Northwest Tobacco Seeds
Providing nicotiana seeds at
wholesale prices for retail distributors
and growers world wide
Tobaccos, Rusticas and Ornamentals
We operate a small family farm that was originally homesteaded in 1882. We live
in the original farm house which is the oldest home in Spokane County. It's situated at the foothills of the Selkirk
mountain range in Eastern Washington.
The Inland Northwest is a land with four definite seasons. Winters are long, cold and the snows are deep. Summers are hot and dry. The spring is wet and blustery and fall brings us warm days with crisp cold nights. We are blessed with an abundance of clear spring water, clean air, wildlife and fertile soil. The night skies are filled with stars and sometimes the dancing colors of the Northern Lights.
Tobacco is one of the most labor intensive of any crops grown. Producing one acre of high quality seed requires approximately 2500 man hours. Seedlings are started in flats in our greenhouse and spend the first 8 weeks growing in a controlled environment. They are gradually hardened off to the sun and outdoor environment before they are ready to plant out into the field. Unlike many other seed sellers, we grow a large number of plants of each variety and cull any plants which are not true to type leaving only the best plants to produce seed. Our seed stock is a homogenous blend of seed taken from many plants
Large commercial growers of tobacco use planting machines to set the seedlings into the field. Mechanization helps to speed things along, but even planting machines require 3 or more people to operate. There are no machines to help us out here. Every plant is set out by hand. The days are very long and tiring when planting week comes. These plants have been in the field about 3 weeks.
As soon as the first bud appears, each flower head is bagged to prevent any chance of cross pollination by insects or hummingbirds. Each flower bag is adjusted 2-3 times as the plant and flower head grow to allow for maximum size and proper development of the seed head. Bags are often removed after flowering is nearly complete to remove the dead blossoms. They can trap water and start to rot inside the bags, and can ruin the developing seeds pods. The bags are then replaced to protect the pods while they continue to develop and mature.
Seed heads remain bagged until the end of harvesting to ensure there is no cross pollination and to help protect the main seed head. This photo shows plants about 75 days after transplanting.
After fully ripening, seed heads are cut and allowed to dry completely before further processing. Nicotiana seeds are very small, averaging over 10,000 seeds per gram or 300,000 seeds per ounce.
After drying, the pods are threshed and the seeds are sifted out. The seeds are then run through 3 screenings to remove chaff. After screening, they are blown to remove any fine light chaff before going into storage. Our seed is cleaned one final time before packing and shipping to ensure the highest purity and quality.
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