Questions to Ask Before Growing Ginseng

Harvested Mature Ginseng Root

Harvested Mature Ginseng Root

You want to start your ginseng-growing business on the right foot. A strong start can lead to big profits down the road. So what are some questions you should ask before starting a ginseng-growing business? Here are some to get you started:

1. Do you have healthy soil?

Your ginseng needs to grow in healthy soil. You need soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. You also want to stop any potential pest and disease problems. And don’t forget about air circulation—make sure your ginseng has plenty of air. You also need well-drained soil. Be careful though. Soil that is too well-drained (very sandy soil, for instance) could produce inferior roots, due to not being able to hold moisture well.

2. Are you growing in the right climate?

Ginseng can thrive in most places, but it does need a four season climate. An area that has some sub-freezing winter weather is ideal. It needs cold weather to help break dormancy, which will lead to your ginseng sprouting in the spring.

3. Would you like to sell rootlets or seeds for extra profits?

Your ginseng will take about five to six years to reach maturity. In the meantime you can sell seeds and rootlets, which should be ready to sell after just a few years. Think about whether you’d like to sell these or not. If you plan to sell rootlets, set aside an area to grow rootlets for resale. The price you’ll get for selling rootlets is based on how old they are and their quality.  Current rootlet prices range from $1.50 to $3.00 each. Seeds are currently selling for about $150 a pound.

4. Which method do you want to use to grow your ginseng?

There are three methods to grow ginseng. First is the artificial shade method, which involves building a canopy that provides shade. The start-up costs for this method can be expensive, so chances are this isn’t the right fit for a small grower. If you have a few acres of hardwood trees, then maybe you’d like to try the wild-simulated method. The most practical method for a small grower is the woods-cultivated method, which involves using the natural shade provided by a forest canopy of hardwood trees.

5. Are you buying high-quality seeds?

Your ginseng needs to grow from high-quality seeds. Don’t assume that the most expensive seeds are the best. You need to use disease-free seeds that have been “stratified,” which means the berries have been de-pulped and the seeds were buried in sand over the wintertime. Plan on soaking your newly-bought seeds in a solution of one part Clorox bleach to nine parts water, and then flushing them thoroughly with clean water. This process can help prevent disease.

As you ask yourself these five questions, think about your answers. Once you feel satisfied that ginseng will do well on your land, and you can give the plants the growing environment that will help them thrive, then you’re ready to begin growing ginseng for profit. Soon you can be making nice money from ginseng framing. To learn more, read Golden Harvest.

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