In the last post I forgot to show these images of a particularly robust v.n.s. plant. The thicker stalks tend to be around the edges of the plot. This is one of the reasons, I imagine, that people usually recommend against planting in row. If you have a continuous plot, you have less edge-area relative to your total square feet. However, I can’t reach in to weed anything wider than 4 feet. If you don’t weed, in my experience, the weeds overwhelm the flax.
However, you can see several undesirable characteristics here from a fiber point of view. For one thing, it’s a very thick stalk.
Here you can see branching at the bottom of the stalk. This may reduce the length of potential bast fiber by a couple inches. Whatever extends down into the root is presumably going to detach from the rest below the branches, though again it’d be good to see this under a microscope to see what’s really going on.
Because there was a significant difference in size/thickness between the stalks, I organized the bundles somewhat by size. Presumably the thinner stalks will require a shorter retting time, though I guess this remains to be seen.
In contrast to the v.n.s., the Evelin was tall and straight, and was barely affected by lodging.