Thanks Classicfur. I'm very curious to see what my soil test says when I get it back.
On a side note, the auger I ordered showed up today. I took it out to the garden and played around with it a little. I think it will work just fine for planting individual seeds. Actually, the auger is much larger than I thought. You have to watch or you'll have a huge hole in no time. Truth be told, a regular drill bit would work just as well for making your holes. The only advantage is that this auger is over two feet long. I don't have to bend over. I can just walk and drill. If you had a partner planting with you, you could really do the business with this thing. One guy digging and the other following planting. Another benefit is that I can use it to plant tomato and pepper plants.
For this next planting, I have 4000 seeds coming, which by my reckoning, is slightly more than a half pound. I didn't time myself on my first plantings, but my best guess on one pound of seeds is that it took me around 8-9 hours between roughing up the soil, spreading the seeds, and packing them in. I'll try and be more accurate with my timing on this next go around.
That's not a bad idea either on the soil testing. I have areas that has small ginseng growing, and I have some areas that have beautiful picture perfect plants. I need to go to that premium area and see what the soil is like. I knew soil conditions played a large role in how the seng develops, but until I started doing research and talking with knowlegable folks like yourself, I never realized that the amount of shade/sunlight the seng gets played such a vital role in it's development. I may have to grab my little chainsaw and do some thinning.
Thanks again, Classicfur. Always great to hear from you.
I think we will never learn everything on growing ginseng. The problem is that the real learning starts when we actually start growing it ourselves. I read up on growing it for 2-3 years before I actually started doing it myself. I,ve learned alot of what I know now by trial and error. I believe I know alot about growing, but I relize that ginseng is a Very Special Plant unlike any other. And through this ginseng forum, the internet, and every season I watch my plants grow, I'm learning more and more all the time. But the actual growing part puts everything I've learned to the test.
Keep planting them and some day you will Keep diggin them, year after year!
I got a chance to use the auger I bought today. It worked really well for drilling individual holes, but I didn't fall in love with the method like I thought I might. It drilled all the holes really fast, but I ended up stooping over to make sure all the seeds made it into the holes. If you had a partner, this method wouldn't be too bad. One guy could dig and the other could plant.
While playing around this morning, I did find another method of planting with this auger. I used it as a cultivator instead of a drill. I just kept putting it into the soil and breaking up the top layer in each section. Then I did like before where I spread the seeds out and stepped on them. The good news is that it takes two minutes to break up a 4'x4' square if the soil is good. If the soil is hard, or it's full of roots, it takes closer to five minutes to break it up. I had all three kinds. The drawback to this method is that my drill batteries only let me get about half the plot done. Also, it did a great job of tearing right through all the small roots, but if you hit a big one, look out because that thing can be a wrist breaker!
I don't know how well you can see the difference in the photos I took with my cell phone, but the first picture is the 4'x4' square before I cultivated with the auger, and the second is after I worked it up.
It looks good and loose Jacquo but it seems like a lot of work for a large planting. Im sure that would work well on a small scale though. I break every other tooth out on a metal garden rake then bend the teeth together to only make about five on it all together. Digs in really well and breaks it up to about an inch and a half
Let me know how it works for ya Latt, I think it works better than anything else Iv tried ...on a steep slope especially. In my landscape business we do this when we can't get a tractor in tight spots or along walkways to prepare them when seeding lawns