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Furryfreek 2022 (2nd Grow)

skychaser

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I've had this song stuck in my head for days. Now it's your turn. They are even a UK band.

Glass Animals - Heat Waves
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRD0-GxqHVo


It's been in the 90's for several days in a row here. No biggie. The humidity is in the low teens. I was over there once in August when it was in the mid 80's. But the humidity was also around 80%. I about died. You have my sympathy. But on the bright side, tobacco loves it!
 

furryfreek

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Those showers will barely touch the ground.
I stand corrected. We did actually get a nice amount of rain and the temperature is comfortable again.

I'm thinking my Little Dutch could be harvested pretty soon. maybe even in the next few days. I could do with a second opinion, though. It's been three weeks now since I topped them (just before the first of them would've blossomed; they were all fairly synchronized.) Thoughts?
0720a.jpg 0720b.jpg
I'm not sure I have enough space to cure them entirely on the stalk but I might be able to harvest and hang most/all of them like that temporarily, until I have to make space for more leaf.
 

furryfreek

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Well, there was a bit of an incident the weekend before last when we were looking after a friend's manic collie-cross. It chased an escaped guinea pig into and all around my baccy patch and subsequently my veg patch. Quite a few leaves were damaged or amputated, most of them only in the early stages of maturity. If it weren't for approaching wet weather, I'd have left most damaged leaves on the plants for a while to allow their wounds more chance to heal but the majority were laying on the ground so I picked those to keep them from getting any tattier. Afraid of history repeating itself, I then stalk harvested about a third of my Little Dutch plants and primed another set of leaves off my orientals earlier than planned. Probably a case of closing the kennel door after the hound bolted, I admit.

Thankfully, the weather has since been pretty much ideal for colour curing and most of those leaves seem to be curing quite well. Certainly better than expected. Most of the Xanthi I primed look a bit iffy, though. Then again, the previous lot I primed went through a bit of an ugly phase but cleared up considerably over time. So, although this lot look quite a bit worse, I still have some hope for them. Xanthi is the variety I've struggled most to gauge the maturity of so far. The main thing that's thrown me off is that they've been slower/later to mature than expected, especially considering they were among the first to flower (though broadly in line with the figure of 50 days to maturity given on Skychaser's site.) I've primed more from the Basma despite them blooming a good week or two later. The other thing is that, unlike other varieties I'm familiar with, yellowing kinda' proceeds in reverse order as they ripen, starting along the leaf veins and spreading outwards (though the entire leaf surface also seems to brighten up a little before that). I was already expecting this, thanks to Skychaser's description on Northwood Seeds, but I guess it's one of those things that takes a bit of first hand experience to get a good eye for.

Anyway, here are some new photos of my baccy patch:
0801a.jpg 0801b.jpg 0801c.jpg 0801d.jpg 0801e.jpg
A few plants along the border up-slope have always looked somewhat paler than the rest, probably because that was a recently extended area of the bed that hadn't been enriched with chicken guano. Over time, a broader but more gradual contrast has developed between plants according to the lay of the land. Presumably because nutrients have gradually drifted and settled down-slope.

and a few close-ups:
0801f.jpg 0801g.jpg 0801h.jpg 0801i.jpg
[Left to right: Helena, Symbol 4, Ohio Dutch and a Basma that lost its head before flowering]

These are individuals of the respective variety which look most mature but not exceptionally pale. I'm thinking I could stalk-cut the middle two now but, as Bob said of my Little Dutch before, "no rush". That Basma, on the far side down-slope, is a tougher call. If the over-all leaf colour was a bit lighter, more like those of the plants mid-slope, I reckon it could just about be good to go. As it is though, the leaves still look a bit dark over-all and might struggle to cure well.

[EDIT: grammar]
 
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deluxestogie

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From @polygon55's site:


Symbol 4
(Sobolchsky 193 x Jubilee 8 x Virginia American). Berley variety from Transcarpathia. Medium late variety. The period from planting to flowering is actually 84 days. The flower is pink. The bush is conical. The height of the bush is about 1.6 meters. Number of technical leaves 24-26. The leaf is sessile, broadly oval, with a wide neck. The size of the sheet of the middle tier is 40x22 cm, the color of the sheet is light green. Resistant to diseases and rearrangement of leaves on the stem.

The raw material is yellow-brown. The collection of leaves must be carried out when the leaf is completely yellowed with the appearance of light spots, which is typical for the variety.

Classification:
  • Western classification Domestic varieties
  • Variety type Variety type Burley
Characteristics:
  • aromatic type Skeletal
  • precocity mid-late
  • Aging (days) 84
  • Number of tobacco leaves 26 28
  • Sheet size 40x22 cm
  • Processing method Shadow drying
Bob
 

furryfreek

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Thanks for the info, Bob. Especially the tips on when to prime. I have been waiting for them to yellow right up and some definitely had light spots but I don't know about all of them :unsure:.

I'm trying to keep an open mind about Symbol 4. I just get the impression that it doesn't quite fit any of the conventional classifications, so I ain't gonna' force it. That said, it does seem more like a Burley than anything else, so I'm treating it as such and air curing most if it (except a few lugs I accidentally hung outside to sun cure). So long as I can find a good use for it, I'll be happy, whatever the niche. I know for sure it grows like a champ though, so no worries there.
 

skychaser

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.
From @polygon55's site:


Symbol 4
(Sobolchsky 193 x Jubilee 8 x Virginia American). Berley variety from Transcarpathia. Medium late variety. The period from planting to flowering is actually 84 days. The flower is pink. The bush is conical. The height of the bush is about 1.6 meters. Number of technical leaves 24-26. The leaf is sessile, broadly oval, with a wide neck. The size of the sheet of the middle tier is 40x22 cm, the color of the sheet is light green. Resistant to diseases and rearrangement of leaves on the stem.

