I really enjoyed TNhunter's video on planting ginseng. Very nicely done!
I want to ask the forum how the rake and scatter method contrasts to planting seeds one by one in a hole about an inch deep. Obviously the first method saves a lot of time. Is there a better survival rate when planting one way or the other? I will be planting in about a month so trying to finalize the details.
Thanks for your feedback. After watching the video I don't think I want to plant one seed at a time either. I have about 10 pounds to plant and am recruiting my wife and young daughters to play in the woods and dirt too.
Not sure if you have planted any seed before or not. If not I have a few tips for you that will make the world of difference.
After you have raked back your leaves, scratch the soil up real good with a garden rake. Then pull back some dirt to the edge of the bed just in front of the leaf row. Tnhunter shows this in his modified rake and scatter method video.
Then sow your seed as described. Now gently rake the soil back over top your seed making sure to cover them but not bunching them up.
Now for the last few tips. Either before or after you rake the leaves back over the beds. Walk your beds down making sure you press the seed into the soil making good seed to soil contact. The more you walk them down the better. Heck I would even recommend using a roller on them if you have one.
This important step alone can make your seed germination rate improve by an estimated 15 to 20 % IMHO from my experiences in planting. Perhaps it could be even more.
Last thing is if at all possible plant a day or two prior to a heavily scheduled rain. It really helps set the seeds in. Also I would not plant right after a heavy rain as it makes it much more difficult to rake the leaves back when they are wet.
Thanks for the wise reply. I am going to cut down on the area and how much I will plant this year. It would be a large waste of money if things didn't grow or if I didn't get the seeds planted. I am going to plant an area that is maybe a total of 25'x25' total. What number of seeds or pounds would be a good number to plant into that area. I attached a picture (I think) that shows a section of the area. It is actually darker there as I lightened the picture to be able to see it clearer. More of the area is behind me down into a holler - it was easier to see from the bottom looking up.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience!
Would it really make much difference if I planted the seeds now instead of later in August or even when it is late in October? If not, I just might go up north and plant the seeds this weekend or next weekend.
I don't have much to add since I'm a beginner as well. It's nice to see another Midwest person planting wild-simulated. I haven't seen too many postings from MN/WI boys. I'm in Minneapolis.
It was a good decision to reduce the amount of your planting for the first year. Planting is as much of a time commitment as it is financial. I got 10 pounds of 2013 harvested seed early in the year and started planting in the spring. There is rodent risk, but I'm planting on my dad's property and there is no way he would let me plant in the fall when he's overhead in his archery stand. I opted for the individual seed planting, rather than the rake-n-scatter, mostly because I worked as a landscaper before and I've done enough raking for this lifetime.
I purchased the Castle Farms \"seeder\", in addition to creating a couple of my own designs. Hands down, Brad's seeder is the only way to go. Mine might work well in an open tilled field, but not in the woods. Anyway, if I'm really cruising with the seeder I can plant about 1 pound in 16 hours of planting. I can definitely see why others have said they would not want to plant a pound of seed individually. You have to be pretty obsessed.
I was going to get some family help planting so I actually bought a second Castle Farm seeder. My dad and wife used it a little, but they are more deliberate and can't seem to produce as much. As it turned out, my mom and wife did a few small areas rake-n-scatter, and they could definitely get a lot more seed in that way, but it also seemed to really tear up the native plants that I'd like to keep for diversity. Chances are, the native plants will just come back next year, but the individual planting doesn't disturb much at all and gets good seed/soil contact. I would second the advice you received about stepping down the soil/seed if you use the rake-n-scatter method.
Let me know if you ever want to get together. I make it over to central WI frequently.
He recommends planting 4-5 seeds per sq ft, in rake and scatter method.
25' x 25' = 625 sf
At 4 seeds per sq ft that would be 2500 seeds.
My experience has been that planting it that thick, you are very likely to have disease issues. So I would recommend leaning towards the less dense side. I would even go as low as 1 or 2 seeds per sq ft if planting large blocks.
Or.. instead of planting in large blocks (like one large 25x25 square) I would recommend breaking that up into several smaller plantings.
For example, do one 4x4 square, and plant that, then leave some unplanted space (like 3-4 ft), and do another 4x4 square.
The more densely you plant it, and the larger the blocks you plant, the more likely disease issues will show up.
I think the best time to plant stratified seed is a week or two before leaves fall which is Mid October for me. I try to get some planted then, but I am still hunting wild seng at that time... so I can't plant much then. Then I plant more around Thanksgiving. I get a couple days off work then.
I have tried planting in Dec and January but had poor germination results and now stick to planting in October and November only.