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Growing Tobacco At Home

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by bobkemp, Oct 19, 2009.


    bobkemp Member

    Hi --

    I started this thread to help people grow their own tobacco at home and stop paying the outrageous taxes that make it so expensive.

    I was posting on the older thread called "anyone grow tobacco" or something like that, but it looks like it pretty much petered out.

    I will start with a very quick overview and go into more details later. Please ask me as many questions as you like and I'll try to answer them. I'll be watching this thread daily and now that my harvest is in and dried, I'm fairly free to respond.

    Tobacco is an annual crop that is generally field grown. The seeds are started indoors 6-7 weeks before the last average frost date in most parts of the US, much like tomatoes, and transplants are planted in the field usually 2 feet apart in the row, with rows 3 feet apart. You can grow tobacco successfully in a suburban setting in 4-5 gallon pots.

    There are many strains or varieties of tobacco which are grown for specific uses. Some are used in cigarettes, others as cigar or pipe tobacco. There are chew, dip, snus, snuff and specialty tobaccos you can grow.

    The plants range from 6 - 8 feet tall and you can expect to harvest 16-18 mature, 2-3 foot long leaves from each plant. A good estimate for the final dry weight is 3 oz per plant. To put this in perspective, a pound of tobacco usually yields about 2-1/2 cartons of cigs. Roughly 6 oz of tobacco per carton. The cost of growing and preparing tobacco for use generally totals about $3 a lbs not including capital costs. This makes the price of a carton of cigarettes at over $50 look even more ridiculous! That's an increase from $3 a lbs to $125 a lbs at commercial prices including the punishment taxes!

    Tobacco is harvested either by cutting and hanging the whole stalk or by what is called "priming", pulling the bottom-most leaves as they start to yellow. After the leaves are hung, they change from green to yellow/brown in a process called "color-curing". After this, they are generally dried in hotter, less humid conditions until they are completely dried and are ready for storing and aging/curing.

    Curing the dried tobacco can be as easy as boxing it up and waiting about a year, or as complex as building an insulated kiln which is temp/humidity controlled and takes about a month to "ferment" the tobacco until it is smooth to smoke.

    Tobacco does not go stale or bad with age. It improves. The reason that commercial cigs go "stale" is because of the additives they put in them which are organic oils and those will become rancid over time.

    Processing tobacco depends on the use required. You can shred it finely for cigs. More roughly for cigars. Very rough cut for chew. You can grind it for dip/snuff/snus. You can flavor it with honey or other sweet stuff, or with whiskey, cherry or almost flavor you like!

    That's a basic overview of tobacco plant culture and processing. The next thing I'll try to write about is germinating/starting the seeds indoors. Tobacco seeds are very tiny. 1/10th of a gram is about 1000 seeds. Starting the seeds isn't hard, but some care must be taken to protect the tiny plants.

    I hope this is valuable for everyone here interested in growing their own tobacco at home.


    Bob Kemp
    [email protected]


    KushMaster23 Member

    about to order some Marlboro- Red seeds!

    only kidding...

    but this is very interesting, How does pure tobacco taste? Do you add additives to it like the cigarette companies to give it that 'genuine' taste?

    doowmd Well-Known Member

    where do u order ur plants from? no mention of that. i was under the impression that it wasnt legal to "grow ur own" tobacco!?! am i wrong about that? i heard all of it was kept up w/ so the govt could get their share (taxes), so strictly farmers were allowed to raise it. guess i heard wrong bout that. i'll have to do a bit more research on it. i've also been told that the reason farmers have to order already started plants is so they can't start makin their own seed. sounds familiar. anyway, that might be bs too. who knows.....

    Babs34 Well-Known Member

    --posting only to officially subscribe__but damn, I'm trying to quit.
    I can't stay up to read, but I swear I've told many that since prices have gone up, many will start growing tobacco in their own living rooms.
    LOL, they'll try to make that illegal too.

    KushMaster23 Member

    this forum is about what again? Lol i never thought "legality" would stop people from exercising there rights to grow and smoke whatever they please.

    Power to the individual!
    Am i right or what?

    but stay on topic please teach us about the cultivation of tobacco =]

    bobkemp Member

    Hi --

    I will try to answer all your questions.

    "where do u order ur plants from? no mention of that. i was under the impression that it wasnt legal to "grow ur own" tobacco!?!"

    Tobacco is fairly easily started from seed indoors 6-7 weeks before your last average frost date, just like tomatoes. The transplants are set out after possibility of frost has passed. Most large-scale tobacco farmers purchase their transplants rather than maintain the equipment and greenhouses needed to start them from seed before planting. If you want seed, I sell it, just e-mail me for a catalog.

    As I've said before, it is legal to grow your own tobacco at home for your own consumption in all 50 American states and most foriegn countries.

