been trying to figure out when is proper to harvest so this is really great to seePotted Tobacco Ripe-O-Meter
Maturity of a tobacco leaf is the earliest point at which a leaf should be primed (harvested). This is particularly useful for most varieties. Some, like burley, may be allowed to reach the stage of "ripe", or fully yellow. For stalk-harvesting, I usually wait for the top leaf to show the earliest signs of maturity.
A hallmark of maturation is thickening and increased rugosity (rumpledness) of the leaf. An easier (though slightly later) sign to recognize maturation is a slight yellowing of the very tip of the leaf. A fully yellowed leaf is considered "ripe".
Yes I think the biggest misinformation is that you need a climate blessed by gods and a soil kissed by vulcano ash to even think about growing tobacco.I appreciate the kind words. Internet forums are inherently transient things. From the time that Don (@FmGrowit) founded the FTT forum in 2011, I have tried my best to keep it from fading away. Valid info about tobacco growing, curing and finishing has become increasingly difficult to find, and is continually polluted by marketeering misinformation propagated on retail tobacco product fan sites. I have to pass on thanks to our Moderators. Knowledge is a two-way street. I have learned a huge amount from our forum members.
So very greatful for this pro tip as well as all of them and all other great information you provide here thank you so so much !!!
Tagged nails for each variety, in separate Ziploc bags.
My Tyvek tags, that label each string of primed leaf and every individual stalk of stalk-harvested leaf, have to last. They follow the leaf to the shed, to the kiln, and ultimately to storage. Each tag needs to contain essential information that will be meaningful to me a decade from when it went with the leaf into storage. [A simple number that matches it to the actual variety name, etc. located on an elaborate key in an alternate universe just won't do.] I include the complete variety name [e.g. L'Assomption 201, rather than just "L'A"], the crop year, priming level for primed leaf, or the word "stalk" for stalk-harvested. If it's going to be sun-cured, like my Trabzon this season, then the letter 'S' enclosed in a circle will also appear. Seeing "stalk" on a tag attached to a stalk seems stupid in the shed. But one or two or ten years later, it is informative [it was stalk-harvested and stalk-cured, and the storage bag contains leaf of mixed stalk levels].
The challenge has always been for me to get around to cutting and counting all the little tags, labeling them with a Sharpie--on both faces, poking a hole into the tough Tyvek, and inserting either a wire (for primed) or a nail (for stalk-harvested). It's tedious to the point that the fingers on my left hand are mostly numb by the time I'm done. If I postpone doing it, then I may miss a perfect moment for stalk-cutting (e.g. early evening just before a forecast of rain). Once the tedium is complete, then I am more likely to do the harvesting when the conditions are just right.
I label both faces of each tag because of Murphy. According to Murphy's Law, when I look at a stored bag of crispy dry leaf from years ago, the only tag face visible is at the bottom of the bag, and will be the blank surface. The same is true of stalk hanging in the dimly lit shed. The nail and its tag are in the shadows above my head, but the tag has to be readable when I select a specific variety to strip and bag.