It looks like the 3rd, 4th and 5th have deformed leaves.
I was thinking that maybe, the 1/2 lb of Epson Salt that you added to the soil was too concentrated in the center of the bed where those three plants were planted. Or maybe there was something bad in the drywall that was layed on top of the soil.
Just a thought.
Are those three planted next to each other?
I would think that they would look normal next year.
The bed is about 4' wide by 14' long - around 56 sf.
1/2 pound of epson salt should have been fine for that area and I did work it in about 4-5\" deep.
Starting at the bottom of the bed I planted 4 of my local roots spaced out about 1' apart in a row across the bed.
Then up 1 foot above that, I planted 3 roots with the middle one being one of Billy's roots.
I continued that pattern up to the top of the bed.
The top of the bed is a bit narrower than the bottom (made it sort of bullet shaped) for drainage - so there is not room for 4 in the top row. I only have 2 there.
L L L
L L L L
L B L
L L L L
L B L
L L L L
L B L
L L L L
L B L
L L L L
L B L
L L L L
Above is a bit of text in L's and B's that shows the exact pattern I planted them in.
L's being my local seng, and B's being Billy's mountain roots.
You are right that several of the roots I got from Billy have somewhat deformed looking leaves. Not sure exactly what caused that but I am sure it was not the epson salt. Expect it to be more transplant shock related. Billy did harvest them and then had to store them temporarily in some dirt until he had all 5 ready to mail to me.
My local seng that is growing above, below and to the side of them looks normal. I planted all of them same day I harvested them so that may be why they did a little better.
The Epson salt will simply make magnesium available in my mineral poor soil and should help things out. I know for sure that it does in my garden on Tomatoes, Potatos and other garden stuff.
Here is a bit of info on Epson Salt.
It is often recommended for Tomato's to boost magnesium in the soil. I use about 1 tsp in each of my holes before planting my tomatoes, also about 1 tsp of blood meal, along with compost, and some bonemeal - this year I used a bit of gypsum as well. I may switch to using gypsum only from now own on my garden since the ph is in the 6.6 range now and I don't want it to go any higher.
Magnesium sulfate adds magnesium and sulfur to soil without changing the soil's pH. Plants need both for production of chlorophyll and absorption of nutrients. Magnesium also helps grow strong roots.
Epsom salt is used on vegetable plants, as well as on stressed plants. Use a foliar spray to prevent or cure black-spot disease on roses. A pinch of it in the planting holes of bulbs may discourage squirrels from bothering the bulbs.
The growth of plants with magnesium deficiency improves after an application of Epsom salt. Magnesium in Epsom salt drenches displaces excess sodium and leaches it out of soil in plant containers.
I believe that calcium is the number one nutrient for good healthy plants.
In the studies of healthy stands of wild ginseng done by Beyfuss and corbin. They both concluded that calcium is the key nutrient for growing ginseng along with a low ph.
They both came to the conclusion that minor nutrients was not a key factor for these healthy plants.
Corbin stated in his study about calcium: \"The level of no other soil nutrients correlated with the quality rating of the ginseng stands(ph was uniformly low, as there were no limestone outcrops in the sampled area)\"
\"Because nutrient levels of both the major elements(nitrogen, potassium, and phosporus) and the minor nutrients (boron, iron, sulfur, etc.) varied so widely in his samples, Beyfuss further concluded that these other elements are of little significance to the prospective woods grower.\"
Beyfuss and Corbin both talk about two key things for large healthy ginseng. High Calcium and Low ph.
I believe with just those two ingredients(high calcium and low ph), we can have large healthy plants with big seed heads.
I guess I lean more towards the conservative side. Do less.
Below is the part where they are talking about the soil and importance of calcium - and they also mention phosphorous (recommended at 95 ppa). Konsoler did a 4 year study on that.
If someone did a study on how ginseng would react to boosting the levels of magnesium - they might just find that it also can make a nice difference.
Perhaps I will do that study myeslf on a few test beds
It would be nice to have a few beds side by side and over 4-5 years supplement some with gypsum only, and on others add some P and Mg and just see how they end up. Not sure I have the patience for that but will consider it.
