6 years ago I planted several pounds of seed and I've kept planting a few hundred seeds every year since. I now have between1 and 2thousand good 2 and 3 prong plants. I don't plan on harvesting for a few years.
They are all wild simulated and I am trying to justify purchasing more seed to keep the crop replenished. Can someone tell me aproximately how many 7-8 year old roots it takes to make a pound of dried seng? I know it varies a lot, but are we talking 25 roots or 200 roots? I'm just looking for a ball park figure. Thanks
Varies I would think on area, soil, growing conditions. Would be more than 25 by a long shot in Wisconsin where I am. We have big plants, but 30 or more years old. If I were in your shoes, and I think you are doing well starting out I would keep putting seed in the ground and try to wait a couple more years than you plan. Dig 9 roots from different areas on your land and weigh on a reloader scale, 1 oz. is 438 grains. If for instance your 9 roots weigh 6 oz. green, that is approx. 2 oz. dry. 8 times 9 roots is 72 plants. Replant the roots.
I found 45 roots that were 15 to 40 years old, two and a quarter pounds green. 36 oz. so that is about 3/4 oz average. Very dry by us, everything in the woods is suffering.
Hope this might help you, I think you are on the right track. Never stop the planting, even if you cut down. You should have enough of your own as to not to have to buy.
otjoe, based on wild roots I've dug here in Ohio, I would guess that number to be close to 300 roots from 7-8 year old plants to make 1 pound of dried ginseng. It seems to me that the older ginseng gets the more quickly the roots increase size. For example: A plant with 20 neck scars is usually 3 to 4 times larger than a plant with 10 neck scars if grown in the same location. This i just a generalization based on what I have observed from hunting sang over the years.
Age is important but when you talk weight, weight is important. I have seen less than 100 roots weigh 1 pound dry when one is very selective with the roots weighed. These would be very nice (large/old) roots which are NOT what you would dig in the wild on average. If you have an un-molested area (areas not dug every year by those who are selfish), you could have roots that fit this criteria. On average, most ?diggers? will go to the same locations year after year with no regard to the future crop of mature plants. They will dig any and all plants that will not be questioned by their ?buyer?. Many times they do not adhere to local regulations (laws) and will dig the roots long before the berries are ripe and are viable for reproduction. Even worse is when they collect the berries for their own use.
So, when you ask ?how many roots does it take to weigh a pound??, there is no true answer. I hope that it will be less than 100 roots (for your personal financial gain).
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MMG, Since you are responding to my response to otjoe's original post, I thought I'd reply to yours. I agree that it would take far less than 300 nice (large/old) roots to make a pound, but the question was how many 7 to 8 year old wild simulated plants it would take to equal a pound. I will tell you that I am somewhat offended by you classifying most diggers as poachers and people who do not practice good conservation. Yes, there are poachers out there and I have seen the results of their disrespect of nature, but there are also good ethical diggers who dont just \"dig any and all plants that will not be questioned by their buyer\". These guys replant the ripened berries close to where they find them. They don't dig small immature plants and they abide by the letter of the law. Yes I'm a digger and proud to Know that most of the areas I dig in have more abundant ginseng because of my ethics and conservation minded approach. I also know guys \"diggers\" just like me.
Sprong, I don't think he meant to sound like every harvester is a poacher, but all it takes is one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. If you have 75 stewards in one county and one thief, the areas the thief hits will be devestated.
I could be wrong, but that is how I read his post. By \"digger,\" it sounded to me like someone with no regard for ethics; not a steward. Then again, he may have been the victim of a thief and has a bad taste in his mouth for every digger. I know here in NC, there are still parts back in the \"hollers\" where poachers never make it home if they're caught.
Definitely closer to 200. Unless you have soils that grow monsters. Ohio 7-8 yr. olds is 250-280 roots on average per dried pound. But Ohio also grows pretty small roots when compared to some of the surrounding states.
I'd say having a couple thousand thriving plants after 6 years is justification enough to get more seeds and expand. Sounds like they like the site.