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WillQuantrill 2024: starting on time.

WillQuantrill

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After much triangulation between reference materials, and my seed inventory I have set my goals on which varieties for this year. None I have grown before.Added bonus: expansion for the dip garden.
On the cigar side:
Florida Sumatra x4
OG Criollo x4
Vallejano x4
Long Red x4
The dip garden:
KY 17 (burley) x8
Small Stock Black Mammoth (dark air) x8

And so it begins...
 

WillQuantrill

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Game on! I was excited to have a little time this evening to start seeds. Used a starter mix that is very close to @wruk53's home brew and used a diluted 20-20-20 for initial moisture.
5 cells: Long Red, FL Sumatra, Cuban Criollo and Vallejano.
10 cells: KY 17, and Small Stock Black Mammoth.
Bonus that my outlet timer still works for my 100w led grow light. You will see in the pictures I threw in my prized collection of Limited Edition Cubans sampler. I hate to be a braggart but yeah they are worth quite a bit of coin. It's a shame the reflection from my grow light takes away from the view of superior authentic Torcedor craftsmanship.
 

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WillQuantrill

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4 days from seeds sewn, we have sprouts! Actually the majority of varieties!
Long Red, FL Sumatra, Cuban Criollo, and KY 17 are sprouts with Vallejano and SS Black Mammoth yet to appear. Bonus picture included of my Vintage magnifying hood!
 

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WillQuantrill

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11 days from seed and first culling. KY 17 and Cuban Criollo are leading in growth with both varieties having several sprouts with 2nd set of leaves. Vallejano clearly lagging with barely enough seedlings for 2 per cell so germination rate is down on this one. Feel like I had this problem my first season (2 years ago) but hadn't documented anything for corrections in the future. SS black Mammoth started to develop an algae but I mitigated it with a dropper of hydrogen peroxide. Pictured top left is KY 17 Burley, top right is SSBM, bottom left top FL Sumatra, bottom left bottom is Long Red, Right bottom top is Vallejano, Right bottom bottom is Cuban Criollo.
Tips for future: don't use heat mat past germination. Since trays are set up in climate controlled room it just adds to chance of mold. Water by weight, you can feel when the soil is dry. Switched plant food back to MG Tomatoes as it proved itself last season, if it ain't broke...
 

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WillQuantrill

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18 days from seeding, culled out down to 1 plant per cell midweek. Long Red is currently leading in growth. Did lose 1 cell of Burley, thinking it doesn't play as nice with heatmat on and light. Turned the light down 10% and unplugged the mat. Glad to see all of the Vallejano is still here and slowly coming along. Gonna cutback my Long Red. Water and food is a re-learned curve every year but it's come back to me now.
Top left top Cuban Criollo
Top left bottom Vallejano
Top right top FL Sumatra
Top Right bottom is Long Red
Bottom left tray SSBM
Bottom right tray KY 17
 

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WillQuantrill

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24 days from seed, I have been clipping back in my nightly inspection, raised the lights and cranked em up to 100%. Made a starter mix for the Solo cups about 1/3 low moisture potting soil, 2/3 Burpee seed starter that is mostly coco noir with small amount of plant food and 3 scoops of charcoal ash with a garden spade. This the "Goulash" method of coming up with a mix I had lying around. Tested and PH level looked to be about 8-8.5 so I added a guesstimated amount of Jobe's soil acidifier. Poked holes in the bottom of the cups and filled em up. This is when I realized I didn't have enough counter space for all the plants so the executive decision was made to just put cigar varieties in the cups. Transplanted and watered in the Lil guys added 1 gallon of de-chlorinated water that had 2 tblsp MG tomato food and 1 tbsp Epsom salt to the tray which was about 3/8" pooled. I have not tried the plant transplant to cups in the past but since last year I had plants with shallow root balls combined with planting in a mound the damn things had a tendency to fall over. Hoping this year to take steps to mitigate that. Thanks to my wife for unknowingly donating this handy storage container that makes an excellent plant tray! Still on track to transplant May 1, looking to prep the bed outside within the next week.
 

WillQuantrill

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After quite the busy couple days enjoying Easter weekend with family I found a small segment of time to get the yard work a little further along in preparation for bed tillage and springs arrival. I didn't have a whole Lotta time so I opted on one of my Corona's rolled from last year's harvest. I have only smoked one other, the Corojo Puro. This was my Texas Cuban filler and binder with the Corojo wrapper and it left an impression. Corojo was the only variety I really got any wrapper grade leaf out of but it smokes better than I could have anticipated. Aesthetically very appealing with a prominent natural oil but remaining toothy and strong. The flavor on this unassuming hand roll had me triple and quadruple check just to admire what I was smoking. Very prominent vanilla bean yet kind of a tongue bite tartness at the same time. My gullet poured saliva out almost to the point of needing a handkerchief. Dry spice retrohale was bonus. The fact that this delicious stick was of 100% my creation (with much guidance from you fine folks) solidified my love for this hobby and brought much excitement for future blends. He is Risen! And so have my spirits in regards to this year's crop. Happy Easter fellas.
 

