GINSENG SEED, WHEN RIPE—How do you tell when ginseng seeds are ripe and when they should be picked? Last fall I planted some ginseng seeds and roots, but only about one-fifth of them grew the following spring. The roots are still nice and sound with the bud still on. Do you think that these roots and seeds will produce plants?
The seed berries should be gathered when fully ripened, which is usually in August or early September, although some will mature earlier. The early seeds will germinate more rapidly than the others, which accounts for some of your seeds sending up plants in the spring following the sowing. Ordinarily it requires 18 months for the seeds to germinate, so if your seeds did not become dry before you sowed them I think they will grow all right, if you give them lime. In regard to the roots which refused to grow, will say that even though the plant buds are still there, they may have been injured in planting the roots, hut no matter what the reason for their failure to grow, since the roots are sound I think that they will produce plants next year. We cannot tell you here how to care for the seed and the many points which your questions suggest that you do not know, the knowledge of which is necessary for success, but we think that you should have a copy.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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