Place commercial seedling compost into a tray and soak with water, allowing the excess water to drain off. Sprinkle the tobacco seeds onto the surface of the damp soil. Do not cover the seeds with compost, as they need light for germination. Tobacco seeds are very tiny, so be careful to spread the seeds as evenly as possible. Keep the soil damp at all times, being careful not to wash the seeds around too much when watering. Use a water mist sprayer.
Start the seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost, making sure they are kept warm during this period and not allowed to dry out. A typical propagator is ideal. At a temperature of 75-80 degrees, seeds typically take a matter of days to germinate; though at this stage they are still rather small. At lower temperatures, the germination simply takes a few days longer.
Typically, seeds take a few days to germinate but 7-14 days before anything is visible. At this size they are extremely small, resembling water-cress. Continue to grow them this way until they are large enough to handle.
Plantlets are ready to be transplanted into bigger pots, when the leaves are about 1cm in length.