Tobacco Growing Information

Raising tobacco is very easy. The seeds you received should be started inside in flats. In northern states, start the seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Tobacco can be ready to harvest for curing about 60 days after transplanting, therefore it can be raised in almost any state. If raising more than one variety of tobacco, use separate flats. A mixture of peat humus and potting soil should be used. Potting soil only can be used if you select a high grade of commercial potting soil. Place the mixture into the flats, soak the soil with water and allow the excess water to drain off. The next day, sprinkle the tobacco seeds onto the surface of the damp soil. Do not cover the seeds as they need light for germination. Tobacco seeds are very tiny, so be careful to spread the seeds evenly. Keep the soil damp being careful not to wash the seeds around when you water. You will begin to notice sprouts in about two weeks. Transplant outside after all danger of frost is past.

If you have a moderate growing season and can start the seeds outside, try to sow the seeds where leaves or wood has been burned. The plants will thrive in these spots. Tobacco requires a lot of nitrogen and potash which is supplied by wood ashes. The ashes from charcoal grills are also beneficial. I recommend applying a good brand of garden fertilizer to the area where the plants will be grown. Working in rotted manure is very good for the plants. Never raise tobacco plants in the same spot in the garden for over a few years at a time as tobacco plants will totally deplete the nutrients in the soil.

You should space the tobacco plants about 2 ft. apart in rows 3 ft. apart when practical. The plants are large enough to transplant when the largest leaves are 2" or larger. Always transplant outside in late evening or when it is cloudy and overcast. Water plants thoroughly after transplanting and water daily each day until plants have become established. When growing in tubs, limit the number of plants grown. Tobacco plants need to be exposed to full sun while growing.

Tobacco roots grow quickly and often close to the surface. Be careful around plants when hoeing or cultivating around them. Try not to disturb the soil anymore than necessary. As the plant begins growing, remove all suckers as they will sap the plants growth.

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