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Post your experiences, questions and answers about growing wild-simulated ginseng
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TOPIC: Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng

Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 13 years 6 months ago #8302

I know many of us are into growing Ginseng without the use of Chemicals and Pesticides if at all possible. I have been reading up on beneficial fungi that helps plants grow healthier. With the help of Classicfur, I did buy some \"Plant Helper\" the flowable kind and inoculated my 10-pounds of ginseng seed with it a week ago. I will follow up with a good application this spring as well to the seed beds. If any one is interested in that thread go to the thread called AMF Micorrizal Fungi to see the benefits on that.

Worm Castings
It appears that Worm Castings can have many beneficial effects on plants other than just making them grow bigger. I have an attachment below that shows some information that is very interesting to say the least. The part that I like best is it appears that Worm Castings can be play an important roll in helping to prevent disease. We all know that growing ginseng can be prone to disease and I am going to try a test plot this year to see if the bed treated with Worm Castings out preforms the untreated beds. You can spread it dry by broad casting the Worm Castings or you can make a Casting Tea with it and spray it on the plants or beds with a hand sprayer or back pack sprayer.

This is the site that has some good info:


We all know that fertilizing \"Wild Simulated\" planted seed can make the roots grow larger and faster which is not a good thing as the roots lose value if this happens. However, I know we have all found 6 to 8 year old Wild ginseng roots that are much larger than some 30 year old roots we find. This is because the soil, moisture conditions and canopy is better where the younger roots get larger than some older roots that are growing in soil with less desirable nutrients and minerals, that ginseng likes to grow in.

So I am going to give it a try and see how it does. Worm Castings are natural and it looks like from what I have researched that they could be very beneficial as well for ginseng.


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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28115

Did you ever follow thru with the worm castings trial? and if so could you please update. Last year i started a composting pile and after a summer of putting grass clippings and leaves and sticks i realized i needed to break it down faster without the need of turning the pile as much, so i started adding worms then all fall and winter i started adding kitchen vegetable scraps to the pile, now i have thousands of worms working the pile. the pile is now about 4ftx16ft and i am mainly adding waste to the very middle and each end. I dont worry about the pile overheating because it is big enough that the worms can move away from the hot spots. within the next 60 days i will need to harvest the castings and i was thinking about using them on some of my starter beds of goldenseal and false unicorn. I read that one spoonful of soil can contain more microbes than there are people on earth. I think that by using castings and companion plants you may be able to create a ginseng friendly enviroment, scientist are now getting a better understanding of how plants and microbes work together and also communicate with each other and how plants can warn each other of impending diseases or pathogen attacks so the other plants can release their defense mechinisms, I now wonder if instead of looking for companion plants as an indicator, maybe we should be planting companion plants in our ginseng.

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28116

I like everything you said and keep us posted on the progress of your worm bed. I never did buy any work castings. Most of my roots are planted in many different areas throughout Ohio. So honestly I do not do much to my wild simulated plants. Wish I could though.

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28117

K_Duce.. that is one big pile of kitchen scraps! [4x16!!!!] you feeding a small army? LOL

I would appreciate you letting us know how the progress is on the worm castings addendums you are planning....

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28123

Hi All,

I just started a couple worm bins myself. One for European Crawlers which are supposed to be great for composting and castings, and one with Canadian Crawlers from the back yard, for fishing.

I've read a lot of great things about worm castings as well. I just wanted to give a warning. Worms introduced into a woodland environment can be very bad for the ecosystem. Apparently woodland plants that grow in leaf litter, or require a good leaf litter depth to get there start, can't make it after worms are introduced. The worms break down the leaf litter too fast. I think it was a Wisconsin DNR page I was reading that had some pretty good detail to it.

I read that freezing the castings for over a week will kill any eggs. That should make it safe to use.

I haven't read this anywhere, but I wonder if heating it to 120 degrees for 20 minutes would do the same thing. I was reading about the heat process for killing nematodes in garlic cloves and wondered if it would work the same for worm castings. Best of luck, Randy

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28225

Heating the castings might kill the beneficial microbes...

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28242

Just a random thought here, but wouldn't anything that enhances growth rates be counterproductive to wild sim plantings? I know what you mean by large and relatively young wild plants. But, I'll also tell you that many of those get thrown out of lots before they are exported. The question is not if they are really wild (as far as the digger knows anyway), but if they look like they might be growth enhanced.

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28244

I'm a little confused here and maybe you can help. On the one hand you say that \"any thing that looks like it might be growth enhanced can get thrown out before it's shipped overseas\" and yet I have seen you say that \"the type of big bulb roots that TNHunter has dug and placed pictures on this board are the type of ginseng that you would pay top price for??? If anything looks like it is growth enhanced it would be roots as large as turnips. They are beautiful and they are sure wild so I want to see some wild or wild simulated ginseng that gets thrown out. I only have one year of experience at selling ginseng and I saw one person rejected for cultivated roots. I did not see any wild roots thrown out or rejected and I saw every size. I'm confused.

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Re:Worm Castings & Growing Ginseng 10 years 2 months ago #28245

Hi Hugh,

Didn't mean to confuse you (or anyone else).

You are correct. It is indeed confusing and I myself sometimes feel like I'm trying to hit a moving mark when it comes to the select ginseng market. It has been my experience that you can almost always count on anything one buyer says, another with disagree with. I don't operate in just one market, so that makes it even more difficult for me to get a firm grasp on some days.

However, I can assure you that I've seen wild ginseng that for all the world you and I would think is top notch get thrown out. I don't always understand why, but my job isn't to worry as much about why they want what they do but rather to figure out and buy what they do want.

I had the opportunity this year to see some fresh North Caroline root while visiting a friend. I know that that small pile of roots would bring about $200 more per pound than the best Ohio root on any given day. But, having looked at Ohio root all these years, I am more interested in wild character, skin color, and age than size. If everything else is the same, the larger roots are more valuable. One buyer I sell to values skin color and size over the other charicteristics as long as it is mature wild looking root.

If those roots were from Ohio, I would have sworn they were woods grown and fertilized. Good wild character, but at the same time they were big and the spaces between the rings were much greater and were smooth. I might also add that although I didn't inspect them closely, they looked to have the same light color skin that our Ohio root does when its fresh. The only difference there is the dirt in the rings was completely black compared to our dusty brown soil color.

I guess in the end, what I really and throwing out there (for whatever it might be worth) is that our goal -especially with wild simulated- is to produce virtually (if not completely) wild roots as our marketable product. I personally dont' buy into the position that if it is touched by human hands it somehow has less medicinal value. However, I can see the argument that if we are trying to produce roots as close to wild as possible, why would we even consider trying to do anything to cheat the process? One of the easiest ways to get a large root thrown out is for it to have a short neck.

Again, just my thoughts to add to the discussion.

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