How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Hi --

Well, the last freeze killed off any remaining live plants in my field, so I started pulling them up. This gives me a great opportunity to examine the roots. No nematodes that I can see!

However, I did notice one peculiar thing - None of the roots went straight down. In every plant, the roots radiated away from the plant 2-4 inches under the soil out to a distance of 1-3 feet depending on the size of the plant.

Is this normal? I don't know. I do know that I have hard clay which resists roots from heading straight down and makes them want to stay in the zone I tilled well.

The implications in my crop are interesting.

1) Should I make raised beds to make it easier for the roots to penetrate down?

2) Side dressing with fertilizer is seriously important since it's obvious my plants' roots are growing sideways.

3) Don't put plant rows closer than 3 feet apart. Any closer and the roots will indeed interfere with each other.

4) The roots clearly aren't penetrating to the deeper water. Not sure how to make this change.

5) Is it possible that when I grow the plants in pots, the roots are spreading out around the edges of the pot and not straight down? How could I change this, should this be the case?

I'd be interested to hear from anyone pulling their plants out whether they are seeing the same kinds of patterns in the roots of their plants, especially if you have sandy soils or very arable soils that roots can penetrate better.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Location: Paige, TX
bob,
I yanked up the last of my crop about a month ago and noticed the same thing. the roots spread straight away from the trunk.
And you know I don't have any issues with compacted/hard soil, must be a typical growth thing for tobacco not to have a tap root.

I did notice that each radial did have minitaps that went straight down so those must be the water sippers.

I still have them hanging in the barn, I'll go take a pic for you to compare to yours


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Hi --

Don, thanks for the pic. I'm definitely seeing a lot more radial growth on my roots vs what your plant showed. I think since I'm only tilling down 6-8 inches and planting the transplants very deep, the very bottom of the holes are very compacted and it may cause the roots to head sideways. It may be a good idea for me to dig a much deeper hole under the plant and fill it in then plant on top of that. I do usually plow the field very deep, around 12 inches, before I till the top. Getting a plow that deep is a lot of fun! it involves hanging cement blocks for weight on it! Or getting someone willing to ride it for me!

colej, with you sandy soil I'd expect to see more downward growth too, can't wait to see!

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:29 pm 
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Location: Paige, TX
Here is a bottom and a sort of side view. Actual depth from surface to bottom is about three inches.
no tap root to speak of, many thick laterals as to be expected with such a tall top heavy plant.


Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Baccy needs all the support it can get with the big leaves.A pigweed or other weeds can get away with a tapper but baccy concentrates it's efforts to support the wind load it must endure has it grows up.Baccy is smart :shock: :lol:
Last year my plants that were near tree stumps(to lazy to dig em up)lol did better.So,leavin the baccy stumps in this year and planting in between them for a test.


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Oh and Jac,Don's balls are bigger than yours :lol:

Kiddin ya bro :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
:lol: :lol: :lol:

I guess they DO have huevos grande in Ahia !
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Great post Bob !
And I agree pretty much with your observations and determinations...

1) Nah... raised beds are far too much work.
2) Side dressing is advised in EVERY bit of literature I've seen on baccy !
3) Use short watering periods.
4) Why squander your time on pots ? They are dandy for ornamental growers, or apartment dwellers.

Best
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Location: Paige, TX
taxedenough wrote:
Oh and Jac,Don's balls are bigger than yours :lol:

Kiddin ya bro :oops:


Bigger and fuzzier! :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Bob

Haven't pulled one this last year had no issues with desease this year . I did use ridomil before planting and two doses a few weeks apart after planting this last year .

In 2009 I used no ridomil untill my plants were up good size . I finally sprayed about June 2 the same day I took my first trip to El Paso . That year I had a few deseased plants that I pulled .

Like Don says I didn't have a huge tap root but did have a good one . Just guessing 2 years after the fact I'd say 10 to 12 inches long with bunches of side roots .

Tiny hair like side roots cover all the dirt between rows and plants . You will never see these tilling but will be choping them to bits with each cultivation . I had erosion problems the first year 2009 and thats when you will figure out just how many tiny tiny roots go to the side and out through the rows . They everywhere millions of white roots no bigger than hairs but reaching way out far .


