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GreenDragon's 2018 Log (First grow)

GreenDragon

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#1
Well, as mentioned in my introductory post, this will be my first time growing Tobacco in the yard. As several of my friends are cigar smokers and as I have fairly rich soil I decided to go with Cigar Varieties. Also, I consider myself a very Darwinian gardener. By that, I mean I don't like to baby things that don't like to grow in my yard. I plant lots of different species and varieties, and what thrives I keep, and what doesn't I don't plant again. So along those lines I bought 7 varieties to try out in different micro-climates in my yard. Ought to be fun!

Picked up a Jiffy Starter kit last weekend, planted up some seeds, and put a heating pad on low underneath. After a few hours I tested the temperature - 80F. Perfect!

First sprouts appeared Thursday AM. Moved the tray and heating pad into a cardboard box, lined the sides with foil, and taped an aquarium LED plant light into the top. So now I have a mini incubation chamber for my little babies. :rolleyes:

Plan on thinning each "pod" to 3-4 spouts each this weekend, and start cracking the lid for a few hours each day.

Seed Map, freshly planted.
Seeds.jpg

Incubation Box with Lights
Planted.jpg

Sprouts
Sprouts.jpg
 

Charly

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#3
Yes ! good start.
You should call it the "chessboard seedling starter"
Very professionnal ! :)

You are right about the strains : it's important to find those who grow well in YOUR garden.

P.S. I love the small hearted shaped stone ;)
 

ArizonaDave

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#5
what thrives I keep, and what doesn't I don't plant again.
Keep in mind, some seed strains are from somewhere else with a different climate. I've noticed with my own strains, some do better here after the third year. They seem to adapt to the AZ desert here. I don't know the science end of it, other than it's a reoccuring observation.
 

GreenDragon

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#7
Progress and two near disasters...

It's been an interesting week at the micro-farm. First, the cat tried to sleep on top of the tray of seedlings - guess he could feel the warmth from the heating pad and like the faux sunbeam from the light strips. Thankfully I heard the racket and caught him in the act. Moved the box to a more isolated location. And don't worry, no baby 'baccys were harmed.

However, then the next day the lights started to detach from the top of the box. Won't be buying that brand of Duck Tape again! Anyway, solved that problem with some zip ties, so back in business.

I took the opportunity of thinning the seedlings to 3-5 plants per puck while I had everything out, and watered the remaining with some added micro-nutrients.

I'll spare you a pic of my masterly zip-tie engineering, and instead close out this week's post with a soothing picture of my (overgrown) freshwater planted aquarium.

- Steve

IMG_3880.jpg
 

GreenDragon

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#8
Well, it's been another week, and so far so good. Cat has behaved and the seedlings continue to grow. The wife got into the act last weekend also and started some seeds for her spring garden. I've been slowly thinning each pod down, and by the weekend will have all pods thinned to two plants per pod. Some are looking a little leggy, so I think I'll raise the bed up a little closer to the lights and see if that helps.


2 wweks.jpg
 
Joined
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#9
Keep in mind, some seed strains are from somewhere else with a different climate. I've noticed with my own strains, some do better here after the third year. They seem to adapt to the AZ desert here. I don't know the science end of it, other than it's a reoccuring observation.
Ive noticed that too but in reverse. An old indian variety from AZ took a year to adapt to Southern California humidity. Very few survived and some had very stunted growth. But now they grow normal and healthy.
 

GreenDragon

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#10
Yes, the scientific term is acclimization. It take 1-3 years if a species is able to eventually live/thrive in a given climate. Most on the controlling influences are “epigenitic” which means it relies on proteins that sit on top of the genes that are the controlling influence. So, theoretically if you plant enough seeds over the years you should be able to establish a variety that will thrive in your ecology.
 

GreenDragon

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#12
BarG - Exactly! I don't have enough space/patience to coddle things, so the first year I grown something new, I plant a variety. Then the following years I only plant what did well that first year.

Anyway, it's been another week here at the mini-farm, and the seedlings are really starting to take off. Looks like it's about time to transplant to some pots with soil until it's spring planting time. To make room I moved my trays and lights to the garage and set up a grow station on one of my storage shelves. Added my wife's seedlings too. Can't wait for spring!

IMG_3916.jpg
 

deluxestogie

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#15
If you have hopes of separating plants that are paired within a pellet, I would do it sooner rather than later. It may not be practical for some of the larger ones. Twin plants put into the ground in a single hole (like you might do with cukes or tomato starts) often result in stunted plants. If you can't separate them, I would murder one of them.

Bob
 

GreenDragon

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#16
Yep. I went ahead and separated / potted them last night. I used a razor blade to split the pods in half on those that had enough space between seedlings, and those that were too close together I just pinched off the weaker of the two.
 

Attachments

GreenDragon

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#17
It's been a busy week here at the Farmer house. Transplanting the seedlings last week didn't phase them a bit; in fact they more than doubled in size. I was running out of room trying to give them enough separation, so I went ahead and transplanted most of my shade varieties outside into the yard. We are only two weeks away from our last frost date, and they are all close to the house so I can easily protect them if we get a frost. Weather wizards are predicting 60's and 70's all week, which means we will probably get a freak blizzard!

I made my first order to WLT and got two cigar blend packs and some extra wrappers and fillers to start practicing rolling with.

Also, made a box press mold based on Gdaddy's design (http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/6134-Box-Press-super-easy-mold!). Next step is to add some wedges to shape the shoulders. Width / size uniformity to be obtained by making a set of master spacers that will regulate the height of lid across all the molds. Looking forward to rolling my first batch.
IMG_3926.jpg IMG_3931.jpg IMG_3932.jpg
 

deluxestogie

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#18
With the clever, box-press mold, if you insert fairly solid, bound bunches that are round and with tapered heads, then by regulating the amount of weight applied to the mold, you can end up with nicely rounded corners and a rounded-square head, all without adding wedges to the mold. The key is to roll just the right diameter bunches, and apply only enough weight to gently deform them.

Bob
 

GreenDragon

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#19
With the clever, box-press mold, if you insert fairly solid, bound bunches that are round and with tapered heads, then by regulating the amount of weight applied to the mold, you can end up with nicely rounded corners and a rounded-square head, all without adding wedges to the mold. The key is to roll just the right diameter bunches, and apply only enough weight to gently deform them.

Bob
That makes sense. I was afraid that the wedges might compress the head too much, negatively affecting draw. Your way sounds easier. Thanks!
 

deluxestogie

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#20
I pressed this a couple of years ago, using just a shimmed single-cigar box, and a pressure from a wall press.





Since the head was tapered, it maintained its shape.

Bob
 
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