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2018... My Most Challenging and Biggest Grow Ever--Levi Gross

Levi Gross

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#1
IMG_0458 (4).jpg This is the start of my 2018 grow. A 72 cell germination tray on a heat mat under a growlux light. The goal is to end up with 72 plants hopefully more but probably less. Tobacco to cure and blend for pipe smoking, maybe a few cigars, and to try and get the wife to convert to the real deal and leave Marlboro for good. And last but not least importantly obtain seed from every variety grown for future use.

Here is the list as I planted in the germination tray.

Column 1. Cell 1. RG8- Flue Cure
Column 1. Cells 2.-6. K358- Flue Cure
Column 2. Samsun Maden- Oriental
Column 3. One Sucker- Dark Air
Column 4. Little Yellow- Dark Air
Column 5. Cells 1. & 2. Ky. 151- Burley
Column 5. Cells 3.-6. Mississippi Heirloom- Burley
Column 6. TA 101 Golden Seal Special- Burley
Column 7. Semois- Burley???
Column 8. Little Dutch- Cigar/pipe???
Column 9. Orinoco Oily- Cigar/pipe???
Column 10. Lemon (lemon)- ????????
Column 11. Cells 1. & 2. Duzce- ???????
Column 11. Cells 3.-6. Punche- N. Rustica
Column 12. Costa Rica 589- Primitive?

As you can see there are several question marks after some of my varieties and I feel I am taking a chance on coming up with something good, but this is my starting point this year and I am growing seeds that GRIN sent me from 2010 and some seeds that HasseSWE sent me from last year. I have done my best to search out information on all of these varieties and make an educated decision on what to grow. I am hoping for my best crop ever. Let me know what you all think of it.
 

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deluxestogie

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#2
Be sure to label the columns and rows on your tray, in addition to a paper key. There are many stories of losing track of what is what.

Commercial growers often aim for 50% more seedlings than they require for transplants. Bad stuff happens. My own approach is to start at least 4 more seedlings than I need, for each variety. It adds to the work, but makes it more likely (though it doesn't guarantee) that there will be enough transplants for each chosen variety.

Bob
 

Levi Gross

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#3
Yes my tray is labeled and I did make a paper key as well. I have spent days planning this years grow, and it drives my wife nuts. What I have found to work best for me is to try and get 3-4 seedlings going per cell as I thin out others and then split them when they are big enough. Knock on wood I have never completely lost a plant once it has been put out to start its season. I am hoping that blessing stays on them and me this year as this is a very special grow to me. It along with my new found smoke from WLT is going to usher me into total freedom from big brother and having to pay for less than standard tobacco product.
Be sure to label the columns and rows on your tray, in addition to a paper key. There are many stories of losing track of what is what.

Commercial growers often aim for 50% more seedlings than they require for transplants. Bad stuff happens. My own approach is to start at least 4 more seedlings than I need, for each variety. It adds to the work, but makes it more likely (though it doesn't guarantee) that there will be enough transplants for each chosen variety.

Bob
 

Levi Gross

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#4
IMG_0460.jpg IMG_0461.jpg IMG_0462.jpg IMG_0464.jpg here is an update to my grow. After 72 hours I have standing seedlings of Punche. My pictures are not the best sorry. I have a full column of Lemon (lemon) in germination. and my two cells of Duzce are germinating
 

Levi Gross

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#7
I do this every year and you would think that I would learn by now to be a little more conservative with my seed. I was skeptical of the germination rate this year as some of my seed was from 2010 GRIN and some seed sourced from another member. I sowed way to heavy and had to do a lot of thinning this evening. Adding to my list of crimes is Tobacco Seedling Murder in the First Degree. IMG_0468.jpg IMG_0469.jpg
 

L610

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#8
Wow. Looks like you have 30+ plants in some of those little cells!

I hate thinning seedlings too, it seems so horribly cruel. Next time I may mix the seeds with a little sand to make it easier to distribute them lightly. Good to know tobacco seed stays viable for such a long time though.
 
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#9
Wow. Looks like you have 30+ plants in some of those little cells!

I hate thinning seedlings too, it seems so horribly cruel. Next time I may mix the seeds with a little sand to make it easier to distribute them lightly. Good to know tobacco seed stays viable for such a long time though.
I put my seeds in a white colored Chinese soup spoon, and using a finger, slide 3 to 5 seeds into each cell. In most cases 3 has always been enough. In odd cases, it wasn't, that's why I say 3 to 5. The spoon is helpful to pour the extra seeds back into the bag. Just make sure it's clean before moving onto the next variety.
 

L610

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#11
I put my seeds in a white colored Chinese soup spoon, and using a finger, slide 3 to 5 seeds into each cell. In most cases 3 has always been enough. In odd cases, it wasn't, that's why I say 3 to 5. The spoon is helpful to pour the extra seeds back into the bag. Just make sure it's clean before moving onto the next variety.
That is a good idea! Would be time consuming but then again thinning them with scissors is too.
 

