Whole Leaf Tobacco

Last and First Frost Date - When Is It, Really?

wazzappenning

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
369
Points
0
Location
edmonton
well somethings going on alright. we had a very strange mild winter. it made for a very livable winter though. we had one (not that bad) dump of snow at the beginning, then nothing. with over average temps we were looking at the grass (not green yet of course) in February. it was like spring. then 2 more dumps in march (which melted off right away) then one a week ago (after it hit 65) that was the biggest dump yet,(a foot?) . now that we think spring is finally here, it is snowing today! (not very normal for april). im wondering if last frost will ever come this year.

as for global warming, i completely believed that it was caused by man. given that it happened only over the last 50 years or so, and that the scientists saying it was natural apparently had not done any original research in the last 20 years and were the same scientists that backed big tobacco saying smoking was safe. being in an oil province, people didnt like my point of view.

then i saw this, and it got me to thinking, this makes sense. maybe we are helping it along but our sun reaching the peak of its activity would certainly have an impact. maybe i was wrong, but if so, then its not global warming, its solar system warming. and if so, what happens after the peak? does the sun gradually cool off again. or does it have a nap and put us into an ice age?

http://youtu.be/DEciMTYhRLQ
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,800
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Somehow, we've managed in this thread to conflate weather with climate. The frost charts and the numbers referenced in the link of the first post are statistics about your climate. What you actually see in any particular year is weather. Climate is a statistical inference derived from many years of weather data.

If you transplant your tobacco every year, for 10 years, at the date indicated as 50% chance another of a hard frost, then you may have a good crop during 5 of those years--maybe your first 5 years of growing. If, instead, you always transplant when there is still a 99% chance of another hard frost, you would succeed only one year out of 100--maybe your first year of growing! Selecting a 99% risk of failure sounds pretty foolish, but compared to buying a lottery ticket, which offers a 99.999999412% risk of failure, it might be worth a try.

Bob
 

johnlee1933

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
3,970
Points
0
Location
Near Danbury, CT
MMmmmm. Is the 2000 off the right side of the pic bad cropping or intentional censorship? Don, do I detect your fine administrative hand? ;<()

John
 

dkh2

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2011
Messages
551
Points
18
Location
Southern Washington State I can see Oregon from my
May 8th for my area,
We all ready knew that if every thing is normal weather wise.
There is a big patch of snow on the mountains across the Columbia River on the Oregon side
that is shaped like a rabbit so people plant outdoors when the rabbit is melted away.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,800
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
How I'm using the frost date calculator.

I have a "wave" of 12 varieties that could go into the ground right now (Apr 19). Here in SW Virginia, the standard "last frost date" is May 15. In looking at the usual 10 day forecast on Weather Underground, I see that the low temps will reach into the low 30s two and three nights from now (wee hours of the morning on Apr 23 and 24). So I might consider transplanting after it warms up on the 24th. Is that wise?

Now I go to the frost date tables on Dave's Garden (http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?). It does not have data for my exact location, but displays tables for the three nearest weather stations. I could worry about a 32ºF frost, but since I will be using Agribon-AG15 as a lay-down row cover for the transplants (with the option of adding another layer or two if frightened enough), I will look at the probabilities for a 28ºF freeze, which might exceed the row cover protection.



Of the three weather station tables shown for my location, two of them are higher into the mountains than my location, so I select the data for Blacksburg, Virginia. Considering my question about the wisdom of planting on Apr 23, the table indicates a 40% chance of a subsequent 28ºF frost after that date. Sounds risky. HOWEVER, if, when I get up on the 23rd, I check the Weather Underground site's 10 day forecast again, and it show nothing close to a freeze for the next ten days, then I need to know the risk on May 3 of a subsequent 28ºF frost. Now, I'm down to a 20% risk. Getting better. Maybe doable.

If I wait until May 3 to consider transplanting, the 10-day forecast will carry me through May 13, which the table indicates is a statistically safe (not guaranteed) date to plant. So, given the frost table data together with a favorable 10-day forecast on May 3, the probability of successfully transplanting on May 3 is excellent. I would be trimming 2 weeks off the traditional planting date of May 15 for my locale.

Summary: Look at the 10-day forecast. If it's favorable, check the frost date tables for the risk 10 days from now.

