Turmeric how to grow

Sure, you can buy turmeric powder from the spice department to whip up your own golden milk, turmeric lattes, turmeric smoothies, or turmeric tea, but aficionados swear by fresh turmeric for the best flavor and possible health benefits. And while you can find the fresh stuff in health food stores and even mainstream grocery stores, it isn’t cheap.

Luckily turmeric is easy to grow if you have a sunny spot to put a large pot or planter. Give it what it likes and it will grow like a weed and reward you with attractive tropical foliage and a generous harvest of fresh turmeric.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a tropical plant in the same family as ginger. Not a dainty plant, turmeric has large green leaves and grows 3 or more feet tall. As the plant matures each stem sends up a spike of greenish-white and occasionally pink flowers. Like ginger, turmeric thrives in warm, humid conditions and well-drained, neutral soil.

Contents

Preparing to Plant

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In most parts of the U.S. turmeric will produce best if you plant it indoors in the late winter. Depending on your indoor and outdoor space you can either keep it inside as a houseplant all summer or move it outside once all chance of frost is past and the weather is warm enough to put out your pepper and eggplant seedlings. And if you live in Zones 8-11, you can grow it completely outdoors.

1. Calculate when to plant.

Turmeric takes seven to 10 months from planting to harvest. To figure out when you should plant, count back 10 months from when you usually get your first frost in the fall. My first frost is around mid-October, so I’d start my turmeric between mid-December and mid-March. If your growing season is longer, or you have a large and sunny indoor space to grow it, your timing is less critical, but you’re still likely to get the best results from planting in late winter through spring.

2. Source your rhizomes.

Turmeric is grown from rhizomes, fleshy root-like structures. My local supermarket and health food store both have fresh rhizomes for sale in the winter. Asian or Indian groceries are also likely to stock it, or may be able to order some for you. If you can’t find any locally, Jung Seed sells small potted plants, or you can buy fresh turmeric rhizomes from a number of sellers on Amazon or eBay. (Choose a seller in the U.S. to avoid possible customs issues). Select plump rhizomes with as many bumps (buds) along the sides as possible.

Planting

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You will need a 14- to 18-inch pot or planter for each 6 to 8 inches of rhizome, and enough potting soil to fill it. But to start, it’s more practical to sprout your rhizomes in smaller containers and then transplant them into the larger containers once they have a few leaves and are growing well. Here’s how:

1. Cut your rhizomes into sections, with two or three buds on each section.

2. Fill 3-inch pots halfway with a good potting soil.

3. Lay the rhizome sections flat on the soil, and cover with more potting soil.

4. Water well and slip the pots into clear plastic bags.

5. Place the pots or clamshells in the warmest place you can find (86 to 95 degrees is ideal). Sprouting at lower temperatures will be very slow and your rhizomes may even rot rather than sprout. No toasty location? You can make a great germination chamber with a heating pad or a small desk lamp, a picnic cooler, and a thermometer. Or you can buy a small germination chamber for home use. Light or no light is fine at this stage.

Caring for Growing Plants

kanchana tipmontian/

1. Keep things light and warm.

Check on your pots every few days and once the sprouts start to emerge, move the pots to a windowsill or under a grow light. Unless your house is really warm (optimal growing temperature at this stage is 77 to 86 degrees) you will want to put them on a heat mat set to the low 80s. As the plants outgrow their plastic covers, remove them.

2. Water as needed.

Once you open the mini greenhouses you will need to start watering your turmeric as needed; keep the soil moist, but not soggy, and mist the leaves once or twice a day with water to keep the humidity up. Allowing the soil to dry out at any point will reduce your final harvest.

3. Transplant to larger pots.

When your plants are 6 to 8 inches tall, carefully transplant them into larger pots (either the final ones or an intermediate size) full of potting soil. Begin turning the heat mat down several degrees each week until you hit 70 degrees. At this point, you can remove the heat mat as long as your indoor temperature averages at about 68 degrees.

Otherwise, continue using the heat mat. Plants in intermediate-sized pots are ready to go in their final pots or planters when they become top-heavy or start sending up more shoots.

4. Move plants outside.

Move your turmeric outside once all chance of frost is past, when the forecast shows only warm nights ahead. Provide partial shade for the first few days to keep tender leaves from getting sunburned. Continue to water as needed during the summer and fall to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Feed your growing plants by watering every couple of weeks with compost tea or applying a fertilizer recommended for potatoes or root crops.

