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Wruk53 2021 fall/winter grow log

wruk53

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If you want a true nicotine hit, grow some N. rustica. Small plants (and a raging hell of suckers), tiny leaves, terrible smell, mild taste.. almost everything advises you to not grow it. But what a nicotine boost it will give to your blend!

pier
Thanks, It so happens that I have some Rustica seeds from Victory seeds labeled as "Wild or Sacred Tobacco". I grew some last fall, but ruined them through inexperience. I'll give them another try.
 

wruk53

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Two pics of winter crop seedlings. 32 Shirazi and 20 Trabzon2. We have not had a freeze here in over 10 years, so I'm hopeful for a successful Winter grow. Having said that, it'll probably be the coldest Winter we've ever had, with a record setting number of freezing nights.

A few days ago, I primed 60 leaves from the Shirazi. I have them in a box for yellowing. Today, I decided to stalk harvest the rest of the Shirazi. They look pretty green in the photo, but they are mature and beginning to yellow on the tips. I'm confident they will color up good. It is very warm and humid on the Lanai. I'll try to post some follow up pics as they change color.

The leaves in the last 2 pics were color cured on the lanai, then moved to the garage for drying.

I'm guesstimating that I'll end up with 4 pounds or so of cured Shirazi and maybe 3 pounds of Harrow Velvet.
 

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wruk53

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I am curious about your Trabzon 2. Trabzon and Trabzon 2 are listed as different varieties, and have different Pi numbers, but appear to be identical in @skychaser's photos. My Trabzon sun-cured easily. Neither physically resembles a flue-cure variety, from the photos, since their leaves are petiolate.

Bob
I can't magnify the photos on his site, but it does appear that both plants are petiolate. The main reasons I chose it, is because of the advertised low height, yield and high nicotine content. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.
 

wruk53

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Progression of coloring in my Shirazi tops. Once they were well colored, I moved them to the garage for drying.
 

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wruk53

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Most of my seedlings are doing good. They should be ready to transplant around mid October.

I filled my buckets with mulch and set up my rows today. Weather's been a little nicer lately, highs in the mid 80's with lower humidity.
 

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wruk53

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I gave my seedlings a haircut this morning. I removed the bottom 3 leaves from each plant. I know that's not the way it's generally done, but I thought I'd try it since the bottom leaves are usually junk anyway. I plan on transplanting early next week.

Yesterday, I sowed some Mohawk Rustica seeds directly into the containers in the last photo. If they germ okay, I'll thin them down to one per container later on. I've not been too happy with the nicotine content of the other varieties I've grown so far, so I thought I'd give it a try. If and when they germ, I'll post some pics.
 

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Cray Squirrel

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Plants are looking great.
As far as removing bottom leaves I can say that any leaf no matter the size or if it's even mostly damaged will still grow, photosynthesize and help thicken the stem.
When I grew poinsettia trees, I would start with a small, rooted plant and remove all suckers to make a long, tall stalk. The leaves on the stalk would get huge and the trunk would get heavy and strong. A young grower friend of mine, removed his leaves and his stalks were a third the height and thickness of mine. Just a note in passing.
The nicotine in my dark tobacco is very high because I left them to fully ripen and gain a lot of sticky resin. I'm very happy with them. When you are making dip, do you add a base like sodium carbonate to free base the nicotine? Also I like to finish my plants on the dry side so they concentrate their resins and produce more. Tobacco is similar to other plants I have grown commercially so I can use many of the same methods.
One thing I havent tried with bacca plants yet is to manipulate the upright growth into being shorter and making the stems much stronger by using the plants response to gravity and light. I lay the plant on its side. The growing tip will grow away from the earth and towards the sun. After a day, I'll rotate the plant and it will reverse its growth the other way. After a few days if this the stems get very hard and the growth isnt vertical as fast. Makes the stems thick and hard. Might not be practical in flat growing tobacco plants but in small plants you could just lay the plant on its side and roll them a bit. I'll probably try this method on bacca next growing cycle. Most common methods for growing tight, compact plants is high light levels, adequate fertilizer and keeping the plant on the drier side. Air movement is also a good method to thicken stems. Cool days and warm nights advance the growth of short, compact plants but warm, humid days and cooler nights cause plants to stretch. I had never heard of using the haircut method of slowing vertical growth and thickening stems. I never did this with mine this year, just used my traditional methods described above. Will try it on some of next years crop. I grew my transplants in 72 trays and transplanted to the garden from that 6 pack size.
In order to get heavier plants are you able to grow directly in the ground instead of pots?
20210505_033228.jpg20210505_033214.jpg
 

Cray Squirrel

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You should compare the soil temperature between the white buckets and the black buckets at mid-afternoon on a sunny day.

Bob
When growing in containers in the nursery, plants on outside rows, facing sun side wouldn't have root growth on the side that was hot from the sun. One factor in the outside rows being shorter than interior plants. Always used dark pots because it was the industry standard.
 

wruk53

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Is that gnarly branch in the final photo solid enough to make a tobacco pipe?