Soil Management For Wild Simulated Ginseng Crops
Once a potential site has been identified, a soil test should be taken. Dig up soil from at least six spots on the slope, mix it together in a plastic bucket and take the soil to your local Extension office so it can be mailed to the state soil test laboratory for analysis. When the soil test results come back, the most important numbers to look at for ginseng are the soil pH, available calcium (Ca) and available phosphorus (P). A typical pH from a soil sample taken from the forest floor from a north facing hillside in Virginia is 4.5. In the past, growers have been told to treat soil, with a pH that low, with lime to try to bring the soil pH up to 5.5 to 6.0 for ginseng production. Recent research by Bob Beyfuss in Greene County in the state of New York calls this practice into question. Mr. Beyfuss is an Extension Agent with Cornell Cooperative Extension who has a very strong interest in ginseng. In 1996, he recruited a team of ginseng hunters to assist him in a soil research program with wild ginseng. He asked these wild ginseng diggers to take soil tests wherever they found patches of wild ginseng growing well out in the woods. He got back 70 soil samples from them.
Beyfuss was surprised at the soil test results that came from this study. He said in his report, \"The most interesting and puzzling result of the analysis was the positive correlation of very low pH and very high levels of calcium. This is the exact opposite of what would be expected in mineral soils. The average pH for these samples was 5.0 + or - 0.7. Soils that are strongly acid such as this usually have calcium levels in the range of 1000 to 2000 pounds per acre or less. The average calcium levels in these samples (where ginseng was growing well) was 4014 + or - 1679. It is my suspicion that this abnormality may, in fact, be the key to the limited range of healthy populations of wild ginseng. Duplicating this soil condition may be the key to successfully cultivating American ginseng in a forested environment.\" (Beyfuss, 1997)
At the same time that Bob Beyfuss was testing the soils under wild ginseng stands in New York, Jim Corbin, a Plant Pest Specialist with North Carolina's Department of Agriculuture, was conducting similar research in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in western North Carolina and East Tennessee. He conducted soil analysis from several wild ginseng stands and reported that, \"In ginseng, calcium deficiencies can be seen in stunted plants that lack general vigor. Growth buds are smaller and more fragile. In good ginseng stands, calcium on a per acre basis is consistently higher than in the other stand categories, and within these stands there was better plant diversity, less disease and a larger stem height in mature plants.\" (Corbin, 1997)
These two reports have caused controversy among ginseng growers and researchers. The new idea is to apply gypsum (Calcium sulphate) to soils for ginseng rather than lime (Calcium carbonate) which has been used in the past. The reasoning behind this is that the gypsum will add calcium but will not raise the soil pH. Rates as high as 5 pounds of gypsum per 100 square feet of growing bed have been recommended to bring the calcium levels up to 4000 pounds per acre. There are strong suspicions among several ginseng experts that ginseng diseases, like Phytophthora root rot, may be suppressed by acid soil conditions. There are strong suspicions among the same group that applications of lime to bring the soil pH up may lead to increased disease problems. Unfortunately, these suspicions have not been tested by replicated research studies. A few concerns about heavy applications of gypsum have been voiced by soil scientists. They are worried that growers may throw the soil fertility out of balance if they apply too much gypsum. Clearly, controlled research studies need to be conducted as soon as possible.
The other soil nutrient that ginseng growers should monitor is phosphorus. In 1978, Dr. Tom Konsler initiated a four-year study to measure ginseng root growth response to P additions to the low P soils found at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Fletcher, N. C. Dr. Konsler found positive correlation of root weight with phosphorus additions. He also found that ginseng plants took up calcium more readily in soils that had available phosphorus so the interrelationship is important (Konsler, 1990). Growers should amend their low P soils so that at least 95 pounds per acre of actual phosphorus is available (Persons, 1994).
In the wild-simulated method, there is no tillage of the soil. Many persons recommend planting \"woods grown\" ginseng in tilled up, raised beds in the woods, under a natural canopy of shade. That method certainly can be used for production of ginseng but growers should not expect to receive high prices for roots produced in tilled beds. Ginseng roots harvested from tilled beds look like cultivated roots rather than wild roots. Prices paid for this kind of ginseng range from $30 to $100 per pound of dried roots. Since there is no tillage of the soil with wild simulated ginseng crops, all fertilizers are applied on the soil surface. Applications of gypsum and/or rock phosphate may have to be made every two or three years. Soil testing should be done every year to monitor available soil nutrients.
The article about Phosphorus that was studied by Konsler 33 years ago in 1978. Back before the term \"Wild-Simulated Ginseng\" existed. That was done in a tilled cultivated situation.
Since then, 19 years later. The study by Beyfuss and Corbin has shed some new light on growing wild simulated ginseng. At this time Beyfuss was growing W/S ginseng.
