Turmeric is a yellow colored herb used as a spice in Asia. It is best known as the yellow spice in the Indian cuisines. Turmeric is a tropical crop and is usually grown outdoors in the plant beds. The herb grows best in the warm climates, but cannot tolerate low temperatures.
Turmeric is different from other Asian herbs. You harvest the roots of the plant instead of leaves. It takes almost ten months to grow the crop. This post explains how to grow the turmeric crop in your garden.
Growing the turmeric
The turmeric plant does not produce seeds, so you need to get its roots from the market. You can use the roots to grow the sprouts, or you can buy them from a nursery or online store. Once you get a rhizome or root, you can easily plant the root. You can plant the roots by burying them 2 to 3 inches below the potting soil in a container or plant bed.
If the root has knobs or buds, plant it in a way that they face upwards in the soil. Sprinkle some water to keep the ground moist but not too wet; otherwise, the roots may rot. The roots may take a month to sprout. The best time to plant the roots in the late fall.
The months of September and October are the best to plant the turmeric plants. Plant the rhizomes 6 to 7 inches deep in the soil on the ridges or in the pots. Plant the roots 30 to 40 cm or 15 inches apart as the roots will grow sprouts.
The rhizomes need sunlight and moisture to sprout and grow. Plant them where they can receive direct sunlight and sprinkle the water regularly to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Some rhizomes have many buds; you can cut them into pieces and make more roots.
Garden beds or pots
You can plant the turmeric plants in both the garden bed or pots as you like. If you live in a location where the temperature is moderate, it is good to plant turmeric in the garden beds. However, in the areas where the temperature usually remains low, it is better to plant them in pots.
The main advantage of growing turmeric in pots is that you can move the containers to sunlight and indoors as required. Planting in pots is also beneficial in locations that receive heavy rainfall as the roots may get rot due to excessive water in the garden.
Maintenance and care
Turmeric needs proper care like watering, fertilization, and protection from pests. Let’s check out how to take care of your turmeric plants.
Turmeric plants need consistent and adequate watering. Use a sprinkler to water the roots or plants. It is best to water them when the soil becomes slightly dry as over-watering may slow down the growth. They need more frequent watering if grown in the soil mixed with sand or in a low humidity area.
You can use a general purpose vegetable fertilizer for turmeric plants. It is important to fertilize near the base of the shoots, but not close to stems. If the leaves of plants become yellow or burn at the ends, they are the signs of over-fertilization or overwatering.
Harvesting the turmeric
You can harvest the turmeric plants after 8 to 10 months of planting. The yellowing of leaves or drying of the stem is the sign of mature turmeric plants. You need to dig up the complete plants with the roots. Wash the soil from the roots with fresh water and keep some rhizomes for replanting in the next season.