Smoking tobacco "Virginia Gold" - Nicotiana tabacum.
One of the best known varieties for commercial tobacco production. It was developed by crossing wild tobacco with two popular American varieties, Hicks Broadleaf and Virginia. The result is a high-yielding, high-nicotine cultivar. The plant is characterized as light green and quick growing.
Strong plants grow fast to 2 m. A very light gold leaf as they mature with true tobacco flavor and aroma.
* In order for the tobacco seed to germinate, and the sprout to become strong enough, it takes 45 days, no less. The process takes place either in the open air in special nurseries, covered with straw for protection from external influences, or in laboratories under the vigilant supervision of specialists. Recently, this method has been used much more often: seedlings grow in small pots (one plant in each) on a pallet through which a special nutrient solution flows along the groove.
The diameter of a tobacco seed is 0.1-0.6 millimeters. Planting such a seed is not an easy task. In order not to confuse anything, a special pistol is used to plant seeds. When the seedlings reach a height of 13-15 centimeters, they are planted on plantations - traditionally this happens in mid-September. From this moment on, the tobacco bush needs daily care - weeding, loosening, and a lot of other time-consuming operations. For normal growth, tobacco requires as loose soil as possible. Before sowing, planters repeatedly plow the field using animals - usually specially trained buffaloes. The use of this technique is not recommended as it can lead to excessive compaction of the soil.
Tobacco bushes of varieties intended for cigar cover are grown in the shade - the absence of the sun makes their leaves especially thin and delicate.
The entire plantation is covered with a special cloth - 10-20 days after planting the seedlings on the ground. A wire mesh is stretched under the fabric - plants are tied to it.
The tobacco bushes, the leaves of which will be used for filling and bundling, are grown outdoors.
After the tobacco bush grows to the desired size, the plantation workers pinch off the top bud to stop the growth of the plant and concentrate all the nutrients and force the development of the leaves - to be suitable for the production of cigars, they must be as large and juicy as possible.
After the bud is pinched off, the accelerated growth of shoots begins, which strive to intercept the flows of nutrients coming from the roots from the leaves - in order to prevent this from happening, the tobacco grower must visit each plant several times before harvesting and remove them.
Inflorescences are also removed like the upper bud and processes. The inflorescences are left only on special plants intended for seed production for the next season. Such bushes grow separately from all others - in laboratories, in sterile conditions, under the special supervision of specialists. The seeds obtained from such bushes constitute the gold reserve of Cuba - they are stored in a special storage and only before the beginning of the season are transferred to selected tobacco growers.
Harvesting begins approximately 40 days after the seedlings are planted and proceeds in several stages. The height of a bush grown in the sun is about 170 centimeters, 14 or 16 leaves are arranged in pairs on it. The height of a bush grown in the shade can reach 280 centimeters (the plant, which is painfully deprived of the sun, strives for it), and the number of leaves is 20 pieces.
The largest lower leaves are torn off first. The bush with the lower leaves torn off continues to grow for several more days to allow the remaining leaves to develop. The middle leaves are removed from the bush, a few more days pass, and those that grow even higher are torn off - they turn out to be the most saturated and juicy.
The upper leaves of the bush are called "ligero", the middle ones are called "seco", and the lower ones are called "volado". Each of these leaves in a cigar has a different function.
It takes 3-4 weeks to harvest all the leaves from one plant. The entire period between planting seeds and harvesting takes 15-17 weeks.
Cultivated tobacco. Sven. Tobak, äkta tobak. Suom.: Tupakat, tupakka.