Saturday, November 28, 2015
Wild-simulated ginseng: sowing your seeds and applying gypsum
"From my own experience and that of other growers, I am convinced that at least one, but no more than two, mature plants per square foot is best. Anything denser courts disaster by facilitating the spread of disease. Anything thinner does not optimize the financial potential of the operation, though I'd certainly recommend erring on the side of caution."
To get this density, you need to plant four to eight seeds per square foot. Why so many? Because even with the best of seeds, you can expect to lose a large percentage of your seeds to birds, insects, rodents, poor soil contact, drying out, being washed away, etc. During the first few years of growth you will lose even more to the same causes and to winter kill, being crushed underfoot, being covered too deeply with leaves and branches, and to other causes I can't even think of right now. By the time the plants are three to four years old, you should have just about the right density.
Scott estimates that there are 6,400 to 8,000 seeds per pound, or between 400 and 500 in an ounce. So, according to Scott's calculations "if you sow one ounce of seed on 100 square feet of land or, as I prefer, two ounces (between 800 and 1,000 seeds) on 200 square feet, you can achieve an average planting density of between four and five seeds per square feet, or about 25 pounds of seed to the acre."
Scott is a very practical and well-organized person. He plans his seeding trips out carefully so he can be quick and efficient when he reaches his planting site.
To get all the details about planting and growing wild-simulated ginseng, order our book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals. Details about the book can be found on the book tab HERE. Ordering an author signed copy is easy. Just use your credit card and the appropriate Paypal button to the right (if you do not see any Paypal buttons, you are probably on your smartphone or tablet. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "View web version". The Paypal buttons will magically appear).