Turmeric is a popular spice native to South Asia. It is a herb that belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric is widely available in markets as a herb or as a powder. However, growing your own turmeric plant his its own special taste and it is inexpensive in comparison with turmeric prices in markets. Besides, learning how to grow turmeric is extremely easy.
Turmeric is an incredible spice. It does not only add flavor to your cooking, but it also has so many health benefits. It is scientifically proven that turmeric is one of the best herbs for medicinal use. Medically speaking, turmeric is known for its ability to heal inflammation. It also helps to battle arthritis, cancer, irritable bowel disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome and many other diseases.
Furthermore, it is also used to face premature aging and depression. In brief, it is a fantastic herb that can do magic. Just like the rest of its family, turmeric grows an underground tuber, thus, you won’t be harvesting the leaves but rather the roots.
Since this plant does not produce seeds, you will use the roots to grow turmeric. Turmeric roots are widely available in local stores and online. Don’t buy one root, buy few more than the desired number to plant as not all roots will sprout. Once you have the roots, follow this informative article on how to grow turmeric.
1. Indoor or outdoor
Turmeric can be grown indoors and outdoors but it depends heavily on your climate. Although this herb is a tough herb that can tolerate many different conditions, it prefers to be grown in a warm. Therefore it is better to start your plant indoors in a container and once the plant sprouts, transplant it into your garden once the last frost ends.
Keep in mind that turmeric takes 7 to 10 months from planting to harvest. Therefore, you should plant it in late winter through spring. Make sure that you count back 10 months from when you usually get your first frost in the fall.
2. Choosing a container
The size of the container depends on whether you plan to grow your turmeric permanently in a container or you plan to transplant them into your garden. For the first option, since this magical herb may grow up to 1 meter tall, choose a large and a deep container.
A 12 inches deep and 8 inches wide container is ideal to grow 6 to 8 inches rhizome (the name of turmeric’s roots). You shouldn’t plant more than two rhizomes in one pot. For the second option, you could use smaller containers and once your plants sprout you could transplant them into your garden.
However, keep in mind that growing turmeric in containers permanently is better than transplanting them into your garden. Containers allow you to move your plant indoor whenever the conditions outdoor are not favorable.
3. Soil and position
Turmeric prefers a loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. Although turmeric can grow in dry soil, It is preferable that you use a well draining moist soil.
As we mentioned above, turmeric is a real tough herb that can tolerate direct full sun. However, for better results, it is recommended that you grow it in a partial sun unless you live in a temperate climate then you can provide them with a direct full sun.
The herb grows best in a temperature ranging between 65F and 90F, if the temperature falls below these degrees the plant will suffer. Thus it is better to bring inside for warmth. If your house is not warm enough, use grow-lights.
4. Planting and transplanting
Planting rhizomes is easy. Th first thing you need to do is to break large ones into small pieces. Each piece should have at least two or three buds. Fill the container with the rich organic well-draining soil. Poke some holes of at least 2 inches deep and place one single rhizome per hole. Cover them with soil and thoroughly.
Turmeric usually takes a month or so to sprout. Once they do, you can transplant them into your garden. Although it is advisable to keep them in containers so you can move the inside when it is necessary.
5. Watering and Fertilizing
Watering turmeric is an easy task. During the growing season, you should water frequently to keep the soil moist and damp. However, in winter you can water them less frequently unless you live in a warm climate then you should keep watering your herbs regularly.
Turmeric is not a heavy feeder, apply organic fertilizer such as the ones recommended for potatoes or root crops. Don’t fertilize too much, once a month is enough. You could also add some compost and manure for optimal growth.
6. Pests and diseases
Turmeric herb is an extremely sturdy plan that is subject to many dangerous pests and diseases. Red spider mites and scales are the only pests you should be careful of. Roots ‘ rot and leaf spot are the only diseases that may infect your plants.
Roots’ rot is mainly caused by waterlogged soil. Therefore, you should be careful when watering your plants. You could use self-watering containers in order to avoid overwatering. They are extremely effective and highly decorative especially if you intend to grow turmeric indoors.
Turmeric will take 7 to 10 months to be ready for harvesting. When the leaves become yellow and dry, dig out the soil and pull the roots. Cut the roots from the stem and wash them out off the dirt. You could one or two pieces of the roots to start another plant.
Once you wash off the dirt, boil the rhizomes and remove their skins. put them in a tray or a flat bowl and place in the sun till the completely dry out. Once they dry, grind them till they become powder. Store your homemade fresh powder in an airtight container and enjoy its benefits.
Ps: use a glove to grind the rhizomes otherwise you will get a yellow color stuck on your hands for days.
8. Uses and benefits
Turmeric, besides being used to add flavor to so many dishes, it is popular for its medicinal uses. It is considered the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It protects you from depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
We hope that this article provided you with the necessary information to learn how to grow turmeric. It is definitely easy to grow this healthy herb. If you would like to grow more medicinal herb, you can read on how to grow dragon fruit, star anise, and fenugreek.
There are a lot of healthy medicinal herbs that you can easily grow indoors, you could find them in this article.
Enjoy growing this healthy herb and we remain at your disposal for any questions or inquiries.