How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
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 Post subject: my indoor grow
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:38 am
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois
hi there!

I stumbled upon this fantastic hobby about 4 months too late to get an outdoor grow in, so i decided to do an indoor grow. I live near chicago and boy it gets cold here quick in the fall.

I have had pretty good success with the grow based on a lot of the reading I have done here. My plants aren't quite as tall as expected, but the leaves are of pretty good size. The area I grow in is in my basement in a 5' x 18' area, and is set up with 2 400w metal halide lights.

I have 24 plants growing for cigars
12 conn broadleaf
6 florida sumatra
6 havana

The connecticut and florida are doing well but that havana has been a bit stubborn... anyways.. i am about 3 months in right now and am pretty happy with the results. i started in seed trays, transplanted to cups, then finally 5 gal grow bags.. the soil is 2 parts topsoil, 2 parts compost and 1 part sand. I have fertilized 3 times in total with tomato fertilizer and fish emulsion oil, once a month after sowing (transplant to cups), about 3 weeks later (transplant to grow bags), and about 3 weeks after that (1.5 ft. tall). So it has been around a month since I last fertilized and now the havana and conna are starting to show buds.

Since transplanting to bags I water about 6-8gal for all 24 plants about every 10-14 days.. it seems to keep the plants happy.

Below are some pictures of my progress.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .21.02.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .01.12.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .21.43.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .56.55.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .58.06.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... .21.05.jpg

and a short video clip of my setup
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15811922/Baccy/ ... -17-37.mp4

So now I have about 3-4 weeks before I start priming since I know the flowers are coming and need to get my setup in order for drying/color cure.. i will worry about the fermenting setup in a bit.

So the question of my post..
I am starting to pick some leaves from the bottom of the plants in preparation for curring. I have a room that I keep at 70F/70%RH, but some of my experimental leaves have dried with a hint of green. Hence, I am going to try the pile method to bring out a bit of yellow before hanging. The issue I am having is that my leaves are extremely thin. After drying you can strech them out and nearly see through them.. Im guessing this is a direct result of growing the plants indoors and not having the elements harden them up (read thicken the leaves).

Should the leaves on my plants thicken up as they become more mature? Is this normal?

Thanks for reading my long post!
Greg


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 Post subject: Re: my indoor grow
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
Greg,
Welcome to the forum. It looks like you're doing a great job.

About the thin leaves:
  • low light conditions produce thinner leaves
  • bottom leaves are thinner
  • less mature leaves are thinner
You might want to allow the leaves to become more rugose (lumpy bumpy) and turgid before priming them. As you work your way up the stalk, the leaves will naturally become thicker.

I've found that lugs (those bottom leaves) have a greater tendency to dry with some green, even though they spend longer in the shed than the leaves primed later. I believe this is because they become senescent before they have fully matured.

The very top leaves, the tips, can be left on the plant for a long time, until they acquire the texture of dragon skin. These will be intense ligero leaves.

Good luck.

Bob

P.S. If you'll click on "User Control Panel" in the upper right, and add your location to your profile, then it will appear in every subsequent post, and allow other members to provide more helpful advice (once you go outdoors).


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 Post subject: Re: my indoor grow
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:38 am
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois
Well thank you for that good insight!

I plan to not water them any more to "stress" them a bit to get that alligator texture going. Is this a good approach since I'm not growing outside in 90+ weather? I was also considering lessening the amount of light they get, but I don't want to stunt the growth at this stage in the game. Not sure if I should change anything really but I want to make sure the leaves are ready to go in a month or so since most of my plants are starting to show buds.

Thanks again for your help.

Greg


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 Post subject: Re: my indoor grow
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I'm afraid container growing and indoor growing are beyond the scope of my knowledge and experience. I'm sure others can answer your indoor growing questions.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: my indoor grow
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:47 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Reno, NV
I don't have a lot of experience with indoor growing, but the containers I do. I grew my entire crop last year in 5 gallon buckets. I woudl agree with the above on the the leaf development. My plants only got about 6 feet tall at best and that was with full outdoor sun. Leaves did not seem to me to be stunted very much though.

Watering was an important issue. to much water and the plants did not want to grow, to little and they would not grow. We used a moisture meter and simply measured each pot. we let them get all the way down to dry on the meter and then gave them enough water to make them moist. They seemed to like that the best. unless it was very hot it seemed we only had to water about every 3 days but that changed as the plants got larger. Being indoors they could require quite a bit less water.

Best of luck.
Daniel


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