I've dug seng for years, but have never taken the time to dig any yellow root. At the moment, I have my eye on a new gun. I'm going to own it at some point, but I am determined not to dig into my piggy bank to do it. That's where digging some yellow root comes in. I know it's more like work when digging it, but since I have a goal I'm trying to reach, maybe it won't be so bad. I know that it's up, but I'm wondering if it's time to dig or if you need to wait a little bit. Also, with the price of gas being so high, I'm going to have to put in some long digging session just to justify the trip. I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end. I would enjoy hearing the thoughts of some of the folks that have dug this regularly. Thanks.
I have dug a little goldenseal over the years. If you know where theres a good patch, I think you can dig a pound(dry) in about an hour- depending on the soil and the size of the patch. I have never dug a whole lot of yellowroot, I dug about 20 pounds last year.
Twenty lbs. of yellow root sure seems like a lot to me, but then again I'm not familiar with digging it. I know a spot that is incredible for yellow root, but I don't know if I can get permission this year. When I was digging seng on that place last year, the yellow root was so thick, I was stomping down plants everywhere trying to get to the seng. I'm going to give it a shot and hopefully come out with a little extra cash in my pocket.
ive always dug quite a bit, if its big plants and loose dirt it aint that bad to dig, it dries out faster than any other root i know of too, but here in NE ky it aint up very good yet, atleast what ive seen aint been..... but if i was you and was gonna dig a bunch of it, id get to diggin before it got very dry, seems like you break off alot more in that hard dry dirt, when the grounds real wet you can grab a hand full of plant and just about pull em up
Yesterday was a very nice day here, so I decided I was going to go and dig some Yellow Root. I learned a couple of things very quickly on my first outings, some of which will be useful down the road. The first is that it sure took a while to fill up the five gallon bucket I was carrying. The second thing I learned was that if at all possible, dig when it's dry. It rained here for several days, and the ground was pretty moist. Man did the dirt come up in muddy clumps with the roots. It was a bear when it was time to clean it, plus it made the bucket I was carrying a little on the heavy side.
Overall, I came away with a little over two pounds yesterday. I called a dealer this past week and he said he would pay $20 a pound right now. I did a lot of work yesterday between the digging and cleaning, so at $20 per pound, it was border line not worth the effort to dig it under the conditions I went out in. Maybe I'll get lucky and the price will go up in the next month or so, but I plan on digging more. It will add up eventually. I was finally able to speak with my uncle about it. He's dug Yellow Root for years. He said $25 a pound is about the price where you feel like the effort is justified. He told me that one year he was selling it for $40 a pound. He told me the woods look liked they had been plowed when it hit that price. I laughed out loud at that one.
I agree, I have some very large wild patches that I can dig. I wanted to transplant some last fall. It took me a long time to fill a bucket full. I thought the same thing about if it would be worth it to dig for sale at the going price.
I do enjoy leaving the wild patch there to let it continue to flourish. I do pick the berries thou and then I take the seeds from the berries. I had planted a lot of seeds last fall. I hope to see some this spring or more than likely they will come up next spring.
Goldenseal/Yellow Root can take a bit more sun and I have quite a large planting area planted out back in partial shade.
The roots I transplanted are doing well and they are easy to transplant.
Guys, One tip to diggin yellowroot is that you will get more weight late in the season. The big yellow kernel has alot less moisture in it if you wait till fall to dig it.I have even dug yellow root after the plant has died back and the root was alot less moist than if you dig in the spring early summer. You will get more weight for your diggin time if you can let the patch alone till late fall. There is a pic of a table full that I dug on a thread in the goldenseal section if anyone needs to see what the root looks like. Best place to dig yellowroot is in loose sandy rich soil deep in the woods. If you find the right kind of patch you can stick your hands under the plants and it will come up in wads. I like to knock most of the dirt off in the woods so you don't have to pack it out. Tip: Wait till late fall to dig your patches.