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Whole Leaf Tobacco

JennyLeez Grow Log 2018

deluxestogie

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#21
There are a few tobacco varieties that are sensitive to light period. These may grow up and up, until the night period is long enough. [This can also be thrown off by flashes of light during the hours of darkness (house lights, passing auto headlights, streetlamps, etc.).]

One is a giant burley (in fact, the origin of research into plant blossoming vs photo period). Colombia Garcia is another that seems to wait for long nights.

Bob

EDIT: I forgot to mention that if your growing zone is subtropical or tropical, your tobacco may continue growing. It's naturally a perennial plant, rather than an annual.
 

JennyLeez

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#22
Hi Bob,

....your tobacco may continue growing. It's naturally a perennial plant, rather than an annual.
ah ha, that explains why I still have loads of green leaves and 9 feet trees. Thanks for that info.

That's impressive. How about a web cam?
I presume you mean one in the shed :rolleyes:

(Sorry Bob, I couldn't resist a 'tongue in cheek' comment. )

Cheers
Jenny
 

JennyLeez

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#24
Chapter 7 - Dealing with the onset of Autumn.

As the nights began to cool off so did my shed. I needed to warm it up. It is slightly wider than a standard 1 car shed with floor to ceiling cupboards on 2 sides.

I have plugged up all the holes with Gap Filler.
I have hung curtains on the windows.
I have laid grass carpet on the concrete floor.
I purchase bigger light bulbs and I have now ordered a Heat Lamp.

Our vehicles now reside on the outside of the shed and all tools and man cave junk behind the cupboards :D:D :D

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After a couple of questions regarding a box setup, I want to go back over the idea I have cottoned onto from this forum and added to. I have not found too much info regarding this so I thought I would elaborate for any other small backyard newbie grower who does not have a heated kiln.

Below is a one of my larger green burley leaves sitting on top of 40 leaves and 50 sheets of newspaper in the box. Measures 31inch by 17 inch. (80cm by 43cm)

large_leaf.jpg

Most of the leaves are smaller and around 40% yellowing when picked. In the box I have 2 leaves to each layer. Each layer is separated by newspaper. This I have obtained by conning the Recycle Centre staff to allow me access to new newspaper that our businesses dump. (I also use this for my paper bricks) For the first 3 days I only change the newspaper once per day. For the following days I change it twice and use 2 to 3 sheets for each layer. Keeping the leaves dry is my main aim. When I tried using towels they just did not stay dry enough.

The wet newspaper is dried out and used again in a couple of days. I have a lot of piles of wet newspaper hanging in the shed on clothes racks.

Once the leaves are yellow, they are hung in my poly plastic kiln. Below is what they look like after 6 days depending on how yellow they went in. Usually burley 40% yellow will only take 6 days to completely the yellowing process. Virginia Gold less time, 5 days. The stalk end and main vein of the large burley leaf are still a tad green when moved into my poly plastic kiln.

Day 1


day1.jpg

Day 4

day4.jpg

Once at this point they yellow fairly quickly hence I need to keep an eye on them and beat the rot setting in.

Day 6

out_of_box.jpg

Ready to be hung in Poly Plastic.

End of Chapter 7
Chapter 8 to follow.............
 

JennyLeez

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#25
Chapter 8 – End of March 2018

I planted out another 12 plants mid March and so far they are doing fine. The weather was still warm during the day reaching around 27C 80.6F.


last_plant_out.jpg

I have also planted 1 in a bucket to see how well it grows compared to those in the garden. This one I am bringing in at night so I guess I am cheating. As you can see below, it is doing better but it is early days yet.

bucket.jpg

Photos below taken 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] week of March. (They have since grown)

Below is the next lot to be planted out in a few weeks. Hopefully by then my first plot will be stripped of leaves and I can remove those plants completely.

aprils_2018_plants.jpg

Below will be Mays plant out or there abouts.

may_2018_plants.jpg

And below is the last of the tiny plants I have transplanted out of the potting mix that were grown last September. With the cooler temps comes a decrease in growth so these probably will not see the garden until mid winter.

june_2018_plants.jpg

I have no idea if I am going to be able to grow tobacco come the colder winter months :confused: This year will be trial and error for the future. I have staggered growth and I have been planting out in lots of 12 over the last few months. Hence I have plants at different stages of growth. I have done this so I will have a constant manageable supply going into my 2 boxes, my cool kiln and then hanging. My aim all along has been to provide myself (only) with an ongoing source of tobacco. Can I do this 12 months of the year? Time alone will tell.

