How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:09 am
Posts: 11
Hello folks!
I'm a little late this year but I'm starting to tell you about my 2017 crop, which is still going on, and all the changes I made from last year cultivation.
First of all, as I'm in a Mediterranean climate I wanted to try some varieties which could better fit in this climate: Bursa and Samsun.
They are both turkish varieties yet very different one from the other. While Samsun is a regular short stemmed and short leafed tobacco, Bursa is a giant. The plants go easily beyond 200 cm tall and they usually need a support though their main stem can be very thick. The other main difference is that Bursa, having big broad leaves more than 50 cm long, have very thin ribs, so you maximize production. Moreover, Bursa has a great smell! Its leaves start perfuming right after yellowing and they smell great just after their quick color cure; they're sticky because of their abundance in aromatic essential oils and they are so inviting I'd smoke them still moist! But let's not stick with it, I'm showing my log.
The seeds were put in small empty yogurt cans filled with compost and sieved ground. They took a long time to sprout and, inexplicably, some cans never saw any plant. So I started with a very small amount of shoots to be transplanted in a prepared soil.
When I say prepared I mean that in the previous month I circumscribed a small bed with planks and started layering mowed grass and plants, leaves, ground, compost and all the like, watering it and letting the earthworms transform it in a soft rich bed for my tobacco plants. That easily let the plants grow a wide root apparatus being healthy and growing nicely.
I had five Bursa plants and four Virginia plants (sprouted from last year's seed production) which peacefully grew together until the first Bursa plants started to flower.
I let the Bursa flower and tipped all the Virginia, first of all because I didn't want them to get crossbreed and then because I'm actually willing to minimize Virginia production in favour of turkish tobacco.
Some Samsun plants were put directly in the field right next to some beans, some other in cans but what I can generally state is that Samsun leaves, after sun cure and everything else, are almost odorless, while Bursa ones are exceptionally scented.
Some folks told me that Virginia, much more than a variety itself, is a combination of a variety and a specific curing method and that's maybe why some of last year's Virginia leaves I still had in cardboard boxes have a sort of cigar-Kentucky-fire-cured smell instead of the pleasant sweet scent of the Virginias I'm used to put in my pipe. It might be too much work to me to properly cure my Virginia tobacco and that's why I'm reverting to Bursa as my main (if not only) homegrown tobacco.
In all these months I experimented every kind of process, from storing it flat to pressing in bricks, cooking in a pressure cooker to get sort of a Cavendish and last (to get rid of all those leaves still sleeping in the boxes) I also brought them in high case, wrapped them tightly in a nice rope and cooked the rope in my pressure cooker to mellow it and somewhat kill mold spores inside of it. Here's a picture:

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So, now that I have some space I can finally take care of my new crop, which I'm showing you in the next days.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:09 am
Posts: 11
So, I started late, in early June, because of too much work. Here's those yogurt cans.

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They sprouted and the sprouts were transplanted here:

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By mid July this was the picture:

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And by the end of August, wow, here they are. The tall one is Bursa, which has overgrown by far the Virginia beneath it.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 870
Location: NE Washington
If you like sweet tobacco, you will love the Bursa. It is probably my favorite oriental strain. Prelip is a close second and is awesome for it sweetness and aroma, but nothing beats Bursa for production. You can push it to its full potential size (lots of space, water and good nutrients) and not dilute down the flavor, which often occurs with many other oriental strains. The main thing I dislike about most oriental strains is the low production. Lots of work for very little leaf sometimes. Bursa produces lots of nice big leaf for your efforts.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:00 am
Posts: 352
Location: Bologna (Italy)
Hi Ale, and applause!

I after dinner I make a couple of cigarettes with:
a thread (a crumb) of pipe tobacco Forte ,
90% Bursa
and 10% virginia ...
wow, Oriental taste is matched with the smoky taste of Kentucky and I go crazy for those cigarettes! Virginia helps to burn better and rounds / smoothes the mixture.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 12:02 pm
Posts: 106
Location: France
Does Bursa need A LOT OF sun ? Except for a week of heat wave in June, we didn't have a hot summer here. My Bursa grew tall but the leaves never got big. And after curing, it's even worse...They are so small ! If Bursa is from a mediterranean area , maybe it is not good for my area ?
Alemelo, I like the bracelets you made with tobacco! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Virginia in sunny Tuscany, Italy - 2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:00 am
Posts: 352
Location: Bologna (Italy)
Marie, after reading I've covered your photos and photos of your Bursa look nice to me. The leaves of Bursa are larger than other Turkish varieties, but not as large as Virginia or Burley strains.
You taste a leaf taken from the middle part of the stem, if it is good or very good it means that it is fine in France;.)
I'm the first taster in 2015 I did about Christmas, but maybe even ready now, I would try.


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