The first of September is the earliest date on which tobacco farmers can legally start transplanting their carefully cultivated seedlings to the fields. This is a critical time due to the fact hat the seedlings can die if the correct practices are not followed to ensure that they are properly prepared to be transplanted from the greenhouse to the fields. There are two areas that need to be prepared correctly for transplanting to be successfull.
The fields need to have been prepared by ploughing and discing to ensure a loose and well drained seedbed. Ploughing and discing also play a big role in mechanical weed control that will limit the need for chemical weed control later in the season. The fields also need to be appropriately ridged, and holes of planting should be done.
The seedlings need to be prepared correctly to harden them for transplanting. Hardening tobacco seedlings can start once the seedlings have reached a total length of about 15 cm. During the hardening process, farmers will withhold irrigation and fertilisers and administer potassium sulphate and copper oxychloride. This will lead the tobacco plants to change colour from a dark green to yellow. Hardening limits effects of transplant-shock on the seedlings.
Before the seedlings are transplanted, they need to be trimmed in order to stimulate vertical growth. This process also needs to be conducted with care so that the crown of the plant is not cut, which can stunt growth and cause a delay in production. The seedlings should be the same hight and size to ensure uniform growth in the fields.
During transplanting, it is important that the seedlings are planted firmly in the soil. This will also help uniform growth that will ensure a better harvest. Farmers need to ensure that they keep extra seedlings for about two weeks after transplanting. By doing this, they will be able to replace any plants that might die and avoid open gaps in the field. This second round of transplanting, or gap filling, is usually done about two weeks after the initial transplanting.
Seedbeds can be maintained until 31 December, after which all tobacco plants that were not harvested need to be destroyed to combat the spread of diseases. By periodically refilling the gaps in the tobacco field that might occur due to various reasons, the farmer can maintain uniform growth in the crops and improve his yield.
Tobacco growers should apply systemic aphicides and nematicides during the transplanting stage to avoid the spread of insect transmitted diseases. These products can be attained from any of the leading agricultural depots and come equipped with very specific instructions on how they should be applied.
Farmers need to apply any herbicide or insecticide exactly according to the information provided on the product label. If you are not sure, rather contact the manufacturer and ask for expert advice. If these products are not applied correctly, they can not only cause serious damage to the crops, but also pose a danger to the people working with the tobacco as well as the environment.
For additional information, contact TIMB on +263-772-145-166 or visit the website www.timb.co.zw. You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.