I'm new to ginseng and this site, so I welcome any and all advice. I'm planning to plant the wild-simulated method with Castle Farms ECF seeder. I know that I hate raking from past experience as a landscaper. Plus, it seems like that would leave all the competing plants for diversity to help maintain the health of ginseng. My starting location will be northeast Iowa on some property my father owns. The advantage there is he'll be siting looking out the window at the hillside with the ginseng everyday through the whole fall season, so I don't have to worry about poaching. He's a pretty serious bowhunter. The downside is there are plenty of deer. If they decide ginseng is a delicacy, I'm probably gonna have to fence.
I was reading Scott Persons book and noted his comment about cutting the flower stem as it comes up and how it can increase the root weight 20-30%. Does anybody have any experience doing this?
By my calculations doing this 5 years could increase the root weight 100%. Since I'm expecting to compete with every rodent and turkey in the woods for a limited supply of wild-simulated produced seed anyway, it seems like I'd be further ahead just buying seed for additional planting and going with the increase in root size. Also, it would require woods time in the summer instead of more time needed in the fall when I'd rather be planting or harvesting, or bowhunting.
My one concern is whether the price per pound would be the same, or like cultivating, if I increase the root weight would I also be reducing the value of the root per pound.
Thanks for any advice you are willing to share!
Welcome to the forum, from my personal experience, i didn't produce hardly any seed the first 5 years anyway so i feel it will be a mute point. I doubt that ginseng planted the wild-simulated method without additional fertilizers will gain 20% by cutting the seed heads, I am aware that that method is used for cultivated ginseng. I do think that the seeds produced from the ginseng would be better suited to your local area, as opposed to purchased seed. I am sure others will chime in. Also with hindsight being 20/20 i think planting is a better option than rake and scatter. Good luck in your planting efforts,
Technically, if you remove the flower stems from your wild simulated ginseng plantings, you will no longer have wild simulated ginseng. What you are suggesting is (an artificial) enhancement to the growth of the ginseng. When you are planning to wait about 10 years before harvesting, that little bit could make a huge difference in the value of your roots. The more your roots look like they are growth enhanced (which that would be doing) the less they are going to be worth. Anything classified as pick out will be worth about 1/3 of going market value.
I agree with these fellas. Personally I would not want to lose any seeds but that's just me. I do not get many seeds on my 3 year old plants but others on this forum do with theirs. It depends on many factors.
Also yes if you plant 1 seed at a time and spread out verses sowing them rake and scatter you will get much better results. Much more labor intense thou.
Welcome to the Wildgrown forums! I hope that you will stay with us and share some stories of Ginseng planting success in the future!
I must say that I agree with BCastle on deflowering the Ginseng plants every year for artificial enhancement and how it will effect the price at harvest age! However, I believe that deflowering the plants the first two years that they produce flowers, then allowing them to grow flowers for the remainder of their' life until harvest could have some benefits that should not adversely effect the value at harvest age. If you deflower the plants the first two years that they are able to produce flowers, you would be allowing the plants to devote their' energy towards plant and root growth and not towards producing seeds. This should allow the plants to grow a larger top, a larger root and more extensive root fiber system than they normally would have done had they gone to seed and should be beneficial to them in the long term. If after deflowering the plants the first two years that they produce flowers, you let them produce flowers and seeds the proceeding years, their' growth should return to normal and all of the wild characteristics that you and the Buyers want in the roots, should return as well. If done in this manner, I don't think that there will be a negative effect on the prices that you get for your' Ginseng roots and might actually be the opposite and you may get an even better price for your' roots. Since most Ginseng plants and their' roots struggle to survive the first 3 to 4 years of their' life, this method would allow them to provide the needed energy to not only survive but also to grow faster and stronger during these crucial years. I think that if other Wildgrown members as well as the lurkers of the forums, would try this method on a chosen sample of their' Ginseng crops and it works with great successes, then it might be adopted by many others and used by many in the future. I believe the key to this having the outcome that you want (better survival rate, possibly larger roots in the end and normal to better pricing for those roots when harvested), is to not to deflower the plants beyond the first two years that they produce flowers. You want them to grow faster and grow larger roots during their' crucial survival years and afterwards, you want them to grow normally to produce roots with normal wild root characteristics which may be much larger than other plant's roots at the same age and which will fetch normal to better pricing on the market.