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Growing Finnish cigar tobacco with two amateurs 2017

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The2Finns

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Greetings everyone!

This blog will be our documentation of our efforts to grow cigar tobacco in the somewhat temperate climate of Finland. The varieties we're currently growing are Connecticut Broadleaf, Habano 2000, Cuban Criollo 98 and Goose Creek Red, all of which were purchased from The Tobacco Seed Company.

We'll mainly focus on indoor growing at two different locations, Broadleaf and Habano as Group 1 while Goose Creek and Criollo as Group 2.
The seeds were spread over a typical run-of-the-mill wet fertilized soil for growing edible plants, Group 1 in early April and Group 2 in the middle of April. It may also be noted that we mixed a little bit of fine blackboard chalk in the seed bags of Group 1 before we spread them over the soil, just to be able to see them.

Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated
 

The2Finns

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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

The seeds in Group 1 began sprouting 4 days after the planting, while the seeds in Group 2 haven't sprouted yet (6 days after planting). We've divided the groups between us and are growing them in our apartments so naturally the watering and amount of light they receive differ somewhat.

A quick rundown of Group 1 so far:
All of the seeds were delivered in plastic bags with about 200 seeds in each (the white smudges are the leftover chalk that we mixed in).

18136172_10210495979128009_289402902_n.jpg

The seedlings seem to be coming around nicely and are stored in a small plastic greenhouse, padded at the bottom with paper towels to preserve moisture.
The smaller pots contain the Habano while the bigger ones have Broadleaf.

18110486_10210495898285988_471916097_n.jpg 18142968_10210495899366015_1339961061_n.jpg

We've watered them carefully with a watering spray can every time we notice that the upper dirt layer has dried out.
The greenhouse is mostly kept indoors but we throw it out on the balcony on sunny days, just to get a few extra hours of sunlight.

Habano:

18136416_10210495893565870_244135003_n.jpg

Broadleaf:

18142906_10210495896525944_1649724907_n.jpg
 

The2Finns

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So far so good. The sprouting seedlings make it feel like we're not completely lost with what we're doing :D
we added some plant nutrition to the water at one point (sugar beet extract: 3% nitrogen, 1 % phosphate, 5 % potassium oxide and 45 % organic substances) but the smell forced us to stop it for now
 

greenmonster714

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Looking good guys. I'm going to make a prediction. I'm pretty sure Bob is going to pop in here and tell you to water them from below..lol. If they look dried out they may not be. One way to gauge it is to be sure you soak the medium and then pick it up. Do this again when you think they are dry. After a few times doing this you'll feel the difference in weight and know if they need water. Over watering can destroy your efforts. I'm excited to see how your grow progresses. Pics are great.
 

Hasse SWE

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It will be interesting to follow your project, I am very shore that the tobacco plant will make it good in Finland!
 

The2Finns

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Thanks for all the advice :D we'll try to gauge the amount of water the seedlings prefer with the smart trick and keep in mind not to keep them too long in the sunlight.
After reading around a bit we've heard lots of advice regarding watering from below to support a strong growth of the root system. We'll try it out soon but isn't it good to also keep spraying them from above for now since there are still a lot of seeds in Group 1 that haven't sprouted yet?

Update: none of the seeds in Group 2 have sprouted yet (9 days after planting), but we theorise that it might be because they are growing in a colder apartment than Group 1.
 

deluxestogie

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Temperature has a direct effect on speed of germination. But some seeds just take longer. Below is a photo of my Piloto Cubano, which did not germinate until day 12--and its container was on a seedling heat mat at about 78ºF.

Garden20170311_2481_PilotoCubano_germination_400.jpg


All my other varieties germinated a week earlier.

Bob
 

greenmonster714

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I found that if you spray young seedlings from the top they tend to bend over and sometime die that way. Bob always tells folks to water from the bottom for the exact reasons you mentioned above. It won't be long and you'll be transplanting them into single cells. Oh what fun that is but as Bob would probably say..........Not sure what happened here but ya get two for the price of one.
 

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The2Finns

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Both deluxestogie and greenmonster714 (and Bob Ross :D) accurately predicted our last few days.
Group 2 started showing sprouts at the 30th of April (11 days after planting) and some of the small seedlings in Group 1 have bent over and almost wilted. We will continue with only watering from below to prevent more seedlings dying that way.

The sprouting seeds of Group 2:
Group 2.jpg

Other than that most of the seedlings of Group 1 have started growing a third and fourth leaf. We're planning on giving them at least two or three more weeks time to grow stronger stems before we start transplanting them into single pots, since they still seem to be very fragile. A lot of the plants are really clumped together but since they are still so small we hope that they will manage for some time.

Group 1.jpg

 

The2Finns

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We realised we could greatly elaborate on the type of soil we're currently growing the seedlings in. Since this first our very first attempt at growing tobacco we're trying to do it on a somewhat limited budget for experimental purposes. We're still in the phase where we're wondering "Is it really possible? And it's not rocket science??" :p
Therefore the soil mix we're using is a typical standard Finnish planting mix:

55542100_istutusmulta_02.jpg


This is the content information (pardon our lacking English but it is a direct translation from Finnish):
- Composted components FIC020-001159/2006 = light growing peat, chicken manure, fibre cellulose, tree bark powder and plant-based carbon
- Other ingredients: dark and black growing peat, sand and Mykorritsa Glomus intraradices (>40 per litre)
- Calcium oxide content: 2 kg/cubic metre
- pH = 6.5
- Chemical component: nitrogen (120 mg/l), phosphor (32 mg/l) and potassium (450 mg/l)

After reading around a bit we've understood that it's a good idea to add some fertilizer to the soil when transplanting the seedlings, but since this soil mix already contains some (for example chicken manure) we're wondering if it will be enough to simply use more of this mix..?
 

greenmonster714

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Great news. They certainly look healthy and happy. I've had my seedlings in the same soil for almost two months now. The soil I used had a very mild amount of nutrients included and the medium has done a great job so far. A few days ago I trimmed down some leave and did give them a very weak solution of miracle grow for tomatoes. In two days they exploded with some growth with no overfeeding damage.

So, if your mix has some nutrients I'd not worry about it for a while. Eventually you will see the first sets of leaves maybe wilt or become ugly and die off but that's okay. As long as you have new green growth coming out of the top of the plant your good.
 
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