GM714's Grow Log 2017
The journey into this has been a very enjoyable one so far. I say so far because at one point along the way I'm sure to run into problems. I can't be totally nieve and believe everything will go as planned...but...at least I have a plan.
First, I'd like to thank all the folks here for sharing their experience on the pages of this forum. Everything I need to know is here and if I need answers to a question ya'll are always willing to help. I can't think of any better place than FTT forums.
So here it goes. I am a pipe smoker and love blending my own tobacco. I do enjoy a nice cigar from time to time but my primary goal is tobacco for my pipe. After finding this site and spend hours upon hours reading I will take that a step further and try to grow my own this year and hopefully for years to come. So, its time to put down the computer and make this happen. I have made a hanging lamp contraption that should do fine for the four 1020 trays that will be used to get them ready for outdoors. The four trays will have 36 deep inserts in each tray which will give me 216 little ones to deal with. Not to sure how many of those will make it to maturity but we shall see. From what I've read here its a good idea to have spare plants ready to go to replace failures. This is my list of beans to pop. Yes, its a long list for a newbie but why not jump in over my head the first time around..lol.
White Stem Orinoco
Frog Eye Orinoco
Bolivian Criollo Black
Sm Stock Black Mammoth
Yellow Twist Bud
The majority of seeds I purchased are from a guy who is a member here. He sells under the name SpicyAcres on ebay. I have been in contact with him and he's helped me out on some decisions. For the price I couldn't pass it up. Ten different strains for $20 shipping and all. The Big Gem is from a member here named CaryNC (thank you) and the rest are from the Ukraine, Virginia, Pennsilvania, and Germany. The only question I have about the seed is the Samsun 85. I can not find any information on it. Has anyone here every heard of it. It came from the Ukraine. Hindsight kinda tells me I shouldn't have bought the S 85 but its here and its going in the ground at some point. The only seed I do not have yet is the Golden Burley. It should be here soon.
As far as variety goes I have plants that should mature within 45-95 days after setting them out in the garden. At least that's what the literature I've read says about them. I know conditions, soil, and nutrients can cause those numbers to be off a bit. The months of August and September around here are sticky and hot so I should have good conditions to air cure some leaf. I have a large horsebarn available to air cure and I will probably use it when needed but I plan on building a structure out of pallets. It will be about 9'x9' with a 7' tin roof which should hold a lot of leaf. The spacing between the pallet slats should allow for great airflow. If it appears that they are drying to fast I can always just cover a side or two with plastic or some roofing paper and control the air movement from the inside with a 110v blower. The structure will have a dirt floor. I want to leave it this way so if by chance I am trying to air cure and the humidity drops I can just spray the floor now and then to keep the humidity up. One issue I am concerned about is the weight of those drying leaves. I remember reading where Bob posted about how drying leaf can be very heavy and to be sure that the structure can support all those hanging leaves. So, I plan on using some 4x4's to strenghthen the building. I imagine with those anchored in on the four corners it should be just fine.
Starting my beans
And so it begins. I have tried to clone what BigBonner does to start his seed. Or at least very similar to his method. I've learned years ago that if you want to learn something new do what others do successfully. I have 19 small bread loaf disposable pans that will be labled. I have placed two drop lights under a shelf I made in a small closet. I drilled some 5/8" holes to get more heat to the bottom of the trays and covered the pans with plastic to hold in warmth. It appears to be working well but I am still testing it before I throw any seed in there. I don't have a seedling mat heater so I'll have to do the best I can with what I've got. My starter soil is not the most ideal mixture. It is a potting mix from Baccto. I got it at the local feed store. The guy said that is what they start their seeds with so why not give it a try. It feels rather light and fluffy so I'm hoping it will do the trick for now. I can't really afford to buy vermiculite and perilite to add to it so I'm gonna go with it. I know all ya really need is a wet paper towel to pop the beans but I'd like to keep some alive and well if I need them to replace any failures. My water is from the tap. Its been sitting in a few gallon jugs for days to bleed off the chlorine before I used it. The seeds will be fed by wicking water up into the medium from below during germination and in the flat trays as well.
Start Soil and NPK
Much like Miracle Grow this medium has a small amount of nutrients that should help things stay healthy throughout their time in germination and 1020 flat trays.
0.01 Ammonical Nitrogen
0.02 Nitrate Nitrogen
0.81 Urea Nitrogen
0.01 Water-Soluble Nitrogen
Note: Portions of this have been polymer coated to provide 0.14% coated slow release Nitrogen, 0.03% coated slow release available Phosphate, and 0.02% coated slow release soluble Potash.
So, there it is. My first stab at growing tobacco. I will throw some pictures up in a few of my setup in the closet. I've moistened the soil and am waiting to see what the soil temp will be before I throw in some beans. I can honestly say I doubt I would have made it this far without the help of you good folks here at FTT. I can only hope that someday I too can help first time growers as you all have helped me.
Thank you all, Jeff