Whole Leaf Tobacco

Aussie experimental grower! Playing around with native species to avoid gaol.

ConvictWV17

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Hi all!

As the thread title details I'm an Australian who's been playing around with growing tobacco for a little while.
I had my first season about 3 years ago which I had been posting about on the howtogrotobacco forums [gone now?]
I'm now having another crack at two Native species and plan to keep it up as the years go on.

As you may be aware tobacco products are HEAVILY taxed here in the land down under :( This little hobby is my effort to supply enough leaf for my casual pipe and cigar dabbling.
Australia has a great wealth of native species of Nicotiana, a handfull of which have very similar alkoloid compositions to trusty ol' tobacum!
My first attempt a few years ago I successful grew, harvested and cured approx. 6 plants of the species N.Gossei
My experience sounds similar to those on this forum growing Rustica?
I didn't look properly into fermentation at the time and though the leaf reached a smokeable point, it never really tasted amazing and would absolutely knock your socks off!

This year I've already had one Gossei plant grown and harvested (a fluke germination from a number of seeds sown in an outdoor bed last season)
I also have about six seed pots of N.Excelsior which are currently at the "clover" looking stage of seedling growth (a little late I'll admit)

I might start a grow blog on the Excelsior if there is interest!

Happy to receive all advice and input provided if there is any available!

Happy gardening to Y'all
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Yes. HTGT is gone. Long live FTT.

Native species of Nicotiana were easily displaced by N. tabacum worldwide, because the latter is so much easier to turn into something you might really want to use. Do create a grow log of your experience.

Don't bother with attempting to cross N. Gossei (n = 36) or N. Excelsior (n = 38) with N. tabacum (n = 48), in order to come up with a new, more usable, yet untaxable species. They are quite distant relatives, and have different chromosome numbers. But the two native species you've chosen are low converters of nicotine to nornicotine, and that is good.

As I understand it, the greatest success in curing N. rustica has been when the leaves are allowed to fully yellow on the plant.

Bob
 

Charly

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Welcome to FTT, feel free to share your experiences with us, it's really interesting (y)
 

GreenDragon

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Any reason not to grow varieties of N. tobacum also? They would be fun to make blends with your native species with.
 

davek14

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So. We know that tobacum is the species with the best flavor, etc. Still, it would be *very* interesting to have a handle on which ones are close or distant second or third runners up. Even knowing the "lesser of evils" in all the rest would be neat. A beginning by listing the ones with little to no nornicotine would be a start. Bob has already mentioned two.
 

ConvictWV17

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I've done pretty much all my research on which species erupted be worth attempting years ago when I first tried.
Narrowing it down to N.Gossei, N.Excelsior and N.Amplexicaulis

Thus far I've been unable up source amplexicaulis

I've got a likely 6 plants of excelsior for this season! Which is a new step in the experiment!

The one early Gossei I had seems to be wasted though... I managed to colour cure only one leaf.... and believe the rest are trash but will continue my attempt at curing the rest of the plant at least for the next week. I believe the ambient humidity to be too low for simple air curing at this time of year coming INTO summer.

My current intention with the Excelsior crop is to attempt a basic "sun cure" setup with garden plastic over a hanging frame to try and improve the humidity.
 

ConvictWV17

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This is the curious tale of the odd colour cure!

The simple facts of this matter are as follows:
>Very low humidity coming INTO the aussie summer.
>Tried to stem cure my rogue early plant... even on stem leaf was getting crispy when green while I was misting daily.
> After little to know progress and concern about mould I removed leaves from stem and transferred to black plastic bucket.
>Leaves drying to a crisp daily with much green left.
>Figures there's no harm in bringing them to high case daily just in case magic happened.
>Leaves have been starting the day in soggy case and crispy dry when I get home....
>But... they're actually continuing to cure????!!

As I've never grown tabacum I don't know if the behaviour I'm seeing is typical of all species or unique to gossei!

20191119_173322.jpg
 

davek14

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Don't look too green.
I wonder how thick the leaves are. In my limited experience, leaves which are harvested not quite done and still kinda thin tend to dry green. Since you have no experience with tobaccum, you have nothing to compare to though.
 

Charly

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A few years ago I did a test with some leaves that dried green : I left them outside, in the sun and humidity and they finally color cured, loosing their green tint.
After one month in the kiln it became smokable but less good compared to leaves which became brown before drying.
 
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