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SlamFire 2023 Grow Log

SlamFire

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4/22/23. - Ten round (8 are 3.5" by 3.5", the other two are somewhat smaller) plastic containers with numerous 5/32 holes drilled in the bottom are filled with Miracle Grow potting soil and thoroughly soaked with distilled water. *

4/23/23 - After having been allowed to sit overnight, allowing the water to evenly distribute throughout the potting mix, the pots are seeded. I started 10 varieties, intending to have 100 seedlings to begin with, with the intention of having 80 seedlings maturing to harvest. Each plastic container was labeled with the name of the cultivar using permanent black sharpie.

Cultivars planted: Connecticut 49', Connecticut Broadleaf, Corojo 99', Criollo 98', El Coroja (PI 405643), Florida Sumatra, Habano 2000, Havana 263, Nostrano del Brenta, Pennsylvania Red.

How I spread the seed - I fold a post-it note in half, and use the "V" in the middle to gently and controllably (more or less) release seed onto the soil. I estimate that I added about 30 seeds of each variety to the growing pots.

I placed the pots in nursery trays, which were then placed into a chamber with two 16 watt LED grow lights. The lights are on a timer, which is adjusted to mirror the light cycle in my area; I adjust the timer as the times of sunrise/sunset change. I have a Govee Bluetooth device in the grow chamber to monitor temperature and humidity; temperature/humidity with the lights on is 78 F and 65% RH, respectively.

*Why distilled water? It has a PH similar to natural rainwater, but without the bacterial, fungal, and chemical contamination.
 

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SlamFire

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4/25: Sprayed a half-dozen or so mists of water on all of the soil; the ambient humidity had been steadily decreasing over the past two days and had landed at 60%. My greatest fear (and the greatest fear of anyone starting these molecule-like seeds) is that the soil dries out (or that water hits the surface too forcefully -and the seeds are rapidly escorted over top of the pot and into oblivion) - ask me how I know!
 

SlamFire

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First sprouts have arrived! Criollo 98 & Habano 2000 (Northwood Seeds), and my own Connecticut Broadleaf seed saved from my 2021 grow (originally from The Tobacco Seed Co. In the UK) have entered the world! Now the other seven varieties need to pick up the pace.
 

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SlamFire

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Latest pic of tobacco seedlings...Clockwise from left: Criollo 98', Habano 2000, Connecticut Broadleaf, Havana 263, Corojo 99', Nostrano del Brenta. I divided the Habano 2000 and Connecticut Broadleaf into their own pots today, so I have 20 seedlings more or less happily adjusting to new pots. Not pictured are two containers with El Coroja and Florida Sumatra seedlings. I have exactly 2 Connecticut 49' seedlings (disappointing germ. rate) and my Pennsylvania Red was a bust (old seed, so low expectations).
 

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SlamFire

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First pic is Havana 263, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Habano 2000 from left to right. The Habano is growing very quickly; I'll probably have to clip a few leaves to prevent plants from being shaded out. 2nd pic is Corojo 99, Nostrano del Brenta, and Criollo 98, ready to transplant!
 

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SlamFire

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The long weekend has begun! So, first priority, of course, is to check on the tobacco seedlings. The first three pictures show the following plants from left to right: Habano 2000, Connecticut Broadleaf, Havana 263, Nostrano del Brenta, Criollo 98', Corojo 99', Florida Sumatra, Connecticut 49' - three plants only, and El Coroja... It seems suprising that plants grown in the same conditions should vary so widely in size, but that's what I got.

The 4th pic shows a mixture of Habano 2000, Conn. B., Hav. 263, NdB, Criollo, Corojo, and Florida Sumatra in a tray ready to be set outside to start acclimating to the sun! Considering that the NdB, Hab. 2000, and Corojo 99' need 70 to 90 days to reach maturity, I need to get those in the ground no later than June 1...
 

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SlamFire

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Feast or Famine, Drought or Deluge!

It's been a while since I've posted; like many of you have experienced, the weather conditions in my neck of the woods have not been conductive to cultivating much of anything... My patch of dirt in Michigan went more than 30 days without anything more than a misting rain, and now we've received many inches of it over the last few days...

My potted plants, along with a few in semi-shade, are thriving... Those plants that I planted in full sun, in an area that I couldn't irrigate, are dead. Even the weeds in my yard died!

Slugs are heartily feasting upon the lower leaves of my tobacco; some are so fat and lazy that I can pick them off in the morning because they haven't bothered to move!

Life goes on.

Here are a few recent pics of my garden:

3692 shows Connecticut Broadleaf in the foreground, with El Coroja immediately behind, and my rapidly expanding Caroline Thornless Raspberry in the background.

3693 shows Criollo 98 in foreground, Florida Sumatra immediately behind, and Havana 263 last.

3695 shows thriving Caroline Raspberry; it should produce a nice harvest in the fall.

3696 - my native soil warriors - Nostrano del Brenta in front, followed by Connecticut 49', Corojo 99' and finally Criollo 98'

3697 - clockwise from top left: Criollo 98, Florida Sumatra, Corojo 99, Nostrano del Brenta - those are 15 gallon pots and I expect that the plants will grow to full size

3698 more plants plus chives

3699 overgrown leftover seedlings
 

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SlamFire

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Tobacco is Resilient! Since my last post, I've battled Katydids, aphids,
dime-sized hail, and heavy winds....The hail damage was particularly annoying... Katydids can do a remarkable amount of damage, and the nymphs are tiny and green... I was hoping for a few wrapper-grade leaves, but I'm going to have to settle for filler.IMG_1949.jpeg
 

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SlamFire

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Hey All ... It has been awhile! While this has been a challenging growing season here in Michigan, I will have a harvest! I left my plants in the field for as long as possible, and some are ripening quite nicely. No hornworms whatsoever this year - Katydids were my only insectivorous nemesises...The dime sized hail that fell in August was the most problematic - followed by long periods of drought punctuated by several inches of rain falling within the span of a few hours.

Images are as follows :

3913 Pot grown Habano 2000, ripening nicely and soon to harvest
3914: Connecticut Broadleaf
3915: Corojo 99' - a 15 gallon pot will allow for the growth of a full-size palnt.
3916: Nostrano del Brenta
3917: Florida Sumatra
3918: Caroline Thornless Raspberry
3919: Criollo 98' on left, Florida Sumatra on right
3920: Connecticut Broadleaf, field ripening
IMG_3913.jpeg
 

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