How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
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 Post subject: Rambling questions on potting, planting out and fertilizing
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:10 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Zone 9B
First time grower here in Zone 9B.

I'm growing Shirazi (n. tobaccum), Huichol (n. langsdorffii) , and Indian tobacco (n. quadrivalvis.)

I'm not necessarily growing for leaf production, and more for ornamental reasons but I would like to try my hand at curing and fermenting if things go well.

I started my seeds according to New Hope Seed Company's instructions and started my seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost. I started them a week earlier than planned (first week of December) and now they need to be planted out a week early. My last frost is 01/09/2018 and the 10 day forecast shows overnight temps in the mid 40's through that date so I don't think I'm in too much trouble there.

My first mistake was letting the seedlings get too crowded in the tray and some ended up getting shaded and some are just slightly leggy, but not bad; one plant has a bit of a wavy, sinuous stem. I have three plants that are currently being propped up with toothpicks. I have noticed that the stems on most species seem somewhat weak and the growth seems just slightly stunted. I think they may need to be fertilized (I think I'm a week late on the first fertilization anyway and I have fertilizer coming tomorrow.) I am watering conservatively so there's no way these are being overwatered. Do these symptoms (somewhat weak stems and stunted growth) sound like they need to be fertilized? Plants are currently 4 weeks old since sprouting.

I had originally planned on planting each plant in it's own pot but now that I've weeded out the weak plants I'm left with 24 plants which is entirely too many plants for me to individually water in an apartment setting. I am fortunate in that I have two large balconies attached to my apartment, but hauling water out to 24 plants is too much work. I'm wondering if it's possible to plant multiple plants in one large container (like a half wine barrel or party tub like this I prefer the more rustic look of tobacco bunched together as it makes for a better flower display but I don't know about the logistics of it all.

I know most bucket farms use one 5 gallon bucket per plant. I assumed this was because the roots go deep but I have read here that tobacco has shallow roots. If so, could I get away with multiple plants in a more shallow, large container?

All thoughts and insights are welcomed! Thanks for reading!

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