Here are a few pics of what I managed to get done this weekend in attempt to help my seed producing bed plants make it to berry harvest this year.
First of all after a week of 100 degree weather, they were very stressed, and I started watering them, late in the evening, every other day. I watered them 4 times that way and it helped a lot, but even doing that every other evening, there were increases in the stress on the plants.
PS - we got up to 109 one day, and have been up around 104-105 a few more days. With no rain for about 4 weeks now (until this Friday evennig), man that is just too much for ginseng.
Here is what my lil 3 prong that is just up the hill a bit from my seed bed looks like now. I was sure hoping to get to harvest those berries, but it's obvious that is not going to happen this year. I have it marked with flags (one above the root, one below) so I can dig it up later and transplant it to a better location. The location that I had that bunch of little transplants in, had two trees that died on the west sid of them, so that opened them up to some evening sun, and has basically made their location too extreme. They do great there until about July then kick the bucket. Same thing happened last year. So I am going to move them this fall.
Now here is a pic of my seed producing bed from the bottom up, looking east to west.
A couple days ago I put 8 cubic feet of mini pine bark mulch over the bed. Moved it all in by hand and made sure not to damage any plants. That added a layer of mulch over those roots about 2\" deep over the entire bed.
Also - If you look on up the hill on the west side of the bed. I hung a huge tarp there. Where I have it, it should block a couple hours of the hottest evening sun, then let just a little very late evening sun thru. That was a little work but I do expect that to help quite a bit, or at least I sure hope it does.
You can see the plant there at the top/left of the bed, it has some rather serious leaf damage. Got too dry and has leaves where the edges and blotches of the leaves are brown, white looking. Then on down the bed on the right, there are a couple more that have whiteish brown edges on the leaves.
You know they are seriously stressed when you start seeing that on the leaves.
One of the big 3's up at the top of the bed has yellowed quite a bit.
Many others still look to be in fairly good shape.
I hope I can get at least most of these to survive thru to collecting red berries.
It sure looks like you have put a lot of work into salvaging the plants that have been under so much stress. It almost looks like I'm looking into a mirror of my own beds. I have a spot or two that is stressed more than yours and plants are going down:( Every time you lose a tree, it makes a difference and they don't grow back so quickly.
The one thing that I have noticed on my seed producing plants is that the stress is causing the berry pods to not fill out very well and that means less production overall. I planted another handful yesterday and I just about croaked because it was so hot and the humidity was almost unbearable.
I have been going over in my mind what I can use to provide some shade and I'm afraid to try anything as big as a tarp because of these strong storms. Maybe we'll get some relief starting Monday.