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Any experience with turmeric?

 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Brainstorming about plants we might want to grow, my darling wife mentioned turmeric. We know a bit about using it in cooking and a bit about its health benefits, but we are quite ignorant when it comes to growing it.

I pulled up the Wikipedia page and it has some general information, but nowhere near what is needed to really consider whether you want to tackle growing the plant.

Anyone have experience? Especially helpful for us would be temperate climate experience, but anything at all is good and appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 
John Elliott
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I tried some last year with pieces I got from the Indian grocery store. I planted it in the middle of summer, and it took about 2 weeks to come up. Since I got such a late start on the season, I figured I wouldn't dig it up in the fall, and I would try to overwinter it in the greenhouse -- bad idea. Once temps drop below about 50F, the leaves yellow and die. I still have it in the plastic pot, and I hope it will resprout when the weather warms up.

I would suggest growing it as a container plant. You can get 4-6 roots in a 10" pot, and it only grows about a foot high. I understand that you can cut pieces of the leaves off and cook with them, but I didn't try that. If you have a nice sunny window, it will probably be happier than being outside in a temperate climate.
 
Johnny Niamert
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I was also interested in both turmeric and ginger.

I've read you can grow it outside, provided ample water during summer and you dig the roots and protect them from freezing during winter.
Just bought some nice specimens today (but these are for eating).

I was going to try planting some this spring and see what happens.
 
John Elliott
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Johnny Niamert wrote:I was also interested in both turmeric and ginger.



I've never been able to get ginger to overwinter here in Georgia. It grows fine in our hot and humid summers, but when the hard freezes come, it's a goner. One thing I would caution people about is making sure the summer nights are not too cold for it. Some of these tropicals, and in that category I include okra as well as turmeric and ginger, really don't like night time temps that go below 60F.
 
Johnny Niamert
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Thats a good point, about their tropical nature.
I think some smart pots are gonna be devoted to tumeric and ginger soon.
 
Adam Klaus
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I grew ginger in a clay pot in my greenhouse successfully. I sprouted store bought organic ginger in March, and then planted it in a pot, standard potting soil. I grew it in the greenhouse until November. When the nights started to get cool, I pulled the roots and harvested. Complete success. Dont know why I havent done it every year since, because it worked quite well.

The ginger liked shade in the greenhouse, but I think it really needed the warmth and humidity of the greenhouse as opposed to outside. My understanding is that turmeric would be nearly identical in growing requirements.

good luck!
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I grew and overwintered ginger successfully here in the South Carolina midlands for three years. In the fall I left that farm and brought the ginger with me. It has wintered in a pile of leaves beneath some shrubs.

We have had some nights in the mid teens this winter so it will be interesting to see if the ginger made it through.

I also have some turmeric in the pile. It had been in it's first year though so, as far as I know, it had not acclimated to our winters here.

I'll pull the pile apart at Easter and see how it all fared.
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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