Whole Leaf Tobacco

Choosing what to grow

Moth

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So, planning ahead for next year and would appreciate some suggestions about varieties to select with the aim of eventually making some cigars. 10 cigars will probably last me 2 years, so I don't mind the timescales or effort involved growing and curing.

Anyhow - beyond looking at the list on Northwood seeds for tall (6ft+) varieties, that don't mature in a short (e.g. Havana K2 is 50 day) period that are suitable as both Wrapper and Filler, I'm just guessing.

Thinking of Cuban Criollo 98 (filler) and Habano 2000 (wrapper / filler).

Do these sound good? Can anyone make any suggestions for alternatives, that may be more suitable for my area and intended use?

I have a niggling concern about my climate - these varieties come from a far more temperate climate and wonder if they'll thrive. Are there other varieties that may be more adapted to the UK? I've included some information below to describe my climate.

I'm located in Sussex, on the south coast of England.

RHS hardiness rating H3, equivalent to USDA hardiness Zone 9. Long west facing garden in the bottom of a valley that has full sun from noon until sunset down the south facing side. The last spring frost is late April, the first Autumn frost is mid November - so a fair growing season if not always that warm.

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deluxestogie

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Your climate looks more favorable for growing tobacco than mine, here in southwest Virginia. I would be inclined to ignore the maturation dates, and just select the varieties you would like. Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 both make excellent wrappers, binders and fillers.

Bob
 

CobGuy

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That's a lot of work for only 1 cigar every 2-3 months ... I commend your efforts! :)
I'd try a few varieties from the site sponsor to get a feel for what you like. Have you ordered whole leaf before and rolled your own?

~Darin
 

Moth

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@Bob - looking at your grow logs I'd assumed better weather than here!

@Darin - The UK changed the law - I can't buy whole leaf easily. Even as a private individual (not a business), I'd need to apply for a license under the "Raw tobacco approval scheme", and re-apply every 12 months. Duty would also need paying on any amount shipped to me. It would be cheaper to just buy cigars!

Technically, I'd need to apply to make cigars out of home grown tobacco, and, pay duty on those as well. I've also read that HMRC (Her Majesties Revenue and Customs) aren't looking for individuals to prosecute for some homegrown and am unconcerned. It's big business and tax they're after.

In terms of effort - I don't mind / rather enjoy long term projects. I've a seed grown saguaro cactus, currently a nearing 15 yrs old that I hope to see sprout a side arm before I die. These happen at around 75yrs. I make wine, beer and am watching my child grow up and counting down to decades until my house is paid off, then, retirement. A few years growing tobacco is a diversion at best :)
 

burge

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I think first thing is to what do you smoke? Then research what varieties grow best in a certain climate. What are the temperatures in summer? I am no expert but I think cigar varieties grow better in hotter weather. The only reason why in Canada we have a exemption is due to Ontario and native tobacco to prevent smuggling. For me I am all about virginia.
 

DistillingJim

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Moth - I live near Cambridge and promise you that climate wont be an issue. I've grown for two years and been very happy with the results. This year I grew C98, Corojo 99, Connecticut Shadeleaf and Nostrano Del Brenta. All grew well with the exception of the Shadeleaf which I'm inclined to attribute to a locational issue rather given I had issues growing Besuki in that spot the year before.
 
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