To successfully plant turmeric in your garden, it is important to understand the proper care requirements. Turmeric should be planted early in the spring and harvested in the fall. To ensure proper growth and successful harvests, rhizomes should be stored in a moist, warm environment.
Though it may initially appear daunting to cultivate outside of USDA zones 8 and higher, turmeric can be easily grown indoors through pots or raised beds. Additionally, this hardy perennial plant can survive in less than favorable weather conditions if undisturbed.
Planting Turmeric in early spring
Turmeric plants can be seeded in the garden in early spring and spaced 3-4 inches between rows and 6-8 inches between rhizomes, keeping nubs up. When cutting rhizomes, avoid making pieces small.
The right location should receive moderate sunlight and maintain moist soil before the first frost. An ideal time is an early spring, but they can also be cultivated year-round.
Once outside temperatures reach 70° Fahrenheit, Fresh turmeric will grow better if placed in the ground instead of pots with regular watering.
When temperatures cool, cut the rhizomes to the soil level. As temperatures become milder, roots will grow. Protect from extreme weather with a sheet. By doing this, your turmeric will rejuvenate annually.
Harvesting Turmeric in the fall
Fall is an optimal season for planting turmeric. Put the dried root pieces at a depth of 2-4 inches into lightly moist soil, spaced 4-6 inches away from each other.
Fertilize and do not prune it frequently. When harvesting during fall, keep the leaves to use in spring. Before lifting the roots from the ground, eliminate dead or dried leaves. The best time to enjoy the benefits of turmeric is in the fall. Before you start, it’s essential to be aware of how turmeric plants grow.
Once the leaves have turned yellow due to the first frost, it is time to dig up the rhizome by hand. The collected small bundle may be used either for cooking or medicinal purposes. Overall, it is not difficult to complete the task of turmeric-related fall harvests. If done for medicinal reasons, several ailments can be benefited from using these rhizomes.
Creating more seeds for Turmeric
Growing turmeric from seed can be achieved by crushing the root, extracting the seedpod, and subsequently germinating it. Compost may be added to improve soil fertility and drainage.
To grow fresh turmeric roots during the warmer months, find an area with morning sunlight and afternoon shade. It is possible to obtain the seed to start your crop. Rhizomes should be transplanted outdoors after the final frost in temperate climates, whereas for cooler climates, rhizomes must remain within until after the last frost.
When they are ready to be planted, bright light is necessary for them to flourish. Rhizomes can also be purchased online if your area is not warm enough. Before beginning the process, wash them in cold running or a hose sprayer in case of large batches and by hand for small batches.
Afterward, any small roots attached to nodes should be clipped off and placed into airtight containers until they are ready to be used again or reused directly if replanted carefully following a set of steps.
Turmeric should be stored in a warm and humid environment for optimal storage
Planting rhizomes in either early spring or mid-summer is necessary for successfully growing turmeric. To minimize the risk of disease, keep the environment warm and moist with adequate drainage and water only when the plant is actively growing. During its dormant periods, reduce watering.
Place the rhizomes in full sunlight or partial shade for the best results. Rhizomes should be planted two feet apart and kept in a sheltered spot. Ensure the soil pH is six or less, and that they are regularly watered in dry weather.
For optimal growth, mulch the soil consistently during cold and damp conditions. Following harvesting, wash off and allow the roots to properly air-dried. Trim off unnecessary roots as necessary. Rhizomes can be used for cooking, baking, or grilling. They are high in antioxidants and nutrients, but not yet magical like the rhizome itself.
Turmeric rhizomes do not need direct sunlight
Turmeric rhizomes are sensitive to direct sunlight and should be kept indoors to benefit from indirect light and avoid harsh winds.
Once the rhizomes have begun to grow, the plants can be exposed to sunlight. When harvesting turmeric, it is best to do so in smaller amounts rather than large amounts at once as this can lead to spoilage. Turmeric is a tropical herb native to Asia, known for its yellow spice. It requires warm and humid climates with a neutral pH to thrive, and its root system can be consumed or used as a dye or spice.
When growing turmeric, it is best to plant the applicable root (known as a “rhizome”) in a container 8-10 months before the winter. If temperatures fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, planting should take place in the spring instead due to potential freezing.
After warming the soil, you can then transfer your cinnamon outside when temperatures reach and remain above 70 degrees Fahrenheit; this is best done after mulching the ground first. To get successful growth, you need plenty of sunlight yet not too much for it to not fade; therefore make sure there is adequate but proper shading.
Harvesting Turmeric in the tropics
In the tropics, harvesting turmeric involves planting it in moist soil as soon as sprouts appear. It requires more water during summer and less in winter. After reaching maturity after 7-10 months, turmeric harvesting can commence. In unsuitable weather conditions, turmeric plants may need to be transplanted into a larger pot or container for an extended yield.
To have turmeric ready for use, start by cutting the brown foliage from the plant, followed by shaking off the soil. After it has dried, trim the stems and outer leaves. Then, rinse the rhizomes thoroughly. Put them in the refrigerator for 6 months or freeze them to store them longer. Alternatively, you can replant them for use when the weather is warm again.
To separate the rhizomes from the hands for harvesting turmeric, first cut off the tops of the plants to reach underground rhizomes. A clean knife can be used to then carefully uproot them. You should be able to obtain a few pieces per plant.
Additionally, some of those pieces can be planted in the fall. The rhizomes can be used in cooking and for medicinal purposes.