It has taken me a couple of years learning how to grow turmeric. It probably took me this long because I didn’t bother finding anything about how it grows or the best way to grow it. So if you are thinking of growing turmeric for its health benefits here are a couple of tips to help you on your way.
How to Grow Turmeric Tip No 1.
In the image you can see knobs of turmeric that have been sitting in a container on the bench or in a bucket in the laundry. You can see them all sprouting. So my first tip is wait for the turmeric to sprout before planting.
You can still eat the turmeric, just break off the green shoots and use it the way you always do. Must admit I have difficulty breaking off the green shoots. It’s the same when I need to thin seedlings. Always hard to throw them away.
Growing Turmeric in a sub-tropical Zone
Turmeric is a like weed in Brisbane. It will grow anywhere. It loves the heat and the rain. My garden is a raised bed so the turmeric never gets wet feet, but because I have a drip system throughout my garden it also gets watered well. Raised beds can dry out a lot quicker than a normal garden as raising it above ground level gives more surface area for the water to evaporate from. Especially in the dry weather from May to November.
When I peel the turmeric to put in my meusli, I throw all the peelings and little knobs I break off into the bin I have for scraps to go to the compost pile. I was quite amazed to see turmeric shooting up from various areas in the garden that I had re-composted. I pulled them out and found that they were growing from practically nothing. It was the peels and small knobs that were sprouting.
How to Grow Turmeric Tip No 2.
Don’t be kind to it. See the turmeric in the small pots. I harvested the turmeric in about June. Then broke off some knobs and looked after it every day until December when it finally decided it was time to sprout. What a waste of effort. All I had to do was throw some pieces in a container in the shed and wait for them to sprout.
Once they sprout, then place them in the ground. How hard is that.
How to Grow Turmeric Tip No 3.
Don’t store turmeric in the fridge. It turns bitter. I thought I was being really smart. I reckoned I had enough turmeric to get me through from the time I dug it up, I started in April by pinching some from one of the clumps. I kept doing this until June and then dug all of the rest up.
I had about thirty kilos of turmeric and thought that this would last me until April until I could start bandicooting the next season crop. When it started to shoot in late November, I decided to gather up about four kilos that hadn’t started shooting, wrap in newspaper and store it in the crisper in the fridge.
Turmeric in Your Muesli
The picture shows the orange turmeric in the meusli. It is home made meusli with oats, sultanas, a couple of varieties of nuts and home made yoghurt. Does it make me feel any better. Not sure about that. I’ve grown to like the taste of it in my breakfast though.
And I have never been as regular. So I reckon something’s working. It could be any of the variables though, the oats, turmeric or the yoghurt.
The yoghurt you see on top of the muesli is home made. If you missed the home page, there is a video there showing you how to make your own yoghurt. It is simple and costs just over a dollar per litre. The biggest cost is the milk.
How to Grow Turmeric Tip No 4.
You don’t need green thumbs. It’s a weed. Turmeric will grow anywhere in a sub-tropical to tropical environment. It might need some TLC in colder climates, but from what I have seen of its growing capabilities it will still give you a crop over the summer. There are many uses for turmeric, look them up on the net. But if you would like to try it for health benefits, have a go it will surprise you and repay you.
This is from one of three wheelbarrow loads harvested.