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Written by Kevin Godbee

Monday, 16 March 2009

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rolling and growingseed to shelf
tobacco faqstobacco terms and definitions


So now we've looked at the history of the tobacco plant and where it's grown let's take a little look at the growing cycle of this wonderful plant.

In the Caribbean that growing cycle starts in September ... that's right, it starts in what passes as Fall in the tropics and while the leaves are changing color where we live and trees and plants are preparing to go to sleep down there in prime tobacco country everything is getting ready to come to life.

tobacco-harvest

The first step in the growing cycle is to prepare special beds in fields close to farm's buildings. The preparation includes turning the soil and adding fertilizer and once that's done thousands of tobacco seeds are scattered on top of the soil ... they aren't actually pushed into the soil at all. Then a mulch of straw is placed over the top of the seeds to protect them from the sun.

These special beds are kept well-watered and the farmer waits for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow. It's important that they develop a good root system and that's why the seeds are placed on top of the beds and not in them because that encourages them to grow roots down to tap the moisture in the soil. It takes about 10 days for the seedlings to appear and then another week before the mulch is removed ... in the early morning and late afternoon.

That's right, this really is a labor of love and every farmer wants to ensure that he grows the very best crop he possibly can so a week after the seedlings first show through the farmer removes the mulch twice a day to allow the new plants to get plenty of sun. From mid-morning through to the late afternoon the farmer replaces the mulch to ensure that the plants are not damaged by the strong mid-day sun.






Comments 

 
0 # potential growerRuth 2009-04-25 08:27
I would like parts I and II Just found your website.

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