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FrostD’s 2023 Grow Blog

FrostD

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Almost forgot the SOLO babies! All are either Connecticut Broadleaf or Habano 2000 extras. Since it’s the end of July, I don’t think I will have time to be able to transplant them into larger pots and have much success with them. I think I’m going to consider them experiments to see if they will flower in the solo cups or perhaps bring them in and see how they do inside during the winter. Still on the fence with them and I’m sure the right decision will be made when the time comes. I will say, that solo cups are a horrible final pot. A slightly strong gust of wind sends these babies toppling over. Interesting though how big they are getting, both in height and leaf size, just being in cups!

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FrostD

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Been a busy evening! Apparently some of the first leaves are indeed showing some flash drying of green. It’s more so at the bottom of the stem… hopefully there’s some water/moisture still in them to allow them to color cure a little more. However, did prime another 56 leaves tonight. Instead of paper clips, I picked up this metal wire to help with hanging:
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17x CT Shade leaf added to rack
19x Habano 2000
5x CTBL
14x Criollo
+1x CT Shade where the upper 1/3 under the leaf had quite a lot of aphids. Broke out the hose and made them take the slip n slide off the leaf. That one is hanging by itself in the back to see if the aphids come back.

I did wipe/clean each leaf individually of bugs & dirt as much as I could. I may to to wash or dip some of the remaining leaf still on the plant when they are ready to be pulled. However, not sure if that will affect the nicotine content when all said and done. Trying to use the leaf for cigars. May do some more research on this. I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere in a post in this forum.

Anyways, drying rack is pretty packed up! I do have a little fan blowing air towards the leaf. RH in sunroom is currently 56%. Fingers crossed.
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Plants still going outside:
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FrostD

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My best guess is that washing green leaf makes little difference in the nicotine. Once the leaf is dead, then washing will extract and rinse away nicotine. (If you save rinse water from washing dead leaves, it will turn dark, indicating oxidation of nicotine.)

Bob
Ahhh! I do recall reading that! I may try washing some green leaf then during next priming to compare. IF they need to be rinsed off that is. It does make sense that rinsing green leaf may not reduce nicotine, but dried leaf and soaking in water would lesson the nicotine content. Getting in there by stems to get any dirt or stuck dead bugs with my hands gets tricky sometimes. Especially when fingers get sticky. Ripped a couple leaves tonight wiping them down.
 

deluxestogie

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Since I use imidacloprid in my transplant water (just that one dose), I have no aphids or other crawling insects, like flea beetles, until late in the season, once the imidacloprid is gone. It is completely dissipated shortly before blossoms begin to open. Then, aphids may appear on the underside, near the base of the leaf, on upper leaves. I use a garden hose to flush them away, before the leaf has been harvested. [Once an aphid is dislodged (i.e. has had its mouth parts torn asunder), they can't crawl back up. They're toast.] Aphids are also attracted to tiny suckers late in the season, which is why I go to the trouble of removing even ¼" suckers regularly.

The leaf trichomes ("hairs") do secrete some nicotine onto the leaf surface, and this can be washed away by rain, but seems to be fully replaced—sticky leaf surface again—within 24 hours.

Bob

EDIT: crickets and grasshoppers are not affected by the imidacloprid.
 

FrostD

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Since I use imidacloprid in my transplant water (just that one dose), I have no aphids or other crawling insects, like flea beetles, until late in the season, once the imidacloprid is gone. It is completely dissipated shortly before blossoms begin to open. Then, aphids may appear on the underside, near the base of the leaf, on upper leaves. I use a garden hose to flush them away, before the leaf has been harvested. [Once an aphid is dislodged (i.e. has had its mouth parts torn asunder), they can't crawl back up. They're toast.] Aphids are also attracted to tiny suckers late in the season, which is why I go to the trouble of removing even ¼" suckers regularly.

The leaf trichomes ("hairs") do secrete some nicotine onto the leaf surface, and this can be washed away by rain, but seems to be fully replaced—sticky leaf surface again—within 24 hours.

Bob

EDIT: crickets and grasshoppers are not affected by the imidacloprid.
Perhaps I should look into the imidacloprid for next year. I try to stay as organic as possible. I picked up the wrong BT last year also, and decided to not use it. Last year aphids were horrible for my first year. This year not as bad, since I’ve been trying to stay up on spraying them with a water & Castille soap mix in the morning. In the evening or the following morning when I water again, the vast majority tend to come off when I spray them with the garden hose directly. It does seem like I don’t get them all though. Within a few days they are back. 1 Criollo plant I have they are swarming the flowering/bud site. I spray em and it appears they dislodge, but I’m sure some are still hanging on. I’m not overly concerned on the 1 Criollo plant, because I will be topping that plant soon. CTBL hasn’t really gotten much if any, but none of my CTBL has started flowering yet either. Habano 2000 & CT Shade there’s been some leaves here and there.

Edit: I did pick up and “RV filter” to attach to the water spigot attached to the house to filter the water coming out a couple weeks ago. I should probably test the PH & PPM’s of both the water coming out of the house & with the filter attached. Just haven’t thought about it until now. However, I have noticed all of the plants in the garden growing better since the RV filter has been attached.
 

