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G’s grow log 2023

Kiwisaffer

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Thanks all for the help everyone. I will need a few days to go through all the fert options available for purchase locally to see which ones are not chloride based (checking all the SDS - safety data sheets online, as not written in back of bags).

I will put a solution of Epsom salts on first, with some water today and see what happens in 2-3 days before I look to add some fert. Maybe there is still some fert in the grow bags mix but not accessible due magnesium shortage. Will post the results.

We have just had 50mm of rain over the last 2 days with another 50mm scheduled at the end of the week, so definitely enough water going around at the moment.
 

Kiwisaffer

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Just some more closeups of the Izmir.
Really different texture on the back of the leaves.
Overall shot of the 4x Izmir plants

I think I might start a few more Izmir seedlings in case these don’t recover
 

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Kiwisaffer

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That makes sense Bob. Just reading about cold shock after a quick net search, and points to all symptoms that I see in mine.


Yellowing of the bud areas, upwards curling leaves.
Only the Izmir are showing curling leaves at the moment but the other transplants have yellowing buds.

We haven’t had a frost recently but am wondering whether the black plastic wrap beneath the grow bags helps generate more heat than normal (I used it to control the weeds) during sunshine hours and when the sun dips behind the fence line the temp starts to plummet. Something to consider.

Am hoping it might only be the exposed leaves and that new growth can recover.
 

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Kiwisaffer

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Things growing nicely in the sun - think it’s 6 weeks since starting the transplanting which happened over a couple of weeks
Buds becoming visible on the criollo98.
Just confirming that I bag one of the criollo heads/buds before they start to flower if I’m looking to collect seed?
 

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Kiwisaffer

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Picked up a paint strainer bag with the aim of putting it over the criollo98 this week. The best I can find at the moment. I think I have a little more time as the other varieties aren’t showing their buds yet - the criollo seems way ahead of the others, even the burley which I transplanted long before the criollo was transplanted isn’t close to showing its buds.
I’ll put this over the top of the plant and look to use a cable-tie around the stalk
 

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Kiwisaffer

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I have also been reflecting on the whole fertilization discussion today and realized that I didn’t ask the chap who I got my potting mix from for the bags what type of fertilizer he mixed in the potting mix. So I could already have a chloride based fertilizer in the bags. Bummer. Another point along the steep learning curve for year one (still finding enjoyment amongst the mistakes).

I am starting a few more seedlings for transplanting for when this current batch gets picked. I’m hoping I can use the same potting mix in the bags (potentially the fertilizer has been absorbed by the current batch). I know I’m probably sailing quite close to the wind in terms of having the next lot out and colour cured before the colder temps kick in but it’s not costing much time and money atm to start another 2 trays.
I’m hoping that the current lot will be ready for harvest by the time these seedlings are ready for transplanting.

After contacting the local sales support with a few questions around the make up of the fertilizer, as they don’t state the chemical composition of the fertilizer on the bag, they told me it was because their recipe is commercially sensitive. Different rules for different parts of the world I suppose. So still on the journey for a chloride free granular type fert for the next lot.
 

Kiwisaffer

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If you can find cable ties (zip ties) with a release tab, they are well worth the extra cost.

Bob

This is smart Bob, didn’t think of that, thank you. Do you think I will be needing to release them and increase the “choke hold” as the head flowers and grows or just for release at the end during seed harvest?
 

deluxestogie

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just for release at the end during seed harvest?
Usually, just at the end of harvest. But this eliminates snipping off the tie with wire cutters, and allows it to be used again for years. Occasionally, I do need to raise the level of the bag tie on the stalk, if the bud head unexpectedly grows much taller than I expected.

Bob
 

Kiwisaffer

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@deluxestogie , I was just reading through yr post from 2011, comparing some orientals and noticed the upturned leaf on the Izmir.


I know I had probably settled on the upturned leaves being a cold injury, but do you think the Izmir’s propensity for a natural slightly upturned edge on its leaf could have exacerbated my “problem”. The up turned leaf was only exhibited on my Izmir (all other plants are humming along showing no sign of cold injury), and on one plant in particular it was really bad.

