Whole Leaf Tobacco

Help with drying leaves

plantdude

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It’s been kinda hot, upper 80’s, here the last few days. Should I mist them with water? I don’t have a real way to measure humidity.
You should be able to find humidity info for your area online with one of the many weather websites that are out there.
without a flue cure chamber or kiln you are left with the option of either air curing or sun curing your leaf.

To air cure your leaf your first step will be color curing. If your leaf is mature (usually starting to yellow at the tip) you can pick them and either hang them somewhere with humidity that runs in the 60-80 % range at night and not much below 40% during the day. Temperatures will have a big impact as well and the process can be a little tricky. The idea is to get the leaves to slowly dry down over the course of about a week or so to a yellow or brownish color with out growing mold (too much humidity) or drying green (to little humidity). If your humidity is to low you can mist them or come up with an idea for increasing the humidity (hose the ground down around them, etc). Once they reach a yellow or brown color they can be air cured by drying down to a darker brown color and either hung/stored in a suitable environment or kilned.

If you can not color cure because your weather does not allow you can try the box curing method described elsewhere in the forum. Basically take a leaf, put it between a sheet of newspaper, repeat. Put your stacks of leaf in newspaper in a cardboard box for about 5 days to a week until you see them yellow. Once yellowed they are color cured and can then be air cured. I have not tried the box curing method, read up on it from others that have.

Your second choice is sun curing. Pick a mature leaf and let them wilt (usually pick and let sit overnight). Then place them in full sun while trying to keep the humidity up. Put em on a moist lawn or on a screen over a moist area, or in a semi open plastic bag, etc. If all goes well they should turn a lighter brown color and be dried down in 2-3 days time (depending on conditions of course). If they get dry and crispy while green your humidity got to low. I could be wrong but I don't think people typcally use sun curing for cigars tobacco though.

One of the more full proof ways to color cure and air cure is to simply stalk harvest the whole plant. When the plant is mature cut the whole plant down and hang it upside down. It takes a lot longer for the leaves to turn brown when stalk harvested but the whole color curing process is more forgiving about low humidity conditions.

If you are not stalk harvesting make sure the leaf is fully mature before you pick it. It makes color curing much easier if the leaf is starting to yellow slightly while still on the plant.

Some varieties like Conneticut broadleaf don't have much of a yellow stage during the color curing process. What variety are you growing?
 

burge

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I am inexperienced however if I recall correctly someone put them in a paper bag or cardboard box and the leaves cured.
 

Yultanman

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I am inexperienced however if I recall correctly someone put them in a paper bag or cardboard box and the leaves cured.
Ive been doing this for my last leaves instead of misting. Its working well with shaking the leaves twice a day. As soon as they go yellow i remove them and follow flue cure temps (125,135,165) for 2-3days in a turkey cooker.

this should work well for only 3 plants.
I built a flue but for small amount and lugs ive been using this method
 

POGreen

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Yes, they are all like that with varying amount of brown. I wasn’t exactly sure where to hang them. I took a guess, wrongly apparently, hanging them under deck. I tried to read as much as possible, but I am more of a hands on learner. I am actually shocked I made it this far. I am gonna try again next year making changes I learned this year. This may be a dumb question, but what is “flue” air?
POGreen
 

Yultanman

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I've never thought of a turkey cooker for flue-curing. Do show us pics of how the leaves come out.

Bob
as requested:

ACE950F4-3A75-41C0-A45F-5FEC3ECDC66C.jpegThere is a little green left but like I mentioned, ive found it vanishes in the kiln.
I had been struggling because it is so dry here. New flue box will be coming next year to better control humidity

F176FFBC-2297-4FAD-8A15-26174070D0D8.jpegthese are how i lay them in flipping the turkey rack handles upside down so it elevates the rack. Its a dark corner so the green tinge came out in the picture a little more. Not quite so green in real life

i dont use any newspaper or paper towel

30A957B8-5A7A-47F6-BD2F-1845F2CECBEC.jpeg Just load the box like this first shaking twice a day.

as they get closer i get tidier A4C0CE02-BC17-4530-A943-B29E04332F0A.jpeg
 

Pharmguy

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They dried green. My question now is would a tobacco tea be useful for aphid treatment next year? Thanks for all the helpful tips.
 

Knucklehead

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They dried green. My question now is would a tobacco tea be useful for aphid treatment next year? Thanks for all the helpful tips.
This works great for me.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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They dried green. My question now is would a tobacco tea be useful for aphid treatment next year? Thanks for all the helpful tips.
I haven't seen a decent discussion on the topic, and speculation about how best to brew a poison is beyond the borders of the forum. Sorry, you'll have to find that info out in the nether reaches of the internet.

I've tried it. It didn't work.
 

plantdude

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They dried green. My question now is would a tobacco tea be useful for aphid treatment next year? Thanks for all the helpful tips.
It helps with other insects that don't feed on solanaceous species. Tomato, potato, tomatillo, peppers, and eggplant are all in the same family as tobacco so tobacco tea probably is not going to do much for insects on those - many insects that feed on these are immune/tolerant to nicotine.

It does seems to help with squash borers and worms on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. if you apply it fairly often so it doesn't hurt to save the crappy tobacco leavings/stems for that.
*****
For aphids on tobacco plain dish detergent and water or even just a decent jet of water to knock them off the plant works pretty well. That is of course if you are only dealing with a small number of plants and are trying to avoid pesticides. You'll have to repeat the procedure every few days.
 
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Pharmguy

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Hint: aphids suck on tobacco juice for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Bob
So absolutely not. Ha. I’ve read about the soap mixture. I think I’ll try that. Any restrictions on how small of a plant you can use it on? I had a few small plants that were right before ground transfer, 6-8 inches, that had some. The others didn’t.
 

Pharmguy

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as requested:

View attachment 33819There is a little green left but like I mentioned, ive found it vanishes in the kiln.
I had been struggling because it is so dry here. New flue box will be coming next year to better control humidity

View attachment 33820these are how i lay them in flipping the turkey rack handles upside down so it elevates the rack. Its a dark corner so the green tinge came out in the picture a little more. Not quite so green in real life

i dont use any newspaper or paper towel

View attachment 33821 Just load the box like this first shaking twice a day.

as they get closer i get tidier View attachment 33822
Thanks for the pictures. I’m intrigued by the turkey rack. Is this the color curing part or the fermenting part? Is there a heat source? Can you provide more info or have you discussed it on here already? Also, I’m starting to get leaves that look like the two circled. I think once they are completely dry they will look like those. There still may be a chance. We’ll see.
 

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Yultanman

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Thanks for the pictures. I’m intrigued by the turkey rack. Is this the color curing part or the fermenting part? Is there a heat source? Can you provide more info or have you discussed it on here already? Also, I’m starting to get leaves that look like the two circled. I think once they are completely dry they will look like those. There still may be a chance. We’ll see.
it would be part of the color curing process. It is a turkey cooker so there is heat at the flue cure temps I mentioned. Not sure what other info you would like. Also im new so not going to say my methods are good but it works for me.
 
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