Yesterday I dug up another row in my corner plot. I have run into our peach tree so I am now looking around the back of our section deciding where I am going to dig next. I am starting to feel like a mole. The one positive thing coming from all my digging is I have less lawn to mow :cool:


End of Chapter 8 which brings me up to now.
 

JennyLeez

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#27
April 2018

I was expecting growth to start to slow down with our sudden drop in temperature over the last week. But apparently not.
The next lot that will go out now look like this. There are 12 potted plants in this container.

aprils_2018_plants2.jpg

Remember my first plot:

grew3.jpg

Well it now looks like this:

plot1-row2.jpg

I have extended it out another row leaving enough room for a mow strip before hitting the raised veggie garden beds. I need to turn the compost in again before planting.

I am harvesting off the second plot now which has around 60 Virginia Gold plants and a few burley trees in it.


Meanwhile…………
What I have learnt so far as a small Backyard Tobacco Grower newbie.


1) Don’t plant the seeds in coarse New Zealand potting mix if you want them to grow.

2) Don’t plant burley in the garden too close together. These plants grow into trees.

3) Don’t wash the leaves, drying them is a mission.

4) Use newspaper and not towels when colour curing. Newspaper does a much better job drying out the leaves.

5) Don’t let them dry out completely if green. They taste awful.

6) Wear disposable gloves for removing suckers/flower buds. Ones hands end up very sticky.

7) Wear disposable gloves when changing newspaper in box. Ones hands end up extremely sticky and black.

8) Wear a hat when tending 9ft plants. Ones hair ends up sticky and standing up in the air like this:


tobacco_style.jpg


9) Smoking is good for my health. I am getting a lot of exercise walking, crawling, climbing & digging.

10) A lot of new words as with curing, priming, casing and fermenting.

11) There are heaps of different varieties of tobacco.

12) Digging new gardens for more tobacco plants means a lot less lawn to mow.

13) The New Zealand Law is very strict on Tobacco growers. I can sell or give away seeds. I cant sell or even give away plants, leaves, ground tobacco or rolled tobacco.

14) I need patience. Tons and tons of patience.

15) And lastly ,through this forum, I have made some really nice new helpful friends. Thank you :)

Cheers
Jenny
 

Hasse SWE

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#28
Nice looking hair, it was not yesterday I had that problem my self, probably because of the hat (I most try it sometime)..
 

JennyLeez

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#30
May 2018

It is now 3 weeks away from the shortest day for us.
Needless to say the temps have dropped significantly although we have had a mild May. This last week has temps plummet down to single digits and hence I am expecting a decrease in growth.

Since posting 1 and a half months ago I have continued my regime.
Each week I prime a couple of dozen leaves.
They go into my large boxes to yellow.
A week later they go in my polyplastic cage to brown.
A week later they are hung at the end of my production line.

I am grinding and smoking from the opposite end.
Although it sounds like a lot of ongoing work in reality time taken each day would be half an hour.
It is the rolling that takes the most time but I sit in front of Telly and do heaps at a time.

Below is the east side plot. Not much left now of the first plant. The new plants are coming on great though.

may2018-2.jpg

Below is the 6 I planted in the raised bed back at the end of March.

may2018-4.jpg

At the same time I planted one in a bucket to see how it would go. As you can see, they grow far better out in the open.

may2018-3.jpg

Here is the west side plot

may2018-5.jpg

and here is my production line of 2 rows.

may2018-6.jpg

Below is all I now have left from those seeds I planted last September.

may2018-1.jpg

I am no longer purchasing tailor mades so I am finally sustaining my habit and saving a heap of money. So yes so far I am achieving what I set out to do.

