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Is Organic Tobacco Most Mineral Intensive Plant?

 
                      
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Hi,

I hope I'm posting in the proper section.  I was wondering if Organic Tobacco is the most mineral intensive plant and if so if anyone has any references of books or links that can shed some light on this. 

Thanks in advance 
 
                                
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I vote no.
 
                      
Posts: 3
Location: San Diego, CA
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Still couldn't find anything on it but some sources mention they take in lots of water as compared to other plants.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I understand a lot of the Polonium problem that tobacco users suffer from is due to minerals used to fertilize. Presumably food crops take a cleaner section of that fertilizer trade, but part of the problem might also be the high mineral needs of the plant.

I bet it would help a lot to grow it sparsely, in a polyculture...but that probably wouldn't make it much of a cash crop.
 
tel jetson
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grew some in a one-gallon pot outside my front door.  it wasn't the huge plant typical of tobacco farms, but the leaves are smelling quite nice after curing and a few months of aging.  that wasn't particularly mineral-rich dirt it was growing in, either.  probably not a useful anecdote, but hey: grow tobacco at home, it's fun.
 
                    
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Joel - I imagine that growing tobacco as an official cash crop would be much more regulated than the other thing people like to grow and smoke in California.  I haven't looked into it, but that's my hunch and I bet I'm right.

I was given a few native tobacco seeds and tried to grow some last year with no success.  I think the seeds are too old?  It's a weed in some places. 

I'd like to grow some for trade.  There are a ton of permie/hippie people who smoke cigarettes, and very few growing their own. 

How do you go about curing it, tel? 
 
tel jetson
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marina phillips wrote:
How do you go about curing it, tel? 


I hung it up on a clothesline in my apartment until it seemed like it was done.  then I took it down and bundled the leaves and now they're aging in a freezer bag.  there are definitely more complicated methods that might give you a better final product, but this seems to have worked pretty well.  keep in mind that I haven't smoked any yet.  I'm also not a smoker, so I probably won't really know if it's any good when I do smoke some.  it does, however, smell very delicious right now.
 
                                      
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interesting, growing your own tobbacco, not spending any more money on that nasty tobacco corporations. how much space would you need to become self sufficient on this (i smoke about 50 grams a week, times +_ 50 weeks = 2500).
so producing 2,5 kilo of dry leaf... hmmm thats maybe a bit too much space for just smoking habits.

but what type of plant is it, what does it need? what does it have to offer, and what is their place in nature usually?

also i smoke rolling tobacco, and i think this is fermented not dried. Anybody ever had a go with that?

that other stuff marina mentioned is legal where i live, i need only five plants a year to be self sufficient in that, which takes about 4 m2. they re great nitrogen fixers, great mulch, and apart from smokinh the flowers now nd then you can make paper or clothing or rope or wine or skin cream or, or, or...  (i think hemp is a very permie plant cos of all of its uses)
 
tel jetson
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Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:
interesting, growing your own tobbacco, not spending any more money on that nasty tobacco corporations. how much space would you need to become self sufficient on this (i smoke about 50 grams a week, times +_ 50 weeks = 2500).
so producing 2,5 kilo of dry leaf... hmmm thats maybe a bit too much space for just smoking habits.


if you're just after the nicotine, Nicotiana rustica will give you quite a bit more than N. tabacum, and so would presumably reduce the amount of land needed to supply you.  tree tobacco (N. glauca) grows taller and larger than other tobaccos, so might increase yield by area.  I don't know anything about its quality for smoking.

Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:
but what type of plant is it, what does it need? what does it have to offer, and what is their place in nature usually?


really nice flowers that smell great at night.  they attract some interesting critters.

Joop Corbin - swomp wrote:=also i smoke rolling tobacco, and i think this is fermented not dried. Anybody ever had a go with that?


I believe the fermentation takes place during curing.  the longer/slower the cure, the more fermentation goes on.  some curing/fermentation methods that might make really tasty tobacco also destroy a lot of nicotine.  specifically, sun-curing.  fast cures with high heat also break down nicotine, I believe.  I suppose nicotine content might not be the prime consideration for a tobacco consumer, but I'm sure it's a big part of the equation.

Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
I understand a lot of the Polonium problem that tobacco users suffer from is due to minerals used to fertilize.


apatite is used in the United States to fertilize tobacco and poison smokers with polonium.  changes the flavor by starving the plant for nitrogen somehow.  I don't think apatite is used on tobacco outside the United States.