The raw material is yellow-brown. The collection of leaves must be carried out when the leaf is completely yellowed with the appearance of light spots, which is typical for the variety.

Classification:
  • Western classification Domestic varieties
  • Variety type Variety type Burley
Characteristics:
  • aromatic type Skeletal
  • precocity mid-late
  • Aging (days) 84
  • Number of tobacco leaves 26 28
  • Sheet size 40x22 cm
  • Processing method Shadow drying
Bob
Interesting. An accurate description but when I recieved my seed stock from him many years ago it was classified as a bright leaf.

I'm trying to keep an open mind about Symbol 4. I just get the impression that it doesn't quite fit any of the conventional classifications
I agree. It doesn't really fit the standard definition of a bright leaf or a burley to me either. When I have grown it the leaves were very light green and all turned yellow by the time it was fully mature and ripe. It was a very productive plant. To me it tasted more similar to a full flavored dark virginian with perhaps a bit of spicyness to it. I am terrible at describing tastes. But it was different from anything else.
 

deluxestogie

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It doesn't really fit the standard definition of a bright leaf or a burley
As humans, we are plagued by what is called, "categorical perception." Is the color teal "green" or "blue"? My computer graphics card has no problem with there being millions of colors, but my brain insists on categorization. Is khaki "brown" or "green". A rainbow is a continuum of visible colors, yet we identify: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Our brains are too busy with other stuff to voluntarily attend to nuance.

When it comes to USDA ARS-GRIN market class, we name where and how a particular strain of tobacco was generally utilized by the American tobacco industry during the late 19th century. What? That's how, for example, we ended up with Dark Fire-Cured and Dark Air-Cured as separate market classes. They are both the same general sort of tobacco plants (large, thick, sticky, and very "hairy" leaves), but some US tobacco growing regions that grew them were chronically too humid during the curing season, so the growers prevented them from molding by maintaining low fires in the curing barn—to raise the temperature and thereby lower the humidity. It had nothing to do with the biology of those tobacco plants. (Had the market classes been named a few decades later, they might have been called "Dark Electricity-Cured" and "Dark Naturally-Cured.")

When it comes to burley vs. flue-cured, many burley varieties don't flue-cure well, because they need more time than just their yellowing time to get rid of their higher protein and carb burdens. Flue-cure varieties have more sugar to start with. But among the thousands of known tobacco varieties, it's a continuum. Is teal "green" or "blue"? We nudge the end product by how we go about curing it, and also by how we mentally categorize it. Symbol 4 is a great example. Its pedigree clearly includes a "Virginia" variety. If the protein and carbohydrate levels (and burley-specific volatile flavors) are in between, it becomes more like a pre-blended, burley-Virginia blend. (The Soviet tobacco industry was big on efficiency. Why blend the tobacco, when you can blend the plant's inheritance?)

Sorry, @furryfreek, for the long-winded diversion.

Bob
 

furryfreek

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No need to apologize, Bob. A bit of elaboration is hardly a diversion.

I take it the Soviets' notion of blending tobacco genetically was somewhat ill-conceived? Whenever I've tried selecting a single variety in effort to tick two boxes, I've ended up with one tick in neither box; not necessarily in between, even. Not to say that's a bad thing; out of the box is fine by me.
 
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deluxestogie

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I don't know how it impacted tobacco genetics in the Soviet Union, but their lead geneticist, Lysenko, did not believe in Mendelian genetics. Each successive ag 5-year plan produced results worse than the previous one. He was all in for the Lamarckian hypothesis, which the West had abandoned (finally) in the 1920s. I would imagine they ended up with a lot of cross-pollination of multiple varieties. (No Mendel = no need to bag the blossom heads.)

Bob
 

furryfreek

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We're in for another spell of hot, dry weather here; less extreme but more protracted than the last.

Some new photos (only north facing this time because of lighting conditions):
0808a.jpg 0808b.jpg 0808c.jpg 0808d.jpg
I stalk-cut three (out of five) Ohio Dutch, three more Little Dutch the middle of last week and another three today. The only Little Dutch now remaining are the one I'm keeping for seed, a spare that was planted somewhat later and one I allowed to sucker up after losing most of it's primary leaves (should've known better.)

While this weather presents a good opportunity for sun curing, the low humidity (normally quite a rare occurrence 'round these parts) and dynamics of my curing space present a bit of a challenge for colour curing and I'm not sure I'll prime much leaf in time to take advantage of the sun.
0808e.jpg
The above photo was taken inside our enclosed porch which currently reaches about 33°C (92°F) and 36% RH in the afternoon, though ambient temperatures are set to continue rising over the next week or so. The wet towel and fan are just about keeping the closet behind in the mid-high 20 °C's (75-80 °F) and %RH in the mid 50's during the daytime. That's with the porch doors closed and a white curtain strung along the (clear) ceiling for shade. Opening the porch door(s) reduces temperature a bit but more greatly reduces the effectiveness of the fan and towel. My strategy overnight has varied depending on ambient conditions but, with nighttime extrema forecast to be around 16°C (61°F) and 80% RH for the foreseeable, I'll probably have to keep all the stops out 24/7.

Oh, and here's a photo of a few spare Basma I planted and more-or-less neglected in my veg patch (quite a disgrace compared to my baccy -- just out of shot is basically a pile of aphids with a few beans attached):
0808f.jpg
The upright plant only just reaches my waist. I was hoping the rest of my orientals would only grow a bit bigger than these but I guess I underestimated the effect of all the guano in my baccy patch (formerly a chicken pen).
 
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