This past spring I moved every root in my seed bed due to all the trees either dying of lighting strikes or blown over from a tornado. I waited until they started to emerge from the soil so that I could locate them and then replanted them in a better and more secure location. All done well after the replant and the plants grew like wild fire. I kept a check on them almost weekly and I had several 4 and 5 prongs with huge tops and golf ball sized seed pods. After seeing Hugh's post today (it was raining and there wasn't much to do on the farm) I waited for the rains to stop and went to check and see if I had any early red berries ready. I was shocked to find that within a week all but, maybe a dozen small 3 prongs had been eaten to the ground and one root was even laying on top of the leaves. The deer tracks told the tale and it appears that they actually actively searched out the plants. There will be no quarter given to the deer this year.
Hate to hear that hunter. Really disappointing when you get that close to harvest berries and then have failure.
When I first setup my seed bed, just a week or so after I finished putting my roots in there I went and looked at the bed and there were deer tracks all over the bed. There were some turkey tracks too... No tops up yet, but they were already checking it out.
I decided at that point I needed to put a fence around mine and I did. It is only 3' and chicken wire, but so far (knock on wood) none of my tops have been eaten.
Now the first year on my seed bed I learned a hard lesson. I had lots of nice berry pods, still green berries one Saturday... and I did not check it again until the next Saturday... and when I did, every single berry had been eaten by some type of mouse critter. There were little piles of berry parts all under the tops.
When those berry pods start getting green berries on them... you best be putting out some mouse poison. I have done that since then and not had that problem again.
ground squirrels love to take the berrypod then cut out all the seeds nearby thats why you often find nice ginseng with only the berrypod missing if you find piles of berry pieces near by that could be the culprit
That has got to be disappointing to lose all your hard work right at the end. Those deer have the taste of ginseng now and you can bet they will be back for more. It's an absolute must that you put a stop to this. As much as you might hate to shoot animals, if you don't, they will continue to destroy. I hope that you get this problem worked out.
This is my latest seed producing bed. Made the cage out of 1/2 inch electric conduit and 1/2 inch schedule 40 fittings. No glue just pushed together, covered with plastic garden fence. Makes it easy to zip tie on some shade cloth where needed when there are breaks in the canopy. some really nice berries under there and it didn't break the bank to make. when fall comes I flip it over and let the leaves mulch over the plants.
If putting up some kind of fence around some or all of your' Ginseng is not possible due to cost constraints, too visible to poachers or other reasons, then I believe that tin roofing will work. Just buy up as much old tin roofing that you can or barter with farmers by tearing down a barns or sheds they want removed where you get to keep the tin roofing and any other materials you want or need. Rake the leaves back around the perimeter of the Ginseng beds or plots, making sure to leave some rocks. Then lay the tin roofing flat on the ground all the way around the beds or plots, then cover with leaves. The rocks underneath should allow the tin to crinkle and make sounds whenever stepped on. When a Deer and some other animals step on the tin roofing, they should spook and then stay away from that location probably for the rest of their' lives. The Pros is that it is a somewhat cheaper solution to the problem which is less visible to poachers. However, the Cons is if a poacher happens to step on the tin roofing, they will know something is up and may investigate.
Sorry to see you lost all them to the four-legged terrorists. Darn things.
Nice methods. Wish I could have stuff in sight and not worry about poachers.
I'm new to planting but have dug for years. Wondered why so many wild plants had so few seeds. Just thought I was late hunting, or early bloomers done lost their seeds on their own until reading up a bunch on growing ginseng this year. Planted ten pounds of seeds and ten pounds of the rootlets from this site and been thinking for some time now how disappointing that will be to lose the seed bearing plants as I have a healthy (sort of an opinion) population of deer in my woods as well. Supposedly the 3-year old rootlets will make seed next year. Was wondering if anyone had tried the dryer sheets tied to sticks nearby or maybe even the timed spray deodorizers that run on batteries and last a couple months? Maybe just hairbrained ideas but trying to come up with ideas ahead of time and using methods cost effective and what can't be seen at any distance as I have neiboring property nearby and don't want to spark their curiousity too much. How about human hair from a barber shop?