I was given a package of very pleasant cigarettes by a very pleasant fellow, once.  they were rolled in bamboo leaves instead of paper and tied on one end with a tiny string.  they were much skinnier than typical cigarettes.  so, bamboo could presumably take the place of rolling papers if one wanted to go whole hog.  I guess tobacco leaves work as wrappers, too.

spent a month in a Yup'ik village a few years back.  folks there mix tobacco with the ash from burning a polypore fungus (Phellinus igniarius) to speed up absorption and increase potency.  the chemistry is akin to freebasing cocaine.  I don't believe they were growing tobacco (I was there in the winter, and I didn't ask), but the tobacco they imported was in "hands", which are bundles of leaves tied at the petiole.  the polypore ash, called iqmik, was made locally.
 
                    
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I grew my own tobacco in 2009.  And many friends sent tobacco to me.  I was concerned that it would be low in nicotine.  That is far from the case.  I grew it organically, and the nicotine is so high, that I get a buzz just from touching it!

I would recommend against nicotiana Rustica unless you have cast iron lungs and then some!  It is often used as a pesticide, not as something to smoke.  I grew some of it, but haven't been brave enough to try it yet.

N. Sylvestris is the one often grown for flowers, and it has the least nicotine, so I am growing some of that this year, and some mullein to mix and get a milder blend!

N. tobaccum will knock your socks off.

Just google what goes into commercial cigarettes, and that will convince you to grow your own, or quit smoking!

You really would want to grow more than one kind, for blending.  And don't over do the nitrogen, even manure will increase the nicotine in it.  You want to raise at least half of your tobacco in very poor starving soil.  I didn't do that 

My plants hit 8 feet tall, lush leaves, and not a bug on them.  Awesome plants, but, you don't need to smoke them, just keep one for a pet, stroke it and you get your nicotine fix, then smoke a herbal    I am joking, but I really did have to wear gloves when handling tobacco.  And it really is too much nicotine, so mine is aging, until I can grow something milder.

You need 2-3 tobacco plants to equal a carton of cigarettes, so plant accordingly.
 
                      
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@Ozark Lady

Very useful info to know how much the plants yield. What size would those 2-3 tobacco plants be to make the equivalent of a carton?

Having read that it seems that Tobacco does take more land to yield something for it's purpose as compared to other plants such as lettuce.

The reason this question was first asked is because while at a Sweat Lodge one of the men said Native Americans spread tobacco during Ceremony because it is the greatest of sacrifices because of it's want by man and it's intense needs taken from Mother Earth.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Joop: are you certain it fixes nitrogen? I've read that it doesn't, but that there's a fabacae species (sunn) that produces similar fibers and has a vaguely similar growth habit.

Meeting nicotine needs by smoking is probably not land-efficient no matter what, because, as has been mentioned, high temperatures destroy nicotine. Apparently it was fairly common at one time for farmers to make a little quern and grind their own snuff.
 
                                      
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jep, the hemp plant does the same to nitrogen as nettles, it takes it up and when mulched or made into compost tea suplies the soil with a lot of nitrogen.

you probably wouldnt want to have it next to something that needs a lot of nitrogen the same period as the hemp, but in places where you grow hemp and mulch the plant, its great for others that need it to.

of course, in that way you dont get to harvest the stems as fibre or the leaves for paper, but you can harvest the flower if you like that type of stuff and mulch the rest, if you want to build a fertile high nitrogen patch somewhere.
 
tel jetson
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Ozark Lady wrote:
I would recommend against nicotiana Rustica unless you have cast iron lungs and then some!  It is often used as a pesticide, not as something to smoke.  I grew some of it, but haven't been brave enough to try it yet.


plenty of folks smoke N. rustica, but you're right about it being strong stuff.  the one person I've spoken to who has smoked it did so in a ritual context and passed out after just a couple drags.
 
rose macaskie
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Wow, tobacco begins to sound much more exciting i like reading about the powerfull stuff it seems so much more exciting but it puts me off trying it. I did smoke, horrible addiction.
      I had a cousin staying with me who came back from a weekend out saying he had never had such an exciting day, he had gone "bridgeing" that is a direct transalation of the Spanish name of this sport, i don't know the American one, it consists of attaching yourself to a high bridge with elastic ropes and throwing yoursefl off and bouncing up again on hthe ropes  just before you hit the ground . He told all about his feelings about jumping about how, ow,  there was a cross on the ground to mark the spot someone died who had miscalculated the length of the ropes and in the end it turned out he had not jumped, so you can emjoy yourself just contemplating danger, a safer occupation than actually doing it. I like to think there are wolves out there somewhere. agri rose macaskie.
 
