PLANTING THE BEDS OF AMERICAN GINSENG
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PLANTING THE BEDS OF AMERICAN GINSENG

PLANTING THE BEDS OF AMERICAN GINSENG




      

PLANTING THE BEDS OF AMERICAN GINSENG


PLANTING THE BEDS OF AMERICAN GINSENG

By Dr. Walter Van Fleet

Ginseng seeds are best planted in spring as early as the soil can be worked to advantage. Only cracked or partially germinated seeds should be used. They may be planted 6 inches apart each way in the permanent beds or 2 by 6 inches in seed beds and transplanted to stand 6 or 8 inches apart when 2 years old. The seeds should be covered one inch deep with woods soil or old rotten hickory or basswood sawdust. That from pine or oak trees should not be used. The roots may be set any time from October to April when the soil is in suitable condition, the crowns being placed about 2 inches below the surface. The most approved distances to plant are 6 or 8 inches apart each way, the latter being preferred when 7-year-old roots are to be grown.

Many planters round the surface of the beds, making the center several inches higher than the sides, since they find space for more plants on the curved than on the flat surface; but others claim that the possible injury from drought in very convex beds more than offsets this advantage It is important, however to have the centers high enough not to retain water after a rain. For roots the beds should be worked fully 12 inches deep, but the seed beds need not be so deeply stirred, as it is not advisable to have them settle to any marked extent.

Ginseng needs little cultivation, but the beds should at all times be kept free from weeds and grass, and the surface of the soil should be scratched with a light tool whenever it shows signs of caking. Ginseng seedlings grow about 2 inches high the first year, with three leaflets at the apex of the stem. The second-year plants may reach 5 or 6 inches in height, bearing two compound leaves each composed of five characteristic leaflets. A third leaf is generally added the next year and fruits may be expected. In succeeding years a fourth leaf is formed and the fruiting head reaches its maximum development, sometimes producing as many as 100 seeds, but the average under cultivation seldom exceeds 40 seeds to a plant.

Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.

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