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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Charly's journey - 2017

Charly

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#1
Hello everyone !

So there we are : my first real grow blog !

I grew my first tobacco in 2016, so this will be my second tobacco crop, I hope it will be a great year for everyone.

First I would like to thank Gavroche, he gave me my first seeds and he told me to come here on FTT. What a great idea !
Then I would like to thank everyone here because you share so much knowledge, advices and all : you made me fall in love with growing tobacco !!

2016 was the year of discovery
2017 will be the year of exploration and experimentation

In 2016, I grew 4 strains (thanks to Gavroche) :
- 401 Cherry Red (bright leaf)
- Mapacho (n. rustica)
- Semois (from Belgium)
- Sylvestris (n. sylvestris)
I had another strain (unidentified), but the seeds were probably way too old, and it didn't want to germinate.

I grew about 30 plants in the ground and about 45 in small pots.
The pots gave me smaller plants and very small yield... so I feel like it is not a good idea to use pots... or maybe it's my fault : I should have give them more fertilization... I don't know.

In 2017, thanks to many members (Pier, Anton, Maks, and another one who will recognize himself ;) ) and some seeds from northwoodseeds.com I plan on growing a lot of different strains, in fact I have too many strains, so I will have to make a choice (life is hard sometimes).

Here are the strains that I do really want to grow this year (but don't know if I have enough space yet) :
- Adonis
- Alma Ata 315
- Amersfoort
- Besuki
- Bolivian Criollo Black
- Criollo Colorado
- Criollo Cuba Ti 1376
- Coroja Cuba Pi 405643
- Corojo 99
- Havana 142
- Havana 322
- Hickory Pryor
- Jalapa
- Kasturi
- Little Dutch
- Nostrano Del Brenta
- Pennsylvania Red
- Semois
- Symbol 4
- Xanthy

There are many other strains that I would like to try, but I have to check if I have enough space... (space to grow, space to cure, and space to stock !). We'll see.

I plan on doing mostly air curing and a little sun curing for the virginia and oriental types.

I smoke pipe and cigars, this year will be more focused on the cigar varieties, but with enough strains to try some blending for the pipe too :)

Good luck everyone ;)
 

greenmonster714

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#2
Awesome. Another grow log to sub to. I look forward to seeing your progress. This is my first year and I think I have just as many seeds as you mentioned above..lol. I figure if ya just dive into it and get in over your head someone here will throw you a float to help ya get out. I too am very thankful for the knowledge the folks here share.

Best of luck to ya Charly.
 

Charly

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#3
Thank you GreenMonster ;) I wish you good luck to !
I don't know if my blog will be interesting to follow, until you want to see how many mistake I will do :D

To be more serious, I don't have much experience, but I will try to do my best to see what works and what won't (I already took notes of some errors I made last year).
I still have so many questions on how to do it right, I will soon post some.

Moreover, I know that trying to grow a lot of varieties add complexity to the task, but I want to do it this way.
 

rainmax

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#4
Little Dutch,
Pensylvania Red,
Havana 322,
one Criollo,
one Corojo,

one rustica. That is my choice from strains you have.

This is a lot to grow. Try to make decent crop from few strains only. A pound of each is good start.
Don't forget to write down a note on each strain. You can easily get confused and in the end will only be one strain for you with name "home grown tobacco"...
I wish you all the best. This is my sixth year and I still make beginners mistakes...

Less is more.
 

greenmonster714

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#5
Your more than welcome Charly. Of course your log will be interesting to me. Since we are both growing a plethora of varieties. We can compare notes and wonder why we are doing this to ourselves..lol. I look forward to seeing your questions posted. Maybe I'll learn from them too.
 

Leftynick

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#6
Wow that's a lot of variety. I do half of what you do and still a lot of confusion. I have many varieties from good members here, and reducing the varieties to grow according to my main purpose, quantity. Will be keeping eye on this one too. Wish you the best.
 

Charly

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#7
You are right, this is a BIG list !
I heard your safe recommandations about limiting the number of strains, it is very reasonable, but I am not reasonable ! :D :D
I really want to try a wide range of flavors so I can better decide next years what I like and what I like less.

I prefer more strains and less yield. I plan on about 10 plants per strain, this will give me about 200 plants.
Last year I grew 10 plants of semois and 20 plants of cherry red (in full ground) and I think it is enough to discover their flavors and keep a little for aging (I don't smoke a lot).

Last year, I was already "serious" about my crop, I took notes, paying attention to identify the plants, the leaves, which leaves I harvested (the position on the stalk), the methods of curing, the methods of kilning (I tried kilning with closed jars in my hoven, a few hours a day when possible, and I already feel the difference !).
I plan on being even more serious this year !

