Monday, November 18, 2013

Raise Tobacco Plants

Tobacco is a plant species grown as an annual agricultural crop. The plant was first introduced to the Americas in the 16th century and is now used in medicines, as an organic pesticide and for recreational purposes. The plant characteristics vary based on the climate and soil it is grown in. The tobacco plant will reach a height of 1 to 10 feet, depending on the variety grown.


1. Test the planting soil with a pH test kit, because tobacco plants prefer an acidic soil with a pH of approximately 5.8. Add ground rock sulfur to lower the soil pH.

2. Plant the tobacco seeds or seedlings in a location that has well-drained soil and full sun conditions. Use a tiller to work compost into the soil prior to planting to improve water drainage. Pooling of water will cause root rot.

3. Plant tobacco when the majority of the growing season maintains a temperature above 77 degrees F. Cold weather will inhibit growth and plant quality.

4. Water tobacco plants regularly. They require 40 inches of water per growing season. Do not allow water to pool around the plants.

5. Apply a small amount of non-chlorine fertilizer at the time of transplanting. Do not place the roots directly on the fertilizer. Fertilize as needed throughout the season to maintain a healthy, green plant. Nitrate or tomato/pepper plant fertilizers work well.

6. Remove the terminal bud or top before it opens and any leaf suckers over one inch in length to increase the thickness of the upper leaves.

7. Harvest tobacco leaves once they have ripened. A tobacco plant is harvested six times during the growing season as the plant ripens from the bottom to the top. Remove lower leaves first and tips last.

8. Monitor the plant regularly for caterpillar infestation. Remove insects by hand picking and destroying them.

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