How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
Tobacco Picture Gallery Click Here
It is currently Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:26 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 866
Location: NE Washington
Welcome to HTGT bonehead

If you can grow a tomato, you can grow tobacco. Curing and aging tobacco is much easier than it can sound sometimes. There are many people here who can help in answering any questions you may have.

I have been on the leafonly site several times. Their forum seems to be fairly new, and there aren't any growers or many members there yet. Hopefully it will grow in time. I'm glad to hear you like the leaf you got from them. Your own tobacco will taste even better! :)

If you add your location to your user profile, it will show up in your posts. That will help others answer your questions in a more meaningful way.

Good luck to you on your first season.

Sky


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:47 am
Posts: 5
Location: CT.
thanx skychaser this should get interesting in a couple of months when i start my tobacco plants with my usual tomatoes and peppers. i may have to get another light or two so i have enough room.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:11 am
Posts: 1
Wow, a lot of great info here to get me started. It looks like a lot to handle at first. i have a few questions; how do I go about growing a small garden? I dont have a lot of room where I live. After curing, can I just roll the leaf whole & smoke it, or does it have to be shredded? What would be the minimal number of plants I would need to grow for smoking & having seeds for a crop next year? Is there a way to have mint(menthol) grown tobacco? I'm new to all tnis, please help!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 1572
Location: West Central Fl.
Roy wrote:
The Ideal germination temerature is 68 F at night to 86 F day.
Tobacco prefers rich well-drained soil but will do well even in poor soil. The ideal ph for tobacco is: Seedlings: 5.8 to 6.2 Adults: 6.4 to 6.6 but may vary depending on the strain grown.
Depending on the strain of tobacco and the growing conditions you can estimate each plant will yield enough tobacco to produce about five packs of cigarettes. The plants should be spaced about 2 feet apart with 3 foot wide rows.
Starting tobacco from seed:
Plant your tobacco seeds indoors about 30 days before the last frost. The seeds are tiny and should be sprinkled on a finely textured moist growing medium (Soil). After adding the seeds cover the soil with some newspaper to hold the moisture in and spray the soil from time to time with a spray bottle producing a fine mist. Alternately a Styrofoam egg carton with ¼” holes punched in the bottom of each egg cup can be used. Fill the carton with moist soil, plant the seeds then close the lid until the seeds sprout. Water by placing the carton in a tray of water to allow it to wick-up into the soil. It takes 3 days to 2 weeks for the seeds to germinate depending and the strain and freshness of the seeds. Germinate the seeds in the dark to speed germination. Once the seeds germinate move them into the light or the stems will elongate and the plants will flop-over. Do not overwater the seedlings. Let the soil dry some before watering or the seedlings may be attacked by a fungus at the base of the stem and quickly die. Keep the plants in a heated greenhouse, indoors in a sunny window or indoors under an artificial light source. Cool white florescent light work well but you need to keep the bulbs close to the top of the plants.
Thin the seedlings out by removing all but the best 1 or 2 plants per pot, or plug tray slot. Eventually leave only 1 plant.
Growing tobacco:
Transplant outdoors after danger of frost and the leaves are 2 to 3 inches long.
Keep well watered and fertilized. Tobacco grows like a monster so it has to be fed and watered like one. Using uncomposted manure will taint the flavor of your tobacco so only use compost or chemical fertilizer. Remove any suckers that form so the plant focuses all of it's energy into the main stalk.
All tobacco plants are self fertile so you only need 1 of each variety to be spared from topping for seed production. Flowers should be covered with a fine mesh bag to prevent cross pollination.
The rest should be topped so considerably thicker leaves are produced. Typically the flowers which appear at the top of the plant towards the end of the plants life are removed for tobacco production.
Tobacco is usually harvested in autumn/fall. When ripe the leaves take on a crinkled appearance similar to alligator skin, they may start yellowing & the stems will become brittle. Harvest the whole plant regardless of leaf color or ripeness if there is a threat of frost.
Processing tobacco at home:
Hang the leaves in clusters using a rubber band or wire tie around the leaf stems in a protected area with some air circulation until the leaves turn brown. The leaves must turn brown before they dry so if the leaves begin to dry before turning brown place them in a pile and cover with a blanket or towel. Rotate the leaves within the pile everyday or they will begin sticking to one another and tearing. If any leaves become wet dry the moisture off the leaves before returning them to the pile
Mild Virginia strains can be smoked once they turn brown but are better tasting if cured. Chewing tobacco can be prepared by boiling the leaves in some water along with licorice roots, molasses, chocolate and other flavorings.
The dried leaves will naturally cure when stored. The longer they are stored the better they will taste. Some easy curing strains may be cured well enough to enjoy after 3 months but others may take years. Alternately the curing process can be shortened considerably by using a homemade kiln where heat, humidity and ventilation can be carefully controlled. Harsh tobacco can also be sprayed with plain water or sugar water then oven toasted at 250-275F for 10 to 12 minutes to make it milder.
The leaves should be shredded before smoking. There are machines made for the purpose but good results can be obtained using a common kitchen blender. Moisten dry leaves just enough to make them pliable, roll them into 1 inch diameter rolls then cut the rolls into 1 inch chunks. Drop the chunks into the blender then run on the shred setting for about 15 seconds. Experiment with small amounts until you get a feel for how dry the tobacco should be and how long the blender should run.
Most people prefer to make cigarettes using premade paper tubes with a filter attached. The tubes are then stuffed with shredded tobacco using a machine such as a Topomatic.

