Well, it looks like the growing season is over for ol Hillhopper. Checked the plantings today and 95% have dried up with the other 5% on its way out as well. These 100 plus temps and high winds didn't even give them time to yellow up and senesence. They dried green right where they stood, just like if you brought green tops back from digging to save. It really ticks me off that they have lost half the growing season but at least they have growth buds in tact for next year. I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow so I assume they'll be gone when I get back. Looks like it will be next April before I see em again.
I sure hate to hear that. We are experiencing the same thing here where I live and I have been trying to keep enough water on my plants to stave off the drought. Even with the constant watering I am losing 3 leafers and some larger plants in a spot or two. Yesterday, the temperature got to 107 degrees and that was hotter than it has ever been here in East Tennessee. It was time for a \"friendship get together\" that takes place every year and this is where we planted 2-3 acres of wild seng 12 years ago. We drove on 4 wheelers to the locations and someone had cleaned out all the bigger seng and there were only a few 2 and 3 prong plants left. Talk about a sick and disgusted feeling??? I just don't think we are going to get any rain soon enough to help things here so we'll just have to see what comes up next year. Good luck to others.
this year is probably going to be worse than 2007 drought conditions, i had about 8 years of ginseng crops in the ground then, i worried myself sick over the dry weather and loss of ginseng, but the next spring they were back, i wasn't able to determine if there was any additional loss over a \"normal year\" and that gave me a big relief to know that ginseng is actually a very tolerant plant. Looks like in my area the only people who will be able to sell this fall are the poachers who dug this spring.
We hit 106 or so yesterday here at my house, and right now I just checked and it is 102.
We got some rain the First half of June but the last half it just dried up. With no rain for a few weeks and temps at 95+ it does not take long for conditions to get too bad for the seng.
When I checked my seed bed Friday evening they were sure looking sad, leaves just hanging down limp and all.
Some smaller transplants up the hill just a bit, 2 are dead, 2 more very near dead, and a few more that are at the base of a rise where the evening sun is completely blocked were wilted but looking much better.
I can get a hose down to that location and I did, and watered it all good, and I checked on them all again this morning and they were all looking much better. Of course in the moring after the cool of the night they would be stressed much less anyway. I watered them all good again this morning.
My seed bed plants are at the point now where they are just setting berries. I am going to try and water them every other day until we get thru this heat wave and see if I can save them.
I have not looked at my wild smilated stuff in a few weeks but I am sure they are suffering badly right now.
I only got to go on 3 seng hunts last season because of this early die off stuff, was sure looking forward to doing a lot more hunting this year, but if this weather does not turn around soon I may not get to hunt any this year. Sure could use a good rain right now.
It is indeed aggravating to see plants go down this early in the year. I don't think that conditions around here are nearly as bad as what you guys down south are experiencing. Things have been hot and dry here too, but not as hot. We got a pretty good rain Friday night and I just looked at the radar and it seems like we should be getting another shower here in a couple of hours. I have seen several plants go down already, but most of the mature plants are hanging in there so far.
The silver lining in all of this is that these weather extremes are a big part of what gives those roots good wild characteristic. This growing ginseng thing sure does try a guys patience:side:
I guess this hot dry weather is hurting all the ginseng from Ohio to Tennesse. It sure puts a damper on digging this season but at least it will be back next year ( maybe ).
Now, on the poaching and thieving well that's another thing. It's almost impossible to stop.
Tn, I'm glad you can water your seed producing plant bed. I too have mine close by but I'm still not satisfied with the soil structure ( too tight ). This fall I'm taking my plants up and re-tilling with more compost and gypsum. Also, I'm going to start another bed close by so I can water it. I just don't think ordered seed are nearly as hardy,do you?
Rootman and Others,
I transplanted 50 beautiful roots in a small shade bed in a spot in my shade garden a few years back. It was a clay based soil so I tilled in some coarse sand and some peat. I had really bad results with it. This stuff set up like concrete. I mean when I first tilled it I thought I created the perfect mix. I tilled it deep and when I was done it looked loose and loamy.
I recently read that tilling can often result in a soil that sets up like concrete. Well I learned the hard way that they are right. Lost every one of those 50 roots and they were all in the 20 to 30 year old range. It made me sick.
This is contrary to what most people think. I mean tilling makes the soil loose at first. But I had no idea it could lead to compacted concrete hard soil in the years to follow.
I wonder if one were to mix in some lime stone gravel if this would help. I think the soil in the woods has enough compost or organic matter in it most often that tilling probably does not end up compacted. However, tilling a clay based soil and planting ginseng seeds in it is a different story.
Lets face it, if you till a ginseng bed in a clay based soil you only get to till it the first time. Once the seeds are planted you cannot till it again obviously.
I have another larger area in back that I tilled in shredded leaves each year and have done it for the past 5 years. It was my veg garden. The soil was clay based so I mixed in some coarse sand along with the hundreds upon hundreds of large trash bags filled with mulched leaves. I mean I used to go around the neighborhood in the fall and I put the bagged shredded leaves in my truck and brought them home and tilled them in. Well this veg garden got tilled every year but the trees I planted nearby eventually made the garden shaded. So I thought this would make the perfect spot for ginseng, yellow root and blood root. I planted seed and roots and have had very little success.
After all that tilling and adding shredded leaves year after year the ground has once again set up like concrete. A couple links below on this.