10 Growin', growin', growin'...
Just a quick update, for those of you following this stuff...
Two of the biggest plants ("Indian" tobacco) are chest high with huge leaves. Unfortunately, those huge leaves have huge veins, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do with them. Maybe the veins shrink when the leaves are dried? <hope, hope>
The remainder of the "last year's herd" (see MCR-08: A New Hope) seems to have petered-out at about thigh-high (perhaps I can make boots? ;), with rather narrow leaves barely over a foot long. It should make for interesting cigar rolling.
Of the babies (also MCR-08: A New Hope), a few baked in the intense mountain sun, but the heartier among them have opened their eyes and are beginning to roam the meadows. About a dozen and a half of them have begun to stake out their territories and chase the others away.
I have a theory about why my plants are growing so slowly: It's blasted hot in the daytime (the ground where they are can become too hot to touch, if allowed to dry out) and quite chilly at night (60-ish.) I'm guessing that the younger plants, at least, don't like the swings.
Also, perhaps different varieties fare better under different conditions. The Indian & Mountain certainly seem to be doing better than the others, although the Rose seems to be catching up (I put them in a shadier area, and they seem to like that.)
When I say "growing slowly", it's relative. My tallest plant grew about 4" overnight a few days ago, and continues to zoom-up and produce huge leaves. The others, while they're obviously growing, are not as noticable. Many web-reports suggest that the plants go 6 weeks from seed to seedling-in-the-ground, then 6 more weeks to being 5' tall and ready to harvest. My guess is that only 2 of my plants will make that quick of a showing. Also, a few of the plants that Wintered-over were injured in the process and somewhat scraggly -- I think I'll let those guys go to seed, and collect from them. (Allowing the plant to flower/seed reducest leaf-growth -- I figure there's no harm in just nominating a few of the injured runts as "decorative" and collecting flowers & seeds from them.)
I'm *STILL* not 100% sure when you're supposed to pull the leaves from these suckers. Should be interesting...
Growin', growin', growin'
Keep those cigars rollin'
Roll 'em up, press 'em round,
Light 'em up, smoke 'em down,
Grab your girl, leaf unfurl, there's nuthin'
like a good cigar and a little raw-hide...