PLANTING, RAISING & USING
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
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. We 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
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.
Tobacco plants suffer
from several diseases and are attacked by several leaf chewers. We recommend using sevin dust to
control insects. Be cautious not to use any form of systemic insecticide that will penetrate the
leaf. Remember, you may be chewing or smoking this plant and you do not want to be ingesting
chemical residues. For a truly natural pesticide, purchase an ounce of tobacco dust from us and
make your own supply by mixing one teaspoon tobacco dust, one teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2
teaspoon liquid soap to one gallon of water.
HOW TO CURE TOBACCO LEAVES
We have had pretty
good luck with the following method: First you take the freshly cut leaves and tie them in a bundle
by the stalks. Then hang the bundle in a shady place. After about a week the leaves are pretty dry.
Then you can mist them with a misting bottle about three times a day. Continue this until they are
a pretty brown color throughout. It usually takes about 3-4 weeks. Then roll and smoke.
If you know of other
curing methods which are easily adaptable for home use, please feel free to send them to us and
We'll include them on this page. Also please send along your own experiences and ideas about
growing your own tobacco so that we can share them with others.
OTHER NON-SMOKING USES FOR
Not everyone who grows
tobacco does so to smoke it. Tobacco plants have rich green foliage which also makes it a very
attractive plant addition to any garden. Most varieties also have very nice flowers which provide a
brilliant contrast to their large leaves. Of particular value as ornamental garden plants are the
Rose Tobacco, and Jasmine Tobacco which grow abundant flowers.
organic gardeners use it to create pesticides for their gardens that are completely biodegradable
and very effective. There are specific varieties best suited for this like Mountain
Tobacco which also makes a good filler for other herbal pesticides. Many non-smokers see
this as the tobacco plants most noble use.
Still some people like
tobacco but prefer to chew it rather than smoke it. This form of tobacco is most commonly known as
snuff. It is generally tobacco which has been flavored (often with herbs or fruit extracts) and is
stored until use in small tin cans or "snuff boxes." It is then chewed to release the flavor and
tobacco nicotine. Generally it is held between the cheek and gums until discarding. Small
Stalk Black Mammoth Tobacco and Velvet Tobacco are excellent plant varieties for
believe that there are no or little health problems from using snuff because they aren't inhaling
any smoke. The use of snuff does dramatically increase your chance of mouth, throat, and stomach
cancers so its use shouldn't be taken lightly, nor used to excess. Although this form of
consumption was more popular in the past, the general lack of spittoons in local establishments is
a testament to it's declining popularity.
The Surgeon General has
determined that tobacco smoking can be hazardous to your heath. If you grow and use tobacco for
smoking, we strongly suggest you get additional information available from our
other Gardening &
Plant Loving Links page regarding the health risks
involved. We also have a very good Article with Tips on Quitting Smoking available on this