

    Even though the committee is designated as an “independent authority,” within the self-aggrandizing dynamic of the EU, one cannot be “prominent” and “independent” at the same time.

    Therefore, prominent individuals within the EU are those that fully and without any reticence subscribe to the EU’s mission of dismantling European nation states and furthering the EU’s influence at the cost of national democracies.

    Due to this law, it is highly probable that EU-skeptic party factions such as the “Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy” [EFDD], chaired by Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party [UKIP], will no longer receive a subsidy. It is also likely that when, for example, EU-skeptic and anti-immigration parties like Marine le Pen’s Front National and Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party succeed in forming an EP faction, it will be denied a subsidy because the “independent committee” will decide that the faction does not subscribe to the EU’s values of tolerance and pluralism.

    A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents “anti-Europe.” But as Europe is a continent, it is difficult to be against a continent. Anti-EU figures are against an organization that is increasingly overruling national democracies without the consent of their national populations.

    The EU has been struggling for years with dwindling popularity among its member-state citizens. The rise of anti-EU parties in the European Parliament has been a jolting wake-up call for prominent pro-EU figures.

    It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within. Only parties that do not deviate too much from the EU utopia of a federally-controlled European continent will be allowed to participate in the European Parliament without being obstructed, hindered or disadvantaged by that same EU. It indeed seems that if the EU cannot realize its ideals with the support of its citizens, it will simply do so without the support of its citizens.

    If, in the future, the EU will further obstruct anti-EU in the European Parliament parties in their quest for dismantling the EU in a civil and democratic way, it may achieve the following downward spiral.

    First, it will show the citizens of member states the rather tyrannical and utterly intolerant face of the EU. Second, this sentiment may further popularize and empower anti-EU parties to push for the democratic dismantlement of the EU from within. The EU may in turn respond with even more repressive measures to obstruct anti-EU parties in the European Parliament, which will make the EU even more unpopular among member state citizens and thus adding to the popularity of anti-EU parties.

    It is impossible to predict how this standoff would end, but if this were to occur, it is possible that EU member states would decide nationally to simply leave the EU. This could be a very real scenario if, for example, the French Front National, British UKIP and Dutch Freedom Party would win majorities in national elections.

    This would leave the EU in a dismembered state of chaos, which could have been prevented if the EU had allowed – without foul play and obstruction – European Parliament factions to push for the dissolution of the EU in a peaceful and democratic way.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Republicans Demand EPA Ditch Economic Studies That Are ‘Divorced From Reality’

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    I thought we had a compromise with the democrats they only get half the Cemetary names and the GOP gets the other half.

    850 voters in NYC are officially 164 years old

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

    By Andy Borowitz

    NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

    In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.


    “It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

    Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

    At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Good Lord we wonder why science is so fucked up……………..

      Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Islamic Burial Rituals Blamed For Spread Of Ebola

    Islam isn’t just at the heart of the terror threat posed by the Islamic State. The religion is also contributing to the other major crisis plaguing the globe: the spread of Ebola.

    Washington and its media stenographers won’t tell you this, lest they look intolerant, but Islamic burial rituals are a key reason why health officials can’t contain the spread of the deadly disease in West Africa.

    Many of the victims of Ebola in the three hot-spot nations there — Sierra Leone and Guinea, as well as neighboring Liberia — are Muslim. Roughly 73% of Sierra Leone’s and about 85% of Guinea’s people are Muslim. Islam, moreover, is practiced by more than 13% of Liberians.

    When Muslims die, family members don’t turn to a funeral home or crematorium to take care of the body. In Islam, death is handled much differently.

    Relatives personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. Often, several family members participate in this posthumous bathing ritual, known as Ghusl.

    Before scrubbing the skin with soap and water, family members press down on the abdomen to excrete fluids still in the body. A mixture of camphor and water is used for a final washing. Then, family members dry off the body and shroud it in white linens.

    Again, washing the bodies of the dead in this way is considered a collective duty for Muslims, especially in Muslim nations. Failure to do so is believed to leave the deceased “impure” and jeopardizes the faithful’s ascension into Paradise (unless he died in jihad; then no Ghusl is required).

    Before the body is buried, Muslims attending the funeral typically pass a common bowl for use in ablution or washing of the face, feet and hands, compounding the risk of infection.

    Though these customs are prescribed by Shariah law, they’re extremely dangerous and should be suspended. Mosque leaders must step in to educate village Muslims about the dangers of interacting with corpses.

    Ebola victims can be more contagious dead than alive. Their bodies are covered in rashes, blood and other fluids containing the virus.

    “Funerals and washing dead bodies in West African countries have led, to a great extent, to spread the disease,” a World Health Organization spokeswoman recently warned.

    WHO has issued an advisory to Red Cross and other relief workers in African Muslim nations to “be aware of the family’s cultural practices and religious beliefs. Help the family understand why some practices cannot be done because they place the family or others at risk for exposure.”

    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily:

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