Skip to comments.Growing my own tobacco -I've had it with these prices! (A journal)
Posted on 06/21/2005 8:25:15 AM PDT by RandallFlagg
Since I have to get to bed, I'm just going to paste what I placed into the coffinnails.com forum. There's relevant questions inclused that I'll place on this thread if they get answered.
Day one -finally got my seeds!
Them things are SMALL! Sheesh! I had to fuzzy up the end of a Q-Tip to place them into the trays. Before I screw things up, there's a few questions I must ask. The 200 seeds I got are Dark Virginia. I'm doing 16 at a time.
Will the unused seeds keep for a while? I'd like to grow 'em in staggered stages. Will regular tap water work, or will I have to use distilled or rainwater? I have to used that kind for my Venus's Flytraps. Flourescent lighting. Will it work well for staggered stage growing year-round? Humidity? Someone told me that nicotine is a natural insect repellant. Is this true? Has anyone here saved the $$$ they expected to save? That's why I'm doing this. What's the best soil to use?
Luckily, there's a big place near my home called Paulino's Gardens, where I can find almost all the accessories I need for this venture of mine. I'll update on this thread as I go along.
OH! First entry: Got seeds three days ago and placed them on top of potting soil in 16-cube icetray container with holes in the bottom. Placed trays in my carnivorous plant terrarium that uses three 15-watt flourescent bulbs on a 18-hour timer. Sprayed and soaked with rainwater. Crossing my fingers.
Last question for the day: How long should it be before something actually grows?
Better grow it in pots or on expect to grow tobacco in your garden - once you plant it that is all that will grow there afterward. I'm sure the actual smoked product will actually taste better and not have all those chemicals in it too.
> I predict after you go through your first crop, you will be back to the convenience store buying your smokes.
I predict that your nosey neighbors will have the federales on you before you can even enjoy your first smoke :)
If you keep them cool (not frozen) and dry they should keep for a year or more.
Will regular tap water work, or will I have to use distilled or rainwater?
Tap water will do in a pinch. Distilled or rain water will likely contain fewer contaminants.
Fluorescent lighting. Will it work well for staggered stage growing year-round?
For starting the seeds it will be fine. Keep it close to the seedlings or they are likely to get "leggy". Raise it as they grow. As another Freeper suggested, they will need to be transplanted outdoors in order for them to flourish. A fluorescent bulb will not provide enough lumen's to insure that lower leaves receive the light they need.
Too much and the plants are likely to develop fungal / bacterial problems. Too little (combined with inadequate watering) and they will wilt.
Someone told me that nicotine is a natural insect repellant. Is this true?
True. Nicotine sulfate is a poison. A crude insecticide can be made by soaking tobacco leaves in water (as one would make sun tea).
What's the best soil to use?
Any normal fortified seed starting mix will be fine. As the plants grow macro (N,P,K) and micro nutrients will be required in sufficient quantities. They can be incorporated into the soil prior to transplanting. Signs of nutrient deficiency will indicate one or more is lacking. You can probably google up pictures of this if necessary.
How long should it be before something actually grows?
If the seeds are not covered too deeply, I'd expect to see initial signs of growth in a week or less.
Agreed. I'll be pleasantly shocked if anyone as conservative as Justice Thomas sits on the SCOTUS ever again.
Wow, I had no idea Alaska looked that good. And they pay you to live there.... does it actually get nice and warm sometimes?
I hate cold weather but that seems like the final frontier for people who want to be left alone and do their own thing.
Yes. It's illegal if a judge says it is: to grow any plant not explicitly stated as legal to grow for personal consumption, in a legally proscribed quantity, with legally proscribed restrictions on the rights of the grower to gift the crop to a neighbor. The mere ability for the crop to be part of a economic transaction, or to be passed across state lines, is all the justification needed for the federal government to make the growing, packaging, transferring, gifting, selling, transporting of a crop illeagl in the US today.
This is a liberal interpretation of the ruling, it could explicitly prohibit the growth of all crops without government granted priviledge, as the decision was written.
Wheat and marijuana are illegal to grow for private intra-state use, according to the Raich decision by the supreme court, delivered earlier this month.
Google "Raich Ashcroft" for more info.
Watch out for the grow lamps. The electric company watches for electricity usage increases consistent with running grow lamps, and notifies the government, who then sends in the DEA to bust down your door and possibly murder you without you ever having had a chance to tell them that what you're doing is perfectly legal.
I don't know that you need to go to the trouble of starting them indoors, I always just sowed the seeds directly on the soil. You don't want to cover them with soil as the germination is triggered by light. No special soil, no special water.
Don't know what part of the country you live in but the plants are partal to humidity and heat, obviously, as most tobacco is grown in the south.
Once the plants are growing you need to watch for, and remove, the sucker shoots. Just like growing tomatos.
The drying process is the most critical, IMO. As someone posted earlier, you tie the leaves on to a stick so they get enough air around them to prevent them from molding. Hang them in a dark, dry, room. Tobacoo barns used to have big furnaces in them and the sticks would be hung on rafters all the way to the top of the barn.
Once dry and after you have cleaned the tobacco off the leaves it will probably be too dry to smoke. You should get a humidor to put the tobacco in and add a tiny piece of orange peel to add a little moisture back to the tobacco.
This link has quite a few photos:
Is the tobacco good enough to use for cigars?!
I spent every summer of my life until my early 20's on the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland. The beach community was part of a tobacco plantation.
We walked through many a tobacco field in shorts, or bathing suits, and never had a problem.
We would go from the fields, to swim in the bay, and back and forth, so maybe that kept any icky stuff off of us.
Our mother rubbed us down with Witch Hazel every night just in case.
Was down that way within the past two years or so, and all the tobacco is gone.
Yes, dependng on your rolling skill, but in a pipe is much easier. I believe they would roll a cigar, then cut off a chunk and stick it in a pipe when the situation didn't allow the time.
Smoking big ones all at one time was a rich man's perogative, I'm sure.
Growing is easy, it's the eternity of curing that'll get you back to buying the stuff.
I had two green Iguanas in their own big separate housing units with day lights and night lights going 24/7 for almost 10 years. No one questioned our increases in electricity.
I never thought about that, but no one ever questioned us.
When speaking of grow lamps, one needs to differentiate between the small fluorescent mentioned by RandallFlagg, and the 400W -1000W Metal Halides and High Pressure Sodium's employed by growers of other "specialty crops". The later will use a great deal of electricity and may arouse suspicion, while the former shouldn't cause any problems.
It isn't illegal to grow tobacco.
There was a story about this on FR a while ago, but I couldn't find it. Basically, any significant and continuous jump in your bill will do it. Freebird Forever is right though, such low wattage probably won't do it.
But I'd better watch out when I start up some servers at the house.
I know I'm late to the party here - but Jim Johnson's book is not only a great read - but it is practically an encyclopedia of what you need to know about growing and curing your own tobacco (I got it last year!)