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Author Topic: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)  (Read 649 times)

LivingParadise

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Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:40:38 PM »
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LivingParadise
Turmeric
on: April 25, 2015, 04:18:56 PM

So, I have embarked on a new quest. I don't go to my local grocery store very often, since I'm trying to grow most of my own produce. But I noticed they had made a change since the last time I was there - they were selling turmeric roots in a refrigerated section next to the ginger! I'll be honest, I had never seen a turmeric root before, and it had never really even occurred to me that the spice comes from a root (rhizome), just like ginger or galangal.

For $4, I could buy about 22 little roots. They seem in decent enough shape, although since I've never seen fresh turmeric before I'm not really qualified to know. I looked up info, and in fact these sound really easy to grow, and like they might have a great deal of success in many parts of my yard here in the Keys. I read some information that sounds like people in more central US states have had some success, too, so I would assume I would have even better luck!

It looks kind of like a carrot stick, stains fingers yellow, and has a strong, peppery taste. It is renowned for its ability to aid the immune system potentially in fighting cancer among other ailments, as a powerful antioxidant. It also makes a beautiful plant, and has pretty flowers! Apparently, it can take full sun, and is pretty drought-resistant... it doesn't really need much attention (especially in a hot climate). So it seems to have endless positives to growing it, and for such a reasonable price, I decided to buy 5 packages of it!

I hope to plant them in the various areas of my yard that don't get much water, but are sunny and need a little beautification (including in between some of my fruit trees!), sometime in the next 2 weeks.

While I was researching turmeric, I also read some articles on growing ginger, as well as garlic, potatoes, and jicama. As it turns out, all should be able to be grown in Florida, and all have a shot at doing fairly well in my yard. Up until now, I have been growing pretty much all of my tropical vegetables in containers. But I decided to try to venture out into the yard with some soil amending, and see what happens. So I bought some ginger for the shady areas, plus 2 kinds of garlic, a few sweet potatoes, a bag of mixed gourmet potatoes (small red, purple, and yellow varieties), a few standard white potatoes, and 2 jicama. The potatoes and ginger one apparently cuts into chunks and plants, and the garlic is grown by planting separate cloves.

Jicama is apparently typically grown from seed as a legume, which is too bad I didn't know because I could have just bought the seeds, but nearly every article online says it also can be grown from the tuber, although none state how. So, I'm not sure if you have to plant the whole thing, or can cut it up like potatoes. Apparently, it makes a pretty vine with flowers and seed pods, but everything growing above the ground is poisonous to humans. Bigger tubers result when the flowers are cut back before they can produce pods, but one plant allowed to go to seed will allow for the next crop of jicama. Apparently the vine creates new tubers at various points where it hits the ground. I'll give it a shot and see what happens!

The store recently introduced other underground vegetables new to me. One was boniato, which is apparently a white sweet potato popular in the Caribbean. They also had malanga, which is apparently like a Caribbean version of taro. I may go back to buy both of these, too!

I'm hoping the turmeric experiment at least turns out well. From what I've read, all that needs to be done is to cut them into chunks, plant them in soil that's fairly moist at least until they sprout, and harvest eventually when the foliage starts to die back. Hopefully I'll have hundreds!


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from the sea

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 10:58:58 AM

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I have been crowing turmeric for two years and it does well here, so does jicama and ginger. The ginger from the store likes a lot of water and just dappled shade. Malanga taste great, I have it growing all over my yard. My experience with potatoes is they die off in the summer and don't set tubers same with garlic.

I have tried the growing jicama from tubers but the rotted but the grow well from seeds.
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LivingParadise

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 10:00:31 PM


Great to know! Thanks for info from a local!

Hopefully others here will be encouraged to try these out!
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stuartdaly88

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 04:33:50 AM

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Turmeric is bullet proof! Very cold sensitive upper parts and completely dies back in winter but I got -4C last year and it still came back from roots.
After first year I split and multiplied
Second year I watered more often and even got a very pretty flower:)
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Luisport

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 05:34:41 PM

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My turmeric just don't sprout... my jicama seeds too, i just don't why!  :-[
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from the sea

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 07:54:52 PM

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Fresh tubers work better than older ones. I started with 2lbs of tubers off the web but many of them rotted. The next year the plants were better and this year they are already bigger than last.
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Luisport

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 06:04:36 AM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 27, 2015, 07:54:52 PM

    Fresh tubers work better than older ones. I started with 2lbs of tubers off the web but many of them rotted. The next year the plants were better and this year they are already bigger than last.