Harvesting

Swapan Photography/

Your turmeric is ready to harvest when the leaves and stem start to turn brown and dry, about seven to 10 months after planting. Tip out the plants, soil and all, and shake the soil off your fresh turmeric. Cut the stems off an inch or so above the mass of rhizomes and wash the rhizomes well.

Storing and Eating

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Rhizomes will stay fresh in the fridge for up to six months in an airtight bag or container; toss them in the freezer to save them for longer. Be sure to set a few of the largest aside for replanting!

You can also make your own turmeric powder. Place the freshly cleaned rhizomes in a pot and cover them with water, bring them to a boil, and simmer until you can easily pierce them with a fork (depending on their size, this may take 45 to 60 minutes or longer).

Drain the cooked rhizomes, rub the skin off with your fingers (optional), and dry them in the sun or a food dehydrator set at 140 degrees until they are brittle and snap cleanly when you try to bend them. Grind dried rhizomes in a spice mill, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle to make turmeric powder for cooking. Pro tip: You may want to wear gloves when handling turmeric rhizomes as they will turn your fingers a bright orange that won’t wash off.

Enjoy your tasty and healthful harvest!

Curcuma longa

If you’ve ever feasted on Indian food, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed the pungent flavor and golden color of turmeric, Curcuma longa, aka Indian saffron, an herbaceous perennial in the Zingiberaceae family that is related to ginger and cardamom.

A chemical compound called curcumin found in the fleshy rhizomes of this plant is responsible for the bright hue, as well as numerous potential health benefits.

What You’ll Learn

  • A Super Tasty Super Food
  • Find Your Roots
  • Sowing and Growing
  • Harvesting
  • Storage
  • Culinary Usage

A Super Tasty Super Food

Turmeric has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back thousands of years in India. Today’s cooks and health-conscious consumers join the healers of old in the ongoing demand for C. longa in dry, fresh, paste, and pill forms.

The rhizomes of C. longa yield a traditional Indian spice when boiled, dried, and ground.

Per the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, C. longa may also be known as C. domestica, and there are two additional species they have not evaluated: wild turmeric, C. aromatica, and Javanese turmeric, C. xanthorrhiza.

The NIH also states that preliminary studies show C. longa may have health benefits for those suffering from a range of ailments from digestive to inflammatory, but warns that high doses or long-term use may result in digestive upset.

In moderation, turmeric’s fleshy rhizomes, the rootstock that grows below the soil, have the potential not only to jazz up our plates, but to help make us feel our best.

Proponents of the health benefits of turmeric recommend consuming it with black pepper to enhance absorption.

Today’s holistic health advocates call this spice a “superfood,” and recommend consuming it with black pepper, to enhance its absorption and reap its benefits to the greatest degree.

When something tastes good, and is good for you, don’t you want to think about growing it in your own backyard? Let’s find out how easy it is!

Find Your Roots

To grow your own turmeric, you’ll need bare rhizomes or established plants. You may buy some from your local grocer, but they may or may not sprout, depending upon whether they have been treated with growth retardant.

Curcuma longa Turmeric via Burpee

Instead, you may purchase C. longa plants from a trusted nursery. Try these, available from Burpee. They mature in 120 to 360 days, reaching heights of up to four feet and widths to three feet.

Sowing and Growing

If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11, you may grow perennial C. longa by planting its tuberous roots, as you would ginger or potato. You may also have success in fringe zones, provided you apply a thin layer of mulch during the dormant winter season, with adequate drainage to inhibit rotting.

A turmeric plant begins with a single sprout from a tuberous root.

Per the pros at the Missouri Botanical Garden, tubers should be planted in early spring at a depth of about 4 inches.

If grown outside its optimal zones, C. longa will perform as an annual, dying off at the season’s end. You may also dig your rootstock up in fall, remove the foliage, and store it for the winter in a slightly moist medium like sawdust or vermiculite. In addition, you may cultivate in containers stored indoors for the winter in a cool, dry place.

C. longa foliage unfurls in the summer sunshine.

Keep in mind that growing in containers requires extra vigilance, as they dry out much quicker than the ground. Be sure to plant in pots with ample drainage holes, and water regularly to maintain constant, even moisture.

Choose a location that gets full to part sun. The soil should be organically rich, so add compost if necessary. This is a plant that survives monsoon seasons in its native lands, so it loves humidity and thrives on moisture. However, the soil must drain well, or the roots will rot.

