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Places to Grow Ginseng 2

 

 
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Ginseng Information page 1


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You might be reading this page for the first time and we would like to let you know that if you have property that you think might have ginseng on it that you can call me at 423-586-6198 and I will come to your place and check to see if you do have any ginseng that we could dig and sell. I always tell any one that is interested that I will dig the ginseng and sell it on a 50/50 basis. We share the profits equally after I dig and dry the roots. There is good money to be made in ginseng and I invite you to call and let me come to check your property out. There is no expense to you. We just share in the profits on an equal basis.

 

 
NOVEMBER 26, 2014 BUILDING GINSENG BEDS THAT ARE IN THE OPEN
The leaves have really been falling and I have been raking them into piles. It has been  about a month since I  last  sprayed weed killer on the grass and things are ready to drag these accumulated leaves onto rows where new beds will be made.
I have two spots where I removed peach trees a few years ago and the rows are wide open to sunlight. I wanted  to make beds here for specific types of Ginseng. Killing the grass, and starting mulch beds from the extra leaves that I have was a way to start. That has been taken care of now and a little later I will plant Poplar and Maple trees along side each row to eventually give shade. In a couple of pictures you can see where the rows of peach trees run beside the open rows. The rows where there are trees have already been planted. For the first few years I will place 6ft. post along side each row and use shade cloth on the tops and sides to give protection from the sun. I believe in 5-6 years I can remove this cloth netting. I have two particular types of plants that I want to use in these beds. I want to try the early ripening strain that I have growing and I want to plant more Wild Tennessee plants and seeds. The pictures are to document that I am growing ginseng commercially and that I have kept all the necessary information that any agency might want. As I add the trees and shade cover I will place more pictures of how things are going.

 

  Hugh

Row #1: First and second picture showing where leaves have been placed to make mulch beds.

Row #1: Third and fourth pictures shows rows of peaches that are already planted.

Row #1: Fifth picture is another section that was open and the grass has been killed. The leaves are there now.

Row #2: This is a closer view showing where the grass has been killed and made ready for a bed of leaves.

Row #2: The second picture is another bed that I started last year. This one is about 6x30 feet long and right at the very end of a woodlot.

Row #2: The third picture is a shot from the other end of the bed.

Row #2 :  The last two pictures are of piles of Maple and Poplar leaves ready to be moved to new beds.

 

OCTOBER 16, 2014 THE BEGINNING OF A NEW GINSENG PATCH IN THE PEACH ORCHARD
Since I did not get to hunt in the Cherokee National Forest this year, I have devoted my time to getting things ready to plant a new patch in my former peach orchard. I have been letting certain things grow to provide cover in the orchard that I would normally have kept clean for orchard purposes. The trees have not been pruned for a few years and Privet Hedge has been allowed to grow at will up and down the rows. I will also have to add certain types of trees in spots, but many of them are already growing as nature does it's thing each year. You can see where I have kept the falling peach leaves raked into the rows to provide food for the babies this coming spring. Weed killer was applied twice this summer to kill grass and certain types of weeds. It has been very wet this week and I'll let it dry for a day or two before I start planting seed. The first picture on the bottom row shows where the orchard joins the permanent woodland that has been planted for years.
As the Poplars, Maples, and Walnuts begin to get enough size to completely shade the centers of the rows I will spray the remaining  grass and finish planting the complete row. This will give different age groups to the maturing ginseng in years to come. This is my first attempt at rebuilding a new forest and planting ginseng to go with it. There is about 1 acre here. That will be about 2 acres in all counting the sections that are already planted.

 

   Hugh                                      

OCTOBER 8, 2014 WE HAVE COME TO THE END OF THE 2014 GINSENG GROWING SEASON
Folks, We have come to the end of the growing season for the year 2014. I made my way to some patches in the mountains and all of the plants were in the process of going down. Most were already yellow , but a few still had some green color. All of the plants except the last four, were 3 year old plants that I had planted about 4 years ago at about this time of the year. I moved around to different places looking for new planting areas for this coming year. While I was checking out spots, I found 4 new plants that were just a little older than my plantings. I photographed everything as I saw it and gave a "goodbye" to all my children. They have grown well this season and I hope to see many 3 prongs next year. If they all have some berries on them this coming year we will have a lot more to plant. I hope that many of you have followed us on the website and possibly learned something about growing ginseng. The time of planting is about to start with stratified seed and we have several new places to plant. If any of you that follow us on here have property in nearby East Tennessee, that you would like to try growing ginseng on and splitting the profits, just contact me and we will look things over and give you our thoughts as to whether it will work out. There is no cost to you. I will plant and harvest and then dry the roots for sale later in the Fall. My number is 423-586-6198. Just give me a call if you might like to try it.