FrostD

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Amping up my seed storage! Got a “dry box” in yesterday. Took desiccant packets from old vitamin containers and popped my seeds in. Now to just toss the box in the fridge in the garage when I head out there. Have another dry box coming in this week. May not need it right away, but may need in the upcoming years if I continue to collect seed from harvests or at least separate bought seeds and personally collected seeds. If all else fails, an extra dry box for when out on the water.

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Knucklehead

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Amping up my seed storage! Got a “dry box” in yesterday. Took desiccant packets from old vitamin containers and popped my seeds in. Now to just toss the box in the fridge in the garage when I head out there. Have another dry box coming in this week. May not need it right away, but may need in the upcoming years if I continue to collect seed from harvests or at least separate bought seeds and personally collected seeds. If all else fails, an extra dry box for when out on the water.

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This stuff is pretty cool. Orange means you are good to go. Green means it is time to pop it into the oven for a bit to dry out again. It will turn orange again. Reusable. I've had mine nearly ten years.


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FrostD

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This stuff is pretty cool. Orange means you are good to go. Green means it is time to pop it into the oven for a bit to dry out again. It will turn orange again. Reusable. I've had mine nearly ten years.


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Oooo! I like this @Knucklehead ! The color changing aspect of the beads themselves make it fool proof. I’ve used the Heartfelt bead brand before and have them in my cigar cabinet/coolerdors. However they are clear and more expensive. If I recall correctly they are double the price for half the amount that you get with the brand you listed Knucks.
 

Knucklehead

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Oooo! I like this @Knucklehead ! The color changing aspect of the beads themselves make it fool proof. I’ve used the Heartfelt bead brand before and have them in my cigar cabinet/coolerdors. However they are clear and more expensive. If I recall correctly they are double the price for half the amount that you get with the brand you listed Knucks.
It takes the guesswork out of it. Just check them occasionally. I've never used refrigeration, I just keep mine in an ammo box with indicating silica gel beads and store them in a cool, dry place in the basement with dehumidifiers and away from light. My Reams 158 this year were ten years old. Germination rate was clearly diminished but more than enough to get my plants going and I refreshed the seed this year. Remove everything the seed needs to sprout - light, heat, moisture.
 

FrostD

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Start of week 21 from seed! Have bags over the heads of a CT shade, Criollo, and Habano 2000 plant. The CTBL I still haven’t seen any of them flowering as of yet, but do have the plant picked out that I will try to bag the flower head on for seed. Topped just about all of the other plants. I also think I’m going to need to do some more priming as some leaves look ready. Which I should be able to do either today or wait about a week, since I’ll be traveling for work this week and have a bachelor party to attend next weekend.

Plants:
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Solo cup little guys… 2x Habano 2000 look like they want to start pushing out some flowers soon!
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Drying rack… some of the early leaf hung but paper clips still seem like they may be chucked due to flash drying green. The leaf I strung up recently with the metal wire, seem to be doing alright. Fingers staying crossed! Plastic bag over the top seems to help maintain some humidity underneath, but will definitely need to find more space for more leaf that will need to come down!
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FrostD

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How time flys by! It’s been a really busy last couple weeks. A few updates though!

Today marks the last day of week 23 from seed. Will be getting out into the back yard to check in on the plants and probably pull some more leaf down. I know there has been some aphids on top growth, flowering in some plants, some messed up bagged tops. Overall though much better on year 2 of growing than my first year last year.

Lower primings and bottom leaves I moved to the basement to make more room on the “drying rack”. Some have appeared to dry green. I will say that stringing leaf with the metal wire….WAY easier than individual paperclips. Also, using sticky notes folded in 1/2 with the variety & DATE has helped with some organization. I hooked up a 70 pint dehumidifier from work on the opposite end of the basement to try keep the RH at or below 60%. Most of the time it’s hovering right around 55%.

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Leaves hanging on drying rack in sunroom from the last few weeks:
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More to come later today!
 

FrostD

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Last day of week 23 “inspection” pics:

Solo cup little ones. Put them all in big pots (still in solo cups) to prevent them from tipping over:
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The “Tall boys”
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Too many aphids on these Connecticut Broadleaf plants to bag the flower heads. Dang it! 3 CTBL plants have to be roughly 7 1/2 - 8 feet tall!
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Tried looking at the top of the head of my 3rd CTBL plant for aphids… we have a casualty!
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Bagged heads…

The Habano 2000 looks to be coming along and done well:
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My Connecticut Shade… I done messed up. Probably bagged it too early. Just kept coming and now flowered.
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FrostD

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Criollo May or may not work out. Bag may have been put on too tight and too early.
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So, out of the 4 varieties I was thinking of trying to collect seed from….

Habano 2000- looks like it will probably be successful

Connecticut Shade- loss

Criollo- fingers crossed. Don’t have too much faith in it though.

Connecticut Broadleaf- loss before I could try to bag a head.
 

FrostD

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You won't be smoking the bagged heads. Just a couple of light spritzes of permethrin, then bag it.

Bob
In my travels last week, one of my clients was raving about this product. I may do some additional research, but supposedly can be used on any type of plant. Completely organic. Otherwise, permethrin will need to be ordered.
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