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Post your experiences, questions and answers about growing wild-simulated ginseng
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TOPIC: If you had the choice....

Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27601

Again, thanks for all of your responses/perspectives.

I do have some beech trees but mostly a mix of maples and yellow buckeye trees. There are a few scattered white pines and rhodondendron and I'll avoid those areas (or have Whitjr come take care of that for me!). Overall, I think the climate and canopy is right, but worry the most about deer, and finding deep enough soil with all of the rock.

It took me a couple of days to plant a pound of seed. I am widely spacing it, so hopefully fungal diseases will not be an issue.

My goals are probably the same as most others:
1. a long term investment
2. making use of the land that I have
3. something to do outdoors that is entertaining and potentially productive

Latt, in terms of your 10% per year loss estimate, do you think that that continues to persist beyond 10 years? For instance, if you successfully raise plants to age 10 or 12 and harvestable size, would you think that keeping them another few years is worthwhile or a losing proposition?

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27602

Max, Not to jump ahead of Latt but I started digging some of mine after 10 years to get back some of my seed investment and buy more seed also.
I started planting 20 years ago and I would say the last 5 years has been pretty much all profit. As Latt stated you lose a percentage seems like every year for reasons unknown but then you are planting berries back also, that helps the population somewhat.
Will I ever make a lot of money from my endeavors? No. But I will make some and the enjoyment from it makes it worthwhile.

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27605

Rootman, what has been your method of planting and caring for your plants thus far and how much do you try to plant a year?

Fellas, I'm a bit later on my plantings due to being busier than usual this time of year and that pesky polar vortex keeping the ground froze. I'll soon be finished and will post some pics after I'm done.

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27607

I started in 2006 with one pound as a test plot was pleased then in 2009 planted 18 pound...much work for one man and a boy but we got I in by Christmas ...a heart attach shoveling snow late Feb 2010 has slowed me down..never know about 2mro I am glad now when I go in my woods and see thousands of mature plants to dig with their babies all around. Seeing the young ones changed my mind of yearly planting. Now I am glad I went All In...(just my experience),at the time many thought I was a fool to think of a ginseng planting of that size all in one season

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27609

Hillhopper wrote:

Rootman, what has been your method of planting and caring for your plants thus far and how much do you try to plant a year?

Fellas, I'm a bit later on my plantings due to being busier than usual this time of year and that pesky polar vortex keeping the ground froze. I'll soon be finished and will post some pics after I'm done.

Hillhopper, When I first started there just wasn't the good information out there about planting. I raked and scattered 5 lbs. the first year and it came up really good. I planted 5 lbs. the next year and 5 lbs. each year for the next 4 or 5 years using the rake and scatter. I had ginseng coming up like clover and I was already counting how much money I was going to make, Then came the rains one summer. It seemed like it rained every day. All my seng in lower lying places started dying. What was left was what was on the steeper hillsides.
I only plant now on steep north and east hillsides and in the best ground I can find. Sometimes I'll scatter some gypsum but I've never sprayed and just let nature go at it.
I really don't buy much seed anymore but the seed I do plant is in the best locations.
I have it so scattered it would be impossible to spray.

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27613

I've not read every word in the thread, but most of them. All are coming from reasonable, sound perspectives. Just for what its worth, let me throw mine out there also.

As some have hinted at, the more you plant now, the more you will have available at first harvest. However, consider this. By planting wild simulated, you will be harvesting wild roots. Therefore, you want/need to be very selective in your harvest. So one pound planted does not necessarily equal 1 lb + growth - losses in ten years. If you can do so without raking, I have always encouraged folks to go back over a planted area in about two years and replant it. By about year four, you will start seeing some berries and the patch will start to reseed itself naturally. By reseeding the same patch we are adding intermediate age classes and filling in the bare spots too. If your initial planting was sort of sparse (maybe a seed or three every 8-16\") There is plenty room for more plants. By around the 8th year, you should be seeing a very healthy, naturally reproducing patch of, for all intents and purposes, wild ginseng.

When you harvest, be sure to only carefully harvest the largest plants. If they are not large in size, it is better to let them stay in the ground a while longer. There is no real downside other than time. They get bigger, older, more valuable, and continue to produce seed and tops (if you collect the tops).

Now, with that being said, the sooner you get those seeds in the ground the sooner you will have more premium roots to harvest.

The caution of the others who posted are sound. That is a lot of seed for someone who isn't experienced. But, if you have the will to get it done and a method mapped out, 4-6 pounds isn't really too much to plant -although it will be expensive as seeds go. Based on my experience, I might suggest you plant 4 pounds now and another 2 in a couple years. Perhaps you will want to plant all 6 now and plan on more investment each year.

Remember, age is the key to ginseng. The longer it is in the ground the better it will be. Your job is to figure out how old you want to be when you start harvesting quantities.

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Re:If you had the choice.... 3 years 9 months ago #27616

OK, so to summarize:

Plant as much as you can...but only if it is in a good place.

Work as hard as you can....but don't have a heart attack doing it!

Plant a little more there each year if you find where it grows good.

Wait ten years...but don't let the ginseng outlive you! :ohmy:

--Thanks again guys for your willingness (time and time again) to help out us new guys, and I'll try to keep y'all updated over the years of my successes (and/or failures).

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