Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Growing Tobacco. Guide to growing your own tobacco plants at home.

Shamans Secret Garden: A guide to growing tobacco at home for a fraction of the cost.

Start growing your own tobacco plants at home for shamanic use.

By Dr. Xochipilli

Note: This article is updated regularly.

The Native American shamans have been cultivating and using the tobacco plant since ancient days. They used it in there peace pipes and as offerings for the great spirit. They would often leave small offerings of tobacco, as a sign of thanks to the great spirit.

We have years of experience and offer expert advice and professional tips and techniques so you can start growing your own tobacco right away. It's easier than you think.

YES- For personal use it is legal.
NO-Not to sell, You can not sell tobacco without a license from the government. Selling tobacco that you grow is illegal in all countries. Actually in many countries it is illegal to trade or even give tobacco away, so check your local laws.

The big tobacco companies would love for you to think that it is hard to grow. But the truth is that it's really not that hard to grow at all, actually quit simple. You just need to find the proper tobacco plant for your area and even sunlight for healthy grow. The tobacco plant is strong and seems to take care of itself without much fuss.

The average number of plants for one person, for one year seems to be about 12 plants.  The average number of plants that people grow ranges from 12-24 plants.

photo of Growing tobacco the tobacco plant
Growing tobacco the tobacco plant 

Make sure and get good quality tobacco seeds.
Good seed equals a good plant.
There are many sources online. I would stay away from ebay, because you just don't know what you are getting for sure and we have had some bad luck with the quality of the seed.
Here are a few companies online:

WARNING: Some tobacco plants are dangerous to humans! They are way, way to high in nicotine. 
Make sure to get tobacco seeds that are for smoking, and not a ornamental tobacco plant.

There are many methods to starting your tobacco seeds. Seeds need only three things to grow; warmth, air and dampness. Seedlings do not need light to sprout, they use the energy already packed into the seed.  Sow seeds about 24 inches apart.  You should start seeds inside for a few weeks before transplanting outdoors. We usually go about 3-5 weeks before moving the plants outside.

METHOD ONE: Wet Paper Towel.
With this method, the seeds are placed between between two damp paper towels.  After a few days, the seeds will sprout, then you simply, place the best ones right into soil for growing.
METHOD TWO: Peat Pellet
This method is my favorite. There is less of a harsh transition that could shock the seedlings. Peat pellets come in little disks, that expand with warm water. You simply place the seed in the hole, and wait for the tobacco seedling to outgrow the pellet. When this happens, you just place the peat pellet into a container with soil.
METHOD THREE: Direct in Soil.
This method requires the planting of many tobacco seeds right into the ground. Some will sprout, other will not.  Then you must "thin out" the weak ones to give the other strong plants a better chance at life.

Tobacco grows the best in a warm, fertile and well drained soil. Add sand, perlite, or vermiculite to soil for better drainage. If the soil does not drain well, tobacco plants can get what is called rot root, which is hard to fix, once the damage is done.

Here is a general organic formula that works well for most gardens.
• One Part Organic Soil mix
• One Part Peat Moss
• One Part Perlite
• 1/4 Part Humus or Compost
• 1/16 Part Organic Fertilizer  (mix of: Blood meal, bone meal, cotten-seed meal)
• 1/4 Part Worm Castings

Tobacco plants need to be feed regularly for rapid growth. You can use organic fertilizer for the best tasting tobacco. Hands down, organic fertilized tobacco taste way better than chemically fertilized tobacco, the taste difference is profound. Do not over fertilize, this can kill the plants and lead to bad tasting tobacco. If there are signs of ever federalization, flush the plant with regular water for a few days. Choose a fertilizer that works for tomato plants, a standard 15-15-15 blend works well.  A fish emulsion  works very well as a all natural organic fertilizer. Never ever use pesticides on any plant used for human consumption.

The Tobacco plant needs a lot of light, so make sure and place the tobacco plant in a sunny spot. The plant should get 6 hours of direct light a day minimum, more light is preferred.

For optimal growth and robust harvest, there are few techniques experienced growers will use.
Remove Tops
You should remove the terminal tops of tobacco plants, so that the upper leaves will grow thicker and larger overall.
Remove Buds
You should also remove the buds before they open to force growth into the tobacco leaves.
Remove Suckers
The small axillary buds on the leaves should also be removed after they have grown a few inches.

When the tobacco plant has grown large enough and there is a lot of large leafs, it's ready for harvest and curing. Usually about 4-5 feet tall.

This is the most important step and should not be overlooked. Improper curing can be the main reason for bad tasting tobacco. Curing can take the most time of the whole process. People cure tobacco for a few months to a few years in some cases.

The main thing to keep in mind when curing is a "slow dry" process. The tobacco should not be cured or dried quickly, as this will lead to harsh tasting tobacco.

A cool, dry and airy place is really all that is needed. A controlled environment with minimal temperature and moisture fluctuations is best.   You do not want the tobacco leaves to dry to fast that they become brittle and dry out. You also do not want to dry the tobacco to slow, because it can sometimes rot and develop a fungus.

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1 comment:

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