Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Northern Tobacco

We are reluctant to accept limitations dictated by conventional wisdom or climate zone maps.  With help from those who live where plants naturally grow, we have successfully grown exotics such as ginger.  Now we are giving tobacco a try.  We start many different plants under lights and on heating pads in our basement.  There are frequent warnings written about tobacco plants having a negative impact on tomatoes so our tobacco had to wait for its late turn under the indoor lights.  Its pink flowers have finally begun to open.  Garden nicotiana  is evening scented so we cannot say that tobacco flowers have no scent.  We found them to be scentless when these pictures were taken in afternoon full sun.

This plant is more than five feet high and has yet to show any flower buds.  It is loaded with large bright green leaves.  These leaves will need to be cured indoors.  We are unsure about just how this will be done.  There is little doubt that we have once again grown more than we can handle.  One thing is certain.  This crop cannot go to the food bank.

These mature leaves may be ready for harvest.  I have read that tobacco leaves are cured by threading individual leaves on heavy twine or wire then hanging the group from the rafters.  All parts of this plant are incredibly sticky so this process may present several challenges.

I do not use tobacco any more but am trying to help an addicted individual that does not have the means to pay the heavy taxes now imposed on this product.  No money or services will be applied to this garden product so I hope that I remain out of jail.  The seeds were purchased from Richters in Canada.  I would like to think if there was a problem with planting the seeds, they would not have been shipped to New York.

This near relative of tobacco has self seeded in our gardens for  many years.  We brought it with us from our former garden so we are unsure of its initial source.  This is one plant that has given us a huge return on our original investment. This nicotiana is evening scented and we always pay it a visit when we walk in the gardens after sunset.  Its scent is delicious and the flowers seem to glow in the moonlight.

This is the time of year when drug enforcement overflights are common.  They are looking for cannabis plants.  Our unusual gardens frequently cause hobby fliers to circle around for a second look.  Our small plantings likely do not get a second look from the law.

1 comment:

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

I find Nicotiana a lovely ornamental that adds great character to a garden. How kind of you to help a friend. I hope he/she can kick the habit.