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Homegrowngoodnes

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My wife smokes a pack a day and i dip 4 cans per week. I estimated 4 cigars per day between what i would consume and share or gift. Like i said itd be enough for a year and a half! Lol
 

skychaser

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Where did you get those calculations? I don't know about chew, but for cigarettes 1 lb will give you about 2 1/2 cartons of 100's or 3 cartons of kings. So for a pack a day for a year of 100's you need around 16 lbs. Bright leafs will yeild an average of around 3 oz per plant and Burleys around 4-5 oz's. So call it 4 oz's per plant over all just to round it off. 4 oz x 48 plants = 16 lbs for a pack of 100's a day for a year. That is IF you can cure and dry every leaf on the plant successfully. You won't. Even with some experiemce there is always some loss for one reason or the other. I usully go for 70-80 plants to be sure to get 1 pack per day of 100's for a year.

If you plan to grow your seedlings for the full 8 weeks before transplant, or to maturity indoors, then go for real grow lights. I use fluorescent shop lights until germination is fully completed and all the seedling have come up. Then the seedlings move right to the greenhouse. My heat in the greenhouse is set to come on at 45 degrees. Tobacco and most other crops do just fine as long as it stays above feezing. Peppers keel over at 40 or below which is why my heat is set at 45. Daytime temps go up to 85 or more. The swing in temps helps ready them for the real world. I can't plant until at least May 25th here and I always get temps at night in early June down into the mid to upper 30's after planting them out to the field. It doesn't hurt tobacco one bit as long as it doesn't go down to freezing. IMHO. a cold frame is the way for you to go. It saves you on the electric bill and the need for expensive lights. And when your plants leave the cold frame they can go right into the ground with no extra fussing around. This works very well for me. I've grown over 50k tobacco plants now and rarely lose a single plant. along the way.

Tobacco is really quit easy to grow. I think you are over thinking all this. But then most of us did in the begining. :)
 

Homegrowngoodnes

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They say last frost date is april 1st. Our lowest temp so far this year has been like 46 at night. We wont start getting frost til around thanksgiving probably. Va, burley, md, dark air, n oriental to blend for cigs. Burley, dark air, and dark fire for dip. I have about 8 varieties for cigar blending. I figured conservatively at 3 oz per plant and a bit extra of each variety to play with my blends. It might change but who knows? Not every variety shows its average yield.
 

Homegrowngoodnes

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I understand the yield on bright leaf is about 3 oz per plant and burley is about 4 to 5 but what about other varietals. For example: catterton (md), madole (dark air), prilep (oriental), small stalk black mammoth (dark fire), habano 2000, criollo 98, corojo 99, dominican olor, piloto cubano, fl sumatra, vuelta abajo, and havana z299?
 

billy

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even with some variation it still seems excessive. pretending its all cigarettes for simplicity, your planing enough that each person could light 1 cigarette every 10 minutes the whole time your awake. you wouldn't have time to do anything besides use the tobacco.
 

dev96

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IMHO, in building and fabricating a lot of stuff over the years. Sometimes it's just easier to be a prudent shopper vs trying to fabricate.

I bought my lights off of Amazon "used" for $22 a fixture. They were basically scratch and dent 4 foot LEDs. Using 70 cell trays and putting 3 trays under each light, rotating them around every other day.

6 trays + 2 lights = $69 for 420 plants at $0.16 per plant and I'll get 2-3 years out of both products. At 2 years that's 4 seasons (we plant both spring and fall) which is $0.04 cents per plant using plug and play items I don't have to fiddle fart with.

Germination wise, using one light per tray row and you'll be pinching out (weeding off) 3X times the number of plants you needed per cell. Also, yes this will give you a leggy plant but I prefer them that way as they are MUCH easier to handle for transplanting and grow right out of it.

I've got nothing to complain about in those costs vs my time and the simplicity of dumping a little water in trays every few days.
 

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Homegrowngoodnes

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I am surprised that with all the knowledge and experience contained in this forum that the only input for average yields that i have gotten is virginias yield 3 oz per plant and burleys yield 4 to 5. I cant expect for one person to know every varietal's average but perhaps they have experience with one or two? Every lil bit helps to form a grow plan a little more accurately so it might not look so outrageous.
 

deluxestogie

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Yield has been extensively reported by various extension services. The unit of measure is pounds per acre or kg per hectare. This, of course, depends somewhat on planting density. For example:


There are over 3000 named tobacco varieties. Since yield for home-growers is more of a qualitative thing (good vs. not so good), and "weight" of cured leaf is highly dependent on the moisture content, few home-growers spend the time quantifying yield for each variety. For most home-growers, their first year is seldom a reflection of optimum production.

