2019 Summer/Fall Planting:

* Ginseng Seed: Pre-order your seed for summer/fall planting, next shipment on Monday, 8/12/2019
* Ginseng Rootlets: Pre-orders are currently accepted for fall shipment
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 3 weeks 4 days ago #41921

Wow, it's great to finally join you guys. Due to my lack of computer skills, It's taken me a year to join the forum. Thanks Mike for the help.
I've been reading everyone's posts and enjoy not only the ginseng topics but the fishing and peach tree discussions as well as others.

As an introduction, I'll share with you all how I came to be here, I'll try to keep it brief but no promises. :)

In December 2017, my wife and I moved from Oregon to WV looking to escape the city(s) and enjoy rural America. We've succeeded in that and the move has allowed me to retire and my wife plans to retire at the end of this year.

Sometime late winter or early spring 2018, I sat down in the living room to eat lunch and began channel surfing. We didn't have TV the three previous years in OR. I stumbled upon "Appalachian Outlaws" and after watching an episode, recorded the rest to watch later. I wasn't sure how accurate the programs were nor how much was "Hollywood BS" but I was intrigued. I wondered if any ginseng grew on my property.

I met a neighbor about that time who had done odd jobs for the previous owner and was friends with the guy renting the house until we bought it. I brought up the topic of ginseng and he said he had some, knew of nobody else in our area that was into it and that he had never seen any on my property. Bummer.

He offered to show me his honey hole so I could see what seng looked like. We found a couple plants on his property but encountered a bear on the way to his honey hole and decided to track the bear (go figure) which we did to his grandfather's old overgrown orchard.

I must've looked at a trillion plants last spring and summer on walks through our woods and often pointed to "lookalikes" and telling my wife, "that might be ginseng", "this might be ginseng". I had the fever but not the knowledge to even identify the plant. Despite everything I've mentioned, I ordered 1800 seeds to plant in the fall.

My wife let me buy a side-by-side (bless her heart) and last September while creating a trail to drive it on, something red caught my eye. I almost had a stroke when I realized it was a 3-prong seng. I scoured the area for more but found none. Oh well, my "honey hole" consisted of one plant. I at least could see a potential there.

The plant had 5 berries and after two disappeared I panicked and emailed Mike and he said to plant the remaining ones which I did. I checked on my plant almost daily then one day it was gone, eaten I suspect by a deer. It came back this year however with a couple youngins' just below it . Determined to differentiate between seng and its lookalikes, I studied my plant every time I walked up to check my game cam in that area.

In May, I was walking the opposite side of my property checking game cams. I heard a loud droning of a bee and wondered if it was a yellow jacket nest and turned my head to check it out and looked directly at a 3-prong seng. After a double-take, I walked over and confirmed it was seng. I spent the next hour searching and found numerous more plants. Elated, I almost ran down the mountain, I had to tell someone after all, my wife was like, "that's nice, can I retire now"?.

I went back there the next morning to make sure I wasn't dreaming and counted 30 two and three-prong plants. I didn't count any three-leaf plants since I wasn't sure I could accurately identify them.

I decided to systematically check my 100+ acres for more. I began checking the drainage slopes and while falling on my butt a few times, having to backtrack to find my favorite cap, I discovered two more patches, one with approximately 30 plants and the other about 20 plants.

Since then, I've only discovered a stray plant here and there.

I've also been checking where I planted last fall and am finding seedlings (right term?), in every location. One of my plantings happened to be within one of the patches though the plants had either died off by the time I planted or I just didn't recognize them.

So here I am. I have many questions for you folks but don't want to inundate you all at once. I realize you have been growing seng for years and since I've just caught the fever, I might come off over-zealous or ridiculous at times. If so my apologies.

I've ordered more seeds to plant this fall and look forward to watching my seng grow throughout the summer. At least those the deer don't eat first.

I've attached a few pics because I think Chieftain said he likes pics. I'm almost certain the last pic with three leaves is a seedling, yea?

Anyway, thanks for reading this and I look forward to discussions and learning from you all moving forward.

