STEAMING TOBACCO BEDS . . .

Content Tools

510 E. 12th Street, Sedalia, Missouri

In the July-August Album, I see you are asking for information about steaming tobacco beds. I never raised tobacco, but for a number of years I raised garden plants for sale.

I used my Aultman-Taylor engine for 3 or 4 days each spring for sterilizing the soil. I had two large boxes 6' x 5', 8' deep made of wood with aluminum tops and these were pressed into the loose hot bed soil and steam at 80-100 lbs. run into them for two hours, then they were moved on down the bed until completely steamed.

To test the work, I always buried a potato 6 inches deep under each box and if the potato was cooked soft at the end of two hours the sterilization was complete. Result was no weeds to pull out of the young plants and the beds were clear of weeds until late in August except for wheat seed that blew in and sprouted after the plant season was over. It was lots of work and the expense was Quite large but we thought it was worth it for it is hard on young plants to pull weeds out around them. Steaming also kills insects and worm life and plant diseases.

Hope someone can make use of their engine in this way. I don't raise anything any more since I have gone into show business, but I still have my engine which is now for sale as I am selling out and going south with the show in September.

Hope this helps someone. I still read the ALBUM and enjoy it and, as we Hawaiians say, Mahalo Nue and Aloha.