Levi Gross

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#12
That is a good idea! Would be time consuming but then again thinning them with scissors is too.
Thinning is very time-consuming. I am already regretting my actions and should’ve been way more conservative using tweezers and scissors is not the greatest thing to do pulling up new seedlings and trying to save other ones around it is a hard thing because you disturb the seed bed. I’m going to try the white spoon idea from Chinavoodoo
 

L610

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#13
Thinning is very time-consuming. I am already regretting my actions and should’ve been way more conservative using tweezers and scissors is not the greatest thing to do pulling up new seedlings and trying to save other ones around it is a hard thing because you disturb the seed bed. I’m going to try the white spoon idea from Chinavoodoo

Yeah I overseeded 6 cells then transplanted a few very tiny seedlings into 18 cells. A while later I transplanted another 6.

The ones that were moved the first week are now 3 times the size of the ones that were transplanted at two weeks old so if they need to be moved doing it very early seems to be better.
 

Levi Gross

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#14
IMG_0471.jpg IMG_0472.jpg IMG_0473.jpg Due to my lack of faith in my seed stock this year I have over populated and I am reaching out to the veterans for some much needed advice. I have thinned as many seedlings as I dare, I am disturbing the root bed using tweezer and pulling them and I cant do much in the way of cutting them because my cells are so small. The pictures in this post are accurate with the paper legend I have made. Please observe them and let me know what course of action I should take. This year is a quest for me to produce some good smoke but what was most important to me was also to preserve some seed from these strains that I now no longer have. I want to know what strains on my legend would be considered the most important and which ones could be done without should I not be able to get this under control.. I have put my plants and my growing season in a bad position by not doing a germination test of the seeds.
 

Levi Gross

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#15
For some reason the last couple times I did that it stunted them and they took forever to take off growing. I am glad that method works for you though. Maybe I should give it another shot.
Yeah I overseeded 6 cells then transplanted a few very tiny seedlings into 18 cells. A while later I transplanted another 6.

The ones that were moved the first week are now 3 times the size of the ones that were transplanted at two weeks old so if they need to be moved doing it very early seems to be better.
 

Levi Gross

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#16
Also note that in Column 2. which is the Sampson Maden that the germination is very low. Only 3-4 plants per cell. This is what I was expecting from most of my other seed stock as well.
View attachment 23035 View attachment 23036 View attachment 23037 Due to my lack of faith in my seed stock this year I have over populated and I am reaching out to the veterans for some much needed advice. I have thinned as many seedlings as I dare, I am disturbing the root bed using tweezer and pulling them and I cant do much in the way of cutting them because my cells are so small. The pictures in this post are accurate with the paper legend I have made. Please observe them and let me know what course of action I should take. This year is a quest for me to produce some good smoke but what was most important to me was also to preserve some seed from these strains that I now no longer have. I want to know what strains on my legend would be considered the most important and which ones could be done without should I not be able to get this under control.. I have put my plants and my growing season in a bad position by not doing a germination test of the seeds.
 
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#17
You're making this more work than it needs to be.

Rather than removing the ones you don't want to keep, fill new trays with dirt, and transfer the ones you want to keep to the new tray. Keep the old ones for a while, just in case.

When transferring seedlings, take it from underneath with a clump of dirt, the same way you would with a tree, if you were transplanting one. Reach underneath with tweezers, and don't squish the root. In the new soil, make a hole to put it in before placing it. Once again, just like a tree.

As for timeline to get seeds, don't worry. First, I think we already established Hasse has all of those. Second, there's a lot of time, even if they do get stunted. I just planted two days ago, and I live 1000 miles north of you, AND, it's kinda early for me to plant.
 

deluxestogie

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#18
Many of the varieties on your list are unfamiliar to me. As for saving seed, any varieties carried by Northwood Seeds can be easily replaced.
At Northwood Seeds:
  • Little Dutch
  • Punche
  • Costa Rica 589
  • Lemon Bright PI 552317
  • One Sucker
In addition to those, I know that forum members have the following:
  • Samsun Maden
  • Little Yellow
  • Semois
I don't know anything about:
  • RG8
  • K358
  • KY 151
  • MS Heirloom Burley
  • TA101 Golden Seal Special
  • Orinoco Oily
  • Duzce
Now, your actual issue:
When you are about to tweez out some excess seedlings, totally soak the soil, then grab a swath of unlucky seedlings at one edge of a cell. Repeat until you are left with only a few. With those few, you can wait for them to grow larger prior to murdering the extras.

Another way to do this is to use a spoon to lift out all or most of the contents of a cell, then dump it into a small bowl of water. With gentle agitation, you should be able to separate them enough to select one nice seedling per cell. With fresh soil in the cell, poke a divot into the center with a finger tip, then transplant the chosen seedling into it. Snug the soil.

Easiest way for next time:
Start a single variety per small jar or cup. As soon as you see emergence of a radicle, lift the germinated seed with a tweezer or toothpick, and rest that single seed into a divot of a tray cell. No roots yet. Little or no thinning required in the cells.

Bob

EDIT:
Rather than removing the ones you don't want to keep...
Good idea.
 
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