A successful season stems from a great beginning. With tobacco, that means transplants. The growing of transplants can often prove to be a delicate and time-
consuming practice, prompting many growers to
purchase plants instead of growing them on their own. Whether buying or growing transplants best fits your operation, experts offer tips and information on the best way to help your transplants thrive.
Despite tobacco’s versatility to grow in many different types of soil, the plant in its transplant stage can be delicate and quite sensitive to its environment. For this reason, many tobacco growers choose to buy their transplants rather than grow them on their own. The decision to buy or to grow could simply come down to one consideration: time.
Growing transplants takes an extra level of time and management that many farmers might not have. Dr. Gary Palmer, of the University of Kentucky, advises growers to have a dedicated person in charge of transplants.
“Tobacco is not well suited for spring temperatures. Keep a member of the family or an employee assigned to guard the transplants closely every day,” Palmer says.
Kenneth Anderson, a tobacco farmer in Winchester, Ky., grows his own transplants. Anderson agrees: “It is time-consuming to monitor and adjust the heat, mow and clip correctly, etc.” He and his brother raise 350 acres of transplants to sell, as well as 95 acres of tobacco for themselves. “During transplant time, my second home is in the greenhouse,” Anderson adds.
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