Whole Leaf Tobacco

MRM's first grow

MRM

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Texarkana, Arkansas
That highly anticipated time has come.
Today I filled a 72 cell float tray with seed starting mix and set it on its maiden voyage to start wicking moisture and make ready for seeds.
I gently poured the mix into the middle of the tray forming a big mound. I then used a piece of 1/4" x 1" x 18" red oak to distribute the media, kind of like screeding concrete (if you're familiar).
I then placed the tray into the float tank. I made the tank from 3/4" oak plywood. It measures 15" x 28" x 3.5" ID. The bottom is a piece of 1/4" ply.
I lined it with 1.5 mil visqueen folded 4 ply. With the liner laid flat in place I added strips tacked to the top to hold the liner in place.
I have had water in the tanks for 1 month and no leaks.
I emptied that water and refilled with 4 gallons and let sit for 3 days.

This tray is dedicated to cigar varieties.
When the seed mix shows proper hydration I will place my seeds.20200212_170510.jpg
I will be starting the following (in the trays)
Corojo 99, criolla 98, Dominican Olor, Piloto Cubano, little dutch, long red, lancaster seed leaf, Florida sumatra, Conn broadleaf and a mystery wrapper. This year is kinda narrowing down what I like and next year concentrate on them.
All of my seeds came from nwtseeds and the mystery wrapper was included in my order.
As of now my plan is 6 of each and I'll add a few extra of some to fill the tray.

On the right side of the pic are the lights I will use and you can see the stands they will sit on beside each tank. I will use shims to raise the lights as the plants grow.

Orchid fertilizer and a tds meter, and digital thermo for the water (just for my curiousity).

In another week or so I will start the flue cure tray. This tray is 128 cells and it will hold Cherry Red.

The shelf is one I threw together and sized to fit in front of the south facing window.
This is a spare room of the house and it stays 72°.
20200212_170259.jpg
Many more pics and posts to come...
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I was smiling ear to ear when I saw them this morning.
I tried to put 1 per cell, but I got a lil careless. Might save the few extras and give em their own cell.
I don't know what you will have to contend with during your outdoor grow, but early on i tend to lose about 15% of my plants to wind/rain, hares, and cutworms. It's always good to grow more than you need and to have backups to fill in empty spaces.
 

MRM

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Texarkana, Arkansas
I didnt take a pic but I have SEVERAL more little seedlings popping up.
Evidently I wasn't as careful as I thought, several cells have multiples. I'll just give em their own place.

On another note, i have had 2 cigars this past week with habano 2000 wrappers and they were excellent. I had a La Auroura 1495 and a HR blue (holy wow it was awesome).
Now I need to order some habano 2000 seeds. I know it wont be the same due to soil, but I still gotta give it a go.
I'll snap a pic of new growth soon.
 

MRM

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Nov 16, 2019
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Location
Texarkana, Arkansas
Everybody has came up, almost all thinning done (saving a couple for a few more days) and many have put on 2nd leaves.
I fertilized with grow more 20-10-20 orchid fert. 2 days ago. Looks like the Lancaster in front is anxious to grow!20200227_164444.jpg
Three days ago I started a few flowers.
Left to right:
Marigolds (disco mix and Dwarf bolero)
Calendula
Cosmos
I've got more flowers, russian mammoth - velvet queen and dwarf sunspot sunflowers, borage, California twister poppy and nasturtium, but they can wait to be seeded in the garden area.20200227_164632.jpg

I also started 80 cells of cherry red flue cure.

Gonna be a bunch of stuff growing around here cause I also started 6 more each of criollo 98, lancaster seed, piloto cubano and 12 cells of habano 2000.

Now I need to order more weed barrier.
 

MRM

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Location
Texarkana, Arkansas
Do you have curing space for all the tobacco plants yet?

Bob
haha, very valid question. At this exact moment I do not have enough. I have the curing chamber for the flue cured. I have some room in my shop where I have thought of building a curing rack (easiest option). My wife has been saying that we need a pole barn to keep our tractor, lawn equipment and boat out of the weather and sun. I have been drawing and figuring to see if it's in the budget (she says 24' x 36'). Another option I have considered is adding a wing shed off of the long side of my shop, that could easily be 10' - 12' x 36' and approx. 8' inside height at max.

As for the cigar varieties - should I consider priming or stalk harvesting ????
 

deluxestogie

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I've found that most (not all) cigar varieties can be effectively stalk-harvested. If you are looking for the perfect wrappers, then you may have to prime some leaves as they mature. The underlying consideration otherwise is that if the leaves of the variety (in your dirt during a specific growing season) mature very gradually up the stalk, these need to be primed. If leaf maturation is more or less synchronous, then you can stalk harvest. My general practice has been to watch for signs of leaf maturity at the top of the stalk, and if leaves toward the bottom are at risk of being damaged because of their advancing maturity, then I'll prime and string those, and stalk-cut the rest when ready.

For extraordinarily tall plants (i.e. too tall to hang in my shed whole), I prime leaf up to the point at which the remaining stalk will fit.

Bob
 

MRM

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Nov 16, 2019
Messages
65
Points
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Location
Texarkana, Arkansas
I've found that most (not all) cigar varieties can be effectively stalk-harvested. If you are looking for the perfect wrappers, then you may have to prime some leaves as they mature. The underlying consideration otherwise is that if the leaves of the variety (in your dirt during a specific growing season) mature very gradually up the stalk, these need to be primed. If leaf maturation is more or less synchronous, then you can stalk harvest. My general practice has been to watch for signs of leaf maturity at the top of the stalk, and if leaves toward the bottom are at risk of being damaged because of their advancing maturity, then I'll prime and string those, and stalk-cut the rest when ready.

For extraordinarily tall plants (i.e. too tall to hang in my shed whole), I prime leaf up to the point at which the remaining stalk will fit.

Bob
I gotcha, let the plant tell me what it can do, just pay attention. I thought I had read that most cigar varieties can be stalk harvested. I have read so much (on this forum) in the past couple of months that it gets hard to keep up with, you should see my bookmark list!!! I may need to do some priming in that case as I would like some nice wrappers. Thanks for the great info.
 
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