In addition to my previous post:
Calcium is no more than one element, just as nitrogen and phosphorus are. Without all others working together, then naturally, increasing one variable will not do much for growth.PH is an important element to consider, that's why I have to lower mine.When you get down to it, shade is an element, slope is an element and last but not least...little dogon furry mice are an element that will determine success. I consider calcium as important to ginseng as it is us. Without it, we are brittle and poor. I have planted small plots in other areas with marginal Ca and the soil composition was very similar to my farm but, the roots from my farm, with >6,000 ppa Ca would double and triple roots from the sample plots. I dont think anyone can go wrong with this addition as long as they have a bit of common sense on choosing an area for planting,although I believe any area can be made a good growing site; it just depends on how far you are willing to go and what your resources allow.
I'd say the 90% failure would be a combination, poor seed.soil,predators,poachers and disease.
If a person can grow his own seed from wild stock I think that would really help the survival rate over time. MORE THAN ANYTHING.
I agree that would help tremendously as well. You throw a hillbilly in the hills and he'll be just fine, throw a city slicker in the hills and he's got some adjustments to make.
To follow up on VaFiddler's comments about microrhyzal communities... I had legnthy discussons with a fells from Iowa who was an agronomist about that.. we discussed micronutrients during that time as well. His point was that without the \"proper\" balance of the micronutrients, the microrhyzal communities would develop poorly, if at all. This is what HIllhopper was referring to, I think.
VaFiddler- Can you give me some referances to the articles you are reading? I'd enjoy digging thru these that you refer to.
It occurs to me here that what many of us are becoming are biodynamic understanders. Ask me in a few years if I am an expert... then I might be, now it's time to work with all this biodymanics 0in order to- be successful in my endeavor.
Rootman- I posted a link to Beyfuss's presentation from his own website, on the thread about the Expo. It's pretty much what he presented to the expo.
Anyone know a useful formula to convert lb/s sq.foot recommendations to PPA?
Also remember that gypsum only contains about 20% calcium (the rest is sulphate and water). So if you wanted to increase Ca by 200 lbs per acre, you'd actually have to add 1000 lbs of gypsum per acre. Or at least I think that's how it works!
References for the impact of calcium addition include:
1) The impact of lime and organic fertilization on the growth of wild-simulated American ginseng
I Nadeau, RR Simard, A Olivier - Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 2003
2) GROWTH OF EIGHT-YEAR-OLD AMERICAN GINSENG IN A RED MAPLE FOREST AS INFLUENCED BY LIME AND ORGANIC FERTILIZER APPLICATION
A Olivier, I Nadeau, H Ouzennou, JP Dzaringa…
J. AMER. SOC. HORT. SCI. 115(4):570-574. 1990.
3) Lime and Phosphorus Effects on American Ginseng: I. Growth, Soil Fertility, and Root
Tissue Nutrient Status Response
T.R. Konsler and J.E. Shelton
4) Cultural Practices Affecting the Profitable Production of Ginseng in Different Physiographic Regions of Maryland Forests
Report prepared for The Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc.
Dr. Marla S. McIntosh, Professor
Here is my take on the literature that was linked and most particularly for Whitjr.
1: Lime would be the element of choice to start with for at least a couple of years on patches that are showing a very low PH factor. Switching to Gypsum after two or three years would be the thing to do from that point on.
2: There appeared to be at least a 50% loss in plants following the first year. That tells me some type fungal disease control needed to be used. If the soil ammendments were started early , before planting it might reduce some of these losses. I think this one needs to be watched.
3:I think that working these amendments into the soil before planting would get higher PH readings down deeper in the soil layers and maybe it should be the first thing that should be done to the planting site.
4: I think it is clear from these studies that if these steps are not taken, that you will not be in business after 5 years. I would suggest again strongly that making these soil ammendments before any more planting would be the wise thing to do.
I'm going to read these reports some more and probably add a few more thoughts.
Whitjr, Thank you for the Beyfus link. Everything he posted is pretty much what most of us are all trying to achieve. It looks as though if a person is going to have any success at growing a lot of ginseng they are going to have a spraying regiment.
Even though I'm still buying ordered seed, I know they come from plant stock that has been pampered for two centuries. You put these in unfamiliar territory and it plays havoc on the survival rate regardless of what you do. To make my point,break the stem on a wild ginseng plant and it's like a small fiber rope. Break the stem on a plant grown from ordered seed and it is a lot more frail and tender.
If a person can and should have his own seed producing plants from the wild you should by all means do it. This will take awhile but I truly think over time it will pay off.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't most of the production discussed on this thread clearly woodsgrown? (and feel free to start a new thread, I'm just curious)
With this much adjustment to the natural growing conditions of the area, I would be hard pressed to see how this is wild-simulated. The only exception to that would be UNLESS, there were a reasonable number of years (at least a decade) post active human management.
Talking about fertilizer and pushing ginseng to grow bigger and faster simply reminds me of what Dr. Persons said at the conference himself (and what I'd kind of assumed) - we need to focus on quality not quantity.
I've had some decent woodsgrown pass through my office, but it still wasn't as nice as any wild or wild sim. The market price still won't bear enough to recoop your input and time costs if you push your roots to grow too fast and not have the struggles to get the wild characteristics.
My point amongst all of this [original thought behind thread] was that soil amendments for very poor soil, [low pH and very low Ca] seemed to be working. There is no soil tilling or otherwise removal/addition of soil itself.