New member, just joined today. I've spent a couple hours already reading some of the threads. Great site!
Going to do my first planting this fall. I have a small 5 acre wood lot behind my house. It has some wild ginseng in it. I had 4 soil samples tested. The ph and calcium surprised me. Average ph is 6.0, ave calcium over 3000 lb/ acre. What worries me is the phosphorus ave 22 lb/acre and the organic matter 1.4%. I'm planning on doing 250 sq ft of woods cultivated in hopes to try stratifying a few seeds in a couple years. I've got the beds ready for that but haven't bought seeds yet so I plan on adding some triple super phosphate and leaves to the beds and tilling it under before I plant. My question is, should I be worried about the phosphorus and OM on the wild simulated sites and if so what could I do?
Cards,heres the number of the guy I deal with and have for a couple decades now..he is always competive price wise.he is near Effingham....ive not talked to him yet this year but iam going to give him a call soon...217-868-5220..
How is it doing ? is it healthy looking, find any nice 4 prongers, with nice berrry pods...
I think how your wild is doing is going to be a good indication of how your wild sim, or cultivated will do (with no enhancements to the soil).
If the wild is doing OK, growing nicely, healthy looking plants, making nice 3 or 4 prongs with lots of red berries... then that is the best sign of all.
If the only wild you find is some small spindly 2 and 3 prongs with small berry pods (4-6 berries)... then that is a good sign you need to help your soil out some.
My place has some wild ginseng on it, and I have been planting stratified seed and berries on it since 2010.... (wild simulated),... and well what my place is producing is much like the best of the wild plants I have. In a few spots a little better, but in other spots a little worse.
I planted a lot of large beds and planted fairly thick 4-5 per sq ft... and supplemented with gypsum and bonemeal during planting...
Had great germination... but the first few years the suffered awful from disease, and thinned out greatly.
I planted other areas, not using large beds, but just planting a couple seeds here and there, spacing them out well, and they have done much better. Good germination rate, and good survival rate.
My ginseng in large beds, the deer really mow it down... where that that I planted just here and there and spaced it out nicely, they don't seem to browse it near as much.
I have a seed bed that is cultivated, and I added a lot of stuff to it. There is a post here somewhere with the details, and those plants have done fairly well.
Thanks for the informative response TN! The wild that I find is 2 and 3 prongs. No 4 prongs. I have more triple phosphate and bone meal, but I've read where it doesn't move through the soil well. I had planned on using the Hankins method. Do you think it would be helpful to sprinkle a little of both in the trench before I cover the seeds?
My seed will arrive before the weekend. I could also add some mulched up leaf and gypsum along side it too. I wasn't sure if the added minerals right next to the seed would be helpful or harmful.
Again thanks to both of you for the responses. I know this isn't a get rich endeavor, but not much mature wild ginseng in my area anymore and I think I will enjoy trying to grow some.
I planted my first attempt at it using Hankins method and I put down both gypsum and bonemeal (since my site is on the low side calcium wise)...
They sprouted and looked good the first 2-3 years but have not done much after that. I still have lots of little 2 prongs in that location, with just a few decent 3 prongs showing up now and that was 2010 when I planted them (7 years now).
All of the places I have planted that were somewhat questionable, have done about like that. They just have not done much, some are hanging in there, but still mostly 2 prongers, with a few 3's mixed in. Smallish and very little berry production happening.
Now the areas that I planted that had some wild ginseng present and doing well... the wild simulated has done well too. Although the wild sim that I planted rake and scatter method, they came up nicely, great germination, but because of being planted thick (4-5 seeds per sq ft as recommended in Scotts book)... they suffered really bad from disease the first few years - until they thinned out quite a bit, then that slowed down. What is left has done well, some nice 3 prongers in that area.
I am sure this varies by area, but in my area... I am much better off planting it thinly... just a few seeds here, and a few there, spacing it out nicely. That eliminates the disease, and cuts down on most of the deer browsing. They look happy and healthy.
I will never plant in big patches again with rake and scatter or hankins methods. It just does not work on my place.
I also think that fertilizing is some what questionable... if you fertilize during planting, it may help the first year or two, but unless you are prepaired to keep it up and add more each year, they will eventually do what they can naturally in that area (may be limited to small 2 and 3 prongs).
PS... on my place I got identical germination and first 2-3 year growth results from rake and scatter vs hankings method. Rake and scatter is MUCH easier.
I would definately lean towards that method...
But instead of making beds 5' x 50' (250 sf)... make them more like 3'x3' and put a dozen seed or so in that 3x3 spot... and space those out nicely. I think you would have much better luck with that, unless you really plan to work it, spray it, fertilize it, etc...
It takes about 5 years to see how your crop is really going to do... and by then you will probably be wising you had done things a little different.
I have been at it for 7 years now and If I had it to do over again, I would plant it all in small patches just here and there..
Thank you for the great advice TNhunter! I received my seeds today. I'm going to plant them tomorrow. I think I will try Hankins and rake method side by side in a couple different locations in my woods. I am too g to try the small patch method in a few areas too.
It has been severely dry here of late. I'm hopping that doesn't hurt my germination.