For a test, as the leaves really looked like they were struggling and not growing in “concert”, I trimmed off the badly curled edge to see how the leaves would continue to grow and waiting to see how the new leaves from the growth tip come along.
 

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deluxestogie

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upturned leaf on the Izmir
That "upturn" on Izmir-Ozbas, seen in my old photos, was not the same as the significant distortion of your leaf. And for me (consistently over the years) the subtle, symmetrically upturned edge appeared only on Izmir-Ozbas, and not on Smyrna #9, which is also an Izmir variety. ["Smyrna" is the older, Greek name of the city that was transliterated into the Turkish name, "Izmir".]

Bob
 

Kiwisaffer

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I'm beginning to realize that I might have created a rod for my own back by doing too many varieties in my first year. I'll have to put it down to beginners excitement. I'm sure a few of you saw that a mile off.
I've gotten quite busy in the last while and haven't put much thought on harvesting/curing etc... so wanted to put my thoughts down on a spreadsheet to possibly get some advice/guidance on what I think I'm planning as these plants are getting bigger and starting to bud (one already topped).
The flue cure column is blank as its highly unlikely I'll be able to build a kiln to flue cure in the coming weeks - Am guessing the virginia and costello would be better flue cured. Is sun cure next best after flue cure for these?
I figured that I have a bit more time to build a kiln for the cigar varieties as I can just store the leaves after colour curing these until I'm ready with the Kiln.

And then also, roughly how long (in weeks) after topping each variety do I start the process of picking/priming, in conjunction with ripeness of leaf not on timing alone - just looking for a guide here. I see comments on here about starting to pick "3 weeks" after topping to lock in certain attributes, others picking based on colour etc... Big topic i know.

Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated for this novice
 

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deluxestogie

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virginia and costello would be better flue cured. Is sun cure next best after flue cure for these?
Correct. Just sun-cure them. This is applicable to Virginia flue-cure varieties as well as Orientals. Priming the leaf will give you the most reliably cured leaf (duration varies by priming level). But I have stalk-sun-cured nearly all my Oriental varieties over the past 5 or 6 years.
how long (in weeks) after topping
The only sensitive timing is with regard to cigar wrapper varieties, for which you should simply look for the earliest indication of maturation (subtle yellowing of the tip of a leaf). For all the other varieties, the only need to bring them in from outdoors is to avoid damage to ripe leaf from wind, rain, dogs, growers, etc. The more ripe the leaf, the easier the color-cure. If you intend to stalk-harvest any of them, wait for signs of early maturation of the top leaf, then cut the entire stalk, and hang it.

Good luck with your grow.

Bob
 

Kiwisaffer

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Thanks Bob, some gold in that reply which I’ll be digesting in the coming weeks. That helps a lot.
I’ll have to check which other varieties I have are also good for wrapper other than the CT shade. Looks like a few of the CT shade leaves are yellowing at the tips before the buds have shown (probably due to the length of time I had them as seedlings before I planted them out). I might pick a few of these soonish. Well as soon as I work out how I’ll hang them.

CC98 has been topped on the 1-Dec with one plant bagged.

Interesting note on the curling leaf of the Izmir, even the sucker has a curling leaf.
 

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Kiwisaffer

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This weekend I was given an old cable tray for electric cables and decided it would work quite nicely as a hanging rack for colour curing in my garage. Hung it up with a few hooks and feels pretty sturdy.
Picked up some 16awg wire from the hardware store to string up leaves.
Then went and picked a few of the bottom leaves that were yellowing (before the rain arrived). We’ll see how conditions are in my garage for curing.
Some mud lugs in the mix here too.
I’ve called these volado on the labels so I know where about on the plant they come from. Using these as a bit of a test case, I hope all goes well.

Also topped the corojo99, long red, Virginia gold, and bagged one plant from each.
 

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