Tobacco Plant Nutrition…Growing a Bitchin Crop - Parta Dos

Ever wonder why some tobaccos kick you in the neuts and some don’t?


In tobacco leaves, the proper amount, distribution, and balance of the various nitrogenous compounds is essential for satisfactory color, good grading, and other desirable qualities of a good cigars tobacco. Too much nitrogen causes tobacco leaves to be dark…not good! Too little produces a harsh-smoking, poorly colored leaves..not good!. Here’s a snag of important intel for you...nitrogen is a key element in nicotine, the alkaloid compound found only in tobacco gives it its peculiar and pleasure-giving properties. BOOM !!! Phosphorus is necessary for formation of many protein substances in the plants, including nucleo-proteins in the embryonic cells. This is important in the reproductive organs of the cell and maintaining life itself…”Cell Sex”!


It is also important in the development of proper root structure. The nitrogen - phosphorus ratio governs the possibility for the plant to mature ... especially true in the development of tobacco leaves. See, tobacco cells need loving' just like you and me.


Phosphoric acid is found in air-dried leaf, and helps the plant's digestion…Keeps it regular! The result of inadequate phosphorus is usually a midget tobacco plant...A little Tattoo growing in the row of Goliaths. Phosphorus-deficient tobacco leaves are a too dark green, almost olive color, very leathery and shiny. Not good! They narrow down at the base, becoming spear-shaped, instead of rectangular. (Rectangular leaves are genetically created, because their shape yields more usable leaf area from which the rollers can cut wrapper for The Grande cigars. Thus, a spear-shaped leaf is a low-yield leaf.)


Potassium is the third crucial element, and a primary agent in the synthesis of carbohydrates and proteins. It also acts as a carrier for the absorption and translocation of other important nutrients. Potash, a potassium compound commonly used as a fertilizer, helps the plant resist disease, pumps up the plants immune system. Potash-deprived plants suffer higher rate of catching several available diseases than healthy plants. Potash also makes the plant more drought-resistant…like a camel, only it doesn’t spit or stink! It makes cured tobacco leaves more pliable and "workable" by the handlers without damage; and, it is essential for proper burning qualities of tobacco…No that’s what I’m talking about!


Potash-deficient tobacco burns uneven, rather than carrying the smoldering coal down the cigar's length like a good smoke should!


Most soils usually contain insufficient potassium. Growers must balance the needed amount by adding supplements. Potassium is derived from a wide variety of sources, such as carbonate of potash, sulfate of potash, nitrate of potash, traditional organic sources like tobacco stems and stalks from previous harvests…A Great Idea, wood ash, and animal manure…I prefer Chicken…then you can say it taste’s like ---ya know.

The last must be used carefully, so to prevent an excess application of chlorine, an abundant element found in crap. Oh ya…manure!


More on this coming up next, see ya! -The Don


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