Deb Stephens wrote:Tony,
Before I start identifying these (or anyone else does for that matter) it would be helpful if you could tell us where you are located--state, USDA zone, micro-climate and anything pertinent about your soil/climate conditions, aspect (north-facing, south-facing, etc.). The reason I mention this is that all the plants in your list (or at least all those I am familiar with) like moist, shady and generally NOT south-facing environments. Ginseng is in that category. It especially likes cool, very shady valleys near water at the bottom of east or north-facing slopes. However, it does not like to be wet, so good-drainage is essential. You should also know that it takes a LONG time before it is large enough to harvest too--especially if you want quality roots. You might need to do something else to put food on the table and pay the rent for about a decade. Seriously! And that is IF rodents and trespassers and Mother Nature don't take it first.
I've looked through a few of the plants that you show in the photos and most of what I've seen indicate a much drier woodland environment or even a semi-sunny location. I just glanced at them quickly though, so I will go back and look more closely and follow up on this. Just wanted to let you know that to do a good job on ID we need a bit more info to start.
Deb Rebel wrote:There is 'farming' of ginseng by raised beds with the right soil mix, watering, under serious shade and using blue-green plastic to give the right light mix but this is a lot of work and very expensive to do. And there will still be a five year minimum lead to getting the first crop if one is lucky, and no visits by rodents, deer, or two legged poachers. If as others are reporting, the land is too warm, dry (as indicated by the stuff growing there already) and with too much light, one might seriously reconsider trying to grow this crop and look into something else to grow instead.
Deb Stephens wrote:Tony, Do you live in southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas? Maybe it is another state, but your place is essentially dry woodland and you are not going to have the sort of landscape for ginseng. I have mostly seen a lot of Virginia creeper, black-eyed Susans, blackberry, mulberry, ash, tulip poplar, sassafras and oak (sorry about that). Also some commelina, ferns that mostly associate in dry woods, and various other herbaceous plants that are definitely not on your preferred list. Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ladies slipper, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, etc. are generally found in moist woods. Your land is more like what we find on west and south-facing woodlands and in edge areas around glades. Sorry to break the bad tidings, but you probably need a different piece of land or a different crop. You might also want to take some courses in plant identification or general botany before you decide on another potential crop. There is a lot that goes into growing exotic plants like ginseng and it isn't really the sort of thing a newbie would be advised to take on. Have you considered harvesting and selling native seeds, for example?
tony phamm wrote:I appreciate the recommendations and yes I will be doing a food forest here too to learn the basics of permaculture. But there are different types of people out there. I don't like to read and research too much about something before taking action. I like to read a little about it, take action and then see what comes of it. I like to learn from my mistakes which is for me the fastest way of learning. Also, when doing it myself, I learn a whole lot more like this way is better than that way that was explained by an expert. Generalities could only be made from a book which is why I like to execute what I've learned soon in practice. So I will go ahead and plant and see where it could grow. Sure I'll waste some of money and time and effort along the way had i researched more of it but i really like to learn from experience as well.
Anyways, so anyone else able to generalize these plants I have from my pics? I just need bare essentials for the starting point. I just need help IDing these for now. I'll become an expert later through my own experience. I'll be on this for years, especially if I see some results, even if they are random, so I'll have years to read a book about this or that but I've already read a good amount so I just wanna go out there and plant some stuff and learn from that, but for now, I just need some quick help on IDing these to get me started.
Again, the big question is, if I see these companion plants growing at that exact spot does that mean I should prepare land at that exact location, replacing the companion plants with ginseng planting, or does it just mean that the general location is good and that I should then find the most ideal spot for that property (northeast facing slope, at least 10-25 degrees slope, the right hardwood on top, bigger the better, 75% cover, etc.)
Jane Southall wrote:You could just try a small area or even a small raised bed, to begin with. Southern exposure seed exchange will send you a small amount of two I think maybe three year roots for 15 bucks this fall. I have oak, red maple and beech. I simply going to spend 5 or 10 bucks on seeds from them. I have a couple of spots with 75% shade. Kinda loamy. Feels like the best spots. If it doesn't work out, I only spent a few bucks. No big deal. Start small. Good luck to you.