Good morning fellows,
I was just looking at the 10 day forecast and I noticed the temperature is going to be 30 degrees here in East Tennessee on Thursday morning. How well will newly emerged ginseng tolerate those temperatures? Almost all of my 2-3-and 4prong plants are up now and about 10-20 percent of the new seedlings are up. I don't know if I would call this a frost or not? It sounds more like a freeze. Any thoughts?
I know up in Maine, we often get freezing temps after the seng has emerged.
What I have found, is that the temps in the woods under a good tree canopy, stays warmer than areas with no tree canopy like in a field. I have seen the temps drop to 27-28 degrees and have frost in the yard and fields, but the ground in the wood had no frost and no damage to my seng plants. Even the seedlings survived. If there was not a good tree canopy then you might have problems.
I left pretty early yesterday morning and it was 30 degrees. I checked all of my patches from my house, Northeast to Bristol, and the farther up the highway that I went, the worse it got. By the time I got to the South Holston River, almost all of the vegetation was scorched black and the temperature was 25 degrees. When I checked my ginseng, none of it was up yet so no damage there. There were patches in between there that were up and there was a lot of damage to surrounding foliage, but it did not seem to hurt the sang. I did two short videos shots of it just for records.I was a little concerned about parts of southern Kentucky. I hope everyone fared okay.
You know, at one time I had different plots in the same area (several hundred square feet) and kept track of which ginseng came from what/where. The interesting thing I learned is that even after several years of growth, each of the patches seemed to consistently come up with its brethren at slightly different times. Seed from West Virginia seemed to all come up first within a few days of one another. They continued this trend even as established plants a few years later. Seed and rootlets from New York came up about the same time next, and then the stuff from Michigan. This was followed by stuff from Canada. Finally, the surprise was my own local stuff from Ohio always came up last.
So, based on that observation, I wonder if your planting seed from sources farther north might have helped keep the seedlings in the ground longer and avoid those late freezes.
Hugh - Glad to hear things weathered the cold nights okay for you. As someone else mentioned, the tree cover helps, as well as the heat sinc of the 50+ degree soil helps. I'm in N. KY, so was concerned, as well.
BCastle - it would be interesting to make some plots with different seed sources to see if what you are saying is inherent to the seeds themselves or if it might be a micro-site thing (location of beds). If I had more time, I'd mess around with that, but...