Cheers
Jenny
 

JennyLeez

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#34
Those plants look like they don't have a single blemish.
We are lucky down here. We do not have them huge caterpillars I have seen images of on this forum. We do have aphids but the pray mantis keep them under control.
The other end is a tad wind blown now. I need to erect some sort of barrier to prevent this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

@deluxestogie - hahahaha
My row is worth more and definitely moves a lot slower :)
 

Kaneo

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Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
#35
Hi Jenny,

I also live in Hawkes Bay so I'm interested how your plants go through winter. I thought the frosts might kill them.

Thanks for the write up on your growing season
 

JennyLeez

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Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
#36
Hi Kaneo,

Our first frost tonight our weather station tells me. Currently 4°C
So far Kaneo this winter has bought truck loads of rainfall and our ground is sodden. Hence no frosts.
I planted out another 12 a couple of weekends ago. They are doing great so far.
I will keep you posted.

Cheers
Jenny
 

skychaser

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NE Washington
#37
I have really enjoyed reading your log. You have done well. So suck on that tax man! Now there is one less mule for you to ride. There is one thing you learned along the way which I totally agree with and think is worth restating. Never block access to the coffee pot! lol Very important around here. :)

I really like your home page too. Lot of cool info and links. Is it your creation?
 

JennyLeez

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Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
#38
July - August Log

I finally emptied out my back garden of all decent leaves last week. ( 2nd week of Spring here) So I am about to have a break from my ongoing 2 week cycle of – Pick – Box – Poly plastic cage – hang. As I started to dig out the huge 9 – 10 foot stalks a while back, I was not stoked on the idea of having to transport them all to the green waste at the dump. So instead I have chopped them up into kindling wood sizes. They will dry out over summer and come next winter make very good fire starters. What a great recycler I am.

I have 3 rows hanging in the shed now and they need to sustain me until well into next year. I doubt they will somehow so I need to grow more, much much more this year and I guess I need to buy from your store otherwise I shall never get a head.

Our weather has been lousy. Cold and wet. I put off planting seeds until the beginning of this month, the beginning of spring. What I bought online last year have come through no problem but my ‘own’ seeds are struggling to make an appearance. I have planted more last weekend from a different plant so lets hope they do better.
And…………….. no potting mix. I am using plain garden soil. Learnt my lesson on that one last year.

So growing over winter for me was by and large successful. My original plants just continued growing but were ways to healthy. They all took far too much time turning into anything that resembled yellow. This is the main reason why I was harvesting through winter and not before. The plants that went in late autumn did well. Although the plants did not reach the same size height wise, the leaves were still large and certainly worthwhile.
The plants I put out mid winter did not fair as great so I doubt I will bother doing that again. Now I know the frosts will not knock out the plants I will just plant more to begin with.

I broke my shedder and had to out lay for another. This time I bought a bigger and more solid one. NZ$253 (US$166.90c) which hurt. But I guess that is only 10 packets of cigarettes so easily paid off.



My husband clamped a slab of wood onto an old coffee table I had in the shed. Into that he screwed the shredder. At that stage the handle was not on the shredder and he worked out he could attach his drill instead and power the shredder. Needless to say we have had a bit of fun with this.



@skychaser
Thank you for the comments re web page. Yes my own work. Basic htm mainly with a lot of clever php scripts. Below is a capture taken a couple of weeks ago. Weather station bottom left.



Lastly and mostly……… I am saving a huge amount of money. The govt. keeps increasing the price of tobacco and tailor mades. Since I first posted in here my smokes are now NZ$2.00 (US$1.32c) more. I am keeping a record of savings and each month I am saving around NZ$750.00 (US$494.77c) and spending NZ $12.00 (US$7.92c) on papers & filters. You guys in here can take a lot of the credit for this. As this forum has guided me through my first year with all your knowledge and experience, so thank you for all who post.

……… and so ends my first years grow. Now it is back to Spring and we start all over again……… sigh.

Cheers now
Jenny
 
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