Growing Turmeric/Specific questions...

skycladDecember 10, 2013

I'm pleased to say that I found some fresh turmeric at the local Farmer's Mkt awhile back.. In talking with the woman who sold it to me, she referred me to a website.. Once there here was the info I was given...
"Cure the turmeric rhizomes on the kitchen counter for about a month (until the rhizomes) turn more orange at the tips. Break the rhizomes apart where they naturally attach to one another, not in the middle of a rhizome. You can use the chunky rhizome that is in the middle of all the other rhizomes as a seed pieces, too. Cure for another 3-5 days or until the severed edges are dried down. Plant each piece in at least a 5 gallon pot. The rhizomes will not grow much until February or March. Turmeric is day length sensitive. They may make roots and a small shoot in the meantime. Keep pots in an area that stays above 60F. Once shoots form they will need at least a half day of sun. Grow on for the season, 2014, and harvest turmeric late next fall. Water and feed well throughout the season."
It has now been 5-6 weeks into the "drying" of the rhizome, I have broken off the small fingers. There are lots!! After seeing how many I'm debating on starting the growing process now and am wondering what my options are. Can I store the rhizomes in the refrigerator for planting later, say in the spring? How deep do you plant the fingers when the time comes? Do you keep the soil wet/moist the entire time until something sprouts? Do you keep the pots (if I decide to plant now) in a cool shady spot in the house, or does it need to be in the sun?
As you can see I have lots of specific questions about the growing of this wonderful plant. I'm fully open to suggestions you might have. My main focus in this entire endeavor is to not kill the rhizome, wheather planting it now or later. Finding fresh Turmeric is very rare in this area..
Thanks in advance for any info you might have.. Also, see attached the current state the Turmeric is in.. I'm also wondering if I should break up the second rhizome if I want to grow later..
Thanks again,

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I wouldn't store in the fridge. These plants don't normally live some place where it gets that cold. I grow turmeric as a houseplant. Goes dormant in the winter. Won't resprout until maybe June when it gets sunny and warm.

I would pot up in pots and keep indoors. Water them just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely. Too much water will just rot them. When it gets warm, move the pots outdoors or plant in the garden as you wish. In pots they will not get big enough to harvest.

My turmeric did not enjoy full sun and I live in the cool, wet North. I would try different locations and find what works best for you but I think it will be partial sun/shade - probably morning sun and shade in the hot part of the day.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:12PM
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i also live in nw arkansas and have grown turmeric. our growing season is not long enough to get a great inground crop so i plant in pots and bury them in spring, lift before frost. fatamorgana's advice is right on per my limited experience with this, i only did it a couple years. good luck!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:41AM
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I want to thank you guys for the input regarding my questions about Turmeric.. Of course, I still have more questions and ultimately will just have to "wing it" at some point, as there are so many little things I don't know about growing this wonderful herb..
One question I'm having right now you think it's absolutely necessary to plant these fingerlings in 5 gallon pots, as suggested in by the person at the "turmeric website" I quoted earlier? I have well over 20 fingers to plant, and that's just from one large rhizome (I have a total of two!).. There is no way I can pot all of those given the number I have and the space here in the house.. How small can I go with pots in question? Keep in mind that at this point I just want to keep them viable for proper planting when it gets warmer.. We're in the teens tempWise here of late, so beginning to wonder if they'll survive at all if it gets too cold in the house (trying to think of the warmest place for them)..
Thanks in advance for any info you might have on this specific question...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:41AM
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imo its not necessary. in the temperate zones we don't get the exuberant growth seen in the tropics, the plants and rhizomes are likely not gonna fill 5 gallon pots in a season. turmeric does best in a shallow but wide pot since the rhizomes grow horizontally.

and like you said, at some point you're gonna want to wing it and experiment. let us know what you find out! and have fun with it

This post was edited by kaliaman on Thu, Dec 12, 13 at 10:47

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Would appreciate if someone can tell me what size pots are best for growing turmeric. I have read a few articles that say "shallow but wide", but how shallow is shallow?. One article says should plant in a deep pot 12 inch wide and 12 inch deep. I am confused. My turmeric sprout is about 1 inch tall now and have to get a pot real soon. Help!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2014 at 3:30PM
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