Bob
 

Alpine

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What Bob said, and in addition to that, yeld per plant is dependent from general environment (soil, altitude, weather) and plant management (planting density, fertilization, irrigation, topping height etc) and this is the reason you only get approximate numbers.
For the orientals I personally grew, 40 to 50 grams per plant is quite an accurate estimate (40 grams for Prilep, 50 for Celikhan).
For Virginia, I can say that yellow Pryor produces more than Big Gem (but it’s harder to cure) and the best strain I grow at the moment, in terms of taste and yeld, is goose creek red.
Catterton produces more of than MD609, has less suckers and cures easily.
But all this is valid where I live (the eastern alps at 1200 meters asl), I bet you’ll have different results in warm and sunny Florida.

pier
 

Alpine

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Both are excellent choices.
Catterton is a good producer with typical Maryland taste (i,e. similar to a burley but “gentler”). I’d be curious to grow Maryland mammoth since white mammoth did well in my environment but my favorite seed supplier doesn’t have it at the moment (hello @skychaser :giggle:!).
Maybe all “mammoth” strains like the Alps weather, who knows?
For orientals, Prilep is a good choice but, in my modest opinion, doesn’t have the spicyness and “incense like” taste that I look for in Turkish tobacco. It is very sweet, gives good yields and cures easily but… I’ll grow something different next year. Herzegovina Flor or Bursa probably.

pier
 

Homegrowngoodnes

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I have yet to grow any tobacco plants whatsoever so u have a head start on me! If I am able to get my hands on the seed starter mix i want and the fertilizer i found through hours of research, im sure growing won't be an issue as long as mother nature doesnt scorn me! Lol We are known to get some pesky hurricanes and what not. You know, the usual Florida summer! Haha!
 

Yultanman

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IMHO, in building and fabricating a lot of stuff over the years. Sometimes it's just easier to be a prudent shopper vs trying to fabricate.

I bought my lights off of Amazon "used" for $22 a fixture. They were basically scratch and dent 4 foot LEDs. Using 70 cell trays and putting 3 trays under each light, rotating them around every other day.

6 trays + 2 lights = $69 for 420 plants at $0.16 per plant and I'll get 2-3 years out of both products. At 2 years that's 4 seasons (we plant both spring and fall) which is $0.04 cents per plant using plug and play items I don't have to fiddle fart with.

Germination wise, using one light per tray row and you'll be pinching out (weeding off) 3X times the number of plants you needed per cell. Also, yes this will give you a leggy plant but I prefer them that way as they are MUCH easier to handle for transplanting and grow right out of it.

I've got nothing to complain about in those costs vs my time and the simplicity of dumping a little water in trays every few days.
Those lights are affectionately termed “blurple”. They usually use a lens to focus the light so people have problems when the plant ends up in the focused zone and burn. They use much more power than the newer stlye lm301 chips and often dont have any dimming capability. While they can be had cheap as you mentioned since the price point is so low id guess that youll cover the cost saved in electricity plus have much more useable and controllable light with the 301 chips.

As you noted as well your seedlings are legging due to the light quantity and quality (too high in reds spectrum for seedlings)
 

dev96

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I have yet to grow any tobacco plants whatsoever so u have a head start on me! If I am able to get my hands on the seed starter mix i want and the fertilizer i found through hours of research, im sure growing won't be an issue as long as mother nature doesnt scorn me! Lol We are known to get some pesky hurricanes and what not. You know, the usual Florida summer! Haha!
Just noticed your location, being that you are kinda down the road from me (I'm NW of Orlando). I lived in liveoak for a while, too so I'll toss out a few suggestions as I've found that growing tobacco here vs elsewhere is very very different.

Don't sweat the seeding, trays and LEDs, that's the easiest part. Getting 400 plants started for a $100 is a no brainer... It's the outdoors that are going to make it difficult and costly on you.

Send me your address and I'll send you more seed than you'll want to plant.

I have not been able to find a good starring mix for tobacco in the past 7-8 years in our area. Far too much peat / organics and WAY too chunky. What I do is buy 2 bags of branded potting mix, screen it with 1/4 hardware cloth and cut it 50/50 with course straight white sand. I would rather start tobacco in straight sand than high peat, I can compensate for nutrients but I can't overcome poor draining organics that kill roots.

