Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How To Grow Your Own Turmeric Indoors (It's Easier Than You Think)

turmeric root and powder and plant 

This is easy enough and the tubers are available if you look hard enough.  I also think  local growers will quickly learn to grow them as well and the tuber will become easily available.   I certainly would put a row in in order to gain experience.  With that and a market you have enough seed stock to plant a large patch.

It is easy enough to work with and use, so there is little barrier to large inventories among farmers.

All good and this item gets the hobbiest going.

How To Grow Your Own Turmeric Indoors (It's Easier Than You Think)

Late winter is the perfect time to plant this potent anti-inflammatory root. 

February 3, 2017

Sure, you can buy turmeric powder from the spice department to whip up your own organic Golden milk, turmeric lattes, turmeric smoothies, or turmeric tea, but aficionados swear by fresh turmeric for the best flavor and strongest health benefits. And while you can find the fresh stuff in health food stores and even mainstream grocery stores, it isn’t cheap, you may not be able to find it year-round, and often it isn’t organic.

Luckily turmeric is easy to grow if you have a sunny spot to put a large pot or planter. Give it what it likes and it will grow like a weed and reward you with attractive tropical foliage and a generous harvest of fresh turmeric.

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turmeric root and plant

Best Conditions For Growing
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a tropical plant in the same family as ginger. Not a dainty plant, turmeric has large green leaves and grows three or more feet tall. As the plant matures each stem sends up a spike of greenish-white and occasionally pink flowers. Like ginger, turmeric thrives in warm, humid conditions and well-drained, neutral soil. (You can grow ginger indoors, too!)
turmeric root slices

Preparing To Plant
In most parts of the U.S. turmeric will produce best if you plant it indoors in the late winter. Depending on your indoor and outdoor space you can either keep it inside as a houseplant all summer or move it outside once all chance of frost is past and the weather is warm enough to put out your pepper and eggplant seedlings. And if you live in Zones 8-11, you can grow it completely outdoors. (Here's how to grow eggplants in a pot!)

Calculate when to plant

Turmeric takes 7 to 10 months from planting to harvest. To figure out when you should plant, count back 10 months from when you usually get your first frost in the fall. My first frost is around mid October, so I'd start my turmeric between mid-December and mid-March. If your growing season is longer, or you have a large and sunny indoor space to grow it, your timing is less critical, but you are still likely to get the best results from planting in late winter through spring.

Source your rhizomes

Turmeric is grown from rhizomes, fleshy root-like structures. My local supermarket and health food store both have fresh rhizomes for sale in the winter. Asian or Indian groceries are also likely to stock it, or may be able to order some for you. If you can’t find any locally, Jung Seed sells small potted plants, or you can buy fresh turmeric rhizomes from a number of sellers on eBay (choose one in the U.S. to avoid possible customs issues). Select plump rhizomes with as many bumps (buds) along the sides as possible.

planting a turmeric root or rhizome
3/6 Swapan Photography/ Shutterstock
You will need a 14- to 18-inch pot or planter for each 6 to 8 inches of rhizome, and enough organic potting soil to fill it. But to start, it's more practical to sprout your rhizomes in smaller containers and then transplant them into the larger containers once they have a few leaves and are growing well.

Here's how:

1. Cut your rhizomes into sections, with two or three buds on each section.
2. Fill 3-inch pots (or reuse those plastic clamshells some veggies are sold in) halfway with a good organic potting soil.
3. Lay the rhizome sections flat on the soil, and cover with more potting soil.
4. Water well and slip the pots into clear plastic bags (or close the plastic clamshells).
5. Place the pots or clamshells in the warmest place you can find (86-95 degrees is ideal). Sprouting at lower temperatures will be very slow and your rhizomes may even rot rather than sprout. No toasty location? You can make a great germination chamber with a heating pad or a small desk lamp, a picnic cooler, and a thermometer. Or you can buy a small germination chamber for home use. Light or no light is fine at this stage.

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