How to Farm Tobacco
There was a time in the United States economy when tobacco farming was at its best.
However, when the negative effects of tobacco were discovered especially to human health, the industry declined.
Yet, there are places where tobacco farming is the source of income and living.
If you are interested to start a tobacco farm, the primary thing that you should think into consideration is the right variety of tobacco plants. This plant is not only grown for cigarette production but also grown as ornamental plants because of its beauty. There are different varieties of tobacco available that offer agronomic features as well as resistance to nematodes, insects and diseases. It is ideal to select at least two varieties of tobacco to fulfill the farming operation. Here are some helpful tips to follow when planting tobacco.
Steps in Planting Tobacco
Plant the seeds in trays within 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. The seeds are ready for transplanting after 60 days. Use individual seed trays for different varieties of tobacco. Prepare a mix of potting soil and peat humus. After the preparation of the mixture you should let the soil soak with water and drain off the excess water. Once drained, you can spread the tobacco seeds on the damp soil on the next day. The seeds will germinate within 14 days then you can transfer it into individual containers as soon as the leaves reach about ½ inch. Be careful in transplanting by scooping out the baby plants along with the surrounding soil.
After 5 to 6 weeks, you can start taking the plants outdoor to get some sunlight. However, you should not take them out during cold frost. During the hardening phase you start preparing the outdoor bed where you can finally transfer the plants. The location should have good drainage and enough sunlight. You should not plant tobacco in a place already used for tobacco planting because there is a great possibility that there is no essential nutrients present in the soil. When the plants are about 8 weeks old and 6 inches tall, you can transfer the plants. Before planting you should add nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Raising the Tobacco Plants
It is not enough to plant the tobacco seeds and let it grow. It is necessary to consider the temperature required in the growing season. Aside from giving the proper care you should also monitor the plant to avoid caterpillar infestation. Once you notice some insects you should remove it immediately through hand picking. Otherwise, it would damage the whole crop. You can only harvest the tobacco leaves once ripened. The harvesting period of tobacco is six times in the entire duration of the growing season. Proper maintenance of the plants would mean more production during the harvest period.
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