Ginseng

zackey(GA 8b)February 16, 2014

Can I grow ginseng in a shade house?

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glib(5.5)

Probably not. Michigan-Wisconsin is its natural range. Also, I tried many years ago, special bed in part shade, and not a single plant came up. stratification is a female dog (gardenweb refuses to let me post the original).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 6:30PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Someone told me it would grow down here.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:53PM
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glib(5.5)

Give it a spin. Otto Richter used to have seeds. They will be able to advise better than I can.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:11PM
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woohooman

I think it's real common down there zackey. I saw a show the other day and it was about these backwoodsmen running around the Appalachians harvesting and poaching "sing." Apparently, it's like a modern day gold rush.. It was being grown on shady hillsides from what I gathered.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:18PM
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woohooman

Double post.

This post was edited by woohooman on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 21:23

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:19PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Zackey, do some Googling. There is lots of internet information on how to grow ginseng at home. And it is found throughout much of the Soith.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 3:31AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

That show is what gave me the idea. I don't have dense shade in my tree area. I was just hoping for a voice of experience on here before I started googling. I have a Richter catalog. I'll check it out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Do you really want to be out there all day guarding your prized ginsing, for 10 years. Lol.. That show really brings it to another level, just for views..

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:01AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

I saw the show too and truthfully it pissed me off. A show about poaching wild ginseng. I stopped watching after about 5 minutes.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has both ginseng roots and seeds for sale.

Rodney

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:15AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

I didn't care for the stealing part either. I probably watched about 15 minutes of it because I was fascinated that it could be worth that much and I wanted to see what it looked like. No one grows it here, nature. I doubt anyone on my street even knows what it looks like. We are quite a ways from the Appalachians.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Zack,

Just make sure your neighbors dont watch that show... Lol

No in all seriousness, could you imagine if you spent a decade on something, then someone takes all your hard work overnight.. Man oh man... I couldnt grow ginseng.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:16PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

I'd be ballistic! Most of my neighbors are into hunting and drinking beer. There are only two gardeners on the street. Plus everyone has guns around here.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

You'd be surprised what you don't know about your neighbor.. Countless stories...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:38PM
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glib(5.5)

True, but why advertise it? I put my 8X8 ft ginseng bed under a large shrub, in a spot where you had to maneuver to get there. People would see some vegetation amidst some other vegetation (then the seeds did not germinate). Who knows what ginseng looks like? It is nearly extinct in the wild. Silence is gold.

What you can get, though, is a bunch of wild boars rooting through your property and eating all the roots. That's what they do. Here they are present but still rare. In GA, they are a menace.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:49PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

I haven't seen a wild pig here since I've been here for 7 years. We do have amardillos. We already have a greenhouse and several gardens. I doubt anyone would know we were growing it. We live quite a ways from the road and only have one close neighbor that only leaves the house when necessary.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:02PM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

I didn't even think about animals digging it up, eating it..

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:05PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

If we built a shade house it would be totally enclosed so no critters could get in it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:40PM
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planatus(6)

We have not been successful establishing ginseng from roots or seeds in a fenced area of undisturbed poplar forest, but one day we may get lucky and see some plants.

NC state has found several other medicinal herbs that can be grown in shade, like blue cohosh. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: nc state medicinal herbs

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:31AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

planatus, thanks! That's a great idea. Not sure yet if we will ever do the ginseng. The money sounds so enticing. I may not even live here ten years from now. I'll check out what medicinal herbs grow well in Ga. I have one Stinging Nettle plant in a 3 gallon pot. I'm afraid to put it in the ground. It makes a sweet flavored tea that needs no sugar.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

That brings up a good point.. I know nearly every plant around here, I'm a forager. I forage for stinging nettle, comfrey, mullien, chickweed, white oak bark, knotweed, ramps, you name it. I know nearly every plant around here.. But, amazingly one the most famous herbs, Ginseng, I still don't really know.. Perhaps because I never really studied it, or spent any time educating myself on the identification. The red berries seem like a dead give away. I might forage for some next year, maybe ill even try to plant a seed or two if I like it. I'm all for medicinal herbs. I'm growing Yarrow, stevia, thyme, oregano, cilantro, parsley, Chinese mother-wort, wormwood, basil, borage, dill, lemongrass, lovage, marshmallow, various thistles,lavender, mugwort, nettle, valerian, and several others..

