I have read that root cuttings will produce nice looking plants. However I have read that the plants will spend most of their energy producing plant tops and the roots are slow to grow from root cuttings. A have read that a seed planted will have the same size root as a root from a plant that has been produced from root cuttings. So roots from the seed plant and roots from the root cutting plants are the same size after 5 years. I left all of my plants alone and harvested the goldenseal seed this August. I put the berries in a 5 gallon bucket with water and let the pulp decanter off in the bucket. It did not take long for the juice to ferment. I then took the pulp that was remaining and worked it with my fingers and smashed it and let it sit for another week. I was careful to pour the pulp off as the little black seeds sink to the bottom of the bucket. I continued to let the seed sit in water for another couple of days and then I washed them off on a screes that would allow debris to pass through but not the seeds. Once the seeds were clean I put them in a plastic container with a lid and I put it in the refrigerator. You have to rinse the seeds every week and put them back in the refrigerator. The rinse water that comes off the seeds in a bowl will smell bad which is normal. But rinsing them is key to keeping them fresh and clean.
I planted 1/2 a pound yesterday and I planted it the same way as I do ginseng seed. Except I tried to get only 2 seeds to 1 square foot ratio. The soil is awesome in the woods where I planted the goldenseal seed. These planting beds were very large and I put 800 seeds per 400 square foot beds in multiple 400 square foot beds. I planted about 12,000 seeds.
It only took me about 5 hours to do all of this and I am not against planting root cuttings by any means. Its just so much easier to plant seeds. I have no idea how long it would take to plant 12,000 root cuttings but I know it would be days not hours
I too am going to plant some root cuttings next year so maybe I will get an idea of how long it will take.
But the seed seems the way to go for me for a large planting.