As part of an on going self sufficiency experiment I decided to have a go at growing my own tobacco. I know a lot of people don't like smoking but I do smoke so I figured I could save some money by growing my own.

The only issue I had was that I didn't have anywhere to grow it as I rent a flat there is no garden, but here in the UK there is a Remanent of World War II (maybe even earlier) that would assist me. Allotments, I don't know if other country's have these but here in the UK the are large patches of land that are divided up in to smaller patches know as an Allotment. The purpose was to allow people a place to grow their own vegetables when food was not abundant. These are still in use today but people use them for many different things, some people turn them in to a garden, or use them for there main purpose and grow vegetables. This allotment cost me £5 a year!! plus i had to join the allotment society which cost me £20, so £25 for a year of renting a piece of land, not bad!

I will use the allotments to grow tobacco which caused something of a stir in the allotment community as not a lot of people know it is legal to grown your own tobacco even here in the UK. However there is one rule here which is important, you can grow tobacco in the UK and dry it legally as long as it not for commercial use. you can even dry it and chop it up to a smoke-able product provided you do not sell it.

You should check the laws in your area to see what you can do.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Seeds, I got Burley, Virgina Gold and Samsoun and also Adonis which is a German tobacco which i got free with the other seeds I ordered. I got mine on ebay fairly cheap.

Potting compost

Seed Tray, Germination tray with a lid

Weed fabric or ground sheet (optional)

slug pellets, in the UK the slugs love tobacco plants.

in the US there is something called cut worm, these things will literally cut the main stem of the plant at ground level, you can put a large diameter plastic pipe in to the ground so it sticks out about 2 inches.

some string to hang the tobacco

gardening knife

Tin foil

spray bottle

note: its important to know that cigar, cigarette and rolling tobacco are not just one type of tobacco they are blend of various tobaccos, the tobaccos I am planting are the ones used in cigarettes and rolling tobacco. You may want to investigate the different types of tobacco used in what you smoke. you can roll your own cigars but you will need to ferment the tobacco for this once you have harvested and dried it.

