Whole Leaf Tobacco

Grow Log 2021 @Saintanthonysfire

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Checked garden and the leaves on a bunch of my biggest plants are starting to curl and warp. Just happened this week. We did get a lot of rain, but wondering if it’s a disease. What should I do? Do I harvest the plants or just let them go? Rabbits eat them all when young and ones that survive just get diseased or ruined. Super frustrating.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

The plants in the photos look excellent. And they look well-matured and ready to stalk-harvest. What varieties are you growing?

Bob
I grew three types of tobaccum. Harrow, small stalk and Shirley. The two larger ones are small stalk the other two I believe are Shirley. Unfortunately the rabbits devastated my grow early on and I played musical chairs with the plants so they are all out of place.

I did a second crop of rustica, punche, Mohawk, Aztec. Again the rabbits killed over 20 of them. This time pushing the chicken wire cages to get it. I believe it’s a location problem. They only kill the plants in the row along the current/raspberry patch. Nothing else in garden is touched. I wish I just left the eaten ones alone…They grew back and are now about 2.5-3 feet tall with nice leaves.

You mentioned stalk harvesting, that is the method where you cut the whole stalk and hang it? I plan on harvesting Sunday and hanging inside greenhouse.
Thanks for your timely reply I appreciate a ton.
 
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Awe
That's it. I cut mine with a pair of loppers. Hang them upside down, by the thick part of the stalk. (I use a nail driven into each stalk at an angle, to serve as a hook.)

Bob

EDIT:
Thanks for the tip! Would the greenhouse be a good location to dry them? Do I want air circulating with fans? Or should I hang them in one of the sheds. I worry a lot and am always convinced I’m going to butcher the next step.

luckily all these plants are being used to make snus which is pretty forgiving and easier to make compared to cigars and such. Hopefully if things go well I can work up to smokable forms in upcoming years.
 

deluxestogie

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If you have shed space, then hanging them in the shed would eliminate sunshine as a confounding variable. A fan will help avoid uneven humidity. I hang mine in a shed with a screen door and a partly open window, and run a fan. Here in southwest Virginia, I can leave them hanging for over a year, without too much worry. Your burley should be somewhat color-cured by Thanksgiving. The Shirey and Small Stalk Black Mammoth may need a few more months.

My experience with N. rustica is limited. The consensus seems to be that leaving them to yellow in the field increases the likelihood of a successful color-cure.

Bob
 
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If you have shed space, then hanging them in the shed would eliminate sunshine as a confounding variable. A fan will help avoid uneven humidity. I hang mine in a shed with a screen door and a partly open window, and run a fan. Here in southwest Virginia, I can leave them hanging for over a year, without too much worry. Your burley should be somewhat color-cured by Thanksgiving. The Shirey and Small Stalk Black Mammoth may need a few more months.

My experience with N. rustica is limited. The consensus seems to be that leaving them to yellow in the field increases the likelihood of a successful color-cure.

Bob
Thanks a ton for the help. I’ll be hanging the tobacco from rafters of shed tomorrow. My basement also has an unfinished section under addition that could be used. Door can be left open with a fan and I can lock inside metal door to rest of house. Benefit is I could monitor it more easy, the shed and garden arnt at my house. Maybe if things aren’t going well in garden shed I’ll move them home.

I had an Australian guy suggest the rustica. It seems like it’s a lot more popular outside the us. It’s been a lot more fussy then the tobaccum that’s for sure. After messing up so much on the tobaccum and never losing a single plant, and even when they were chewed off at base they still grew back. I figured rustica would be the same. Nope! Not near as resilient.
 

deluxestogie

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In the early 1980s, I went shopping in East Berlin, and purchased some Russian cigarettes. The total length and diameter was the same as American cigarettes, but the filter was over half of the total length--I assume for allowing room for mittens. Half the tobacco means it needed twice the nicotine strength. Much of the N. rustica varietal development was in Soviet-era countries of Eastern Europe.

Bob
 
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That’s pretty interesting. Thinking about it, when I order my snus from oversees, it’s always the Russian ones that are known for being extremely high in nic. Like 80-100mg/g and I’ve seen ones listed as high as 248mg/g! Apparently it’s caused a lot of poisonings in children so much so they had to inact regs in Russian surrounding “snus” pouches. I put snus in quotations because a lot of them aren’t even tobacco. It does show they are still very interested in higher then normal nic content.
 
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Plan on using all of these plants for smokeless, specifically snus.
Most of the plants are Shirley and small stalk, with a few harrow and pa red.
Location is PA, took shed door off and replaced it with a screen door, have a rotating fan on as well. Hung the stalks by nailing them to rafters. should I have fan on full speed or on lowest setting? Are plants spaced well enough or should I rearrange them tomorrow? Thanks
 

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The plants are well spaced. A fan on low should be adequate.

Bob
Thanks for the help! I probably have 15 left to harvest minus the rustica. I have no frame of reference for how much tobacco I will end up with. Should this be enough to make snus to last till next year? I was planning on grinding it all up and vacuum sealing it for as needed.
 

billy

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i could try and guess for you since im also trying to grow for snus. if you average 4oz? dry per plant and you have ~30 total, snus is half water added in so effectively 8oz per plant. 8x30=240. one can of snus is ~1oz. so 240/365 = 2/3 can per day. so depends how much you chew and how much you actually yield.

hmm.. i think i grew too much
 
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I'm snus user also and make my own. I'm not the heaviest user, between 4-5 pounds of cured whole leaf lasts me a year easily. Going by your photos and what you still have to harvest, you should have plenty. Good luck with your curing!
Right on, thanks for reply. I was more of a vaper until legislation pushed control back to the big guys. Being forced to pay more for less, yeah screw that. I’ll just grow my own snus.
 
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If you have shed space, then hanging them in the shed would eliminate sunshine as a confounding variable. A fan will help avoid uneven humidity. I hang mine in a shed with a screen door and a partly open window, and run a fan. Here in southwest Virginia, I can leave them hanging for over a year, without too much worry. Your burley should be somewhat color-cured by Thanksgiving. The Shirey and Small Stalk Black Mammoth may need a few more months.

My experience with N. rustica is limited. The consensus seems to be that leaving them to yellow in the field increases the likelihood of a successful color-cure.

Bob
Hey bob, I was going back through all your advice and noticed u said thanksgiving or a few months more. I was wondering if I’ll have to move the tobacco to a climate controlled place when cold weather hits here in pa in mid to late October?
 

deluxestogie

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Here in southwest Virginia, where the first frost date is 15 OCT, I leave all my leaf hanging in the outdoor shed all winter, often until the following summer. Once the leaf has basically color-cured, then freezing temperatures have no effect on it.

Bob
 
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