I tested one site today with a meter I'm coming up a consistent 7 or a lil below...I've read ginseng needs 5.5 to 6.5 ....a lot of calcium...now I just read a article on the net that says a ph of 7 is high calcium....comments pls on a ph of 7
Most of my woods is at or near pH of 7 and my seedlings and the wild are all looking good. I rely on the wild more than my planting as mine could still fail, but the wild has nice dark green leaves and does reproduce. I have very high calcium levels so I do see them as going hand in hand.
The advantage of low pH is that you generally have less disease issues. The high calcium in the Beyfuss and Corbin studies showed that contrary to normal soil behavior, ginseng normally did well under maples up north and poplar in the south which caused the high calcium levels in soils with very low pH. Normal soils with low pH won't have high calcium.
I have been planting almost exclusively by maples...my father used to find it heavy growing under butternut and basswood...not much of those left in areas I'm planting...been putting it under semi mature mixtures of ash and maple....the ash has formed a nice canopy for being about 20 foot tall...dad said he found ginseng under almost every hardwood tree with the exception of heavy oak stands.