Smoky Mountain Flyfishing And
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Places to Grow Ginseng 2
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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|
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.
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 #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.
|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.
|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.
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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
|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.
|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
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.
|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.
|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.|
|APRIL 14, 2014||FIRST GINSENG PLANTS TO EMERGE IN 2014|
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.
|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.
|JANUARY 29, 2014||VERY COLD WINTER MORNING WITH ABOUT 4-5 INCHES OF SNOW|
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.