C. longa blooms above ground while tubers mature below.

There are no major disease or pest issues to worry about, provided the soil does not get too dry or too wet, both of which may render it vulnerable. If you see snails or slugs, an application of diatomaceous earth is your best solution.

Turmeric produces foliage clumps about three feet high and wide, while below ground, the rootstock matures into finger-like tubers. By July or August, the blossom buds begin to open.

This herb may take 200 to 300 days to mature. Keep in mind that to cultivate it as an annual, you should sprout your seedlings indoors and set them outside as early as possible after the last frost date in your area.

In fall, as the foliage begins to wilt and die, dig up your roots, brush off the soil, and snip away the foliage. Save a few to start next year’s plants and enjoy the rest fresh or dried.

Harvest the roots of C. longa at season’s end and save some to start next year’s plants.

The flowers of C. longa are also edible, and the foliage is sometimes wrapped around food for cooking or presentation.

Storage

Fresh turmeric roots store well in a mesh bag in the fridge, or an airtight zippered plastic bag in the freezer. Slice or grate them as needed. In addition, you may boil, dry, and grind the roots into a fine powder. Be sure to wear food-safe gloves and work on a non-stainable surface to avoid dying your skin and counter yellow.

Culinary Usage

Per the folks at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gardening Solutions, a one-inch length of fresh turmeric root equals one tablespoon fresh grated, or one teaspoon ground.

Freshly harvested turmeric root is often grated.

Can you imagine yourself whipping up a batch of curry with fresh turmeric from your garden? And how about enjoying the cost savings of propagating your next crop from the tubers you harvest this season? Think of the thoughtful gifts you can make by drying and bottling your golden spice for friends and family!

Recipe Ideas

For more on these aspects of turmeric, , where you’ll find everything from a guide to kitchen herbs and spices to recipes such as:

Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale

There’s nothing more comforting than a big pot of legumes such a lentils. This particular soup is made using red lentils and is flavored with tasty turmeric and cumin. Kale adds more nutrients and a pop of color that highlights green against red, making it look as a good as it tastes. We eat with our eyes as much as our tongues and stomachs.

Photo by Felicia Lim.

This vegetarian soup is beautiful, vibrant, and satisfying, and you’ll be begging for more.

Get the recipe on Foodal now!

Krishna’s Golden Turmeric Tea

Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, and fresh ginger join fresh turmeric in providing a plethora of antioxidants and micro-nutrients to your diet with this Indian-inspired tea.

Photo by Lorna Kring.

Help prevent disease and maintain good health with this fragrant and delicious spiced beverage.

Get this easy recipe now on Foodal now!

And for even more exciting turmeric-flavored recipes, check out all of the delicious offerings on Foodal.

We can’t wait to see how you’ll feature this exotic root in the garden and on the table this year, so be sure to post your photos in the comments below. And for even more zing in your diet, consider growing tangy horseradish, too!

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Recipe photos © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product image via Burpee. Uncredited photos: .

About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

University Communications

One of the great joys of gardening (and among the most satisfying) is tasting the fruits of our labor, especially when those labors include adding herbs and spices to the garden mix. Even in climates such as ours with its short growing season and freezing winter weather, it’s possible to grow tropical spices like ginger and turmeric (U.S. hardiness zones 8-10). You just need to grow them indoors.

Two spices, ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa), are easy to grow in containers and adapt well to living inside although they do benefit from time outside during the warm weather months. Indoors or out, both grow best at temperatures of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit and should not be exposed to temperatures below 50.

Both ginger and turmeric grow from a rhizome (a fleshy root) that is the edible part of the plant. The rhizomes often can be purchased through a mail-order nursery or at a grocery store. Try an organic market if you can’t find these in your local supermarket.

Select one that is firm (not shriveled), several inches long and with several buds or “eyes.” Cut it into 2-3-inch pieces, making sure that each piece includes at least 2-3 buds.

Choose a pot at least 12 inches in diameter. Fill the pot almost to the top with a nutrient-rich soil that will drain well. Place the rhizome horizontally on the surface with the eyes facing up. Cover with about 2 inches of soil.

Water sparingly until sprouts appear. The soil should be moist, but never wet. Too much moisture may rot the rhizome.

Put the pot in a warm location (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit). If the room is cool, a heat mat such as those used for seed starting can be used to warm the soil. Remove from the heat mat once you see sprouts.

