Here is a link below. I would call them to see if you can buy direct or if they can tell you where to buy it locally. If you have any buddies or contacts that order chemicals they may be able to special order you some in. My buddy owns a plant nursery close by and his rep sold us a 25 lb bag just over cost.
Frank ... the bud for this years growth was formed last year so the dry spring would not effect your transplant to much.
Brown shrivelled insides is from dryin out. Being planted only 1/4 inch deep in dry conditions could cause what you see.
Don't know if this will help but there is a thing called a nemetode that lives on fertilized lands. It's a small worm that eats living plant material but out in the forest it has to many enemies to thrive. Soil fumigation is the only way to get rid of these buggers.These guys cause root gals on mature ginseng roots, making them worthless.
Out in the forest the ground would not get as dry due to all the protection from wind and light and temperature.
...you have to learn to split seed down the middle and see the embryo , it is in between the natural split of the seed , just like what you see in a bean,close to the breathing hole in the top front of the shell. I have posted pictures in the past of what to look for before you put money down on seed. Search seed embryo for that.
Sounds like next year you will see them sprout in the forest but at home their toast.
The only things wrong were the depth of coverage and not knowing what the embryo was like prior to planting.
Like Bob said you can't make a bad site good. I spent years finding the proper land for ginseng. We planted all over southern Ontario to learn what the proper conditions are.
In general, I've found that planting near wild ginseng is usually a good plan for woods grown plants. It seems to me that the plants will grow in a zone on a hillside. What I mean by that is, I might walk up the hill from the plants, and down the hill and not find any more. But if I walk across the hill, staying at the same altitude(via a topo map)I'm likely to find more plants.
As far as your seeds, I think the others have covered this well.
For slugs, they don't like copper. If your raised beds have \"walls\" of wooden boards or the like, you might try putting copper on the top. I've never had a problem with slugs, but often though I'd try stripping out some home electrical wire and staple that to the top of the boards. Just an idea.