Shirey is an open-pollinated, dark Virginian-type tobacco variety with a mild flavor – typically a richer flavor than Virginia Golds. It will produce a large leaf that air cures easily to medium brown color. Its hardy plant can reach up to 6 feet tall in height and withstand moderate to late season frosts. Shirey (sometimes pronounced as “Shirley”) is sweet-scented, produces ornamental flowers that are white to pink, and is wonderful for pollinators. Nicotiana tabacum. Pelleted. 65 days to maturity.
Tobacco seeds are small and do best when transplanted, as the germination time can be longer than most seeds. Germination typically takes 14- 21 days and requires a soil temperature of 65 degrees. The seed should be placed on top of the seed compost, do not cover it with soil. Plants should be started 4-6 weeks before the intended outdoor planting date. Tobacco grows very well in our heavy-duty seed starting trays. In addition to needing warm soil temps, you can also use a germination heat mat to help in the germination process. Your soil pH should between 5.8 and 6.0. Be sure to keep the soil moist while seeds are in the germination stage. Tobacco seedlings are usually ready to be transplanted once they reach 7-8″ tall. Transplant tobacco seedlings in the evening to prevent the plants from drying out and make sure you water thoroughly after transplanting. Water daily until established.
Tobacco should be grown in full sun and in well-drained soils. Poorly drained soils can result in poor growth, disease, and even death of the tobacco plant. Lack of sun can result in spindly plants, poor growth, and thin leaves. Once suckers and blooms appear on the plant, you can remove them to encourage growth in the tobacco leaves.
Typically, tobacco plants can be harvested by pulling the individual leaves of the plant or cutting down the entire plant. Once harvested, the curing process should begin. Curing can be done by air-drying and hung in a dark, well-ventilated area. Tobacco can be used as a medicinal herb whereas the leaves are used as an antiseptic. It produces cured lead that is medium to heavy bodied and tan to reddish-tan in color under normal curing conditions.
Shirey Dark Tobacco Planting Information
Planting Method: transplant
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/8″
Seed Spacing: 24″
Row Spacing: 3-4′
Days to Maturity: 65
Disease Resistance: N/A
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