Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Growing Turmeric and Ginger in Missouri

Did you know Turmeric is in the Ginger family?

There are 3 variety's we use for spice.
 Curcuma aromatica, found  predominantly in eastern Himalayas and in the warm forests of the Western Ghats (India)cream color inside. The rhizomes are often used in cosmetic herbal medicines and as a culinary ingredient in limited quantities as a food flavor.
 Curcuma zedoaria   it has a white interior and a fragrance reminiscent of mango; however, its flavor is more similar to ginger, except with a very bitter aftertaste The plant is native to India and Indonesia but now naturalized in other places including the US State of Florida.
 Curcuma longa, has a orange or yellow interior
It is native to southwest India It requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.

 More information can be found on Wikipedia.
Thanks to the internet we can learn anything with a few searches on Google.
I am ready to harvest the ginger, I placed in one of my home made grow bags.

All I did was buy a piece of ginger from the store back in Feb or March of 2014. I broke off a couple of pieces that had nodes. I used a high quality potting soil in.the grow bag, Place 2 pieces of ginger about 1 inch deep. I kept the soil moist and it sat in the south facing window with a grow light near by.  It sprouted up in no time.
 I placed it out doors when the weather was warmer in April/May. It took care of it's self. We had so much rain.I never watered it. The roots went thew the bottom of the bag and planted them self to hold the plant to the ground. Next year. I will Start them in the grow bag and see how they do transplanted into the soil. to see If I get bigger roots. Soon I will add a video to the bottom of this post, to show the results of harvest.

I have read so many good things about the health benefits of Turmeric, I find it is quite expensive and can not find any locally. So I placed an order online for Whole Raw Organic 1LB -NON GMO - Fresh Harvest Yellow Fresh.I paid $13.49 with free shipping.  This is shipped from NJ, but has Country/Region of Manufacture: Jamaica,
So I searched Turmeric grown in Jamaica. I find the type grow there to be Curcuma longa. This is not indigenous to Jamaica, yet farmed there. and shipped to the US.
It is said to be a robust, perennial, tropical herb of the ginger family and like ginger has a thick, round rhizome with short blunt "fingers".
In some ways, it can be compared to saffron.

It also has a fluorescent yellow-coloured extract of a mixture of three dyestuff, including curcumin which has been known for many centuries to give a rich color to silks and cottons I read turmeric is extremely sensitive to light, for this reason curry powders should be stored in the dark.


These plant do not produce seeds for propagation.
Days to germination: Started by root cuttings, not seeds
Days to harvest: 250 days or more (8 to 10 months)
Light requirements: Full sun, or slight shade
Water requirements: Regular watering
Soil: Well-drained soil
Container: Necessary for most climates

So with this information.I need to start my cuttings by December. 
 If there are any knobs or buds on the root, turn it so they are facing upwards. This is where the new stems will come from. It could take a month or more to see the growth depending on the depth you planted the root. 2 inches is recommended. But you can just add more soil later on, if you do less.

Turmeric is a plant that is seldom bothered by insects or disease. Your plant may develop leaf blotch or leaf spot, which is a fungus infection that will start out as brown patches on the leaves. The leaves will eventually turn yellow and drop off If you are growing turmeric outside of Asia, there are not many insects interested in the plant. Aphids and mites sometimes cluster on the leaves, but they can easily be washed off with a spritz of water or a spray of insecticidal soap

 For storage, place the unpeeled roots in an air-tight container. Keep it in a cool dark place for up to 6 months
You can freeze turmeric, but will be mushy when it thaws out. It is still usable.

A great page to read on this is

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