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Whole Leaf Tobacco

OldDinosar's 2018 Grow blog

Charly

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I agree with my fellow friends : very nice grow !
Congratulations, you will have a lot of tobacco to play with.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Tobacco Curing photos.

Tobacco seedlings 9-13-18 some of last years crop.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-13-18 new crop colored down & hung to dry out.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-13-18 new crop color curing.jpg

First photo. Some of last year's crop still hanging. I still have considerable volumes left over from last year. That's okay as the tobacco only gets better with age. Also it is good to have a substantial supply on hand as a contingency for unforeseen future circumstances. I just finished shredding a string of 115 leaves of Harrow Velvet that has been hanging for just over a year, and it smells wonderful!

Second Photo. New crop color cured and set out into the main basement to dry down. Humidity in the main basement is about 55%. Definitely a drying environment that will reduce those fat wet stems in a week or ten days. Hopefully avoiding any rot problems. Then off to the kiln.

On the far right of this photo you can see a partial exposure of more whole stalk hung tops from last year. Off the top of my head there are 40 - 50 of these stalk hung tops in this corner of the basement. I need to reorganize these as I'm going to need more room to hang this year's crop.

Third photo. New crop in the color curing room. Humidity in there about 70%. Definitely not a drying environment. As soon as all the chlorophyll is gone I tie these strings onto 4' sticks and hang them in the main basement to dry down. I put the difficult to color cure leaves (read: cigar types) in the back of the room next to the window. Hopefully the humid environment and the part day of sun will help color these down.

I haven't been keeping strict records, but if last year's crop was any indicator, I should be able to lay up 4,000 of so leaves this year.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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I've been picking away and you can start to see some daylight underneath my crop. One of the nice things about growing tobacco is that the weeds get totally shaded out by the tobacco. Less time picking pesky weeds!

Tobacco seedlings 9-13-18 daylight visible.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-13-18 e garden.jpg

East Garden.

I have about one more picking to hang on strings. The rest will be whole stalk hung toward the end of this month or the beginning of next month. I'm shooting for having everything harvested in that general time frame except for bagged plants. Bagged plants will stay "on the hoof" 'till frost is eminent. By then I won't have many standing plants, and can use a pair of loppers to take the rest in two or three hours. I try to be as efficient with my time as well as mother nature's time as possible. If this is a normal year, we won't have a killing frost 'till mid to late October giving my seed heads a good amount of time to make healthy and abundant seed. Key word there is healthy ie: good viability.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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No...I just try to be efficient with my time.

Ten day forecast shows the lowest overnight temp at 47 degrees. Hopefully the weather man is reasonably accurate. I know Skychaser is picking like mad right now, as his frost window is probably about to close. It's amazing how much difference a few hundred feet of elevation and 130 or so miles south can make.

Wes H.
 

skychaser

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Today's pickings.

View attachment 25872

Two strings. One full sized w/ 85 leaves of Golden Burley. One small string w/ 24 leaves of Golden Burley. I guess that totals 109 leaves Okay for only and hour or so.

Wes H.
Golden Burley stalk cures very well to a light golden brown. But when primed, it is absolutely beautiful.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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This is my second year with Golden Burley. BG isn't the biggest plant (about 5 feet) but produces easy to cure leaf that has a nice floral aroma when cured. I'll probably grow some more next year.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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More photos.

Tobacco seedlings 9-15-18 todays pickings.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-15-18 leaf comparisons off type.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-15-18 leaf comparisons Swarr (2).jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-15-18 leaf comparisons Ost 316.jpg

First photo, today's pickings 55 leaves of Swarr Hibshman

Second, third, and fourth photos, size comparisons. The biggest is an unknown off-type that was supposed to be a Ternopolskii 7. Ternopolskii 7 x ? certainly makes big green leaves. This one is 32" x 14". Second biggest is Swarr Hibshman at 29" x 14". Third biggest is Ostrolist 316 @ 23" x 15".

Sorry about some of the photo quality. I spruced them up a little with my Windows Photo editor, but you can only do so much when you start with a bad photo.

Bob:

Will Swarr Hibshman stalk hang & cure very well? I have only taken the bottom most 4 or 5 leaves off of these & was considering stalk hanging the balance. I have no experience with this type, and I know that you have. Please advise.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Today's pickings.

Tobacco seedlings 9-18-18 todays pickings 1.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-18-18 todays pickings.jpg

First photo, one string of 75 Ternopolskii-7 mid/upper leaves. Third picking for this type.

Second photo, this is the last priming for these. (Ternopolskii 7) The next stop will be be with the pruning loppers and off to be stalk hung in the basement. Notice that there isn't much in the way of suckers or weeds. Too shady. Nothing much will grow down there due to the lack of sunlight. One of this type (out of view) is about 10 feet tall. Most of the rest are in the 7 - 8 foot range. Ternopolskii 7 is a fairly tall plant, as has been my experience with all the class Ostrolists' I've grown. I've grown five Ostrolist types in my three years, and had good luck with them re: yields and ease of curing.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Today's pickings.

Tobacco seedlings 9-20-18 todays pickings.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-20-18 ost 316.jpg

First photo, one big string of 85 Ostrolist 316. I still have a few, maybe 20 or 30 leaves of this type to pick and string. I'll have to do that later today.