Jeff
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 3 weeks 3 days ago #41923

welcome aboard ,I did enjoy your pic.s,,looking good.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 3 weeks 1 day ago #41926

Welcome to the site Jeff. There’s some really good sangers on here that you can learn a lot from.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 3 weeks 3 hours ago #41929

Welcome Jeff..

and Yes that last pic is a two prong with 3 leaves on each prong.

Often the first year seedlings will come up as just a 3 leafer... 1 stem only, no forks, and 3 leaves.

I have over the years seen first year seedlings come up with 4 and even 5 leaves... it is rare but it does happen.

Often 2-3 year old plants will be 2 prongs. a 2 year old may be a 2 prong but may have just 3 leaves on each prong (like your pic)... and the 3rd year they may have 5 leaves on each prong... but still be a 2 prong. Some second year plants will still be 3 leafers, but I have seen second year plants come up with 3 prongs (rare but it does happen).

Depending on the site they are growing in, and how well they like it... soil conditions, light conditions, moisture, etc... they can progress thru the different stages much faster or slower.

I have planted in some locations and they literally stayed 3 leafers and small 2 prongs for 4-5-6 years... but now at 9 years, many of those have made it to be smallish 3 prongers producing a few berries.

I have planted a few places where they came up nice and thick with 3 leafers, and suffered greatly from disease and eventually thinned out and now most are gone completely.

I have planted other places where the second year they were 7-8" tall 2 prongs with 5 leaves on each prong, and then 3rd year some were nice 3 prongs... and a few years later nice 3 prongs producing berries.

When you get the location right... it will progress nicely... but then other places that may look good to you, they may develop much slower, or even die out.

I plan to retire in a little over 4 years now... and I don't plan to harvest any of my wild sim until I retire.

i will have some that will be 13 years old at that point and I think they will be looking pretty good by then.

Some will say that you can plant wild simulated seng and harvest in 7-8 years, but that has not been true for me at all. I think 12 years is more likely going to be the minimum number of years you need to let wild simulated go, before expecting to harvest a root that really does look wild.

I would recommend that you plant in small patches (about a 4' x 4' ) space... and plant around 2 seeds per sq ft. So in that 4x4 (16 sq ft), 32 seeds.
And space those 4x4 plantings out some, don't put them too close to each other.

All you need to plant them is a good stout leaf rake, and first rake back the leaves only and just pile them up at the edge of your bed. Don't rake to hard on that first pass, just get the leaves. Then on the second pass press down hard and get that composted leaf litter under the leaves and some top soil and pull that over next to your pile of leaves. Then put your seed down, then spread that pile of dirt and comosted leaves over the seeds, then finally put the leaves back on top and spread out evenly. then walk the bed pressing the seeds into the soil so they get good contact. They will sprout and grow just fine with that method.

But cover your property and get a few into all of the locations that look to have potential.

It really takes 3-4 years for you to find out for sure where they are going to do well, and where they will not.

In 5-6 years some of your plants will be producing berries and you can harvest and plant those in the locations that are doing best. That is what I am doiing now.
I have wild sim ranging from 1-9 years old on my place... and during the month of Sept... starting late August thru Sept, I visit my patches, collect berries and I plant those berries in the locations where my seng is doiing best.

I also have a seed producing bed (40+ old roots in it), that I use just for growing seed (berries). On a good year I will get between 400-500 berries off those and plant them.

Best of Luck to you !

TNHunter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by TNhunter.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 2 weeks 6 days ago #41936

I appreciate ALL your responses and "Hunter", thanks for the info. You probably answered the first 2-3 questions I planned to ask.

The first would've been if it was possible to determine (even if roughly) the age of plants without digging them up. I've seen two and three prongers that are different sizes and number of leaves and wondered if that meant something. I suppose the growing conditions contribute, like mentioned, to the rapidity of a plants growth rate.

I've seen seedlings at every site I planted last fall, except the site I can't locate. Doh!

I planted in 11 sites and used broken off tomato stakes to mark the locations. I even made notes to help me locate them but some of the stakes are gone, have been dislodged or weathered to the point that I spot the seedlings, then the stakes. Still new to my property and unsure about poachers and sort last fall, I tried to make my plantings as covert as possible.

Turned out I found a blind on my property and trash under a tree stand that was present here when I bought the place. I've since began posting my perimeter and plan to have it well posted by fall bow season.