Brett Fry
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i'm growing tobacco this year for the first time and wish i'd found some of this info earlier.  i live in southern japan and lots of farmers grow tobacco as a cash crop.  there's some growing across the street from me and just uphill from my field.  they use a ton of chemicals and after heavy rains my field catches the runoff.  i've built canals to move it and it's noxious smell through swiftly.  I've read that smoking some varities prior to curing (and a lengthy aging) means you're getting about 40% nicotine and could experience a bit of pain.  that's probably why many seed packages label it as poisonous.  modern cigarettes have about 10% nicotine/gram (% increasing regularly to encourage addiction!).

i'm growing N. x sanderae, which i later found out is grown for flowers only.  I'm enjoying the fragrant flowers but looking forward to curing and smoking some for kicks.  maybe even roll it in bamboo leaves as mentioned above....

the leaves are huge so my original idea was to plant heavily and use them as mulch.  glad to hear it's also rich in nitrogen!
 
Chris Kott
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It was my understanding from listening to Paul and Kelda on one of the podcasts that any plant that hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria, when it is pruned or stressed, self-prunes the corresponding root area, releasing the contents of those roots to the soil, including nitrogen. I would love some answers on this matter. If this is true, though, it might be possible to sow tobacco, or cannabis, if that's your thing, in greater densities than allowed for adult plants, and then thin the inferior (or in the case of the latter, male) specimens, not only chop-and-dropping the killed plants, but also releasing the contents of the roots and fertilizing the root zone.

-CK
 
John Polk
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I believe that all or most plants self prune their roots. If you remove 10% of the above ground mass, the tree will self prune 10% of its root mass.
 
Fred Morgan
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John Polk wrote:I believe that all or most plants self prune their roots. If you remove 10% of the above ground mass, the tree will self prune 10% of its root mass.


I do know they say this about trees, and I have seen it. (or the spurt of growth that happens around the tree when pruned)
 
Devon Olsen
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not sure if this has been mentioned but i know people who grow their own tobacco and they get a lot of their knowledge from the forums at: fairtradetobacco.com
 
Jason Tomblin
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I will be growing a few tobacco plants again this year. I bought them as a novelty, Perique variety. It was a really beautiful plant to have in the garden, with huge green (pest free) leaves, pink flowers at eye height. I grew about 10, and most of them grew really well. Few really knew what it was. The plants were grown into the late summer when the leaves started to turn yellow, indicating less nitrogen in the leaves. I left it out in the sun on a wire for 2 days to lost some moisture, then closet dried it slowly in my apartment an put into boxes and paper bags. They're big leaves and would probably be worth it in my opinion though I'm not sure how much space would be needed for a heavy smoker or if the smoking habits would change with the assumably higher nicotine levels. I had plenty of room with them, and they were planted with lettuce and a some carrots which grew normally compared to rows without tobacco, while some plants were grown with straw mulch. I used only a bit of organic 4-4-4 fertilizer in my poor, slightly acidic soils and occasional foliar sprays of seaweed or liquid fertilizer. They did best for me in full sun. I hope that's of some help to someone.



 
Cee Ray
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The oldtimers say tobacco needs to be grown away from the regular garden in it's own space. I think it's antagonistic towards other plants. I found it to be a pretty easy plant to grow, but it needs warmth to germinate. I sprinkle seeds on the surface of a soil mix, press them in and cover with plastic to keep them from drying out. When they start to grow I will transplant them into their own small pots and then into the soil at the same time as corn, tomatoes, etc.

Also at harvest time I was told to strip the leaves from the living plants as they yellow from the bottom up. Yellow leaves means less chlorophyll and a smoother smoke. There is a whole science to curing them, which I recommend figuring out before harvest time because if they dry out too much they are too harsh.
 
George Lee
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Have a look at this...

http://youtu.be/wsSPccJUJKc?t=2m14s

I'll have 1000-year old tobacco in a garden area this year, for the flowers and pest control potential and overall antiquated appeal.

Peace to all -
 
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