From Persons book, pg62
\"A great deal of sophisticated research has been completed on the nutritional requirements of field-grown ginseng, but even the most basic analysis of what wild ginseng needs in its woodland soil was not begun until 1997. As a result, our knowlege of the ideal soil conditions for the growth of wild American ginseng has just made an important and long overdue advance. In two completly independent studies, investigators in New york(Beyfuss) and North Carolina(Corbin) both found high-calcium, low-pH soils consistently associated with the most vigorous and healthy wild ginseng stands. They also found that levels of other standard soil nutrients, such as phosphorus, which is associated with good growth in other crops, and potassium seem to make little difference. Although preliminary findings from ongoing research do suggest that levels of phoshorus below 10 pounds per acre and levels of potassium below 250 pounds per acre are weakly associated with poor survival of one and two year old plants.\"
As stated above.
\"They also found that levels of other standard soil nutrients, such as phosphorus, which is associated with good growth in other crops, and potassium seem to make little difference.\"
In both Beyfuss' and Corbin's study, they suggest that High Calcium and Low pH is the Key for great seng soil. And nothing else. Persons Book pg 62-65
I would be more comfortable sticking with the most recent studies. High calcium and Low pH.
I enjoyed the Seed Bed pics. That's a great looking ginseng bed.
To anyone interested in different looking ginseng go ahead and read further. What I have posted below is nothing that I am sure you don't already know, but it is just very interesting to me.
I have always been fascinated with Ginseng as I know most of us are on here. I know most of us have observed over the years that in different areas ginseng can appear to have different characteristics. Sometimes the plant top is huge but the root is small. Sometimes the plant top is small but the root is large. Sometimes the leaves are a dark green and sometimes the leaves are light green.
Soil conditions, moisture and canopy can explain most of the differences in what I have stated above.
However, sometimes we see differences in plants that I believe are due to other reasons.
It is interesting to see some ginseng that has leaves that are more oval or egg shaped whereas some leaves are more elongated. Some ginseng has seed pod stems that reach 4'' to over 10''long or more, whereas ginseng of the same size in other areas may only have a seed pod stems 1'' long as shown in TNhunters post above that he had mentioned.
I have seen many plants where the tips of the leaves have a pronounced tip that sticks out kind of like the top of an ace of spades on a deck of cards, whereas some leaves do not has this pronounced tip.
I am sure this is nothing new to many of you that there are probably many subspecies of ginseng that has evolved in specific areas due to isolation or the local environment.
Please excuse this mess below that I have cut and pasted. But it has some terms that relate to what I am saying if you are interested in wading through it.
taxonomic category, taxonomic group
subkingdom - (biology) a taxonomic group comprising a major division of a kingdom
biological group - a group of plants or animals
variety - (biology) a taxonomic category consisting of members of a species that differ from others of the same species in minor but heritable characteristics; \"varieties are frequently recognized in botany\"
phylum - (biology) the major taxonomic group of animals and plants; contains classes
subphylum - (biology) a taxonomic group ranking between a phylum and a class
superphylum - (biology) a taxonomic group ranking between a phylum and below a class or subclass
class - (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more orders
subclass - (biology) a taxonomic category below a class and above an order
superclass - (biology) a taxonomic class below a phylum and above a class
order - (biology) taxonomic group containing one or more families
suborder - (biology) taxonomic group that is a subdivision of an order
superorder - (biology) a taxonomic group ranking above an order and below a class or subclass
family - (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera; \"sharks belong to the fish family\"
superfamily - (biology) a taxonomic group ranking below an order but above a family
subfamily - (biology) a taxonomic category below a family
tribe - (biology) a taxonomic category between a genus and a subfamily
genus - (biology) taxonomic group containing one or more species
subgenus - (biology) taxonomic group between a genus and a species
monotype - (biology) a taxonomic group with a single member (a single species or genus)
species - (biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
subspecies, race - (biology) a taxonomic group that is a division of a species; usually arises as a consequence of geographical isolation within a species
var., variant, strain, form - (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups; \"a new strain of microorganisms\"
type - (biology) the taxonomic group whose characteristics are used to define the next higher taxon
group Pteridospermae, group Pteridospermaphyta, Pteridospermae, Pteridospermaphyta - used in some classification systems: a group of extinct fossil gymnosperms coextensive with the order Cycadofilicales
Centrospermae, group Centrospermae - used in former classification systems; approximately synonymous with order Caryophyllales
Amentiferae, group Amentiferae - used in some classification systems for plants that bear catkins
Phycomycetes, Phycomycetes group - a large and probably unnatural group of fungi and funguslike organisms comprising the Mastigomycota (including the Oomycetes) and Zygomycota subdivisions of the division Eumycota; a category not used in all systems
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. ? 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.