Bob
 

johnlee1933

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
3,970
Points
0
Location
Near Danbury, CT
If I wait until May 3 to consider transplanting, the 10-day forecast will carry me through May 13, which the table indicates is a statistically safe (not guaranteed) date to plant. So, given the frost table data together with a favorable 10-day forecast on May 3, the probability of successfully transplanting on May 3 is excellent. I would be trimming 2 weeks off the traditional planting date of May 15 for my locale.

Bob
Good analysis. Are you a gambling man? :confused: Another way to look at it is what do you gain by that two weeks?

John
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,241
Points
113
Location
Northeast Maryland
Another thing to consider if you plant early is what will the temps and humidity be when you are trying to cure? I planted a few tobacco plants late April last year. They were ready for priming/stalking (if that is a word) mid July.These particular plants were cured starting the 3rd week of July. I cured them in an open shed. With no doors to control the very high humidity, a fair amount of them grew mold. This would probably not have happened if I cured them in my metal barn (with doors). The Amish typically put their tobacco in their barns around the beginning of September. The humidity levels have already started dropping from the dog days of August and it probably makes their curing process a little easier to do, that and the fact that they can send their kids out to the barn to open or close the doors as they see fit.

Randy
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,800
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
...what do you gain by that two weeks?
Excellent question. A major determinant of the quality of finished tobacco will be the weather at the time of color-curing. The benefit or drawback of a particular planting date will depend on the maturation time of the variety planted as well as the expected weather in your locale during the projected color-curing time. Warm and humid (but not too persistently humid) is ideal.

Bob

EDIT: Damn, you guys are fast!
 

SmokesAhoy

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
2,686
Points
0
Location
VT
I'm with John here, what will 2 weeks gain? As long as you finish before the first freeze the plants would enjoy longer, warmer days by starting later.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,800
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
I've read many tales of woe from members of this and other forums about transplants being killed or injured by frost. That's on the opening end of the season. At the other end, my own experience has been that the leaf harvested later in my summer conditions tends to color-cure poorly. So I see the extra two weeks as possibly beneficial.

Bob

EDIT: Since I prime all my leaf, and allow the tips to fully mature, I foresee better tip leaf by starting earlier.

EDIT 2: You can use the same info to have tomatoes weeks earlier than otherwise. It doesn't work so well with peppers, since they are fussier about warm ground temperatures.
 
Last edited:

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,800
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Since the issue of frost date charts came up, I thought I'd bump this thread. The link at the start of the thread is a useful Zip code specific chart.

The question was raised whether or not to transplant as early as possible. I had no clear answer. I still don't. But, given the horrid weather (heat, little rain) this summer, the earliest transplants have performed much better (by a wide margin) than those transplanted in late May and early June. I believe that difference was entirely due to two factors:

  • the bugs were not yet ready
  • the weather during June and July was not typical for my region
Bob
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,241
Points
113
Location
Northeast Maryland
I thought perique was a style of fermentation not a strain Toby? Of is it the preferred stain to make perique?
It is both. There is a strain of tobacco called "Perique". This tobacco is often used in the "perique" process. A process in which the tobacco is fermented by pressing it into barrels. There are tobacco snobs (er.. I mean..purists..) that will tell you only Perique from St James Parish is the only true Perique in the world. Several of us have made Perique using the Perique process, some of us did not use Perique leaf... and it all tasted the same (as the original)

Air Cured Perique by the way makes a nice addition to a cigar and tastes good in a pipe. It also makes a nice chew.
 

oceansgreen

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
26
Points
0
Location
Wyoming
to me the early frost is a helpful thing as some years you dont know if july 4th will be the first or the last frost
like most we had a mild, dry winter here (winter of 2011-2012) too though so IF i would have had the nessacary seeds/plants i wouldve been able to start as early as april i think with some mortality but not as much as normal, i think that regardless of any chart our frost free isnt down to 10% until june, just from my personal experiences but the comment that late plantings will always yield poorly make a lot of sense to me and the chance that some survive is worth the risk to plant early because if they make it itll be higher yields and such, plus early dieback will help create some "free" mulch and boost fungal/microbial activity through the growing season, as opposed to leaving only whats left from the fall to feed the little guys...
 

Knucklehead

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
9,223
Points
113
Location
NE Alabama
When to plant can also be a function of when to harvest. Do you want your plants curing when it's hot and dry, or cooler and more moist? It's a balancing act in some places.
 
Top