The steeper the beter.We planted on steep north faces in big poplar timber.Razor sharp weed hoes cut through the ground, just go around rocks and big roots.I dont clear anything. Work clearing is time wasted planting!Dont spray herbicides any other time of the year then the dead of winter .Poision oak and invasive plants can be killed in winter without destroying plants like bloodroot, trillums, jack in the pulpits,and may apple.Spot spray only.The ginseng needs its community friends that live in the magic forest.It takes one day to plant one half a pound of seed per person.
I thought you had to spray herbicides on the green leaves and stems to kill an unwanted weed or plant. I thought a herbicide went inert once it made contact with the soil. I have talked with many ginseng farmers and they spray during that small window when weeds come up just prior to the ginseng coming up in the spring. For new planting sites they spray in the spring, mid summer and then early fall prior to planting seed in the mid to late fall of the same year.
In a very thick brush you need to clear it to improve airflow to help prevent disease if you are planting in defined beds using the rake and scatter method.
Do you all plant a couple of seeds at a time verses in small planting beds? I can plant 1/2 lb of ginseng seed in a couple hours max if the leaves are dry. I am sure the steep mountains slow things down a bit. So I bet you use that sharp weed hoe on a spot then toss in a seed or two and move on to the next spot?
How long you been planting? Sounds like you plant your seed here and there verses in a defined planting area or planting bed. That's cool too.
I have to disagree with you on clearing being a waste of time. Most of my project is starts with clearing well-established rhodendron. After certain soil amendments, the soil rebounds and appears good!
Anyway, I do agree with you about the slope. I'm sure the plant likes that a lot!
I did quite a bit of (here and there) type planting this fall and enjoyed that quite a bit.
I did not clear anything much at all (occasionally chopped a briar or small sapling out) but that was it.
I did that type planting with my sharp shooter shovel and that was all I carried with me, except for seed, so I did not even have a tool with me that I could do a lot of clearing with.
I just strolled over some of my big hillsides and as I found maidenhair fern I planted all around that location where the MHF was.
I would say that the need to clear or not clear would depend greatly on how \"much\" land you had to plant on and the \"condition\" of that land. In other words I would not go to the trouble to clear a spot, if I could just walk down the hollow 50 yards and plant a spot just as good without clearing.
Also that whether you plant in organized beds or just here and there would depend greatly on if you needed to boost calcium by adding gypsum yearly. Much easier to do that if you have defined (and marked) beds setup.
That is why I did my here and there planting only where I found decent patches of MHF. I figure if the MHF is doing Ok there, then very good chance Ginseng will to, since MHF is one of those plants that only grows where calcium is at higher levels in the soil. I would also say that MHF is the #1 companion plant (indicator) that Ginseng could grow there, or wild ginseng may be around.
I had not considered whether you can spray something like Roundup in the winter and kill Poison Ivy but not other companion plants.
I have one hollow where I had Poison Ivy thick in a good location for seng. I sprayed it in the spring, then again mid summer, then planted it late that fall. Last summer the seng did good there but no poison ivy to be found.
I wondered if it would come back eventually and expect it might.
whitjr I never have found good seng in a laurel thicket.I recon you laided the lime to it.Them rodo`s sure like acid soil.No worry about killin the good plants there unless you just love rhododendron!TNHunter Ive found snails every time i plant.They dont seem to hurt seng.Never saw snails eating seng.Pecan shells will kill slugs and snails organic.
I recognized a lot of empty snail shells in the soil that is just shy of 7,000 PPA on calcium where I am planting as of lately. I cut and pasted this below and it sounds like the hard shelled snails like a soil with a high calcium level. Check out the last sentence in the second paragraph below. Snails can be a pest but they may indicate calcium rich soil too but who really knows for sure??
\"If your snail isn't eating cuttlefish there are a few things you can do.
The first method is to wean your snail onto it. In a lot of cases, particularly wild-caught specimens, they simply haven't figured out that cuttlefish means calcium. Try crushing the cuttlefish and sprinkling it over other food, perhaps even covering some of the substrate with it. The snails will eat the food, discover the cuttlefish since they can't separate the two. Then you can put pieces of cuttlefish in dusted with cuttlefish powder. Your snails will recognise the powder and in doing so discover the cuttlefish. In most cases this works fine.
Some snails still won't eat it off the block even with the above method and because it is likely that natively the snails eat foods high in calcium we need to make sure they get enough. This requires us adding the calcium to other foods. There is a study about the growing rates of Archachatina marginata and calcium sources. 20% Calcium carbonate was deemed the best amount, but it is undetermined whether this resulted in the healthiest shells or the fastest growth. 20% seems awfully high when you consider that fruits high in calcium such as papaya contain only 0.04% calcium. However, snails are known to live in calcium-rich soils and areas with a lot of limestone or natural chalk. This indicates they do get calcium from other sources:
\"The availability of calcium in their diet determines if the shell is thick or thin. Many years ago in the 1930s juvenile shells of Arianta arbustorum, a common European land snail were raised under two diet conditions - calcium rich and calcium deficient. It was observed that both lots grew to the same size but those grown on the calcium rich diet had shells almost four times heavier than those grown on a calcium deficient diet. I have observed this diet restriction in Achatina fulica living on volcanic (calcium deficient) and coral (calcium rich) islands of the Pacific.\"
Note: Having recently encountered a problem where a snail suddenly stopped eating cuttlefish and damaged its own shell quite badly, a diet of a mix consisting of various cereals and 50% powdered cuttlefish soon sorted the problem.
For alternatives to cuttlefish bone, solid, liquid and powdered click here.\"
We normaly have acid soil 5.5 my theroy about the calcium is the snails and animal bones.Over millions of years the acidic leaves and animals have left a good soil for ginseng.Be carful and dont upset the balance!
YOU are probally correct that you have never found sang growing in rhodo. However, these acres are the only one's I have available to me right now. We [ my partner and I] started this last Feb, and are attempting to make the necissary changes [clearing and amendments] to make it all work.
My partent has had the land in his family since he was a boy. the rhodo is an invasive species, and it's cleaing will restore the regular woods to some sort of balance. unaltered, the pH was 3.6 at it's best. Thru applications of amendments, we've gotton the pH to a reasonable 4.8. Our calcium was very low, and thru gypsum, is at a reasonable 1500 now. I guess that's what rhodo does to soil, leaches calcium and reduces pH.
Otherwise, the soil seems to be good, and there's lots of MHF sacttered thru out the 7 acres we're going to plant. got most of an acre prepared now.
I'm envious of yous guys that have many acres of woods that are not invaded by rhodo!