so you know how many roughly you need to plant, virgina gold tobacco has a large narrow leaf, burley has a large wide leaf and samsoun has a small heart shaped leaf not much larger than a male hand. Adonis has a very large wide leaf as well.
<p>I have a Tobacco plant on my front yard, it just came from nowhere and there is another one growing on the backyard just now. People often came to my door and ask for some leaves, it's said that it's good to remove Botfly larva if used as a salve during the night they come out to eat the tobacco and then you can extract it.</p>
as you can see the seeds are very small, and when the seed pods split the seeds are loose inside if there was a lot of wind the seeds would easily carry on the wind, probably for miles.<br><br>they are annuals so when they die they should not come back, but each plant can produce enough seeds to create a fields worth of tobacco so if you don't want lots of tobacco plants I would either top them or remove them completely.
<p>I see. I didn't want to cut the flower because there was a humming bird that came all mornings for them, but eventually we had to cut it out and the next morning when the bird came it searched for the flowers and didn't find them, sad.</p>
<p>i guess you could have left them until the flower died but cut them off before the seed pods dry out and crack open.</p>
<p>each one of these seed pods has hundreds of seeds</p>
<p>Yeah, i have seen these personally. Do you know if it have any medicinal utility?</p>
tobacco is really great at treating fresh bruises and swelling. you dampen the tobacco and place it on the injury for 15 to 30 min.
<p>not really as far as i know, nicotine is a poison, you could look in to turning it in to a pesticide but it probably wouldn't be safe of children or animals.</p>
<p>Thanks for the Info :)</p>
how did it go in the end?
well I grew it and dried it thats as far as I got, been busy with other projects
<p>Thank you. I'm very happy with your growing, harvesting and drying tips. I got some leaves off a mate some years back. I dried them out, but they were too moist and not crisp dry. And yes, they went moldy. They were yuck and unsmokable. </p><p>Thanks again. </p><p>Regards James</p>
yeah should have hung them and dried them out, then just rejuvenate them when you are ready to smoke em.
<p>Wow, thanks for the info in the instructible. I want to grow some tobacco both for the flowers as decoration in the yard, and for the leaves that I want to use to make nicotine tea for pest control. I didn't know if the different varieties have flowers as sites advertise &quot;flowering&quot; tobacco&quot; and &quot;smoking tobacco&quot;. I want to be sure that it flowers pretty AND has nicotine I can use. You cleared that up for me, and gave me more info about pollination as well. Your plants look great, I'm gonna go order some seeds after all, thanks to you!</p>
fantastic, I am glad it helped you out, I had to do a lot of research.<br><br>Just a warning about using it as a pesticide, it would NOT be safe for pets or children. and probably not if you are going to spray it on fruits and vegetables<br>
<p>of course, it Is Tobacco after all, my use as a pesticide would be on the foliage of plants to deter chewing insects. nicotine is a contact poison in high doses and also when ingested in low dosages so anybody who chews on the plants leaves will get buggy diarrhea. I don't intend to use it on children or pets, but I think you mean that children or pets should be prevented from handling or ingesting the plant leaves in the garden, am I right.</p>
<p>yes thats exactly what I meant ;-) that tea you are talking about I was sure that used to be made from the stalks after the leaves had been harvested for smoking.</p>
<p>OK, Ebay, do you simply search for tobacco seeds? Or do you recall the vendor's name/informatiuon?</p>
just search tobacco seeds, there is loads on there, just make sure to pick the types you want
<p>Where do you get the seeds?!</p>
I got mine on ebay
I didn't realize some of you folks could not see the advertisement on the end of the barn.
Oops forgot to add the photo
<p>often a tobacco barn would have a basement under a trap door to store the tobacco in once its ready</p>
This is a great example of a great &quot;Mail Pouch Barn&quot;. MP was a brand of chewing tobacco produced in Wheeling, West Virginia. The company advertised on barns across the US. This is a traditional tobacco barn, used for drying tobacco. Note the tobacco hanging to dry in the photo.
<p>Though I quit smoking many years ago, but I like to see successful acts. The leaves looke to me the kind used for Nargila.</p><p>Best wishes on cigar tobacco planting next.</p>
yeah we should all quit, there is no benefit to any of use to carry on
Nicely done! Was the finished product up to snuff? The allotments system is a cool thing, too.<br>I'm from Kentucky, and my grandpa grew tobacco, so this makes me real nostalgic for home :)
<p>From KY too. Remember dreading (as a kid) following the setter all day with grandpa back in the 80's. Great memories now. Wouldnt trade it for the world.</p>
I havent actually tried it yet, it feels like smoking tobacco and smells like it but I have been busy with work do I havnt got round to chopping it up and smoking it yet.<br><br>I figured I would make a tobacco shredder and do an instructable for it, and then try out different blends of the tobacco to see what I like.<br><br>Your grandpa probably grew Burley tobacco as thats the normal crop in that area.
Great instructable. I was lucky enough to grow up playing in my grandfathers huge 1915 era tobacco barn (think Mail Pouch advertisement type). Growing tobacco as a cash crop here in West Virginia, USA is just about over. I have never smoked, but I love the smell of tobacco hanging to dry. Thanks.
<p>Live in KY and know what you mean. Remember helping grandpa follow the setter when I was just a kid back in the 80's. Still a few of the MailPouch tobacco barns around. Remember when tobacco was in every other field, but definitely a drastic reduction in amount grown today. Thanks for bringing back some good memories with your comment.</p>
<p>I'm in the UK so i have no idea what you are talking about lol but it sounds good</p>
<p>Is that an Indian Head penny? I have one of those, if it is, thats from about the 1890's.</p>
<p>It is an English penny. That's the Queen's profile on there.</p>
yep thats an English penny, i am in England ;-)
<p>Could you explain the pollination process as it relates to the end product? I am a bit confused about cross pollination and why you want to contain that. </p><p>Thank you so much for this instructable. I have really been thinking of doing this in my organic garden, now I have the knowledge for it !</p>
<p>well you would not want to cross pollinate a Burley with a Virgina gold, as you would end up with seeds which are a cross of the 2 types of tobacco. you would only want Virgina gold to pollinate Virgina gold .</p>
<p>ah okay, so you save the seeds for the next round of planting that makes more sense. Thanks!</p>
<p>to be honest when you buy seeds there will be enough for a couple of seasons so I shouldnt worry too much.</p>
<p>Wow... I am amazed :). Thank you so much for sharing.</p>
<p>no problem, I am happy to share, I hope that it inspires others to have a go and improve on my techniques. </p>
<p>I live out here in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are nursery stores, Star Nursery is one i frequent, that sell lady bugs and such. They also have praying mantis and earthworms. Really neat alternatives to pesticides.</p>
<p>but u dont wanna be caught shipping insect out of the country do u.</p>
<p>How many ounces did you get from how many plants? I realise it will vary with different types but just a rough estimate. Trying to figure out whether it's worth my time although it is something i'd like to try anyway. Great instructable and would love to see the victorian shredder when you get it made.</p>
I haven't weighed the yield to be honest, but one row of 8 plants could fill up 2 medium sized boxes. in the UK these boxes are the type used for crisps (Chips in the US)
<p>Very interesting Instructable.</p>
Very cool. I've traveled in the US south and have seen fields of Tobacco. Such a beautiful plant. Thanks for sharing. I hope this encourages others to share other gardening instructables.
<p>As there are types of tobacco sold in the uk as bedding plants and these self set very readily I suspect you are quite likley to get cross pollenation. I'm intereasted to learn they suffer from aphids give nicoteen/ tobacco smoke used to be used as a glass house fumigant, I guess it is like tannin in oak leaves and builds up as the leaves get older and concentrates as they dry</p>
yes it was originally used as an pesticide, but that was boiled and reduced so it was much stronger than just off the plant, also when they boiled it up they used the stems which may have a stronger concentration than the leaves.<br><br>I was surprised when growing them that I had issues with various fly's and bugs knowing it was used originally as a pesticide.<br><br>Tobacco also has a large concentration of ammonia as well, which gets removed as they cure.

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