just wanted to bump this so everyone would try to read it at least once . Most questions answered here. Would cut down on the many help questions . A forum is place to read, learn, and post experiences. And visit freinds.lol :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:50 pm
Posts: 3
What I’ve learned after growing tobacco 4 years:
It’s not for victims of the easy-chair or the motivationally challenged.
At 100 plants a year, I now have a 20 – 25 year supply. Granted, I only smoke 7 – 8 cigs a day. Plan accordingly. Keep a few notes.
Research first. Picking, drying, curing, kilning, ageing. A useful book for me was Growing and Processing Tobacco at Home by Jim Johnson. It includes interesting history and factoids and alternate ways of curing tobacco.
Here’s how I produce a smooth rich cigarette. Now that I gift it to smokers at Burning Man, 4 people have declared it “the best smoke I’ve had in my life!” Of course, they’ve been smoking tailor made.
I’m near Portland, OR in Zone 7, so I sow four varieties of seed in flats in late March, selecting the sturdiest plant in each cell. After last frost, they are planted 2’ apart in rows 3’ wide. This is crowded and you have to be careful moving among them because they are so brittle. Consider 3’ X 4’ if you’ve room. Like other leafy greens, they need water and high nitrogen availability.
Near budding, chop the top and pinch out axil buds at the base of leaves every 3 or 4 days when they appear.
As the lower leaves begin to mottle or turn yellow, harvest them. Some say these should be discarded. I don’t think so. They will probably be dirty and need rinsing with a fine spray from a nozzle. They just are not commercial quality. I rinse all leaves with a fine spray. They still have plenty of nicotine for me and varieties have different levels of nicotine.
Now cut #22 gauge galvanized wire at a slant so it has a pointy end and thread it through each leaf’s midrib near the big end, front to front, back to back so they don’t “embrace” each other as they dry. Hang the wired leaves in a place that is not humid. I use my wood shop and a Danby dehumidifier set at 55% - 70%.
The leaves should be dry in a month or so. If the mid rib snaps, they are done, and fragile as glass. Now I hang them outside overnight to get some moisture back in so I can handle them, then remove them from the wire and use synthetic yarn to tie them into bundles of 25. Keep working your way up the plant about weekly.
Curing – The aim here is to use natural bacteria to reduce the nicotine and develop flavor. If you grow tobacco, you will most certainly try to smoke a dried green leaf. Due to the obscene nic content you will become ill. But go ahead, everybody’s got to try it.
Inoculation isn’t necessary for the kiln here in the Northwest. Top the plants so only one or two chosen from only one variety can flower and seed, so they don’t cross-pollinate.
By now, you’ll have built a kiln from an old refrigerator or such to cure it in. I used 40 year old Formica cafeteria table tops, figuring the formaldehyde was long gone. Plywood usually gasses off formaldehyde from the glue, so do your research. Wood also mildews. Burning tobacco creates its own small amount of formaldehyde but there is no Recognized As Safe Limit for formaldehyde, so who needs more?
Cigarettes and alcohol (I make my own wine) are my addictions, but I want them clean and pure.
For the additives in cigs, search http://www.archive.tobacco.org featuring the 599 chemicals added to them.
Label the varieties at all points in the process. A digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with humidity sensor lets me know if I’m achieving 115F – 130F at 70% humidity. Start at 115F – 120F and maybe gradually raise to 130F but not over 140F.
After a few weeks to a month, the leaves will have changed color to a darker color and smell like tobacco rather than smelling of ammonia. I used a stainless pot in an electric skillet and a crock pot, all from a thrift store. I added a small fan for circulation. At 100 plants, my kiln was 4X4X8, taking four loads, well-spaced, in November, December, January, and February. In all, 25 – 35 cured pounds per year.
