Tobacco Plant Bed (Code #020)
Soil Test RatingPotassium

Low K

Coast: 0-60 lbs/A

Pied: 0-100 lbs/A

Medium K

Coast: 61-150 lbs/A

Pied: 101-200 lbs/A

High K

Coast: 151-250 lbs/A

Pied: 201-350 lbs/A

Very High K

Coast: 250+ lbs/A

Pied: 350+ lbs/A

PhosphorusSee Comments

Low P

Coast: 0-30 lbs/A

Pied: 0-20 lbs/A


Medium P

Coast: 31-60 lbs/A

Pied: 21-40 lbs/A


High P

Coast: 61-100 lbs/A

Pied: 41-75 lbs/A


Very High P

Coast: 100+ lbs/A

Pied: 75+ lbs/A


Coast = Coastal Plain    Pied = Piedmont, Mountain, and Limestone Valley


Recommended pH:6.0. If the pH is less than 6.0, see Lime Table C.
Nitrogen:3-6 pounds nitrogen (N) per 100 square yards

If soil test Mg level is low and lime is recommended, use dolomitic limestone; if soil test Mg is low and lime is not recommended, apply 0.3 pounds Mg/100 square yards.

Coastal PlainLow: 0 - 60 lbs/acre Medium: 61 - 120 lbs/acre High: >120 lbs/acre
Piedmont Low: 0 - 120 lbs/acre Medium: 121 - 240 lbs/acre High: >240 lbs/acre



Apply a complete tobacco plant bed fertilizer that will supply at least 3 and no more than 6 pounds of nitrogen (N) per 100 square yards. This may be obtained with 50 to 100 pounds of 6-12-6 per 100 square yards (2400 to 4800 pounds of fertilizer per acre). Mix into the upper 2 to 4 inches of soil prior to seeding. Irrigate to wet soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (1/2 inch of irrigation) after seeding but before covering to prevent fertilizer salt injury and promote uniform germination.

Additional nitrate nitrogen may be applied once plants are dime-sized to maintain desired color and promote rapid growth. Limit application to 0.5 to 1 pound of nitrate nitrogen (3 to 6 pounds of nitrate of soda or calcium nitrate) per 100 square yards which is equivalent to 25 to 50 pounds nitrogen (150 to 300 pounds nitrate of soda or calcium nitrate) per acre.

Yellowing of plants may also result from magnesium or sulfur deficiency. Correct diagnosis of the problem requires the use of plant analysis. Magnesium and sulfur deficiencies may be corrected by applying 3 pounds of potassium-magnesium-sulfate or equivalent from other sources per 100 square yards (145 pounds per acre).

Do not apply fertilizers to wet foliage. Irrigate after application to wash fertilizer material off the plant.

Organic forms of nitrogen are not suggested for use in tobacco plant beds.