I buy mine from several sources and plant them in diferent places, but none sprout. I tink i will plant in big pots next time.  :'(
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from the sea

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #7 on: May 28, 2015, 08:32:04 AM

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Had the same problem, just don't give up ;) worth the effort.
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Luisport

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #8 on: May 28, 2015, 09:50:31 AM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 28, 2015, 08:32:04 AM

    Had the same problem, just don't give up ;) worth the effort.

Thank's!


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Denman

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 04:52:54 PM

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I grow mine in a shade house here in Queensland, Aus.
They sprout out of the ground a lot later than the other ground dwellers such as yams, oca etc. I just bought rhizomes from the local store and they grew easily. I did get a little disappointed in the beginning when they took so long to sprout.....I thought they had died. Mine gets a very beautiful white flower.

We've had down to -6C while the plants were dormant and they came back in the spring with no problems.
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Luisport

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #10 on: May 28, 2015, 04:57:03 PM

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Quote from: Denman on May 28, 2015, 04:52:54 PM

    I grow mine in a shade house here in Queensland, Aus.
    They sprout out of the ground a lot later than the other ground dwellers such as yams, oca etc. I just bought rhizomes from the local store and they grew easily. I did get a little disappointed in the beginning when they took so long to sprout.....I thought they had died. Mine gets a very beautiful white flower.

    We've had down to -6C while the plants were dormant and they came back in the spring with no problems.

Do you think they still can sprout? I plant them on March-April when temp wasn't cold...
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Denman

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #11 on: May 30, 2015, 10:55:09 PM

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In Australia I plant them in Winter and spring, so that's from June to about October or even as late as November.  So whatever time of the year is winter and spring in your country should be good. Don't let them get too wet while they're dormant or they could rot. I cover the ground with plastic or tin through wet winters to stop the dormant root plants from rotting.
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from the sea

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #12 on: May 31, 2015, 02:16:30 AM

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Mine dint sprout until summer here.
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Luisport

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 01:40:54 PM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 31, 2015, 02:16:30 AM

    Mine dint sprout until summer here.

That's good to know!
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stuartdaly88

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Re: Turmeric
Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 02:37:13 PM

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The Tubers can survive the cold but for me the plant declines when nights go consistently below 10C. It likes it hot and moist. When it's cold needs to stay pretty dry and wait for the the heat to come back

fruitlovers

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 06:03:53 PM »
Turmeric is easy to grow from rhizome pieces you buy in store. If you cut them just let the cut heal one day before planting.
It's a widely grown commercial crop here. It also makes a very ornamental hedge around the borders of your veggie garden. It looks like and can be grown similar to ginger rhizomes.
Oscar

LivingParadise

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 07:32:24 PM »
Like luisport, I too have had problems growing turmeric. I planted 4 boxes of rhizomes, all over the yard in different conditions, and not a single one sprouted. I am wondering if perhaps the ones that I find in the local grocery store are irradiated. I have no other source for them though - this either works, or it doesn't. Or perhaps, the soil here is too salty, or the climate is just too dry half the year.

I am going to try one more time, this time at the beginning of the rainy season, and hope something comes of it. I have grown relatives of it semi-successfully, and also gingers - but the soil here is so fast-draining it's hard to keep it moist, and half the year we get virtually no rainfall. Water has to be piped in from 100 miles away, and is very expensive. And I doubt they like a lot of tap water anyway, which is of poor quality. So we'll see if I ever get this to work for me.

fruitlovers

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 02:07:40 AM »
I've never heard of turmeric rhizomes being irradiated. I think the dried powder is irradiated, but not the rhizomes.
Oscar

Luisport

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 08:51:24 AM »
Like luisport, I too have had problems growing turmeric. I planted 4 boxes of rhizomes, all over the yard in different conditions, and not a single one sprouted. I am wondering if perhaps the ones that I find in the local grocery store are irradiated. I have no other source for them though - this either works, or it doesn't. Or perhaps, the soil here is too salty, or the climate is just too dry half the year.