 

   Hugh

AUGUST 22, 2014 THE END OF THE BERRY HARVESTING SEASON
Yesterday I picked the last of the late ripening berries that I could find. This morning I went outside just after daylight and dug up the ones that I had placed in stratification last Fall.  rpdgrump had shown in an earlier thread where he had made his first attempt at stratification as well. I mentioned then that I had made my first attempt last year as well. I want to thank him for giving us a guideline to follow and this attempt will somewhat mirror what he had shown. My attempt was on a smaller basis and in a somewhat different container. Both of our attempts will give others some ideas to follow up on. I felt the try was successful and I want to do it again with a larger amount next time. Starting at the top left:

1: The place where I had dug in the ground and buried the container

2: The spot uncovered.

3:Digging around the covered wrap to get it from the ground.

4: The container with an inside wrap of vinyl mesh. Inside was placed the berries in moist soil.

5: The outside metal wrap is off and the mesh is ready to take off now.

6: A little stirring around reveals some seed.

7: After a little sifting and stirring the seed are out and placed inside a plastic bowl.

8:The seed are rinsed and cleaned up.

9: A mixture of water and 10% bleach is made to soak in for 20 minutes.

10: The seeds are rinsed a few times and placed on a paper towel to dry.

11: The last of the ripe berries and the stratified seed are placed in a container and off I go to find the perfect spot. Their parents originally came from the mountains and this where they will end up. I wish them a long growing future.

12: While I was planting, I ran into these. The berries were planted very close by.

 

   I hope this gives others an incentive to try to stratify some of their crop in the future. Nothing like learning all that you can about growing ginseng.

My thanks again to rpdgrump for showing us how to do this successfully.

 

         Hugh

JULY 11, 2014 HARVEST TIME FOR THE GINSENG BERRIES
The time of the year has arrived for the earliest berries to get ripe. I took these pictures this morning, July 11th, and by the middle of this coming week I believe that 2 or 3 dozen plants will have completely matured their berries. These berries will all go to the mountains and maybe some places that have not grown any ginseng in years will see plants coming up in a couple of years. Hopefully it will benefit some needy mountain folks who just need a little extra cash at the end of the year and maybe I'll get a chance to speak with some diggers who need to learn a little more about stewardship. Let's hope it helps the whole ginseng community.

 

Hugh

JULY 05, 2014 SCOUTING ON THE 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND
 
JUNE 28, 2014 THE FIRST GINSENG BERRIES ARE TURNING RED
The largest and oldest ginseng that I have is showing berries that are beginning to ripen. These are from seed that came from Minnesota and they are the ones that will have to be placed into stratification boxes now or planted in the mountains. They should be completely ripe around the middle of July. The fifth picture on the top row is Wild Kentucky Ginseng and it is not blooming yet. The bottom 5 pictures are of Wild Tennessee Ginseng and it is not close to blooming yet. I'll place more pictures on as they get ripe.

    Hugh

JUNE 07, 2014 STAGES OF MATURITY OF DIFFERENT GINSENG STRAINS FROM THE USA AND CANADA
I thought today would be a good time to photograph the different "varieties of ginseng", according to where they originated from to show how they develop at low elevation in the Southeast. It may also show what may or may not be done with mature seeds as they are harvested from the plants. You never read in any articles or publications about these differences, but some of us on the Wild Grown Board have mentioned and shown mature berries as we gathered them. These different ripening dates can pose a big problem unless they are taken from the plants as they ripen and placed in stratification beds. Berries that mature in Mid Summer would have no chance of survival or regenerating new plants if just allowed to fall to the ground. They would have no leaf cover for 3 months at least and be wide open to predation from every critter in the woods. Here at my house it is so dry in mid to late summer that even if you plant them they just dry out. What I have found to be effective for these early maturing cultivars is to gather them as they mature and either place them in sand inside a burlap bag and then place the bag in the ground and start stratification. I have also been successful at taking them to the higher elevations in the mountains and planting them as soon as they are mature on the plants. Every thing seems to go back to their normal emerging and maturing range when I do this. Instead of maturing in mid summer they mature in mid September as they normally would where they originated from.