Now, for more fun. After the cure, strip the leaf halves from the midrib and maybe other large veins while you watch TV for a couple of days. Bag the varieties separately.
I grow Virginia Gold, Turkish, Golden Seal, a little Oriental Blend, Original Burley and Barnett, Samsun, Perique. Grow lots of Virginia.
Either you have a vintage tobacco shredder you’ve refurbished or you’ve bought a Cuthof shredder from Sweden (about $120, order direct). Or you’ve decided that you can cut it with a sharp knife. The knife will yield pipe tobacco sizes, require a very strong arm and sharpening the knife every 15 cuts. Get a Cuthof if you are going to smoke cigarettes.
To get your finished leaf into the cutter you will have glued and screwed some sturdy boxes with a lid that will fit INSIDE so you can moisten the leaves and pack them in, pressing with large C-clamps overnight. If liquid drips out, it’s too wet. Baking parchment will keep the brick from sticking. Cotton strips underneath will enable you to pull the brick out. The Cuthof comes with a press that I don’t use but can serve as a guide.
Great, cured, shredded tobacco – go smoke some. But the best is yet to come.
Cured tobacco should be aged at least 6 months. 25 years is better I hear. It won’t go bad like wine.
I pack quart canning jars and water bath can for 10 minutes to get a seal. Tobacco should be aged without air, and should be damp, but not wet enough to mold.
And then, there’s blending. All are blended, mostly Virginia; make it up from there. Most cigs are 70% Virginia.
I’m fortunate to have a Master Tobacco Blender near me, one of only 40 in the US, who has given no help whatsoever; but I have used an aromatic pipe blend of his in my blends to mellow it out.
I keep notes of how many ounces of what is in each blend I make, and archive one quart (6.5 ounces) each time. To sample those in coming years will be great fun.
Addenda: The book I mentioned states that Official Statistics show that lung cancer rates in the USSR and Poland are 6% of total cancers, while in USA and Britain are 26%. This higher rate is blamed on flue curing rather than the more natural kiln curing you will be doing.
I used a cheap electronic indoor/outdoor, humidity reading thermometer the first season inside the kiln. The heat and humidity killed it, but by then I knew what the leaves felt like at 120F and 70% humidity. After that I just dangled the outside temp probe inside the kiln.
The innate leakage and opening once a day to add water (rainwater) was enough ventilation.
I don’t use cloth bags in the kiln, as I can’t see or feel the leaves. I tie them in bundles and hang them on bamboo poles held up with CPVC pipe caps sawn in half, barely touching. I don’t use a rack in the bottom. Simple has worked for me. On the other hand, if you’ve read this far, you know that this is a big undertaking that required daily attention and timeliness.
I tried my own flavorings and decided they were unnecessary added chemicals that didn’t significantly affect the taste. I tried about 15.
When the Cuthof blades dull, sharpening is possible, but not always easy. I sharpen blades as a hobby, using diamond hones. Check Harbor Freight. The blades are marked as to which side of the drum they were on, then clamped with office type spring clamps on a 3/4” thick by 1 ½” wide piece of wood, with the edge barely overhanging. This is a razor type edge, so will be ground about 10 – 12 degrees rather than the 22 ½ degrees of a kitchen knife. Draw on the blade edge with a felt marker first, so you can see if you’ve hit the right angle. Once you sharpen an edge with diamonds, you likely will be hooked. The steel bed stays flat, uses no lubricant, is faster than anything else, and lasts a very long time.
Thanks to the How To Grow Tobacco Forum, I gleaned enough to get me started. Now after 4 successful years, I’m passing on what I’ve learned.
If you’re up for it, you’ll save a great deal of money, have great taste, and the satisfaction of making the healthiest tobacco around.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 866
Location: NE Washington
20 - 25 year supply... Take that tax man!! lol

