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HOW TO GROW TOBACCO

Growing your own tobacco is so easy and not dissimilar to growing tomatoes. Place commercial seedling compost into a tray and soak the soil with water and allow the excess water to drain off. 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 as evenly as possible. Keep the soil damp being careful not to wash the seeds around when you water; better still water from below or use a mist sprayer.

Start the seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost, making sure they are kept warm during this period and not allowed to dry out. A typical propagator is ideal. At a temperature of 75-80 degrees, seeds typically take a matter of days to germinate; though at this stage they are still rather small. At lower temperatures, the germination simply takes a few days longer.

Plantlets are ready to be transplanted into bigger pots, when the leaves are about 1cm in length. Plant outside after all danger of frost is past. Care should be taken not to disturb the roots. Feed should only be given to established and rapidly growing plants after they have been replanted. Tobacco requires a lot of nitrogen and potash, which can be supplied using standard garden fertilizer. You may want to grow your tobacco using only organic fertilizers.

Ideally, space the tobacco plants about 2 ft. apart in rows 3 ft. apart. Transplant outside in the evening or when it is cloudy and overcast to avoid the youngsters from drying out. Water plants thoroughly after transplanting and water daily until plants become established. Like tomato plants, the branches (suckers, offshoots), should be removed to focus the plants energy on the large leaves.

Tobacco plants generally require full to partial sun to grow properly. Tobacco is ready to be harvest after 60-90 days after planting.
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