I also did think about making money off the plants i grew/forage for... And you got me about ready to open up a small roadside stand and make business.. I know it can be done..

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:39AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

I always wanted to have a roadside stand. We live in the middle of nowhere now. We have a local farmer's market, but it's a dud. I keep dreaming, maybe some day. We can set up for free in a vacant lot 12 miles from us. It's not very populated there, but it might work. Only problem is I can't drive and it would be up to hubby to drive me there. He always has other priorities. We had 2 good yard sales there a few years ago. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

I been dreaming about it for a while now.. Lots of the roadside stands around here are claiming they are organic, or pesticide free, and i find it hard to believe, the quality is just not there, i mean i could see the wax on the produce, no good.. I would love to provide truly healthy, spray free, clean food for people. I also see health stands selling lotions with parabens and other unhealthy products that they are charging top dollar for, and it's not even healthy! It has the same junk in it you get for half the price at the local drug store.. I get very irritated and sad when people claim their produ ts are healthy and charge top dollar, when the product is just filled with water, a lot of harmful fillers, unhealthy preservatives, stabilizers, parabens.. I want to actually provide true healthy produce to people. I want to inform them to stop buying junk products for top dollar, stop getting ripped off, stop consuming unhealthy things, read the ingredients list.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:54AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Go for it!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:17PM
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planatus(6)

Z, I have loads of stinging nettles (the European strain) and we eat the steamed stem tips in spring and use them in teas all year. A friend who uses the tea medicinally says there is a nationwide shortage of dried nettles. Maybe that's your moneymaker. We dry them for tea in the dehydrator, by handling the stems with tongs. However, at a seminar in NC I learned that many natural herb processors prefer to harvest and dry the herbs themselves.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Planutus,

You have to try and eat the stinging nettle raw, i grind it in my vitamix to make a green smoothie, it comes out black, very strong!! The stinging nettle is sooo powerful.. Also, why use tongs to harvest stinging nettle, the stings are highly medicinal. My mother is in great pain(artificial hips,knees, and shoulders), I harvest fresh stinging nettle and rub it all over here, stinging her. Afterwards, she feels great, she says it works better than a pain pill, i dont want her taking the crap to begin with.. Dont be afraid to get stung, or eat it raw, you are missing a lot of medicine by steaming it and avoiding its stings.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:58AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Geez, nature, I don't know about eating it raw or rubbing it on my body. I too suffer from alot of pain. I accidently got a stinger in my mouth when I didn't heat my tea long enough. Not a very pleasant feeling!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:08PM
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insteng

Do any of you have a picture of what you are calling stinging nettle? It sounds alost like what we call bull nettle down here but I never heard of anybody eating it, except as a bet.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:34PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

"The money sounds so enticing. I may not even live here ten years from now."

Been there done that!

I have forgotten most of what I knew 30 years ago, after a lot of research and planting ginseng. I had the perfect spot on a hill, I think it was supposed to be facing SE?

I had to sell the place due to a divorce and I told the buyer that he would have a good cash crop on that hillside in about 8 more years. He laughed.

I was in the neighborhood about 5 years later and stopped by, since he was in the yard. He let me look at the hill and it was grown up with weed trees, but there was a lot of ginseng still growing under there! I showed him how to identify it and even dug around one with my knife, it had a nice root. He laughed again.... and said pull it up if you want it, I did and I used it.

When I was younger I stayed in the woods, hiking, exploring, all over SC and NC. I have never saw ginseng growing wild anywhere even though I knew how to identify it in any season and it is supposed to grow wild here. The wild stuff brings bigger bucks.

Speaking of the guy that I sold the property to. I also told him about the black walnut trees along the creek that was almost ready to harvest. I had about 100 straight, tall, black walnut trees about 15" in diameter, with almost no limbs since they didn't get much sun in the valley. He cut them for firewood......... Such a waste!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:10PM
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planatus(6)

These are stinging nettles in spring, in prime condition for cutting. They are at their best as eating greens before the last frost, when they are really sweet and tender.