We do double transplants, meaning I go from 70 cell trays inside to 4 inch pots outside on a "grow out" table. Reason being is a few fold. It's easier to start plants on trellises when they are taller than shorter but it also bypasses some of the pest and weather issues we have. I can easily plant in early February inside (back porch), move to a table outside and protect just the table from those screwy late March mid April frost fronts we get. You need to be very ahead of the early summer rains in spring and very past the tropical stuff in fall. Using pots and growing out seedlings to 12-14+ inches on a table make that easier.

Another reason I plant that way, pests!!! Everything we have friggen loves tobacco!!! The longer our plants are off of the ground the less pest issues we have to fight with.

Second to the weather, pests will be your number one problem so be very prepared to fight that with systemic monthy + weekly to biweekly spray application. What you can spend on pesticides in one season will pail in comparison to LED lights. The hawk moth horn worms are insane early summer (just at 90 degrees), the cooler fall season (now) is much MUCH more forgiving. You're a little more at risk for early frost than we are but spraying small plants in early fall is easier than spraying BIG plants in late spring/early summer.

Cutworms will kill anything under 8" in height and will kill several irreplaceable plants overnight.

Pesticide cost is why you've seen N Florida tobacco production fall out in the past 20-30 years.

You'll need trellises or will need to plant windblocks because of our screwy weather and fronts. If not your plants stand a good chance of being blown over several times. (Today's current cold front being a good example) A lotta rain and a few good gusts means half of everything would be flat on it's side in soft soils. Tobacco self corrects it's growing direction so fast that within 24 hours your plant will be 90 degrees in the other direction... You just can't fix it fast enough to save those prized lower leaves so prevention is the key. We do 12", 24" and 36 inch lines down our rows on tee posts at 15' spacing.

Use judicious row spacing (40'ish inches), you'll need the room to work.

Post spring harvest keep a close eye... We loose a LOT of leaf POST harvest to horn worms because the eggs and small worms come inside WITH the tobacco. (We air cure on the back porch, it's screened). Next spring I'm going to try treating with BT once, maybe twice (5 to 6 days in between) just before and just after hanging for cure. In fall you don't have to worry so much.

The plus side to our environment is air curing is so simple, hang it with fans, you're done.

We use drip irrigation, it's a long term investment for all of our crops but it really helps in getting water down in those dryer periods without constantly washing your pesticides off of your leaves and makes pumping out liquid fertilizer easy. We have no disease issues but grow in the wettest of climates. It also really helps on keeping weedseed at bay. IMHO Toro makes the best commercial nozzles. http://www.wyattsupply.com/products/lawn-garden/dpc02-ma-toro-nge-emitter-1-2-gph-100-bag ... Using roll up hoses makes clearing out the garden easier for tilling.

The pictures on our grow table are from this morning, everything was just moved outside this week. Yes it's leggy, no I don't care, it outgrows it. Though, were a month + behind where I wanted to be (should have started seed the first of August). As you know our cooler temps came a bit sooner this year but with the number of plants we put in even if we get early frost we'll be ok volume wise for harvest.

For species, go with the more industrial varieties. Virginia grows really well here but the worms flock to it!!! We test planted Sobolchskii in spring and it did very well, was far less targeted by pests, cures easy, smokes well, handles flooding rain better. (Makes sense as it was developed in the Ukraine) I have some put aside to try out freebasing it for my dad's sinus habit.

With that knowledge our current crop is 210 Sobolchskii, 70 Virginia, 70 Rustica.

A few notes on Rustica, It's a novelty plaint but it's almost unkillable. It does well here but it's an easy target for pests. The army worms love the flowers and horn and other worms love the leaves. Most people grow this at least once "just because" and usually only once. We've kept it in our rotation as a "spice" to mix into our other leaf boosting nicotine. I like the peppery flavor it gives. I find the Virginia alone to be too bland for my taste but straight Rustica will make most people vomit because of the high nicotine.

Soil wise, get some tests done NOW and see what you need to do for spring. We have dairy goats and sheep that give is ample amendments but Floridas PH and loam means you usually need a lot of dolomite (lime) and potash... Tobacco LOVES ash!!! Putting those down Dec/Jan (even without tilling) for March April plantings wouldn't be a screwy idea. Lime takes time to do it's thing. Pre plant I till in 10-10-10 at 1/2lb of N + 100lbs of dolomite per 1000sf, we use liquid there after.

Current grow blog here... Though I'll probably slack on posting.
https://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/central-florida-fall-grow-out.10849/#post-195824
 

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Homegrowngoodnes

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We might be able to score promix bx with mychorizae through either walmart or lowes. I have to go there. I have had the soil tested. I plan on using a 21:7:14 then liquid similarly to what you're doing. Shur crop is available through tractor supply though not within 100 mi of here...so i'm still looking for a viable alternative.
 
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