Excellent post Oregon City


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
Thanks for the great post, OC. It sounds like I (we) can learn a lot from you. If you would share some more of your kiln experience I have a few newbie questions. I have an old upright freezer that might make a good kiln. I am assuming you put the rainwater in the crockpot - with the lid on or off? ...or do you use the lid to adjust the humidity? Is it advisable to put pressed plugs in the kiln? I realize that this might bore the experienced growers but if a post inspires me I will post questions until I get banned :) In the end, curious people are always winners...after we die we will either learn all the answers or, in the other case, at least we will have no more questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:50 pm
Posts: 3
Lynyx, it's nice that you've already got the box. I experimented with the crock pot and electric fry pan, no lids, both on low heat. They used 4 liters of water each day, but that depends on how tight the seal is.
I've never put plugs in to cure. Others here might have a better answer. Conjecture suggests that since the process involves native bacteria and enzymes, it wouldn't matter. It's done without outside heat in large bales of leaf. But since the usual way is to cure bundles hanging loose or in bags, I'd do it one of those ways first, then experiment.
I use rainwater because we don't have acid rain here and treatment plants can't remove pharmaceuticals. If your tap water is good and not downstream from a sewage plant, don't worry about it, though there would be chorine, which is unfriendly to you and bacteria.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5533
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Not to worry, L...
All of us are learning, here.
There is a LOT of information in the old posts. I would advise you read through as many as you can.
...Days gone by, when the board was much smaller, I DID read through every single post on the board! I don't know how long that might take, nowadays!

We've been fortunate to have maintained a very pleasant and helpful group here for years! For me, it's almost like home away from home. :-)

The owner of the board has most definitely banished people, here and there. for specific reasons, but to my knowledge, never without giving them ample warning that he was unhappy with their course of action. He does have the Rules posted, clearly, and concisely. He does mean it.

IMO, it's his baby, and he is welcome to conduct affairs as he wishes. I am in no position to argue. I would not do so.

lol You re gonna have so much fun with this! And it leads to learning about all sorts of things.

Best
rc


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Germany
Thanks for the tips OC and RC. I wish I would have replied to this post sooner but somehow I got lost while reading more of this great forum. I have some harvest now from my winter plants and am experimenting with hanging and newspaper. Some Virginia dried with some green left. The Badischer Geudertheimer (sorry, I have no clue what its called in English) tobacco is taking on a nice middle brown color. Both hanging. My newspaper attempt will be stopped and I will hang them up because they are staying green. I'm purdy sure the temp is too low. I have lots of sprouts now from 9 different strains. If my energy and memory don't fail me I should get at least a cig out of this, and definitely some experience.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:56 am
Posts: 7
Location: Taromeo, QLD, Australia.
Thank You for all the information. :P


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Growing Overview
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:30 am
Posts: 3
Hi, I found the forum to be very informative and thought of joining here. Thanks for having me.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group