The nettles went feral around here for several years, so I get stung a lot when weeding and working in the yard. A lot of people do use it topically for pain control, but I'm not there yet.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

We are talking about Urtica Dioica, stinging nettle. There are numerous different types of nettle, stinging nettle being one of my favorite. It does indeed sting you, but what one considers pain is in the mind. You are in as much pain as you think you are. You aren't walking in a ring to get your face smashed in, you are eating one of natures most powerful food, the herbs, that is everything but painful to be, I find the stinging nettle an honor to eat, so healthy, abundant and free!! At first, it does feel like fiberglass in your hand, but after a couple years picking it, you really don't notice. Im telling you guys, in a few years they are going to be rubbing stinging nettle on people in massages, spas, etc.. You guys don't know what you are missing.. Even if it does hurt at first, it feels much better a few minutes after, then it delivers this calm, soothing feel wherever the medicine from the nettle was injected, yes it actually injects you with phytochemicals, almost like a bee sting.

'They are at their best as eating greens before the last frost,'

Like most greens, nettles are best to eat the young,new shoots in spring, however fresh tender growth can be harvested throughout summer, just a little tougher. you know me, I harvest any leaves i can find, substainably, of course, tough or tender.. I eat for energy and nutrition, I try not to eat for emotional reasons, that's when people get in trouble. That's when people lose the taste of real food. After stinging nettle flowers, in sep/oct, they get really tough, stem starts thickening up, leaves get real big and thick, that's the time that it's past it's prime.

Please note: If you do end up going foraging, remember when you see something to harvest, harvest substainably, don't harvest the whole plant, don't even harvest half the plant if you could help, just take a small portion of the plant so it can regrow and provide food for others, or yourself in another few days down the line, they regrow quick!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Urtica Dioica, Stinging Nettle

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:16AM
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glib(5.5)

The way to harvest sustainably is to harvest seeds in Fall, and spread them in parts of the world where you want the urtica to grow. I, too, eat it, and I understand that the original green pasta was made with it, not with spinach. For cooking, I steam whole plants, but then I eat only the leaves. I also dry quite a bit of it for winter teas. It is the top herb to calm allergies, although to be honest I have seen no effect.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:24AM
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Deeby

NaturesNature, have you ever heard of "Five Finger Plantain"?
My grandmother (1897-1984) told me that it grew wild in northern California, and was used for cuts and scrapes.
I have always wanted to know what the plant really was.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:44PM
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glib(5.5)

Plantain is used for cuts. It is a broadleaf weed, low to the ground, and edible when young. You can google image it, and either bananas or that plant will show up.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:15PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Ok> I have a question: Can you grow ginseng from fresh tubers? In my neighborhood Chinese market they sell fresh ginseng.

Gilb, ... There are varieties of Plantain. On is called Greater Plantain. They grow as weed everywhere. The are cood for cuts, bruises, burn, itch and insect (Mosquito) bite .
Here is a picture for you:

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Deeby

My grandmother said that the plant had five leaves that were spread apart, like spreading apart your fingers and thumb.
My impression is that she meant a plant that was low to the ground.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 3:09PM
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bggrows(6a/6b)

My Dad gathered ginseng after he retired and he was able to walk the woods in south central Kentucky in what we called the knob land. I went with him once. He knew where all the patches were and the land owners didn't seem to mind. He would only go when he knew the berries were ripe.The red stands out in the woods on the 6" to 10" plants and he could spot them from a distance.
He would only dig large roots when the plant had more than 4 leaves and never a young plant.. He would also scatter the seed. A mature root looks like a human figure, head, arms and legs. Thus, five fingers. He said it took many years for a 5 prong root to grow.
He sold his but only made a few dollars as the roots have to be very dry and takes a lot to make a few ounces. He just enjoyed being in the woods.
He did try to grow some from root and seed but they never did anything. The best I remember, they grew on the north hillside in dense shade.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 3:58PM
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