Now comes the most difficult part. Patience. It will take 3-8 weeks for sprouts to appear. Ginger will likely sprout sooner, turmeric later. When they do, move the pot to a sunny spot near a window. If necessary, supplement with a grow light. Water as needed to keep the soil moist (not wet), and mist often if the air is dry.

For the most part, ginger and turmeric plants are relatively care free with ginger growing 2-3 feet in height and turmeric 3-4 feet. As they mature, you’ll get a lovely display of tropical foliage and perhaps a flower or two.

When the weather gets warmer, and after your plants have begun to leaf out, you can move your ginger and turmeric plants outside to benefit from the fresh air and sunshine. Daytime temperatures should be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with nighttime temperatures not below 50.

Gradually introduce the plants to sunlight over the course of several days to avoid burning the foliage. When the weather begins to turn colder, or temperatures drop below 50, bring them back inside.

After 8-10 months, the foliage will begin to fade. When the plant has yellowed and dried out, it’s time to harvest. Simply dig up the entire plant, brush the soil away from the rhizomes, and cut the stalk off.

Save a piece or two of the rhizomes to replant. Rinse off the rest and allow to dry. The whole rhizome can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months, or cut in pieces and stored in the freezer for up to six months.

Deborah J. Benoit is a UVM Extension Master Gardener from North Adams, Massachusetts, who is part of the Bennington County Chapter.

Turmeric is a superfood and has many medicinal benefits. Growing turmeric in pots is not so difficult if you follow this how-to guide.

USDA Zones— 7b – 11, below these zones grow it from spring to fall

Difficulty— Easy to Moderate

Other Names— Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma domestica, Curcumae longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoïdes, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.

Soil pH— Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is obtained from the underground tubers or rhizomes. Originated in India, it is now cultivated throughout the tropical Asia and in smaller extent in other subtropical and tropical parts of the world.

Turmeric plants look good too, you can grow them outdoors to get a tropical look in your garden.

turmeric flowers

Where to Find the Rhizome or Turmeric Plant

As you may already know, turmeric grows from the rhizomes like ginger. The easiest way to find them is to search for fresh turmeric rhizome in organic food stores. Also, try searching for it in the local garden center or seed store. Alternatively, you can find a turmeric plant or rhizome online.

Choosing a Pot

For growing turmeric in pots, choose a large pot as this amazing herb can easily exceed the height of 1 m. Pot should be at least 12 inches deep and 12-18 inches wide so that the plant can spread its tubers freely. Plant 1 or 2 rhizomes in such a pot.

Planting Turmeric

The best season to plant turmeric is spring or summer when the temperature starts to stay above 54 F (12 C), but if you are living in tropics, it can be planted throughout the year.

After you have got the rhizome follow the steps below for planting:

  • Break large rhizome into small pieces, each one should have at least two or three buds.
  • Fill a pot with rich organic soil that is moist and well-drained.
  • Place it about 2 inches (5 cm) below the soil surface, with the buds facing up.
  • Water the pot thoroughly.

Requirements for Growing Turmeric in Containers

Growing turmeric is similar to ginger, it requires warm and humid climate to thrive. If you live in a cool temperate climate or if you’re short of space and want to grow your own turmeric rhizomes then learn how to grow turmeric in pots.

Position

The position must be sheltered from the wind. In tropics, the plant is grown in dappled shade and does not like all day long intense direct sun, considering this keep the turmeric plant in partial sun in the warmer zones (USDA Zone 9 and above). However, in temperate climates, provide it full sun for optimum growth, some shade in the afternoon would be okay.

Soil

Plant turmeric in a light and loamy soil that is rich in organic matters. Use well-drained soil otherwise the plant will suffer.

Water

Watering requirements are similar to ginger. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season from spring to fall and do not hesitate to mist the foliage in dry weather to increase the humidity level around the plant.

If growing turmeric in a warmer region, keep watering the plant to maintain moist soil in winters too.

Temperature

The ideal temperature range for growing turmeric is between 68-95 F (20-35 C). When the temperature drop below 50 F (10 C) the plant suffers.

Turmeric Plant Care

Overwintering

Since you are growing turmeric in a pot, move the plant inside even in low-light conditions. Because you have to only overwinter the roots. It is important that when you grow turmeric indoors maintain a constant ambient temperature of approximately 64 F (18 C).

Overwintering turmeric on ground

If you’re growing turmeric in true tropical climate then you don’t need to care about winter. But in warm temperate zones (below USDA Zones 9b and down to 7) to overwinter your turmeric plants, reduce watering around the end of fall and when the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow due to temperature drop cut the plant back to the ground so that it can hibernate. It will perk up again in the spring.

