Did you ever wonder how tobacco is grown and manufactured? You must have asked yourself once or twice whenever you see your grandpa or uncle puffing some at the balcony. It’s interesting where it comes from and how it’s made.
If you’re interested to grow tobacco in your garden, here’s a perfect step by step guide to get you started:
Things you will need
- Potting trays
- Potting mix for tobacco
- Tobacco seeds
- Check the season if it’s the best time to plant
Tobacco thrives in warmer weather, so be sure you will plan to sow your tobacco seeds indoors at least 5 weeks before the last frost. It requires a temperature of at least 75 degrees so the seeds can germinate on time.
- Purchase some tobacco seeds
Tobacco seeds are surprisingly smaller than expected. A bag can yield a big harvest in due time if it grows healthily. You can get the seeds in a nearby gardening depot, farmland or online (just make sure it’s authentic before you buy).
- Start sowing the seeds
- Pick a potting mix appropriate for tobacco seeds to help it germinate faster. Transfer the potting mix to the potting tray evenly, not too tight or too airy. Then, carefully spread the tobacco seeds lightly onto the potting mix. You don’t have to cover the seeds with the potting mix.
- The seeds need enough light so it can grow well for the germination. If it’s covered very deep, it will never grow. Then, water the tobacco seedlings evenly but not too much. Light watering is required for new potted tobacco seeds.
- Monitor the tobacco’s germination process
- Tobaccos will germinate in less than 2 weeks and even faster than that if the temperature, potting soil and watering are right. If it takes longer than that, be patient, some seeds take time to germinate due to some factors.
- Check on the seedlings regularly especially the potting soil. The soil must be moist enough but not too watery so the seeds can grow well. Lightly water the soil and do not let it go dry during the germination stage. Also, when watering newly sprouted tobacco, do it slowly so it won’t die and uproot deep to the soil.
- Prepare the tobacco seedling for transplant
Transplanting in a Pot
- As soon as the tobacco seedlings are big enough to be transplanted, 3 weeks since it has germinated, prepare the pots for transplant.
- Pick a bigger pot that can hold the plant well and let its roots uproot deep down as it grows.
- You will need to transplant the tobacco seedlings into pots if you don’t have an outdoor garden. Make sure the seedlings are hardened beforehand so it can survive to the harsh weather outside.
- Harden the seedling for at least a week outdoors so it can adjust perfectly. Then, you should transplant it to a spacious pot where it can grow bigger and stronger.
- Transplant the seedlings carefully and avoid ripping the roots off. Do it carefully but quick so the roots won’t be exposed in the air for too long. Cover the roots with enough soil and ensure that the seedlings are stable.
- Then, water the newly transplanted seedlings thoroughly.
Transplanting in the Garden
- When transplanting tobacco seedlings, make sure to space them at least 3 feet apart since these plants are heavy feeders.
- After transplanting, water the seedlings evenly. Make sure to check the weather everyday if there’s rain or not to avoid your tobacco to be overwatered or underwatered. If rain is scarce for the day, make sure to water the tobacco at night.
- Always check for weeds in your tobacco garden since it’s more exposed to plant contaminants. Make sure to weed it all out and dedicate the soil’s nutrients solely for the tobaccos for it to grow healthy.
- Check for pests
This is the hardest part of the task, having enemies that kill your crop. Pests like aphids and hornworms like attacking tobaccos. Ensure that you check the tobaccos regularly for signs of infestation. If it has been infested already, concoct organic pesticides at home like a mixture of water and dishwashing soap. It’s said to be effective in eliminating terrible pests.
- Wait for the Harvest
As long as you take care of your tobacco plants, keeping the soil moist and away from pests, you will surely have a better yield for this season.
A single tobacco plant can yield at least 85 grams of dried tobacco. The healthier the crops this season, the more harvest you’ll get from the tobaccos.
The tobaccos will be ready to harvest after 3 months of caring in your garden. You can do as much as 5 harvests within two weeks since it was ready. Make sure to cut off the lower part of the leaves first upon harvest.
May your tobacco plants grow well in your garden and have a bountiful harvest.