Whole Leaf Tobacco

KoceFF first grow blog 2021

koceff

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Man I've never thought I would grow tobacco. Coming from Macedonia it is our tradition raising it, Orientals, Prilep and Jaka mostly. My mother told me stories of how my grandmother would wake her up at 3am to go to the tobacco field before the sun rises and get to hot, then go home and in the afternoon come back again. So when i told her that I want to plant some tobacco seeds and asked her about it her reaction was " WHAT?!? Is something wrong with you? Why would you do that to yourself? " So.. not happy memories I guess :)

I have ordered 6 different seeds: HB 2000, PA Red, CT Shade, CT Broadleaf, Bolivian Criollo Black and Corojo (don't know witch strain). I started them 2 weeks ago. So far so good. I expected a litle more sprouts of the PA Red but it is ok.
As a first time grower, maybe it is not such a good idea to plant over a 1000 plants but that is whats happening :) I have a place, a house and a garden about 8 miles from home, about 20.000 sq ft. and I plan to use around 3000 sq. ft. to plant tobacco. The rest will be some veggies. The seedlings are in milk cartons now, under 8 led bulbs next to the radiator under the window so heat and light I think are sufficient. The garden is not ready yet, but it will be when the weather stabilizes a bit. Any suggestions for prepering it are welcomed.
Oh, and btw, it is not quite legal to grow big leaf tobacco here, so we'll see how that goes to :)

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deluxestogie

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That is indeed a large first grow. I wish you the best with it. Growing large leaf tobacco may be discouraged because of the risk of pollen contamination with all the commercially grown Prilep and Yaka. You should make every effort to top the non-Oriental varieties that you grow, unless a plant is bagged for seed production.

Your mother's response illustrates the difference between work that is of necessity, and work that is voluntary. Not too long ago, the mark of success was to be able to pay someone else to perform manual labor on your behalf.

Bob
 

koceff

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I am not sure about location. After i transplant them to individual cups should i put them inside, outside in the shade or outside in the sun? The temperatures during the day are above 70 going over 85 in the sun.
 

Knucklehead

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I am not sure about location. After i transplant them to individual cups should i put them inside, outside in the shade or outside in the sun? The temperatures during the day are above 70 going over 85 in the sun.
I spend up to two weeks “hardening off’ the plants by gradually introducing them to the sun a little bit at a time, a little bit more each day until they can take full sun all day. Too much too fast can burn the plants. Mine got some mild sunburn one year when I forgot them for a little too long and the sides of the leaves turned a whitish color and wilted pretty badly, they did not seem too pleased with me, although they did recover. I also let the water dry up as part of the hardening off process but I can’t remember for how long, I’m thinking a week. There are more posts and threads here if you want more info, enter hardening off in the search box.
 

koceff

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@Knucklehead Yeah, I know that. My dilemma is that any plant (or most of them) would like to grow outside instead of being closed in a room. So i was wondering what is the better option, leave them outside in the shade with couple of hours of sun or inside in a room. No lights in the room btw, only one south facing window.
 

Knucklehead

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@Knucklehead Yeah, I know that. My dilemma is that any plant (or most of them) would like to grow outside instead of being closed in a room. So i was wondering what is the better option, leave them outside in the shade with couple of hours of sun or inside in a room. No lights in the room btw, only one south facing window.
I would be tempted to leave them inside for a couple days to make sure they transplanted to their new home okay without shock and then go with the outside dappled shade and keep an eye on them. When do you anticipate transplanting to their permanent home? Start hardening a couple weeks ahead of that.
 

koceff

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The seedlings are about 6 weeks old but are still not ready to go out in the field. I haven't used any fertilizer on them yet but i want to give them some boost. Is this o.k?
Nitrogen 20%
Phosphorus 20%
Potassium 20%
Iron 400 ppm
Copper 150 ppm
Manganese 250 ppm
Zinc 250 ppm
Boron 100 ppm
Molybdenum 10 ppm
In chelated form, 1 tbs. to 2.5 gallons of water.

For the field I also plan to put 20:20:20, My grandpa used this every year for the same garden so I'll take his word on this one.
 

koceff

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These are the seedlings, ct broadleaf and Habano 2000 in this picture, 6 weeks old. I should have put them in individual cups a little sooner but i think it's ok.
On the other photo is an older plant growing in a bucket almost ready to prime and an uninvited guest. I don't know what that is but no damage so far.
 

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koceff

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My grandfather was working his garden for about 30 years, the same garden I am going to plant my tobacco in, and when I asked him about pests, he said the most damage he had was from as we say it "konyoshtip", it literally means "horse pinch" or scientificly Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa. It goes and cuts the young stems of seedlings. Maybe a cousin of cutworm. Have you guys had problems with this? Here is a picture of the ugly little horsy.
 

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Knucklehead

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My grandfather was working his garden for about 30 years, the same garden I am going to plant my tobacco in, and when I asked him about pests, he said the most damage he had was from as we say it "konyoshtip", it literally means "horse pinch" or scientificly Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa. It goes and cuts the young stems of seedlings. Maybe a cousin of cutworm. Have you guys had problems with this? Here is a picture of the ugly little horsy.
Back up, buddy. That’s my mother in law. :devilish:
 

wruk53

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My grandfather was working his garden for about 30 years, the same garden I am going to plant my tobacco in, and when I asked him about pests, he said the most damage he had was from as we say it "konyoshtip", it literally means "horse pinch" or scientificly Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa. It goes and cuts the young stems of seedlings. Maybe a cousin of cutworm. Have you guys had problems with this? Here is a picture of the ugly little horsy.
Looks like a "mole cricket" to me, they can be extremely damaging. My Dad was a vegetable farmer and I remember one year when I was a kid, he planted a field of cucumbers and those critters cut off most of the seedlings.
 

Charly

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Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa: "commonly known as the European mole cricket"

Both crickets and grasshoppers can damage tobacco, and are often resistant to common insecticides. The most effective measure against them is to keep nearby grass and weeds cut short.

Bob
If I remember well, the mole cricket cut plants in the soil.

I am happy I have never seen one.
 

koceff

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It operates above surface. There is some insecticide , i don't know the name but i'm told, by my granpa that it works like a charm, you just sprinkle some around the stem. O, btw 90 years old, broke his hip at the start of 2020, had Covid in November and today was like a little child "gimme, gimme".
 

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