  The first 5 pictures are from seed that supposedly came from Minnesota. They seem to be the worst about maturing early even though they grow some beautiful roots. Look at how far along the seed pods are. They will be ready to collect in Mid July. I have shown pictures of the mature berries before. The next two pictures are of Wild Tennessee Ginseng. They are much farther behind in development and they mature in Mid September. The last two pictures are of Wild Kentucky Ginseng and they mature at the last of September- to early October. I hope this information can be used by others and I will place more photographs on the site as seeds mature. I will mention that the seeds and rootlets that I have bought from Wild Grown both seem to mature at about the same time and here in the Valley that is about the 1st to the middle of September. As this variety gets a little more mature I can say more about it. There should be quite a bit of it bearing seeds this year. I hope this helps to make some better decisions.

   Hugh

JUNE 04, 2014 VISITING WITH FRIENDS ON MOTHER'S DAY
I took a little trip on Mother's Day to North Carolina to see if I could find some old friends and maybe get some information about hunting ginseng in the Pisgah National Forest this year. I was fortunate to find them and we spent some time talking and renewing old acquaintances.  It was great to see them again and today they sent me some pictures of ginseng that they had seen. The first picture is of a plant that has a 10 inch water bottle sitting beside it and it is twice as tall. The last picture is of a 6 Prong plant. That is a very rare plant growing in the wild. They graciously allowed me to place a little story on my website without mentioning any names or locations. I want to thank them for spending time with me and sharing what has gone on in their lives since I last saw them. Maybe I can talk them into going on a ginseng hunt with me this Fall. I hope you enjoy the pictures they sent and my thanks again for them putting up with me and getting out and about in the mountains.

   Hugh

MAY 31, 2014 SCOUTING IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Today, Carolyn and I went to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to check on ginseng plants that "someone" had planted about 5 years ago. I wanted to see how they were doing and whether they might have been dug by someone before they could start reproducing. A few had died along the way and most were up to the 3 Prong size with berry pods beginning to show. We went to two different locations where seeds had been planted and in one spot we found a few wild ones They had a few small plants growing along side the larger ones showing there was some natural reproduction. We found no large full grown plants on this trip. This is about the 16th trip that I have made scouting this year and all of it, up until today, has been in the Cherokee National Forest in Greene County. I did not find even one wild ginseng plant in the Cherokee National Forest in all of those trips. I did find a patch that I'm sure someone else had planted about 8-10 years ago. They were all mature and ready to dig, but I will not take advantage of someone else's hard work and try to get them , even with a permit. I have found a couple of good places to plant in Greene County this Fall, so I will focus on trying to get some plants back where none seem to be any more.   It has been a difficult task, but I'll keep at it.

 

   Hugh

MAY 18, 2014 SCOUTING AT HIGH ALTITUDE FOR GINSENG
Carolyn and I left early this morning to scout for possible places to hunt ginseng this Fall and we went to a pretty high elevation area that has some great scenic views. I was really in hopes of finding some nice ginseng in this area, but it was not to be. We searched for 2-3 hours and did not find a plant. I guess the telling sign was that we did not find any Black Cohosh growing there either. That is usually a good indicator, but there was none to be found. I told Carolyn that we should look hard to see if we could see any as we went back down the mountain and we found a few small pockets along some branches that crossed the road. We'll check those areas out later. I knew of another mountain where there is Cohosh growing everywhere and we drove there to scout some more. We found Black and Blue Cohosh from the start and you can see from the pictures that ginseng grows there as well. I hope that everyone enjoys the pictures and that each of you get to do some trips soon.

 

   Hugh

MAY 5, 2014 LOOKING AT GINSENG PATCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS
It has warmed up enough for plants to be, up and growing, pretty high up on the mountain. I wanted to see just how well our plantings were doing that we made up to three years ago. There are a few one and two year old plants , but the majority of them are in their third Spring. They range from 3 Leafers to 3 Prong plants. Most that I found are 2 Prong and next season they will be starting to have berry pods and we will be planting them all back into the mountains. Boomer went with me today and he ran himself to death. He got one Grouse up and that was just what he needed. I was very pleased with what I found and I hope they continue to grow and that poachers will leave them alone until we can get several years of berries off of them to plant back in the mountains.

Take a look at the nice 4 Prong that I found after the season had closed last year. I hope to find some more of these in the new section to be open in the Cherokee National Forest this summer and possibly get drawn to hunt again this Fall.

