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Tobaccofieldsforever 2022 Grow Log

Tobaccofieldsforever

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My shed is rather ancient. It's made of thick, oak planks, with no battens to seal the gaps. The roof is metal. There is no insulation. It has a door and one window.

Garden20220719_6577_shed_WwallExterior_500.jpg


The same wall viewed from the interior.

Garden20220719_6575_shed_WwallInterior_500.jpg


The door remains always open, with the screen door closed. I anchored a "baffle" to block half the doorway (using an old, metal louvered, folding closet door). This limits any blown rain to the corner with no tobacco.

Garden20220719_6574_shed_doorBaffle_500.jpg


Above the single window, I attached a window casement cover, to also prevent rain intrusion.

Garden20220719_6573_shed_WindowCover_500.jpg


During the day and the night, the summer and the winter, it just sits there as is. The tin roof heats the interior to a little above ambient, while the passive ventilation limits that rise. When the nights cool down, and the humidity climbs, the leaf absorbs some moisture. [I used to keep a window fan blowing outward constantly. But I've noticed that the passive ventilation works just as well. So I no longer use the fan.]

Given my above the Blue Ridge location, this has allowed tobacco to air-cure easily, and hang for as much as a year, without problems.

For structures without these fortuitous conditions, the best you can do is ventilate to reduce temps during color-curing, and close up if the 3 day average humidity remains above about 75%, hoping the rising temps during the day will reduce the interior RH. If your shed is approaching 140°F during the day, then maintain some ventilation. [Fire-curing was invented for areas that are persistently too humid during the curing season. The late autumn tobacco auctions were invented to get the leaf out of the shed as soon as possible.]

Bob
Thank you for the pics and advice! My shed does not have insulation in it either it is just relatively “new construction” ( 6 years old I believe) and seems to hold heat quite well. It also has electric (one outlet) so I may put a small fan in it as you recommended.
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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Yes. Many of the hybrid Burleys and Bright Leafs grown commercially today are sterile. And I have no idea why, but occasionally the flowers on heirlooms will lack female parts do to some environmental factor. I've had it happen on big grows of Izmir and Florida Sumatra in different years. Both times it was from my own seed stock that I had grown before and have grown since with no problems. I got lots of flowers but no seed.

I have a tobaccum x rustica cross that isn't sterile. I have some picts of it somewhere. It looks like what you might expect. Has obvious qualities of both plants. I don't know what good it is though. Unless you wanted to breed some of the rusticas traits into another tobaccum strain. ??

That Buckeye Red looks like something I should grow. Nice plants. And it looks like it might be a white stemmed burley to me. It will be easier to tell for sure when it starts to ripen up.

That is a very nice looking field you have there Mr TF. Some very top grade looking plants in every row. And my compliments of the excellent job of weed control. It matters!
Thank you very much! I spent A LOT of time weeding this season and am embarassed to admit it but just recently (though the tool has been sitting in my barn for years) discovered how much I like hoeing with a hula hoe. The buckeye red was planted late due to unexpected seedling death this season, it gets much bigger/taller than pictured. The whole sterile plant thing is very interesting. I had an issue with some hybrids I created. The entire flower kept falling off (all the parts are present) and a few of them would make seed. When this seed was grown out again said problem was gone. Kind of makes me feel like nature is trying to tell me that it wants nothing to do with this unholy abomination I am trying to create, like I am dr Frankenstein or something…haha!
 

deluxestogie

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Thank you for the pics and advice! My shed does not have insulation in it either it is just relatively “new construction” ( 6 years old I believe) and seems to hold heat quite well. It also has electric (one outlet) so I may put a small fan in it as you recommended.
If those nesting boxes open into the interior, that might be yet another approach to ventilation. Since you have electric power in there, you can also consider an oil-filled radiator for chilly and damp autumn curing days.

Bob
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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Once a hanging stalks of leaf wilt, they can safely be hung (or perched?) shoulder to shoulder. In my shed, it usually takes a day or two for them to wilt. Then I move them close, to make room for more.

Bob
Thank you, I was worried to put them too close. I feel fairly certain about this plant being ripe but since I have never grown a dark Virginia before I am going to ask the forum: is this plant ripe (ready to stalk harvest and hang?)43A98B4B-113B-400F-95EB-EBA93FF3544A.jpeg
It is not showing much yellow but you can see a mottled lighter green upon close inspection and it is very bumpy and wavy etc…
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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That’s a mature-to-ripe plant. Dark Virginia leaves don’t show much yellow when on the plant (sometimes the very tip of the leaf turns yellow, but not always) but will cure without any problems.

pier
Thank you very much! Now, do you or anyone else (I know for certain @deluxestogie has grown MD 609) know what a mature/ripe MD 609 plant will look like? Some of them seem to be showing a little yellowing and I have never grown Maryland variety before so I am not sure. I am trying to get away with the least possible maturity/ripening and still have quality leaf because it will mean a more mild tobacco which is what I prefer because I have plenty of strong tobacco stores up. Also because it should mean less aging time to a palatable smoke but we will see. I will no doubt end up with some over ripe plants but this is just my current goal…
 

deluxestogie

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My MD 609 grow was a bit sluggish. Here is an image I posted at the time (Aug 1, 2021):

Garden20210801_5941_MD609_maturity_600.jpg


The immature leaf is thinner, more flexible, less rugose, and a somewhat different shade of green from the more mature leaf below it. I just checked my spreadsheet. They were stalk-cut Aug 28, 2021 (27 days after that photo was taken). Plenty of time to just sit back.

[EDITORIAL: maintaining a spreadsheet of each year's grow, with detailed data on each variety is a pain in the butt. Butt...sometimes it comes in handy.]

Bob

ADDENDUM: MD 609 is always a pussy cat. I would allow it to mature well, to insure that it color-cures easily.
 

Tobaccofieldsforever

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So I’ve been having what I call issues sun curing my orientals. They cure up ok but look kind of dark and seem to have dark spots near the tips and elsewhere that are almost blackish. They just don’t look anywhere near as nice as the pictures of hanging oriental I see on the internet and I feel like I’m doing something wrong. 3B91F7AC-DFCB-4451-AE01-254CABE087D9.jpeg
 
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