Possibly a mistake I made when planting was after raking back the leaves, I placed the seeds on the ground and pushed them in with a tomato stake approximately 1/4-1/2 inch, then recovered the area with the raked back leaves. Perhaps I planted too deep? This might explain my low seeding rate?

Another question I want to ask: I've read that north and east facing slopes are best to plant on but is soil and light conditions more important? The first plant (with berries) that I found last Sep is on a south facing slope. This year I noticed a few younger plants with it and several seeds I planted there have sprouted.

My patches of ginseng are not that far from my house and I visit at least one of them almost daily. It kind of pisses me off to see prongs eaten off by deer, do you guys experience this or just take it in stride? I check to see if the berry clusters are in tact and hope they are spared. Do any of you fence off in some way your honey holes?

Thanks again, Jeff

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 2 weeks 5 days ago #41941

Jeff...

Yes... Deer do browse the tops of ginseng plants. That seems to get worse on years when it is extra hot and dry. When other less hardy greens start to die off (that deer normally eat)... but ginseng is still hanging in there... they will really browse the seng hard. I have seen that before.

the only location that I have fenced off is my seed producing bed.

Right after I planted my roots there initially (this was in the fall)... I noticed fresh deer and turkey tracks in the bed not long after. I guess they were just checking out the fresh bed.

I put a 3" high chicken wire fence around my bed... which is around 5' wide by 14' long.

It has worked well ... I started it in 2010 and so far have had no tops browsed by deer.... and there are lots of deer in my location.

Below is a pic of my seed producing bed.

TNHunter

Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 2 weeks 5 days ago #41942

ON the question on which way the hillside is facing question...

the more south your location is... for example me in Southern Middle TN... the more important it is to stick to north facing hillsides.

And that depends some on how steep the hillside is.

On the average hillside here seng will grow well on hillside that faces due north, to pretty near north-east. But if you go past north east, to more East facing, no go.

When a north facing hillside starts leaning towards north west.. it plays out quick. Can't take that evening sun at all (down here in the south).

But now I have seen some very steep (limestone bluffs) around creeks, rivers, that even facing due east, Seng grew well and did outstanding. Some of the best I have ever found. I think the difference there is that seng can take quite a bit of morning sun here in the south (cooler)... but if the hillside is very steep like a bluff, there is no evening sun, so it does well (when facing east).

But now the more northward you are the less that comes into play. We used to have a guy that posted her quite often that lived and was growing seng in Main, and he said his did best on west facing hillsides.

If you are down in TN, AL, or GA, that north facing hillside is definitely best bet.

But at some point, perhaps above KY... that becomes less important.

TNHunter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 2 weeks 1 hour ago #41951

TN, question regarding your seed producing bed. Is there an advantage in having a bed rather than just harvesting berries from your other plants? Question: how soon after berries are present can/should they be picked and planted?

I've posted a pic of the plant I found last Sep. Until then I didn't think I had any seng on my property. That plant has returned as well as about 9 younger plants just below it. I don't know if I didn't notice or recognize the youngin's last Sep, maybe they were eaten by then?

Anyway, there is no berry cluster on this plant this year at this point, maybe it was eaten? Many other plants on my property have clusters.

The plant pictured is on a south facing slope (not very steep). It always seems to be shaded by the canopy when I visit it. BTW, I live in WV.

Thanks for the info TN.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Time Poster/Ginseng Novice 2 weeks 1 hour ago #41952

TN, question regarding your seed producing bed. Is there an advantage in having a bed rather than just harvesting berries from your other plants? Question: how soon after berries are present can/should they be picked and planted?

I've posted a pic of the plant I found last Sep. Until then I didn't think I had any seng on my property. That plant has returned as well as about 9 younger plants just below it. I don't know if I didn't notice or recognize the youngin's last Sep, maybe they were eaten by then?

Anyway, there is no berry cluster on this plant this year at this point, maybe it was eaten? Many other plants on my property have clusters.

The plant pictured is on a south facing slope (not very steep). It always seems to be shaded by the canopy when I visit it. BTW, I live in WV.

Thanks for the info TN.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.118 seconds

Who's Online

We have 722 guests and no members online