Hugh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

APRIL 27, 2014 TAKING A LOOK AT SOME OF THE MORE MATURE PLANTS JUST AFTER GROWTH BEGINS
Today was a bright clear day to get out and take some shots of the ginseng as it is growing fast and  will probably all be up by the end of this coming week. I have been very pleased with the way it has grown and I wanted people to see how the 6-8 year old plants look at this stage. I know that some on the Wildgrown Board have only started in the past couple of years and it probably seems like you will never get to the stage that your plants will ever be mature. I have gone through all of those stages and the time is getting closer at hand to see the benefits  of these many years of work and waiting. I hope everyone enjoys the pictures and  good luck with your crops.

 

Hugh

 

APRIL 17, 2014 BACK TO THE MOUNTAINS TO SEE IF ANY PLANTS HAVE EMERGED
Today I took a couple of pictures of plants (the first two) that I had failed to cover with leaf litter before a hard freeze I wanted to see how they look in a few days to see if there is some damage to them. The rest of the pictures were made of plants in the mountains. I only found some emerging at the lowest altitude that I have planted. These are beginning their 3rd year and most are two pronged plants. They are growing completely wild with no help except from Mother Nature. I could see a little bit of wilting on some of the last plants so I don't know how much damage they have taken from this late freeze. Today I removed the leaf litter from the plants at my house that I had used to protect them from the cold. They all seemed to be okay and by this afternoon there were many more emerging as the temperature rose. I'll check other places as the season progresses. The cold spell was strong enough that it completely destroyed my peach crop. This bottom picture is one of the nicer ones that has come up, so far. All of the larger ones are still dormant. They will be up in a few days.

   Hugh                                                                                                                                              

APRIL 14, 2014 FIRST GINSENG PLANTS TO EMERGE IN 2014
We've had some very warm days at the end of this past week and the young ginseng plants are really coming through the leaf litter to start their new year .  The next couple of nights will test my skills as it is supposed to get down to 27 degrees tomorrow night.  I will have to carry leaves to each plant that has come up and cover them to protect them from freezing temperatures. I'll shake the leaves off after the temperature goes back up. The plants that I'm seeing up are mostly 2-3 prong young plants. The older 4 prongs are still in dormancy for a short while.

  I have already made some scouting trips into Greene County to look for likely spots that ginseng might grow in the Cherokee National Forest. Maybe with some luck we will get drawn again this year to be eligible to get a permit to hunt . Keep following us to see how the ginseng season turns out for 2014.

   Hugh

APRIL 2, 2014 FIRST EMERGING PLANTS IN THE FOREST WHERE THE GINSENG GROWS
Today, Boomer and I drove to Paint Creek to do a little fly fishing. We caught several fish and decided to drive to some of out most Southerly ginseng spots  to see if any plants might be coming up. We've had two straight days of 80 degree temperatures and I thought that there might be a few beginning to show themselves. There were no ginseng plants up yet, but several of the companion plants were coming up and it can't be more than a few days until we start seeing some three year old plants pushing through the leaves. There were May Apples and Trillium in a number of places and here at the house I found Sessile BellWorts a few inches high. No ginseng yet at  either place so it will be a few more days. Let's hope we get some rain for the next couple of days to get them off to a good start.

   Hugh

JANUARY 29, 2014 VERY COLD WINTER MORNING WITH ABOUT 4-5 INCHES OF SNOW

We're coming to the end of January and it has been one of the colder ones that I can remember in years. This morning when I got up the Weather Service was showing -3 degrees on my computer screen. That is pretty chilly and it had snowed most of the day yesterday and until about 10:00 PM last night. The sun was out bright when I went outside a little later and it made for some good photography to show what a ginseng patch looks like when it is starting on it's 8th year. I first planted these woodlots in the late Fall of  2006 and we suffered through 2 years of drought. This caused a lot of replanting to be done  and I have been working on spots since then. I had another acre of cleared land adjoining these woodlots and I planted them in peach trees several years ago as well. Since this is in a subdivision, I came to the conclusion that spraying the peach trees was not a good idea. This Fall I began letting them grow up along the edges of the woodland and
where I have been mowing the center each week I will spray Roundup and plant Poplars and Maples to crowd out sunlight and grasses. I had let young trees start taking back the nearest row of trees a while back and I planted it this Fall in ginseng. You can see in the pictures where I left brush and tangles on each end to keep too much sunlight from getting to the young seng. The new Poplars and Maples should blend in real quickly to crowd out unwanted growth and I will add new ginseng plantings as they close out the extra sunlight. This should total out to about 2 acres of ginseng. I hope this gives some ideas to others that will be planting soon.

   Hugh