Whole Leaf Tobacco

Need help regarding curing in an arid climate

Saguaro

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I live in the desert, and I want to grow a very small batch of tobacco in containers. I purchased organic wild tobacco seed from Sustainable Seed Co. (and they referred me to this forum.) The seed is native to Arizona, so I figured it should be able to handle my climate (2% humidity most days, except September-25%). The instructions for curing include having high humidity. Is there no way around this requirement?
 

greenmonster714

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Welcome to FTT forum. I am sure you will find answers here. Someone will pipe in soon. I am a first year grower and have no experience curing a crop yet. There are many threads here that cover that subject. Check out the curing section in how to grow tobacco while ya wait for some input. Again welcome aboard.
 

Alpine

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Welcome Saguaro. Humidity is easily obtained if you cure the leaves under a plastic dome with a wet floor. A pail of water to wet the ground every morning will provide all the humidity needed. Just keep it simple!

Pier
 

Tutu

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I sent a batch of seeds to a few friends in Namibia last year and told them to just sun cure in their first year which is the easiest thing to do in a desert climate I suppose. You can sun cure them as whole leafs or you can chop them while they're green and sun cure them straight as cutrag. This is called Rajangan (in Indonesia). But of course it depends on what you want to do with your tobacco. If you plan on making cigars please discard this idea.

Where exactly do you live if I may ask? Including this information in your general profile is a good idea in case people are helping you with these sort of questions that relate to location!
 

ArizonaDave

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I live in the desert, and I want to grow a very small batch of tobacco in containers. I purchased organic wild tobacco seed from Sustainable Seed Co. (and they referred me to this forum.) The seed is native to Arizona, so I figured it should be able to handle my climate (2% humidity most days, except September-25%). The instructions for curing include having high humidity. Is there no way around this requirement?
First of all, the BEST growing seasons are fall (when the temp. falls below 100* F), (Start seeds in August) and after the first frost (Feb.-March) Start the seeds 6-8 weeks indoors. In the high heat days, water every evening (a good soaking). Above 95*, the leaves will wilt, but will come back overnight. I grow Little Dutch here, and they even survived the 1 frost we get a year. I'm thinking of growing Mexican Varieties next year, which some are similar.
PM me for Little Dutch seeds or any Desert pointers you may want to know. They're great for Cigar or pipe.

I wanted to add that longer, narrower leaves to the best here, although we had one guy a couple years back, that was successful with 5 gallon container size, on many types. Don't use Miracle grow soil. The fertilizer is ok, but the type I use is for Tomatoes found at "Fry's" grocery store. I also use their soil. For some reason the Miracle grow soil does mold indoors, as well as outdoors. The Fry's brand does have water containment material, but doesn't mold.

~Just my 2 cents worth. I live in SW Chandler.
 

Gavroche

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Welcome Saguaro. Humidity is easily obtained if you cure the leaves under a plastic dome with a wet floor. A pail of water to wet the ground every morning will provide all the humidity needed. Just keep it simple!

Pier

Have you pics Alpine? a plastic dome sealed ?
I have a problem of space of drying. The solution of the last year in my wood was bad.
 

deluxestogie

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I would suggest using a large sheet of plastic to create a humidity tent--either inside a shed or, for sun-curing, over the top of the curing leaf.

For sun-curing, create low racks (close to the ground) for hanging outdoors, then drape clear plastic over it all. Wetting the underlying ground can maintain humidity. For all the effort involved, I would suggest growing something besides (or in addition to) "Wild Tobacco." Although North American "native" species (N. rustica, N. quadrivalvis, N. bigelovii, etc.) have traditional and/or sacred values, they did not become part of mainstream tobacco culture, because they are much less productive or don't taste all that nice--or both. Colonial Virginia could not sell their tobacco to Europe until they switched from rustica to Orinoco (a N. tabacum variety).

Bob
 

Alpine

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Have you pics Alpine? a plastic dome sealed ?
I have a problem of space of drying. The solution of the last year in my wood was bad.
Sorry Gav, no pictures ... but it is a rather simple construction made with scrap wood and opaque plastic, simply put in partial shade directly over the ground. I dismantle it every winter and rebuild it the next autumn. I don't think it need to be sealed. Humidity is lost quickly, but watering the ground below the leaves releases moisture day and night. Very simple but works for me.

Pier
 
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