WillQuantrill

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Ahhh Saturday! Sunny and 65* here, managed to get a couple hours to try my new tiller my wife bought me for Christmas. While I'm always skeptical of electric yard equipment this thing is tough! I caught the fence 4 times to where it actually climbed it and was hung up. Had to cut it back out with a pair of dykes but it didn't bend nor break. My upper body is sore getting it to dig in atleast 6". It did fine though and alot more efficient than my weedeater tiller I used last year. As you can or can't tell from the pictures I'm expanding the garden, last year it sat in the foot print behind the shed but this year I extended it back to the fence then forward to the dead tree. Glad I got a chance to break it up today as the grass turf took quite a bit of extra tilling. Over the next month I'll spread compost, check PH, then till again before transplant. I included my blueprint and I should have room for the 36 sprouts that are cooking as we speak. Gave them a good haircut this morning and trying to cutback the lower baby leaves hoping it will strengthen the stock and roots. We shall see20240406_123422.jpg20240406_140915.jpg20240406_150113.jpg
 

WillQuantrill

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Day 47 from seed, filled the bed with 38 cubic feet of MG garden soil, and 12 cubic feet of Compost on top filled in the edges and smoothed out. The plan is a week before transplant I'll run the tiller through one last time, turn in the native soil and recheck PH. I wanted to add nutrients to the soil under the grass I tilled up this year during the bed expansion and give little elevation for water runoff to the edges. As an added bonus I got a lesson from my mother on planting a rose bush for my wife (picture included). Plants are doing well, gonna start hardening next week.20240421_162722.jpg20240421_164723.jpg20240421_213831.jpg
 

WillQuantrill

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Day 52 from seed, wow look at the difference 5 days made from my last post! Gave everyone their last haircut before I transplant next week sometime. Our predicted last day of frost was April 21 but I was shooting for May 1 transplant. Looks like that will be perfect timing for my little guys in the smaller cells. 20240426_204450.jpg
 

WillQuantrill

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Day 60 from seed, 2 days past target date. TRANSPLANT DAY! These Lil guys weren't gonna stand for another day being caged in. Much healthier and robust plants this year than last. Only had 1 cell SSBM that looked puny that may not survive out of 37. Best part being my 17 month old daughter helped. Some of my larger cigar leaf plants got the toddler test. You know your plants are healthy when after a toddler steps on it... it springs right back without snapping! The transplant was kind of spontaneous but our weather looks pretty wet next week so I didn't wanna delay. I did my usual 1
potted plant up by the house to harvest seed from this year is Florida Sumatra. Really happy my 5 Vallejano sprouts all pulled through to nice size at T-Day! The ground is still wet so I eyeballed the amount of dechlorinated water mixed with MG Tomato I used to plant with. I would guesstimate just a little over 1 cup per plant. Already planning when I'll have time to remove this dead tree next to the patch.20240503_173932.jpg20240503_181515.jpg20240503_185050.jpg
 

FrostD

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Thanks Knuck, I took a tip from you and ordered one of them fancy RV water filters for watering from here on out. I was just filling up gallon jugs and leaving the top off in the sunlight till its time to use em.
Just hooked up my RV water filter to the hose line this afternoon myself! Big difference imho.
 

WillQuantrill

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Day 63 from seed, small addition I added the little picket sections to keep out babies and elderly dogs. Ha. Only 3 days after transplant but they all look vibrant and relaxed so far. The cigar leaf looks great with the leaves starting to splay. Remembering from last year how little I have to water as it has rained about 1" every other day.
 

Old Gasman

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I cant help but notice that it seems that yourself and your neighbours all have your property boundaries made from what looks like scaffold poles and wire mesh. I just wondered if that's a common thing in your part of the world? It would be anathema to us here, the first thing we'd do would be to erect a fence so no one could see into our garden.
 

Knucklehead

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I cant help but notice that it seems that yourself and your neighbours all have your property boundaries made from what looks like scaffold poles and wire mesh. I just wondered if that's a common thing in your part of the world? It would be anathema to us here, the first thing we'd do would be to erect a fence so no one could see into our garden.
It's called chain link fencing. It's mainly to keep the dogs separated so they don't run as a pack and become a nuisance. If the neighbors are a nuisance, privacy fencing is a good idea. Some people think that a good fence makes good neighbors, some think that fresh vegetables make better neighbors.
 

WillQuantrill

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I cant help but notice that it seems that yourself and your neighbours all have your property boundaries made from what looks like scaffold poles and wire mesh. I just wondered if that's a common thing in your part of the world? It would be anathema to us here, the first thing we'd do would be to erect a fence so no one could see into our garden.
Welcome to suburbia USA my friend! Ha. As Knucklehead said our galvanized chain link fence is more about keeping pets and kids in the yard to mitigate mischief. I'm blessed to have good neighbors.
 
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