Second photo, Ostrolist 316 after its third priming. Except bagged plants, these will be cut off with the pruning loppers and whole stalk hung. As soon as I get around to it, that is. I still have a fair amount of leaf ready for its third priming.

As of today, I have three types (of ten total) that are ready to be cut off and whole stalk hung. Next project is to perform the last priming on 31 plants of Gold Leaf 939. I would estimate that particular priming should generate two big strings of 150 to 170 leaves total. Gold leaf 939 isn't a really big plant, 5 to 6 feet, but is a reliable producer of substantial amounts of leaf that is fairly easy to cure. This is my second year with GL 939, and I now consider it to be a "standard." As long as I continue to grow tobacco, I will always plant GL 939. I've grown a lot of other types in three years, and most of them have been a failure for any number of possible reasons. Things like yield, quality, foul taste, and the big one...curability, are all factors in making future planting decisions. I don't need plants that are desirable in most aspects, but hard to cure. I have lost too much leaf in the past either to green flash or rot during the curing process.

Harrow Velvet and Golden Burley are also two burley strains that I now consider "standards." I have grown both Ternopolskii 7 and Ternopolskii 14. Both types are easy to grow and cure. Both types produce good yields. But I didn't care for the flavor of T-14. T-7 is sweeter and mellower. In the future I will plant T-7.

I am hopeful that my newest strain, Ostrolist 316 will work out. 316 has passed the productivity, ease of growth, and ease of curing test. Now it will be interesting to see how it kilns, and if it is fit to smoke. You never know 'till the fire hits the leaf.

Wes H.
 

Charly

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Very nice leaves :)

You are right about the final test : it's only when you smoke it that you can decide if it is a keeper or not :)
I hope it will suit your taste.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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Today's pickings both green and brown.

Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 t-14 bins 1.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 t-14 bins.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 todays pickings.jpg

Photos one and two, I've been stripping leaf off of whole stalk hangings from last year. This is the leaf that was on Ternopolskii 14. This leaf is crumbly dry and can't be handled without humidification. I spritz a little water on them and let them set for 12 - 24 hours and then after they have rehumidified, stem and shred them. There might be a pound of shreds here when I'm done. Probably less than that. These look a lot more voluminous than they really are.

Photo three, today's pickings so far. One big string of 75 Ostrolist 316 and one smaller string of 47 Chillard's White Angel. That which is still standing of these types, are now ready for the pruning loppers which will be coming soon. I still have to pick Gold Leaf 939, (about 150 + or so leaves) and Connecticut Broadleaf. Or Connecticut no-leaf as I've taken to calling it. My CB suffered from "frenching" early on in the season and won't amount to much. The kind of frenching where the neighbors tree roots steal all the nutrients and water that is.

After I'm done with my third priming today, Ternopolskii 7, and Chillard's White Angel are destined to be the first for the stalk hanging treatment. These two types are the most mature of my ten types.

I haven't decided what to do with my Cigar types. These are still very green and I am nervous about trying to pick and string them. I haven't had much luck so far with color curing of these types. Even in my color curing room with 70 + percent humidity, they want to flash green. Fortunately, the lowest temp predicted in the 10 day forecast is 45 degrees. So I have some time.

I'm about a week behind on harvesting vs. last year. Again, as the aforementioned weather forecast is good, I'm still in good shape regarding harvesting. And, of course, more mature leaf colors down more easily.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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More photos. Today's pickings part 2 and part 3.

Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 todays pickings part 2.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 todays pickings part 3.jpg

I have been busy today.

First photo, two big strings of 75 leaves each of Gold Leaf 939 plus one smaller string with 37 leaves of Gold Leaf 939 and 6 leaves of Gold Leaf 939 off type. Total 193 leaves.

Second photo, One big string of 80 leaves and one small string of 40 leaves of Connecticut Broad Leaf, 1 big string of 64 leaves of Golden Burley, and one big string of 58 leaves of Delhi 34. Totaling 250 leaves.

Today's total leaf count = 565. If I counted right.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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After today's flurry of picking, you can now see considerable daylight in my tobacco rows.

Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 daylight visible.jpg Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 daylight visible part 2.jpg

Everything except my Cigar types have now been primed three times. The next stop for all of these will be whole stalk harvesting with my pruning loppers. I have cleared out some room in my basement, and will start stalk harvesting in the next day or two. It takes a while to cut, string, and label this many (over a hundred) so I will be at it for several days.

Wes H.
 

OldDinosaurWesH

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My high humidity initial color curing room is filling up.

Tobacco seedlings 9-23-18 new crop color curing.jpg

There are currently 13 strings hanging up in my room. I can put a few more in there if I need, but I've got the picking and stringing pretty well under control. Under this high humidity regime, my cigarette types lose their chlorophyll fairly rapidly. I'm thinking based on experience that most of these types will lose their chlorophyll in about 10 days. Of course, most of these leaves are already pretty ripe, so it doesn't take that much time to get rid of the chlorophyll. It's those darn Cigar types that are tough. The small string that you can see at the top of the photo are cigar types that have been in the room for going on three weeks, and they are still splotchy with green. Darn things! I may end up using the direct sun method to get rid of the green.

Wes H.
 
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