I use the Internet as a tool to help scout almost everything I hunt; have it be deer, turkey, mushrooms, or ginseng. The use of google earth, google maps, and so forth has been a major convenience for myself, and I'm sure many others. Recently I did a lot of thinking about a tool I used in college while doing soil labs. It is a simple USDA web soil survey tool that that gives you information about the soil in any given location across the US.
I thought it might be pretty cool to compile information about the soils that ginseng is found in. If anyone or everyone would be interested in using the soil survey, we may be able to find patterns or similarities in the soils that ginseng is found in. If patterns were found it seems like it could be a pretty useful tool for finding new locations. When finding a potential spot on a topographic map (like google maps) you could then find that location on the soils survey and see if the soil matches the soils of areas ginseng has previously been found.
Even if the info was basic, like posting your general state location ( southwest ky,pa,ny,oh...) then the information generated by the soil survey. If enough people participated I think it could be of great use to the community.
This is definitely a shot in the dark, and a very brief description, but I figured I would see if anyone would be interested in compiling a list of soils ginseng is found in. Anyway here is the link to the USDA website, it is very very simple to use and really really cool.
I looked into this. What I have found is that the sunlight is more reliable.You can have the same type soil over a area that has the hot evening sun as you have in a area that has early morning sun. Also you can have real wet areas and real dry areas with the same type of soil.Once I looked it over and compared it to areas where I Knew sane grew and where I knew it did not. I decided that the sun was more reliable.
It is definitely an interesting premise. I use web soil survey regularly in my professional life, and tried a similar approach to finding morel mushrooms in college. That attempt failed, but there are vast differences in the biology of fungus and plants. I have several co-workers who know where ginseng is located on protected ground and I would like to contribute if at all possible. Its one more piece of the puzzle, and hopefully another tool in the tool box.
However, I have to agree that it is more than just soil type alone that determines good growing sites. Slope, aspect, and shading all play in to the equation in a big way. Like so many things, nothing beats boots on the ground.
Yeah, I haven't had much luck finding ginseng so I can't really tell how well it would work. It does have a lot of cool features other then soil type. As I'm sure most who have used the program know it gives slope %, depth to bedrock, fertility rating and so on. I was thinking if just one of those things prove relevant, it could be a cool tool in helping people locate ginseng. The only way to really find out is collecting enough data.
On a seperate note, if anyone is into planting food plots for wildlife or anything similar, that program offers a lot of helpful info.
It may be on my end, but I think that link may be broken. Although I'm east of the Mississippi, I like reading everything I can about ginseng. If you have any info on finding it east of the Mississippi I'd love to hear it
I was able to get to the website and the link by URL backtracking, then locating the correct file. The problem is with the extra characters placed between certain letters by Wildgrown's software (i.e. underlines as in \"_xlm_ui\")! Just click on the link, then edit the URL to remove the underline before \"xml\" and the underline between \"xml\" and \"ui\".
Put the google maps away, you just gonna scroogle yourself and get all confused. I have seen ginseng growing in the cracks of limestone boulders. In red clay, sandy loam, black soil, grey soil, and i've heard that it even grows in the city in ohio in someones back yard,.....The best way to find ginseng is to get out into nature and explore, take a gps and mark its location, you are going to learn so much more by hunting it than you ever will with trying to create a database on something that will grow in any area, if the climate and light and moisture requirements are met, the soil for the most part is just a medium for the roots to attach theirselves and draw basic plant nutrients. Ginseng has been planted now for hundreds of years in the states by people everywhere and it is pretty much growing everywhere east of the mississippi and north of alabama. its not a costal plant its an appalachian plant. last year you posted a plant wanting to know if it was ginseng, no it wasn't but by exploring you found out what sasparilla was, When you do find that elusive ginseng plant, carry the top around in the woods with you holding it out in front of you looking at it and comparing it to other plants,keep this plant in front of you until you find another or the leaves start to fall off, after a few hours of holding this plant staring at it, it will become seared into your brain so much that when you lay down and try to sleep that night all you will see in the dark is ginseng plants, im not making this stuff up. try it and see. You also stated in that post that someone had told your grandfather that there was ginseng around your hunting camp. I found that particularly disturbing for a couple of reasons, the first being that if they knew how to spot ginseng they were ginseng hunters, like it or not your ginseng probably left with that party. A person simply does not stumble upon ginseng without knowing what it is. and if you know what it is then you probably also know the value of it. and secondly ..........well anyway
Good Luck this year finding it and when you do be sure to post a pic of your first plant.