    "How does pure tobacco taste? Do you add additives to it like the cigarette companies to give it that 'genuine' taste?"

    Pure tobacco tastes great! I am currently smoking a single variety, Silk Leaf. It is best described as a Virginia-type cigarette tobacco with mild flavor and slightly stronger nicotine content than the modern varieties. It does not have a strong "tobacco" taste.

    Modern cigarettes are typically made from a Virginia-type and a Burley tobacco, burley adds more "tobacco" taste and strength to the smoke. Some blends add some Turkish tobacco to them.

    To tell you how pure tobacco compares with commercial brands, I will tell you this - Sometimes I trade one of my homegrown cigs with a friend's Marlboro that I used to smoke. My first puff almost makes me choke! There are so many additives in there that I've started calling them "candy cigarettes". It's a mixture of licorice, coco and other oils, sweet syrups and other additives so strong that the cig companies do not care what the quality of the tobacco they use is any more, the flavor of the tobacco is hidden by the adulterants!

    IF YOU WANT, you can buy spray-on additives online from many sources that will make as crappy a cig as RJR or Philip Morris makes out of your fine quality homegrown. But I guarantee that after smoking only one pack of well-aged homegrown, you will never do commercial cigs again!

    I will talk about curing later, but despite the mystification attributed to it by many folks, it isn't that hard. What I'm smoking now has simply dried for a month and aged for 3 months in the open air and it has lost all the grassy, harsh taste of just-dried tobacco already. In 6 months, it will be better, assuming I grew enough to last that long (grin).

    [email protected]
    South Texas likes this.
  7. When I was twelve I planned on doing this. Growing some dank ass Tobacky ( I was gonna invent my own awesome strain) then buy cigarette tubes and a cigarette rolling machine, collect cigarette packs and then sell them. Make thousands. Then I realized I would have to wait a year AFTER I was done growing it and then it would likely STILL not be the same cause of all the additives. THE FUCKING TOBACCO COMPANYS WIN A-FUCKIN-GAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bobkemp Member

    Hi -

    I hate to keep repeating myself, but you don't have to wait a year for good tobacco smoke, mine is great now without further processing after 3 months of aging.

    And if you put the additives in it (which as I said already you can buy online), then you don't even have to wait that long since you can't taste the tobacco under the weight of the taste of the additives anyhow.

    Commercial cigarettes are made from tobacco dried in the field immediately. It typically takes less than 6 weeks from harvesting green until it's dried, usually 4 weeks.

    You can even sell your homegrown tobacco, but then you will have to comply with state laws on taxation and licensing.

    Bob Kemp
    [email protected]
    Babs34 likes this.
  9. Ummm, sure man. Fuck state federal or any other taxes. But theres no way that I see possible that homegrown shit will be even close to the same as brandname cigarette tobacco.

    anonbrowser Active Member

    you mean like us cannabis vs amsterdam herb? OK...well tobacco isn't hard to grow, cure, or process and it's legal. Why not take the dive and try it...if that's your thing of course...

    doitinthewoods Well-Known Member

    ha, lucky for me, we grow a lot of tobacco in my area.

    GreenSurfer Well-Known Member

    Natural American Spirit is a premium brand which offers 100% additive-free or certified organic tobacco. It is just the paper, filter, and all natural tobacco...25% more tobacco too.

    Also, the British brand Dunhill is 100% additive free.

    I haven't smoked one of those additive-loaded pieces of crap since. You'll spend an extra .50-.75 cents per pack, but it is well worth it.


    GreenSurfer Well-Known Member

    I forgot...try their roll-you-own pouches if you like unfiltered sticks. I mix their US Grown & Perique blends for a custom, all-natural smoke.

    southern homegrower

    southern homegrower Well-Known Member

    how many hrs. of sun light do they need

    LordBrian Active Member

    subscribed, I would love to know how to grow tobacco

    ReAVeR Well-Known Member

    Put down the cancer sticks and lift the bong

    Jiggyfly Well-Known Member

    subscribbed and super stoked to grow my own smokes.... this sh!t is so expensive HAHA... not that I care really... but are you sure its legal to grow your own... ive always thought that it was illegal sice the government taxes them and stuff... I dunno, but like someone said before... no one on here should care about the legality issue lmao... im just curious LOL... and comeone post a link or something as proof??? :leaf:
  18. U.S. weed is better than Amsterdam weed. :-D :bigjoint:

    erkelsgoo420 New Member

    That's like saying an organic bud grown with love will never compare to commercial weed. Way off. I think everyone should try their own tobacco just once. 90% of u will likely never go back to philip morris

    Jiggyfly Well-Known Member

    can someone who has actually successfully grown/harvested/cured their own tobacco please post a guide for the rest of us lmao :leaf:

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