By: Ariana Marisol, REALfarmacy.com |
With reports of contaminated, toxic turmeric products flooding store shelves, there is no better time to start growing your own. Turmeric is one of the healthiest, nutrient rich herbs you can eat. Learn how to grow your own turmeric at home.
Turmeric can help prevent cancer, it eases arthritis symptoms, it can soothe an upset stomach, it can help the heart stay healthy, it’s a natural fat burner, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s, it can help lower cholesterol, and it can help treat depression! These are only a few of the many benefits of this amazing herb.
Turmeric is a perennial herb that re-shoots every spring. Growing turmeric organic in pots is not difficult.
Although turmeric thrives in tropical climates, it can be grown in temperate areas in the summer. You can always move your plant inside when temperatures begin to dip.
Turmeric can be grown in garden beds or containers. Be sure to grow in well draining containers because water retention will cause rhizomes to rot, reducing yield.
I grew 4 rhizomes in a pot that was about 30 inches long and 12 inches deep, and they are doing great.
Turmeric can grow in USDA Zones 7 through 10. The plants cannot tolerate climates colder than 65 degrees F. Plant turmeric in spring to summer because the roots sprout well when the soil is warm.
Turmeric thrives well in direct or indirect sun, but it can also grow in light shade. Heavy shade for a prolonged amount of time will reduce the yield.
Turmeric does best in well drained loamy fertile soils. Mix cow manure, compost, river sand, and some all purpose organic fertilizer and your plant will thank you.
Buy some turmeric roots from the market (be sure they are organic). Select small rhizomes with one or two buds. Plant rhizomes about 7 to 10 inches apart and bury them in wet soil about 2 to 3 inches deep. Do not water until shoots appear. The roots will germinate/shoot in 3-6 weeks depending on the soil temperature. Turmeric shoots will appear in about 20 to 45 days after planting.
Grow fresh plants every 3 to 4 years or leave a few roots inside while harvesting. Once the plants grow, keep them well watered.
Bring your turmeric indoors once the temperature gets below 50 degrees F.
You can also start turmeric in pots indoors and move it outdoors when the temperature begins to rise.
Turmeric plants require consistent and adequate watering. But overwatering can slow down growth.
If you are growing your turmeric in a container or in a garden bed, water only when you feel the is soil slightly dry to the touch. This will prevent leaching out of nutrients due to overwatering.
If your turmeric is grown in a sandy soil or if it is growing in a dry, low humidity area, water often or mist the leaves.
A good indication that your plant has reached maturity is if its leaves begin to turn yellow and its stems begin to dry. The plant usually matures in 9 to 10 months after planting. At this time, the turmeric rhizomes can be harvested.
Harvesting is easy. All you have to do is dig up the entire plant including the roots.
Wipe fresh turmeric roots and wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a zip lock plastic bag. Then, place them in a refrigerator. This way they will remain fresh for 3 to 4 weeks. Cut the needed piece and refrigerate. For longer storage, slice, wrap, and then freeze for up to 2 months.
You can also peel the rhizomes and place them in a jar with vodka and store them in the fridge for at least a year.
Or you can peel turmeric root and place it in honey for at least a year as well.
Ariana Marisol is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. She is an avid nature enthusiast, gardener, photographer, writer, hiker, dreamer, and lover of all things sustainable, wild, and free. Ariana strives to bring people closer to their true source, Mother Nature. She graduated The Evergreen State College with an undergraduate degree focusing on Sustainable Design and Environmental Science. Follow her adventures on Instagram.