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:15 am 
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taxedenough wrote:
Oh and Jac,Don's balls are bigger than yours :lol:

Kiddin ya bro :oops:


And his shaft is a good deal thicker too. :shock:
I'm guessing it may be longer as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:25 am 
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Location: In The Garden
Fibrous root system
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibrous_root_system

Image

A fibrous root system (sometimes also called adventitious root system) is the opposite of a taproot system. It is usually formed by thin, moderately branching roots growing from the stem. A fibrous root system is universal in monocotyledonous plants and ferns.

Most trees begin life with a taproot, but after one to a few years change to a wide-spreading fibrous root system with mainly horizontal surface roots and only a few vertical, deep anchoring roots. A typical mature tree 30-50 m tall has a root system that extends horizontally in all directions as far as the tree is tall or more, but well over 95% of the roots are in the top 50 cm depth of soil.

A few plants with fibrous root systems:

* Coconut palm [1]
* Gabrielle
* Pteridophyta
* White clover (Trifolium repens)
* Marigold

Taproot
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taproot

A taproot is an enlarged, somewhat straight to tapering plant root that grows vertically downward. It forms a center from which other roots sprout laterally.[1]
The taproot of Carrots.

Plants with taproots are difficult to transplant. The presence of a taproot is why dandelions are hard to uproot—the top is pulled, but the long taproot stays in the ground, and resprouts.

The taproot system contrasts with the fibrous root system with many branched roots.
Contents


Description

Most plants start with a taproot,[2] which is one main root forming from the enlarging radical of the seed. The tap root can be persistent throughout the life of the plant but is most often replaced later in the plant's development by a fibrous root system.[2][3] A persistent taproot system forms when the radical keeps growing and smaller lateral roots form along the taproot. The shape of taproots can vary but the typical shapes include:

* Conical root: this type of root tuber is conical in shape, i.e. widest at the top and tapering steadily towards the bottom: e.g. carrot.
* Fusiform root: this root is widest in the middle and tapers towards the top and the bottom: e.g. radish.
* Napiform root: the root has a top-like appearance. It is very broad at the top and tapers suddenly like a tail at the bottom: e.g. turnip.

Many taproots are modified into storage organs.

Some plants with taproots:

* Burdock
* Carrot
* Dandelion
* Parsnip
* Poppy mallow
* Sagebrush
* Radish
* Turnip

Development

Taproots develop from the radicle of a seed, forming the primary root. It branches off to secondary roots, which in turn branch to form tertiary roots. These may further branch to form rootlets. For most plants species the radical dies some after seed germination, causing the development of a fibrous root system, which lacks a main downward-growing root. Most trees begin life with a taproot,[3] but after one to a few years the main root system changes to a wide-spreading fibrous root system with mainly horizontal-growing surface roots and only a few vertical, deep-anchoring roots. A typical mature tree 30–50 m tall has a root system that extends horizontally in all directions as far as the tree is tall or more, but well over 95% of the roots are in the top 50 cm of soil.

Soil characteristics strongly influence the architecture of taproots; for example, deep rich soils favor the development of vertical taproots in many oak species such as Quercus kelloggii, while clayey soils promote the growth of multiple taproots.[4]


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:06 am 
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Hi --

That's all great info! Well, except the gratuitous comments about you men's stumps.....

Lonnie, when you talked about cultivating between the rows, it makes more sense to me now too after closely looking at the root system. Very shallow cultivation should allow more water to reach the areas where the roots are growing and I mean REALLY shallow. Maybe 1 inch but not more than 2 inches!

I also think that in dry areas like I have, while rusty is right that raised beds are a lot of hassle, it makes sense for me to till between the rows before the roots get that far away from the plant and mound the dirt up near the plant to cause more roots to form from the stalk. Then till even deeper between the rows to allow those roots somewhere to grow. After that, only shallow cultivation.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Bob

If close to the stalk I'd say shallow maybe . In the middle of rows and even closer to the plants them shovels on a tractor opperated cultivator rips seams 12 inches deep . I've never seen baccy hurt by cultivation .

I think the plant somehow benefits from having the little roots pruned off . As I know they sure are there and cultivation has to cut many into bits .


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 Post subject: Re: Tobacco Plant Roots
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:09 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Y'know Bob, kinda seems like you are talking about strip tilling...
IMO, it's not a bad idea... especially on infertile land and where there would be no benefit by plowing anything you weren't actually going to grow in.
Good luck with that !
rc


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