I could use some opinions on what happened. Last year I got 2 oz of statified seed here from WG and planted it in 1 main section of woods that seems a good fit, although there has never been any wild ginseng found there. I got the seed in mid Sept, and all the seed was in the ground by the first week of Oct. It was all planted by hand, move the leaves away, plop a seed, put the leaves back.
I've been checking and checking and checking over the last 3 weeks, and I don't believe that a single 3 leaf plant came up out of the nearly 1000 seeds planted. I just want to cross off any potential problems so I can understand what happened, and keep this from happening again. Is the woods bad, is the seed bad, did I plant it wrong, did I store the seeds incorrectly, was the winter or wet spring to blame? Lots of factors.
Let's go back to the start. Did you look the seed over when you received it and did it look okay? What did you do with the seed after it arrived, up and through the time you finished planting it? When you were planting did you walk over the area that you had planted to press the seed down into the soil? What depth do you think the seeds wound up in the ground? None of these things may have been the problem. I planted a pound from Glacial Gold and not one of them came up. I'm sure that you are going to get some good comments.
Mortis, I'm with Hugh on this one. There are many factors potentially at blame as you note. However, the most common cause is handling of the seed before planting. One thing on which I\"ve completely reversed my position is holding seed in the refrigerator. Don't do it unless you are going to hold the seed long-term and not plant until after the soil temperature is at least as cool as your fridge.
What is your deer population like? How about slugs...have you checked for them?
Well, the bag came in and it was clearly slightly moist inside. I put the whole bag into the fridge until the weekend when I could plant. I planted probably 1/2 the bag that first weekend. I was planting small patches in different areas of the same woods. I would sit down, pull back the leaves within arms reach of where I was sitting, and poke a single seed down into the soil probably 1/4 deep. Then when 20-30 seeds were in all around me, I would put the leaves back over them, and move to a new spot. No, I didn't walk over the areas after I put the leaves back.
I left the remainder of the seeds with my cousin, who didn't get a chance to plant until the following weekend. She kept the seeds in the fridge during that week. She said she planted by just poking a single seed down through the leaf layer, between 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep.
I wish I had seen some of the videos of you guys planting seed. Now that I have a better idea, I hopefully will get better results during this years planting season. But I still was hoping to find out exactly what went wrong with last years planting. Thanks for your help.
Thanks for getting back on the board and interacting with us tonight. I could be completely off the mark here, but if my experience tells me anything, it would be that when you placed the seeds in the refrigerator it caused the seeds to go into delayed dormancy. You may get a fair amount to sprout next year, but you may loose them all. I've seen both things happen and the experience that I've had showed very little seng coming back a year later. I hope that I'm wrong. Like Brad said, and that I have found out the hard way, \"is to stay away from the refrigerator if you are storing seeds\". I think you are learning a lesson that many of us have learned and it does not make you feel good.
BCastle, lots of deer in the area. Turkey and squirrel also. We try to kill them off every year but the darn things keep reproducing.
Yes, in the past year I've read a few places about not storing seed in the fridge. Lesson learned, good thing it was only $30 worth of seed. My goal is to keep goofin around with this and learning until I finally seem to get the puzzle pieces worked out, and then I may make more of an investment into it. I have private access to over 400 acres of a family farm, which I am hoping is suitable ground for seng to grow. All the telltale signs are there.
Deer and turkey don't do ginseng any good. Deer is an outright predator to ginseng. I don't know of any studies on if a ginseng seed can pass through a turkey and still germinate, but I don't believe it can based in part on the research with deer. The scratching around turkeys do can really hurt a patch. And, if they get to the seed before germination, boy can they hurt you.
I guess in a way growing ginseng is like selling Amway.... in one you have to sell them faster than they can quit, and in the other you have to plant them faster than they can disappear!
I've always wondered how you get one plant all alone like that. I found a small 2 prong in my woods where I have never found ginseng. I guess birds, deer, squirrels etc. I don't know. Ginseng is a mystery LOL. Everyone have a safe and fun 4th of July
First if your going to try and plant Ginseng where there are NO deer and turkey you won't be planting Ginseng at all. They'll get some they'll leave some. Same with slugs. I don't clear understory plants so critters and insects have a variety to choose from. I've got three deer in the freezer but you can't take the wild out of wild simulated.
I planted 2 lbs fall of 2012, and nothing came up. Could have been the refrigerator dormancy theory at work. My guess is green seed. I racked my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong. It wasn't worth the worry.
Most of the seed from that 2 lb in 2012 is coming up well this year. The three pounds plus I planted 2013 is coming up even better and much of that seed spent at least a couple weeks in the fridge. I'd be willing to bet good money your seedlings will appear next year. Unless you planted in a spot that just won't grow ginseng. Hope you see them next spring alive and healthy.