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Growing ginseng

This page was updated 1. jan 2017 

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.)Panax ginseng seed 

These are stratified ginseng seeds

I grow ginseng from my own seeds so I know they have good germination quality.

In the early days I purchased seeds from many different countries and found to my dismay that most of the sellers I dealt with sold dead seeds please be aware of this.

Below are basic care and planting instructions for growing ginseng seeds and roots .The seeds on the left into their second year and need planting out 

Main points

Do not let the seeds dry out

Do not let the seeds freeze

While in the refrigerator examine seeds regularly to prevent the spread of moulds

Plant seeds 30mm deep this is the most efficient depth

Keep the seeds protected from predators .Use deer fences chicken wire and keep a close eye out for slugs .

These seeds I stored too long they are almost ready to push out roots and stems.

The stratification period allows the seeds to mature and they begin to ‘grin’. That is they split open the two halves of the seed shell and you can see the white embryo  inside. The overall appearance is that of a smile or grin.

Sprouting ginseng seeds
Also keep a close eye on any signs of germination like the seeds on the left  that have sprouted while still in the polybag at the bottom of the fridge

American ginseng plants are generally started from seeds. Seedlings or roots for transplanting are available from this website store . Seeds are planted in the fall and germinate in the spring. Although researchers have examined ways to break this juvenility requirement and hasten germination, it is still not understood.

First-year seedlings produce one compound leaf with three leaflets. This leaf, 1 to 2 in. in height and spread, is the only above-ground growth in the first year. Underground, the plant develops a thickened root about 1 in. long and up to 1/4 in. wide. At the top of the root, a small rhizome or "neck" develops with a regeneration bud at the apex of the rhizome. In autumn, the leaf drops, and a stem supporting new leaves emerges from the regeneration bud the following spring.


Ginseng seedlings

Ginseng seed planting


Most ginseng crops are started from seed, rather than roots or seedlings. This is the least expensive way to start a plantation and may help prevent the introduction of soil-borne disease to new plantations.

As there is an 18 month seed dormancy, freshly harvested seed cannot be used for starting a crop. It must be stratified for 18 to 22 months before planting.

Stratified and unstratified seeds can be purchased from the webstore

Seed stratification involves soaking the seed in a steralising solution , then burying the seed outdoors in moist sand. Most seed is already stratified when it is purchased and needs only to be treated with a fungicide and sown. Seed should not be allowed to dry out before or after seeding.

A. Seedbed Preparation:

For planting seeds or seedlings, till the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 in., and remove rocks. For root planting, work the beds 12 in. deep. For best results, mix soil 1 to 1 with fiber-free woodland soil. Make beds 4 ft wide with alleys between them for walkways and for farm equipment. If the bed is on flat ground, mound the center to facilitate good runoff. Slope the walkways so they will drain water from the beds during heavy rains.

Shade can be provided by wooden lath sheds or polypropylene fabric. Artificial .





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ginseng berries

A few red ginseng berries from the garden  August 15th 2014 England .It has been a funny old year for ginseng .Seed production will be low this year .A huge snail infestation  mowed the tops off hundreds of seedling and did a lot of damage to older plants before I could get them under control. Lots of pest and disease .Some roots just sat under the ground and didnt bother to grow they are still alive but didnt put up any leaves













 



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