For centuries, farmers and gardeners have grown self-produced tobacco. Although today, most tobacco is grown and sold by large companies, you can still grow your own tobacco with some expertise and a lot of patience. Growing tobacco is legal, but it may become very laborious. The following describes how to grow and transplant tobacco, as well as the soil and climate conditions for growing tobacco.
Soil and climatic conditions for growing tobacco
Know that tobacco leaves will grow in almost every kind of soil. Tobacco is a very hardy plant. Although according to a rule of thumb, tobacco grows better in well-drained soil, it can grow in almost any place where other crops can grow. The important thing to note is that tobacco will be greatly affected by the soil in which it grows. Lighter soil usually produces light-colored tobacco, while darker soil usually produces darker tobacco.
For best results, please grow tobacco in a dry and warm climate. Tobacco requires a frost-free period of 3 to 4 months between transplantation and harvest. For best results, tobacco should mature without heavy rain; excessive water will make tobacco plants thin and flaky. The ideal temperature for growing tobacco is 68° to 86°F (20° to 30°C).
How to grow and transplant tobacco
1.Sprinkle tobacco seeds on the surface of sterile seeds, start mixing and pour water gently. Make sure to put the starting mixture in a small flower pot, preferably with a hole in the bottom. These seeds should be planted indoors for 4-6 weeks.
The seed starting mixture consists of compost and other nutrients that promote the healthy growth of seeds. They are available in most gardening and home decoration stores.
Tobacco seeds are very small (no more than the needle size), so make sure not to sown them too thick. Leave enough space between the seeds to avoid overcrowding.
Because tobacco seeds are small, it is not recommended to start planting outdoors. Moreover, their nutritional requirements are different from many other plants, so it is a good idea to add some gravel or a special fertilizer specially used for tobacco.
Tobacco seeds require high temperatures of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate properly. If you are not growing in a greenhouse, make sure that your indoor area meets these temperature requirements.
Don’t cover the seeds with soil because they need light to germinate. Covering will slow down or even prevent germination from occurring. The seeds should begin to germinate within 7-10 days.
- Water the soil frequently to keep it moist but not wet. Never let the soil dry completely.
Be extra careful when watering, because the force of the water can uproot the tobacco seedlings just out of the oven and cause death.
If possible, water from the bottom. If the pot you are using has holes in the bottom, place it on top of a tray of water. Leave it there for a few seconds so that the water is absorbed by the soil. This can be watered without wetting the leaves.
- Transplant your seedlings into larger pots after 3 weeks. If watered and stored correctly, the seedlings should be large enough for transplantation.
Transplanting seedlings into larger containers will allow them to grow strong and healthy root systems.
To see if your seedlings are the correct size, try to grab them. If you can easily sandwich them between your thumb and forefinger, you are ready for transplantation. If they are still too small, continue the germination process until they reach the right size.
Transplanting bare tobacco plants (without soil) directly from the seedling pot to the garden is an easier method because it only involves one transplant. However, once exposed, rootless plants can enter “transplant shock”, where some or most of the largest leaves turn yellow and wither. After a week, the tobacco plants will flourish again, but avoiding the impact of the transplant completely will save you a week of waiting time, because the potted plants will begin to grow immediately once they are transplanted.
4.Water the plant seedlings with miraculous plant draft fertilizer or seaweed/surimi fertilizer. This should be enough food for the plants before you are ready to transfer it to your garden in about 3-4 weeks.
If your plants start to look yellow or stunted, you may need to apply another fertilizer. However, proceed with caution, because over-fertilizing when potting may burn the roots of the plant or cause the plant to overgrow, thorny plants.
5.Prepare garden plots for transplanting larger plants. Make sure that the area where you grow tobacco is constantly exposed to the sun, well drained and tilled.
6.Transfer the tobacco plants to your garden. When the plant’s buds are 6–8 inches (15.2–20.3 cm) and you are sure that the freezing period has ended, you can transplant the tobacco into the garden. Separate plants at least 2–3 feet (0.6–0.9 m) in a row, and separate rows 3 1/2-4 feet from each other.
Tobacco plants are “heavy feeders”, which means they will deplete the nutrients in the soil in about 2 years. To solve this problem, please perform a 2-year rotation in your growing space by planting in another location for 2 years, then waiting for 1 year, and then transferring it back to its original location.
You can use plants that are not susceptible to common soil-borne pests (such as corn or soybeans) to rotate tobacco instead of growing tobacco on the open garden ground.