I started last fall with a report on my newbie endeavors and got some helpful advice. Thanks to all who replied. Midseason now and some berrires are starting to turn red! At least I know my NY Finger Lakes site will support ginseng.
I prepared 9 5' x 5' test plots, some really dug up and turned over, some just lightly 'scraped'. I worked in 40 lbs of lime in the summer since the ph was low and added 40lbs of gypsum in the fall to boost Ca. I figure about an 18% germination from 2 ozs. of viable seed (~900). 18 out of 24 3yr.old roots from Wildgrown.com came up. A small plant yellowed and died a few weeks ago and another one looks like its on the way out( see todays pic-'yellowing leaves'). Some of the plants only have two prongs and are considerably more juvenile looking than their seed-bearing brothers. I will, however, be able to collect some ripe seed to begin future plantings. The summer has been nice, with a good thunderstorm every few days; not too hot, not too wet. Totally missed transplanting ramps to the property this spring, but will collect and distribute seed again this fall. Some blue cohosh transplanted fine, but I have not progressed on plans for goldenseal. I'm ordering more 'seng planting stock today.
Just wondering about you adding lime to your planting sites.
Was your PH lower than 5 ?
Here on my property in Middle TN the norm for PH in clearings (in my fields, yard/garden type areas) is around 5.5 and I add some lime to my garden to get it on up in the 6-6.5 range which works well for most garden stuff, corn, tomatoes, squash, etc.
I have never checked the PH in the woods property around here but will get that done soon since I plan to start planting late fall here.
My property where I plan to start some wild simulated plantings has maidenhair fern growing on it (quite a bit) and maidenhair fern only grows where calcium is high so I may not have to add any calcium either (hope not).
My soil test came back with low Ca (1060 lbs/acre)and a low pH (4.7). Iwas hoping for more like 2000 on the calcium, but adding lime helped and raising the pH was just an extra plus. I should be growing blueberries is what the extension agent told me; maybe next year. Maidenhair ferns would be great, but I'm happy with the jack-in-the-pulpit and red baneberry. I don't think I've got the ideal site, but the seng that I've got is still growing.
Check out my pic called yellowing leaves. Got any idea what that might be? I haven't seen any rodent or slug damage yet (knock on wood) but yellowing leaves and dying plants creeps me out. I don't want to have to spray for some weird disease.