Whenever you plan to start your kitchen garden, never think of it as a source of saving few bucks. Keep in mind that you are doing this exercise for a healthy life of your family and delicious meals. It also saves your time resource, rather going to the shop for buying. Open your kitchen door, at pick fresh, organic and wholesome veggies.
It is a common question I am asked that what should be grown in a kitchen garden. People are confused in choosing what should be grown? My earlier article Kitchen Gardening for Beginners has few recommendations for that. I simply recommend growing what your family likes to have in meals plus the items you need in daily routine and those that should be in your fridge anytime. I am also of the view to grow some easy to cultivate crops in your kitchen garden so that your momentum and motivation doesn’t lose.
Today, I am going to write about how to grow turmeric in your kitchen garden. Turmeric benefits are immense and this little gift of God has miraculous healing powers that one cannot imagine. Originated in India, it is obtained from underground tubers and rhizomes. It is now widely cultivated in tropical Asia and to smaller extent in other subtropical and tropical parts of the world.
How to Grow Turmeric?
The answer to how to grow turmeric in your kitchen garden is way easier than you think. It will be much easier if you read the few paragraphs below that will guide you to the ultimate way of growing turmeric. As far as its season is concerned, late winters are regarded as perfect time to plant it. The temperature of 68-95 F (20-35 oC) is optimum. Below 10 oC, the plant stops to grow and suffers. However for tropics, it can be planted all-round the year.
Choosing the Turmeric Rhizomes
Turmeric grows same as ginger from rhizome. The first step is choosing the turmeric rhizomes to be used as seed. The best way is to buy the rhizomes from an organic food store. It can be also be purchased from a local seed store. Online gardening shops are also selling turmeric rhizomes for kitchen gardens.
Soil Requirement and Planting Turmeric
Slightly acidic to slightly basic soil pH is needed. It can be sown in pots or in open kitchen garden soil. For both, the planting hole should be 2 inches. The plant can attain a height of 1 meter. For pot growers, the depth and width of pot should be 12 inches and plant not more than 1 -2 rhizomes in each pot.
Got the rhizomes? Now divide the rhizomes into small pieces with each having 2-3 buds on it. For both pot and open kitchen garden growers, fill the planting hole with rich organic soil. The soil must have light and loamy characteristics and should be well drained. Place the rhizomes 2 inches deep. After planting the rhizomes, immediately water it.
It should be kept in mind that water requirements of turmeric are same as of ginger. The soil should be kept moist throughout the growing season from spring to fall. If you are growing turmeric in warmer region, make sure that the soil remains moist in winters too.
Climate and Turmeric
If you are growing turmeric in tropical climate, then winters should not be a problem. However in warm temperate zones, a reduction in water supply is a strategic step around the end of fall at the time when leaves start to wilt and turn yellow as temperature gets low. Further, it is wise to cut the plant to ground without removing rhizomes from the soil, so that plant can hibernate and spend the winter season safely. Don’t worry; it will perk up once spring season hits your calendar.
If you are a resident of cooler part of the globe, then it is important to dig up the rhizomes from the soil to save them from freezing out. Carefully dig the ground or pot, and get the rhizome out. Wash it with fresh water to remove excess soil from it. Remove the rotting pieces and allow it to air dry. Once dry, store it in cool and dry place until spring starts.
Fertilizer Application and Pruning
If your soil is rich in nutrients, then at kitchen garden level or pot growers, there is a seldom need of fertilizer. But if you do need it, my only recommendation is to apply mulch or compost. If you have access to all-purpose liquid fertilizer, apply it once a month around the stem only. As far as pruning of turmeric plant is concerned, NEVER prune it. Only remove the dried or dead leaves time to time, that’s it.
Pest and Diseases
I personally like to have turmeric in my kitchen garden as it is less prune to diseases and pest attack. This means; other crops around turmeric are safe. In rare cases, scales and red spider mites can create problem. In case of poorly drained soils, rhizome rot and leaf spot appear due to water logging.
Harvesting and Processing
The turmeric gets maturity in 8-10 months. Maturity appears as leaves turned yellow and stems start to dry. Harvesting is easy. Just dig up the plant and get your own grown turmeric. It is wise to cut the amount of turmeric you need and replant the rest for next crop.
The processing of turmeric is not difficult. Boil the rhizomes in water. After boiling, carefully place them on an open tray and remove the skin. Place the tray first to air dry the naked rhizomes. After this, place them in good sunshine for dry. When rhizomes get dry, grind the rhizomes. This will provide you homemade organic fresh turmeric powder. Store the powdered rhizome in an air tight container and place it in a dry and cool place.
I hope your query about how to grow turmeric is well addressed in this article. Should you have any query, do not hesitate to contact me for further guidance.
Cite this Article in APA Style as:
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, August 14). How to Grow Turmeric in Kitchen Garden? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2017/08/14/how-to-grow-turmeric-in-kitchen-garden/[/box]