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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Buck's 2018 blog

buck

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#42
I have completed the first priming and partially second on some plants. I'm still uncertainly of exactly when to start priming but some of the leaves were starting to yellow but didn't have alligator like skin nor yellow tip.
I have one plant that I let flower and was wondering if it takes longer for leaves to be ready for picking on flowering plants ? I have not picked any leaves off that one yet but notice that the bottom leaves are starting to fade.

I topped off the plants over 4 weeks ago and still have two more primings to go or so on some plants.
In previous grows I would have already be done priming but this year decided that I would take it slower.
Leaves in the last few grows didn't turn out to be very smokable and testing out if I picked them too soon.


I still have some issue with some leaves and knowing when to pick them, I think the one here is ready or should I wait a bit ?
This one seems to have the desired characteristics, yellow tip and alligator skin pattern forming.

This is Pa Red leaf.

View attachment 24382


Also, a couple of plants have what I determine to be Potato Virus, are the leaves still good to use ?
 

deluxestogie

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#43
Sorry. I tried to delete a duplicate post, but the image went away. I think you'll need to repost the image.

The yellow tip appears to be from some sort of injury. A leaf below it appears without a yellow tip. I would wait to prime.

Bob
 

buck

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#44
Sorry. I tried to delete a duplicate post, but the image went away. I think you'll need to repost the image.

The yellow tip appears to be from some sort of injury. A leaf below it appears without a yellow tip. I would wait to prime.

Bob
I'll wait to prime. Does a leaf typically start to yellow at the tip, what about leaves yellowing/dried at the edges ?

Here is the pic again.

IMG_0057.jpg
 

deluxestogie

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#45
That leaf with the yellow tip still looks pretty floppy. I would wait to see them thicken and stiffen. It won't hurt for them to stay too long on the stalk.

Bob
 

buck

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#47
I think this leaf is a little on the mature side, I let it age a bit more to see what difference it makes, got my first priming of this plant at this stage, the top leaves are not even close to getting any yellowing.



IMG_0061.jpg
 
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#48
I think this leaf is a little on the mature side, I let it age a bit more to see what difference it makes, got my first priming of this plant at this stage, the top leaves are not even close to getting any yellowing.



View attachment 24422
Good looking leaf. I picked some just like that yesterday. All I know is that if it's really yellowing, it ain't getting bigger.
IMG_20180819_150327733~2-800x629.jpg
 

deluxestogie

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#49
Very nice. It's so tempting to prime a leaf before it has sufficiently matured. Perhaps we should always recommend priming at that mature a stage, at least for a grower's first year of growing. That offers a far greater probability of curing success than when primed too early. In subsequent years, one can gradually tempt fate by priming less and less yellow.

A dictum of harvesting cigar leaf, that priming early is better than priming late, seems more applicable to commercial growers in the Caribbean basin and Central America, where the combination of an ideal curing climate and a staff of highly experienced tobacco handlers can eek out a handsome cure even from quite immature leaf. But for us norteamericanos, priming overripe leaf is a way better plan than jumping the gun.

I regularly suggest waiting for a yellow tip, but I should really be suggesting at least a yellow tip.

Bob
 

buck

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#50
Very nice. It's so tempting to prime a leaf before it has sufficiently matured. Perhaps we should always recommend priming at that mature a stage, at least for a grower's first year of growing. That offers a far greater probability of curing success than when primed too early. In subsequent years, one can gradually tempt fate by priming less and less yellow.

A dictum of harvesting cigar leaf, that priming early is better than priming late, seems more applicable to commercial growers in the Caribbean basin and Central America, where the combination of an ideal curing climate and a staff of highly experienced tobacco handlers can eek out a handsome cure even from quite immature leaf. But for us norteamericanos, priming overripe leaf is a way better plan than jumping the gun.

I regularly suggest waiting for a yellow tip, but I should really be suggesting at least a yellow tip.

Bob
That's the thing, not all leaf in my experience follow that rule , some turn yellow at the tip first, some start at the edges some have yellow blotches, some just fade and turn light green/yellow. Some top leaves show signs of maturity before bottom leaves and so on.This may be a result of lack experience growing and not having the correct nutrients/PH in the soil or other, not sure.
The results from past grows have been at least from a growing and color curing perspective really good but kilning and actually making a decent batch of smokable leaves to my taste has been a failure. This could also be due to improper kilning which I will focus on more this yeas as well. I thought perhaps picking the leaves too early is another possibility.

This time around I put a bit more emphasis on soil but not as much as I should have and taking my time with the priming. 6 weeks after topping and I still have more leaf to pick very few showing first signs of yellow tip. Many leaves were fading to a light green almost yellow so I picked those first.

My challenges are when to prime and kilning, maybe proper soil prep as well.

Anyway, I'll keeping waiting for signs of yellow, patience ..
 

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#56
Good to see your having some luck with your plants this year. I know you have told me they didn't taste great the first time hopefully this time will be different.
 

buck

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#57
Good to see your having some luck with your plants this year. I know you have told me they didn't taste great the first time hopefully this time will be different.
Well, the grows were fine the first 3 years except last year but the leaf just didn't kiln well or I just need to do it better. The leaf burns well but it's so freaken spicy it burns my mouth and tastes nothing like what a cigar should taste like. I'll need to try it again to see what flavors I get and refresh my memory so I can describe it better. I'm going to re-kiln the older leaves after I process this years batch.
I'm hoping that this year will be better. I am priming my leaf a lot later in the season it's like 7-8 weeks since topping and I'm about to do my final priming this weekend, vs the last few years I would have been done 2-3 weeks after topping .
I'll also improve my kiln and change methods, used to use container kilning but this year will leave leaf out of the containers and hang them or leave the lid open.
 
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#59
I don't like rocking the boat, and I don't know why others seem to produce cigar tobacco with one month of kilning, but mine just tastes kinda chocolaty and sweet if I kiln it for a month. Could roll something like a backwoods with it, but I'm aiming higher, right. Maybe it's climate or soil factors. But anyways, I'm just going 118F, in medium case, and after two and a half months, it's really starting to smell like cigar, and developing more flavor.
 

deluxestogie

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#60
Testimonial:

"I smoke PVY tobacco all the time. It seems fine to me."

Seriously, the major impact of PVY on tobacco is that it causes leaf to grow poorly and become unsightly. Since it is a plant virus, it will harm you only if you happen to be a plant (tubers included).

On the kilning issue, I've always contended that a month of kilning is like a year of natural aging. That's probably in the ballpark (baseball, not football or futbol or tennis). A year of aging makes burley quite smokable. But all of us know that decent cigars use tobacco that has been aged a minimum of 18 months, and often much longer. I am presently continuing to kiln at 128°F, but in more dense leaf packing within large, open bags. I'm keeping the humidity more constant, and quite high, which is why I maintain the higher temp. And sometimes, I'll let it go for 6 or 7 weeks in the kiln (don't tell anybody!), and then allow it to rest and settle down for a few weeks to a month or more after kilning. Okay cigar leaf becomes spectacular--sometimes, not always.

Bob
 
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