I am going to try one more time, this time at the beginning of the rainy season, and hope something comes of it. I have grown relatives of it semi-successfully, and also gingers - but the soil here is so fast-draining it's hard to keep it moist, and half the year we get virtually no rainfall. Water has to be piped in from 100 miles away, and is very expensive. And I doubt they like a lot of tap water anyway, which is of poor quality. So we'll see if I ever get this to work for me.
Hi! My ryzomes sprout and grow but don't flower...

mangaba

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 05:49:11 PM »
To those who succeed in raising tumeric, I would recommend preparing Patolyos a type of rice pancakes made  with tumeric leaves:

                     http://aussietaste.recipes/glossary/food-items-a-to-z/patoleo/

DimplesLee

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2017, 08:33:53 PM »
For galangal, ginger, black turmeric, Krachai, sweetflag, lemongrass stubs, etc just soak some spaghnum moss, drain and put in a plastic pot (fill halfway with damp moss) pop the rhizome in there and cover with an inch of damp moss, cover with plastic wrap, put pot outside where it gets morning sun only or in a warm place but in shade (say under eaves against a wall) mist the surface of the moss daily and wait until it sprouts. Plant in a larger container or in the ground once it's about a foot tall - rhizome, moss and all. No need to remove the moss so you don't damage the roots. I've found this to be the most successful way to grow all those expensive fancy turmeric I buy from eBay. :) Turmeric both the yellow and fancy ones are the hardest to get going so be patient - I've had a mango turmeric take 7 darn weeks before it started to leaf out.
Diggin in dirt and shifting compost - gardeners crossfit regime :)

LivingParadise

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 09:45:45 PM »
So grateful for all the replies here!

Wow, Dimples, thanks for that explanation - I will give it a shot! And Mango Turmeric??? Please post pics, or make a new thread or something, and educate us on the different kinds of turmeric and what draws you to each!

Chandramohan

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2017, 09:01:20 AM »
I think Dimples means 'mango ginger', The plant looks like turmeric.

LivingParadise

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 09:50:30 PM »
Thanks for clarifying, Chandramohan. I have heard of mango ginger. Although I don't know how I would get ahold of one here. My experience so far is FL is extremely difficult to ship foreign plants/seeds to, and they destroy almost everything that did not come from inside FL...

murahilin

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 07:25:43 PM »
Thanks for clarifying, Chandramohan. I have heard of mango ginger. Although I don't know how I would get ahold of one here. My experience so far is FL is extremely difficult to ship foreign plants/seeds to, and they destroy almost everything that did not come from inside FL...

Hmmm? That's not the case at all. For example, I just got some galangal (Kaempferia galanga) roots from Thailand that I ordered a few weeks ago. With phytos and/or permits there usually is not an issue.

LivingParadise

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 07:02:26 PM »
Thanks for clarifying, Chandramohan. I have heard of mango ginger. Although I don't know how I would get ahold of one here. My experience so far is FL is extremely difficult to ship foreign plants/seeds to, and they destroy almost everything that did not come from inside FL...

Hmmm? That's not the case at all. For example, I just got some galangal (Kaempferia galanga) roots from Thailand that I ordered a few weeks ago. With phytos and/or permits there usually is not an issue.


Well, I am speaking from my own experience. The first two years I lived here, I ordered a large number of seeds and small plants from all over the world, various sources. 90% of them were held ages in customs, and ultimately destroyed and sent on with a red circle around the paperwork sent. Usually, it seems they did not know for sure what it was because it's often sent in a language other than English, so they freak out and destroy it rather than take a risk. I had checked before sending, and none were invasive or otherwise restricted. The only ones that ever made it through unharmed appeared to have slipped by without them realizing they were seeds because they looked more like a letter.

Even when I had pillows shipped from Indonesia, stupid customs held them 2 whole months and ripped through them before finally realizing they were just accent pillows and sending them on.

Good for you that that never happened to you. But after 2 years of money and time thrown out the window, I gave up and in the past year refuse to ever buy anything outside of the US, and have had way less hassle because of it. A huge number of things are restricted even within the US but outside FL, like Curry leaf trees, citrus, etc. etc. etc... so wherever possible I ship from inside FL so I can get everything I want from one place, and not waste shipping money picking one thing from here and another from elsewhere and reading shipping rules for each and every thing. Was a waste of my time, money, and happiness.

I never had any such problems when I lived in NY. You could get anything there. FL is by far the most restrictive, and yet still there are invasives and issues all over.

murahilin

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 12:00:21 PM »
Like I said, with the proper permits and phytos you should not have a problem.

aroideana

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 07:53:53 PM »


Mango Turmeric , or Curcuma amada is very pale almost white .
Above pic shows it compared with orange and yellow turmerics I also grow .
I have made a delcous relish with it just grated with lemon juice chilli and salt


Chandramohan

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Re: Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 11:52:25 PM »
Curcuma amada, is usually called 'Mango ginger'.

 

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