Bob
I have no idea, it has a very compact grain right now, but it's still green wood. It's what we always called "water oak". It is a type of oak tree, but I don't know the proper name of it. I just use it when I smoke some meat or fish.
Plants are looking great.
As far as removing bottom leaves I can say that any leaf no matter the size or if it's even mostly damaged will still grow, photosynthesize and help thicken the stem.
When I grew poinsettia trees, I would start with a small, rooted plant and remove all suckers to make a long, tall stalk. The leaves on the stalk would get huge and the trunk would get heavy and strong. A young grower friend of mine, removed his leaves and his stalks were a third the height and thickness of mine. Just a note in passing.
The nicotine in my dark tobacco is very high because I left them to fully ripen and gain a lot of sticky resin. I'm very happy with them. When you are making dip, do you add a base like sodium carbonate to free base the nicotine? Also I like to finish my plants on the dry side so they concentrate their resins and produce more. Tobacco is similar to other plants I have grown commercially so I can use many of the same methods.
One thing I havent tried with bacca plants yet is to manipulate the upright growth into being shorter and making the stems much stronger by using the plants response to gravity and light. I lay the plant on its side. The growing tip will grow away from the earth and towards the sun. After a day, I'll rotate the plant and it will reverse its growth the other way. After a few days if this the stems get very hard and the growth isnt vertical as fast. Makes the stems thick and hard. Might not be practical in flat growing tobacco plants but in small plants you could just lay the plant on its side and roll them a bit. I'll probably try this method on bacca next growing cycle. Most common methods for growing tight, compact plants is high light levels, adequate fertilizer and keeping the plant on the drier side. Air movement is also a good method to thicken stems. Cool days and warm nights advance the growth of short, compact plants but warm, humid days and cooler nights cause plants to stretch. I had never heard of using the haircut method of slowing vertical growth and thickening stems. I never did this with mine this year, just used my traditional methods described above. Will try it on some of next years crop. I grew my transplants in 72 trays and transplanted to the garden from that 6 pack size.
In order to get heavier plants are you able to grow directly in the ground instead of pots?
View attachment 39339View attachment 39338
The reason for trimming the lower leaves, for me, is that growing in small containers the lower leaves block my access to watering as they lay on top of the mulch and sometimes cover it completely. When the plants start getting large, they will use every bit of water in a container that small every day and must be watered daily. It's just easier for me to water without having to bend over and go under the leaves. BTW, great looking seedlings you have there.
 

wruk53

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When growing in containers in the nursery, plants on outside rows, facing sun side wouldn't have root growth on the side that was hot from the sun. One factor in the outside rows being shorter than interior plants. Always used dark pots because it was the industry standard.
That doesn't happen with a hydroponic method, after the plants are harvested, when I pull up the stumps, every bit of the grow media comes out with a solid root ball all the way around.
 

wruk53

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Cray Squirrel, I am unable to get good results growing in the ground for the following reasons: The soil in this part of the State is what we call "sugar sand", it has just about zero nutrients in it and is infested with root knot nematodes. Farmers in this area do grow commercial crops here, but they have to fumigate the soil first, fertilize and use raised beds covered with plastic film. The fumigant is not available to purchase without a pesticide license and it takes specialized equipment to apply it. So, it would be way more work and expense than I am willing to put forth.
 

Cray Squirrel

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That doesn't happen with a hydroponic method, after the plants are harvested, when I pull up the stumps, every bit of the grow media comes out with a solid root ball all the way around

Those black and white buckets sitting outside in rows are not in soil?
 

wruk53

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Those black and white buckets sitting outside in rows are not in soil?
No, they're filled with cypress mulch. There are 5/16 inch holes drilled about 2 1/2 inches up from the bottom and they are fed daily with soluble fertilizer mixed with water. It's a passive hydroponic system. The holes provide drainage and aeration for the roots. The mulch, when saturated, holds moisture and is still loose enough to have plenty of air flow between the wood chips. The bottom 2 1/2 inches server as a small reservoir. It would be just about impossible for the plants to drown from overwatering.
 

Cray Squirrel

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No, they're filled with cypress mulch. There are 5/16 inch holes drilled about 2 1/2 inches up from the bottom and they are fed daily with soluble fertilizer mixed with water. It's a passive hydroponic system. The holes provide drainage and aeration for the roots. The mulch, when saturated, holds moisture and is still loose enough to have plenty of air flow between the wood chips. The bottom 2 1/2 inches server as a small reservoir. It would be just about impossible for the plants to drown from overwatering.
Do you have to pin em down so they dont blow over?
Yeah everyone thinks growing in a warm place like Florida is easy but the sand, salt, fungal load and insects makes it hard.
So you dont recirculate the fertilizer. One shot and the next day do it again. You must be jumping pretty fast when they start getting big. Do you use a proportioner to pump fertilizer on the fly or mix in a big tank and pump it on?
While I'm thinking about it, there's a truly amazing soluble fertilizer by Jack's that great for bacca. Has all the trace and minor elements plus a big load of calcium and magnesium. I mostly use horse poop, wood ashes and side sideband a dry granular fertilizer a couple inches below and to the side but if I hit them a few times with the soluble early ir when they're growing so fast, they outpace the dry fertilizers then a good shot keeps them moving.
Here's the spiel.
" Jack's LX 15-5-15 Calcium + Magnesium 25 lb. Fertilizer A truly comprehensive formulation with all of the macro and micro nutrients Contains 4% calcium and 2% magnesium, which makes it an ideal choice for use with water that is low in those nutrients Formulated with 80% nitrate nitrogen Conatins a Peat-Lite level of micronutrients "
Kicks butt!!
 

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