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SHTF Guide to Growing Tobacco

SHTF Guide to Growing Tobacco

Even if you don’t smoke, you should consider growing tobacco.

The use of tobacco is a dangerous habit, one that causes three million deaths annually worldwide. However, it is legal, and adults who enjoy using tobacco are free to make their own decisions. Whether you’re a smoker or not, there are plenty of reasons you should consider growing your own tobacco.


Tobacco may not be healthy, but let’s face it—after the apocalypse there may be situations when you want to take an edge off with a cigarette. If you don’t, someone else will, and that’s where tobacco’s real value to preppers lies.


Is It Legal to Grow Tobacco?

Most people never consider growing their own tobacco because they assume it is illegal to do so. Commercially grown and processed tobacco is heavily regulated, but surprisingly growing your own is not. At least not in most areas.


Prior to an apocalyptic event, you should check your local and state laws to make sure it’s legal to grow tobacco where you live. After the SHTF, however, there will be no more laws. You’ll be able to grow wherever the conditions are right.


Why You Should Grow Tobacco

One of the main reasons smokers grow tobacco is they want the cigarette without the additives. While that is a good reason to grow tobacco, it’s hardly the only reason. Keep reading to learn more about why you should grow tobacco, even if you’re not a smoker.


Medicinal Uses

In the past, tobacco had a wide variety of medicinal uses. In Pre-Columbian America, the use of tobacco was believed to promote good health. The smoke from tobacco was believed to disinfect and help ward off disease and fatigue. It has also been used as toothpaste, as an antidiarrheal, for pain relief, and to heal wounds and burns.


Today we know tobacco does more harm than good, and there are better medicinal solutions. However, after TEOTWAWKI you might not have access to those healthier alternatives.



Unlike many other barter objects, like lighters, tobacco isn’t something you’ll need to stock up on ahead of time if you want to trade it. You can grow your own tobacco. After the SHTF, tobacco will be as valuable as coffee. It’s one of those creature comforts people need when they’re under stress.


If you’re a smoker, think about what you would be willing to trade for a cigarette when you really need one. Other smokers feel the same way, making this one plant that will be worth its weight in gold once the grid goes down.


How to Grow Tobacco

Believe it or not, you can buy tobacco plants on Amazon. Once the grid goes down, however, you’ll have to grow your own from seed. This needs to be done indoors. You’ll transplant the plants once they reach a height of 2-3 inches.


Use a flat tray or other type of container that is 4” to 8” deep. You’ll want to fill these with mineral-rich soil. Spray the top of the soil with water from a spray bottle to keep it moist. Sprinkle the tiny seeds across the top of this soil. Take care not to let the soil dry out. Spray as often as is needed to keep it moist.


To successfully grow your own tobacco, make sure the following conditions are met:

  • Your soil pH is around 5.8
  • Start your seeds indoors
  • Keep your potting soil damp
  • Grow in partial shade


After you’ve transplanted your tobacco plants, care for them as carefully as you would any other plant. Take measures to keep predators away and make sure they get the water, sunlight, and nutrients they need. It will take approximately 40 to 60 days for your plants to grow big enough to harvest.


How to Grow Tobacco Indoors

Although tobacco is a relatively easy plant to grow in most parts of the United States, you may not want to grow your tobacco outdoors for security reasons. If you aren’t able to grow plants outside you can still grow them indoors.


To grow tobacco indoors, find a warm, sunny location for your plants. Make sure the soil you use has the right nutrients. If growing indoors is something you’re planning to do, stock up on fertilizer that contains potash and nitrogen now.


How to Cure Tobacco Leaves

To cure tobacco leaves for use or barter, hang the leaves up in a cool, dry area. It takes a long time to cure tobacco, but hanging the leaves is most of the work. Once that’s done, you’ll let them dry for eight to ten weeks. Take the leaves down, and you’ll have tobacco that is ready for use.



Why you should grow your own tobacco.


Learn more about the forgotten medicinal qualities of tobacco.



Don’t Leave Grandpa Behind

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to discuss an issue that will affect many of us in a SHTF situation even though you may not have considered it before, and that’s seniors. Do you have an elderly loved one? If TEOTWAWKI were to happen, of course you would want to do everything you can to care for beloved older family members. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you will be up to the task!

Are you in peak condition?

Now is the time to take stock of your own health, because you can’t take care of someone who is dependent if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure you have the non-expired medicines and other health supplies you’ll need for yourself and your older family member—at least enough to last two months!

Are you going to be mobile?

Do you have batteries for your family member’s wheelchair? Do you have an extra walker? Can your wheelchair handle rough terrain? Do you have enough gas to get to safety (if you are lucky enough that there is still a place that is safe)? And yourself these questions now and not after it’s too late.

Do you know where FEMA and other shelters and services will be in your community?

If not, it’s time to find out, especially if your senior family member(s) has special health needs that require outside assistance. Knowing where these facilities would be ahead of time could mean the difference between life and death for someone who cannot survive the elements.

Are you being realistic about how much time you have?

Don’t wait until it’s too late to leave the area before it becomes a hazard. You don’t want to be the person who burned while they were trying to fight a forest fire with their hose when they could have been safely at a shelter miles away, and neither does your grandmother.

While I don’t need senior survival help myself yet (LOL), I hope you will find this advice helpful. Do you have anything to add to the discussion? Let me know I the comments!