Growing Ginseng: Start a Ginseng Farm
Joyce Park stashed this in Trees
Apparently ginseng is native to the hardwood forests of the eastern US and Canada! I'm very interested in forest products other than low-value wood, so this is going into my Trees stash.
I did not realize that ginseng could be grown anywhere north of Alabama that gets enough rainfall!
Well, the hardwood forests of the eastern United States and Canada are ginseng's natural habitat, but it can be cultivated almost anywhere north of central Alabama . . . if the area receives between 20 and 40 inches of rainfall annually. No sophisticated techniques are needed to raise the precious crop, either . . . only a goodly portion of patience and a willingness to get your hands dirty. I grow ginseng quite successfully, though I've had only a few years' previous experience in vegetable gardening.
Pick a Planting Site for your Ginseng Farm:
Wild 'sang, as old-timers call the plant, flourishes best beneath a stand of mature hardwoods on a gentle northeast-facing slope that has thick, moist leaf litter and little undergrowth. Such a place is naturally ideal for cultivating ginseng, but the botanical should thrive in almost any well-tended, well drained but moist-location that doesn't receive too much direct afternoon sunlight. (Some growers even construct their own lattices—6 to 7 feet above the plants—to provide the necessary 75 to 80% shading.)
When prospecting for a suitable spot, I look for a few wildlings that are similar to ginseng, such as trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisae matriphyllum), May apples (Podophyllum peltatum), rattlesnake ferns (Botrychium virginianum), or wild ginger (Asarum canadense). The type of soil isn't critical to growing success, although a sandy loam with a pH level of 5.0 to 6.0 is preferable. During dry weather, however, you should check to see whether or not the soil under the leaves remains moist, without being overly damp . . . and water, if needed.
Can this be grown along with truffles?? Perhaps a symbiotic relationship?
Bill, I don't see any reason why not.
But I've never seen an article on planting a truffle and ginseng garden.