REFRESHING THE RESEARCH GARDEN
We are getting ready to plant our next crop of Tobacco! This time we will be planting a variety called 'Connecticut Broadleaf'.
This variety of tobacco produces large leaves perfect for wrapping cigars. It has a large spread so we needed to widen the spaces between rows in our Research Garden. We have also used this opportunity to mix some of the compost we produced in the Compost Facility into our soil to make a rich substrate for healthier, robust plants.
PLANTING THE CONNECTICUT BROADLEAF
The 'Connecticut Broadleaf' tobacco seedlings have been planted out into the prepared Research Garden.
We have high hopes for this crop as the leaves from this variety will be used to make the wrappers and binders for the cigars produced locally at Cayman Cigar Co.
Extra care must be taken to keep these tobacco plants free of pest and disease so that the leaves are perfect, without any holes or tears
FERTILIZER ISSUES IN THE REASEARCH GARDEN
Dec 16th, 2020 - Before new fertilizer schedule
Jan 4th, 2021 - After new fertilizer schedule
The photo on the left shows our Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco seedlings as they were on the 16th of December 2020. We were concerned with the slow growth we were seeing in the 1 month old plants so we decided to get in touch with tobacco experts for guidance and the diagnosis was that the plants were not getting enough Nitrogen and Potassium.
Our fields are set up to deliver fertilizer through the irrigation system but most tobacco crops are not fertilized this way. Therefore we had to figure out how we would apply the required amount of nutrients using our system. The tobacco experts gave us some suggestions and we put them into action.
The picture on the right was taken almost three weeks later, and as you can see, it shows the improved growth we have achieved with our adjusted fertilizer volumes and schedule!
NEW TOBACCO VARIETY PERFORMING WELL
This is the first time we have grown Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco and we are finding that they are much different than the tall Criollo '98 tobacco plants!
These tobacco plants do not grow very tall but they produce extra-large leaves that will be perfect for wrapping the locally made cigars rolled at Cayman Cigar Company.
COMMERCIAL FIELD PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY
The plentiful rain we got in December of last year prevented the machinery from accessing the Commercial Field and caused a delay in our preparations.
As of February 2021 the irrigation system has been installed, the plastic cover pinned down and the field mostly planted out with the next crop of Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco seedlings This field holds the majority of our tobacco plants and we expect good results, especially since we have worked out some key issues already with the Research Garden!
COMMERCIAL FIELD TOBACCO COMING ALONG
The Broadleaf Tobacco seedlings that were planted out in our Commercial Field in February are doing well!
When they were planted out they were quite old because of a delay in planting due to a period of bad weather. Now however, with adequate water, fertilizer and nice sunny days, they have taken off. This field holds 1,975 plants - the majority of our 2020 crop.
If all goes well with the rest of the growing season, the harvest, curing and fermentation; these plants (along with the 670 plants that we grew in the Research Garden) will provide enough tobacco leaves to make 8,744 Caymanian Cigars!
SEEDS PLANTED FOR 2021 TOBACCO CROP
It's that time of year again!
We plant one crop of tobacco a year, generally at the beginning of November, but the seedlings are started at least 6 weeks before they are scheduled to go out into the field.
The roughly six weeks that the seedlings spend in the nursery allow them to establish a good root system and help us to make sure that the plants are a uniform size before they are planted in the field.
Last year we successfully planted, harvested and dried the Connecticut Broadleaf variety of tobacco. This year we are going back to Criollo 98, a filler variety. We have had success with growing this variety in the past, and now that we have all of the buildings and necessary equipment in place for the proper drying and fermentation, we are looking forward to the results of this crop.