I know it will be a LOT of work, but that's the way I chose.
And I have to add : it will be a LOT of pleasure too :)

Thanks for you support.
 

Leftynick

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#8
People do things for different reason. I want to stock up first before experimenting with flavors. Maybe my next grow will be like your list. Even veteran grower still have problem deciding how many varieties to grow each season.

If you say 30 plant enough for you to age some, then 200 plants will be enough for a very long time. I calculated if properly grown my requirement will need around 40 plants to stock for a year. so I plan to grow around 100 this year. Enough for aging some.

How does kilning in closed jars in your hoven works? maybe you can share the method?
 

Gavroche

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#9
Wow Charles...

[h=2][/h][h=2][/h]you have begin grow ?...Vous avez commencé les semis ?...

semois belgium after 8 days après huit jours very nervous... très nerveux ;)

 

Charly

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#10
How does kilning in closed jars in your hoven works? maybe you can share the method?
The method I used is quite simple : I just put some tobacco in jars (tobacco in medium case), I close the jars and I put it in my oven, at 50°C for as long as I can.
The advantage of this method is that it is really simple !
The downside of this method is that I need to remove my jars each time we need to cook something....
So this year I will try to build a kiln :)
I may simply make a "dry" kiln, and continue to use the jars ... or I might do with humidity controller... I don't know yet.

This method has already been used by other members, but I can't find the posts...
 

Charly

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#11
Wow Charles...

you have begin grow ?...Vous avez commencé les semis ?...

semois belgium after 8 days après huit jours very nervous... très nerveux ;)
I will begin my seeds soon, but I already have some seeds germinated about 2 month ago that I plan on growing :)
Really happy to see that you already begun yours ;)

Je vais bientôt commencer mes semis, et j'ai aussi quelques mini plantes qui ont germé il y a 2 mois et demi (que je vais utiliser aussi).
Très heureux de voir que tu as déjà commencé tes semis ;)
 

Charly

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#12
I said I had questions, so here are some :

When I tested the germination of my new seeds, I had two problems : one variety did mold (green mold) while opening and all seeds died... on some other varieties, I had a few plants that got killed by a some type of fongi...

Questions :
1. I would like to sterilize my seeding mix before I try to grow. I have read that I could put my soil in the oven, is it the right method ? At what temperature should I cook my soil ? for how long ?
2. I would like to know if I can "clean" my seeds in some way to avoid problems... can I pulverize some bleach (diluted) on them before I put them on the soil ?

Any advice ? Is it a good idea to sterilize the seedling soil ?
 

Charly

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#13
Up

Does anyone have an advice ?
Should I sterilize my poting soil ? (in the oven or with another method ?)
Can I clean my seeds with bleach ? (I found a post where someone used a solution of 3% bleach to break dormancy of some seeds, so I think it should be safe, no ?)

Thanks
 

deluxestogie

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#14
Mold spores are everywhere. If your germination container is exposed to daily sun, mold will be less likely.

I don't think that baking your soil will cause a problem, although it may not solve it.

A tobacco seed is only a few cell layers thick. So treatment with bleach would need to be timed. I don't know the time. If you have enough seed to start multiple batches of the same variety, you can experiment with the bleach (sodium hypochlorite) concentration, between 1 and 5%. The duration is a guess as well, maybe between 10 and 30 minutes. The seed can be subsequently poured into a coffee filter and gently rinsed.

My choice would be to start them again with the same soil--moist but not soaked, and with untreated seed, then place the container where it is exposed to sunlight.

Bob
 

Charly

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#15
You are right Bob, I will follow your advice, as we are still early this season, I can make a test without sterilizing, and if one strain shows bad health I can start again with sterilization then.
And it will be less work :)
Thanks
 

Charly

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#16
This morning, I took the time to begin my seeds for 2017 !

I did it as Bob (DeluxeStogie) has shown in his own grow log :

I took 21 plastic cups, fill them with some "seedling soil", put some water until it was moist, and then, one by one, I took each cup and spread carefully some seeds in.
I took really care not to mix seeds.

Now I can let mother nature do it's job : germinating the seeds :)


A few photos :

crop_c.jpg crop_a.jpg crop_b.jpg crop_d.jpg crop_e.jpg
 

Charly

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#17
And the winner is : Alma Ata 315 !
Only 24 hours in a wet container and some seeds already open and show small tiny roots !
(sorry for the bad quality of the photo...)

crop1.jpg

The bad news is : two containers show white mold... :(
I will put all the pots outside in full sun for a few hours ... and we'll see...
 

greenmonster714

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#19
Like gavroche said. Use the sun if you can. I don't think there's any other option at that stage. It's great to see your lil ones are showing some root sprouts. Won't be long till they are showing you some green. Your off to a great start. Yaahoooo.
 
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