If you want to grow turmeric in cooler areas (below zone 7) then you have to dig up the rhizomes to save them from freezing. For this, dig up the rhizomes and rinse off excess soil from them, snap off rotting pieces. Air dry them and store in a cool and dry place until spring.

Fertilizer

Fertilize turmeric every month with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Application of manure or compost also helps.

Pruning

The turmeric plant should not be pruned. It is sufficient if you remove dried leaves time to time.

Pests and Diseases

Turmeric plant is not prone to any serious disease or pests. However, red spider mites and scales can become a problem. In diseases, it only suffers from rhizome rot and leaf spot. Rot appears when the plant is grown in waterlogged soil. Therefore, it is important to grow turmeric in well-drained soil.

Turmeric plant takes 8 to 10 months to mature. Harvesting is done once the leaves become yellow and stems start to dry. Harvesting turmeric is not difficult, simply dig up the plant entirely, including the roots.

Cut the required amount and then replant the remaining part again to get a new plant growing.

After you cut the rhizome, follow the steps below to process it:

  • Boil the rhizomes.
  • Carefully remove the skin from rhizomes.
  • Place the bare rhizomes in a tray.
  • Dry them by exposing to sunlight.

When the rhizomes are dry, grind them and store your homemade organic fresh turmeric powder in an air tight container.

Turmeric Uses and Benefits

Turmeric powder has many medicinal properties that have long been known in the India and China. Turmeric is termed as ‘Super Food‘ probably the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is used as an anti-depressant and plays a protective role against Alzheimer’s disease and against different types of cancers. Turmeric powder is the most prominent ingredient in almost all kind of curry recipes, a pinch of it is used to provide pretty orange color. Its leaves are also useful. Young shoots and flowers are used in Thai cuisines while the leaves are used to flavor the fish in Indonesia.

One thing you did not know and surprise you is the addition of pepper in a diet as it contains piperine helps in the absorption of turmeric. Especially the black pepper, it can tenfold the benefits of this superfood.

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PHOTO: Jessica Walliserby Jessica Walliser November 10, 2016

Turmeric is a spice you might not have considered growing before, especially if you live in a climate with cold winters. This amazing spice, a close relative of ginger, is surprisingly easy to grow, even if you live where the snow flies.

Used in many different ethnic cuisines, turmeric comes from the fleshy roots (called rhizomes) of a tropical plant. The turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) is a native of southern Asia, and it’s often dried and pulverized into a powder that’s used to flavor many Asian-inspired dishes. The distinctive yellow pigment of the turmeric root lends its color to curries, pickles and other dishes. But turmeric doesn’t have to be dried and pulverized before using it in the kitchen. The flavor of the fresh root, whether grated or sliced, is slightly zippy and earthy; it’s a favorite at our house. Although this species is native to climates far more tropical than what most of us have here in North America, it’s possible to grow it right here at home.

Sourcing Your Turmeric Rhizomes

To grow this spice, you’ll need to purchase a few rhizome pieces. While you can grow turmeric from grocery store-purchased roots, it can be difficult because these rhizomes may have been treated with a growth inhibitor to prevent them from sprouting in the store. You may have better luck purchasing rhizomes from a small, ethnic grocer who imports roots that have not been treated with growth inhibitors.

Another alternative is to find another farmer who grows it and purchase starter rhizomes from them. Because it’s so easy to propagate from rhizome pieces, once you cultivate your original turmeric rhizomes, you can quickly build up stock of your own.

No matter where you purchase your original turmeric rhizomes from, choose thick, firm roots with a lot of small knobs on them—these knobs are the leaf buds. If possible, look for rhizomes with knobs that are slightly green. That’s a good sign that they’re ready to sprout.

Planting Your Turmeric

Cut or crack the turmeric rhizomes into 2-inch pieces, and then let them sit at room temperature for a day or two to cure. Fill a clean, plastic pot with high-quality potting soil, and soak the rhizomes in tepid water for a few hours before planting them into the pot.

Cover the rhizomes with 2 to 3 inches of potting soil, but don’t plant them too deeply. Although turmeric can be planted anytime, late winter and early spring plantings will perform the best.

To speed growth, after the turmeric rhizomes have been watered in, put the pots on a seedling heat mat (the same kind you use to start seeds). It provides the bottom heat the rhizomes need to quickly to sprout. Put the pots in a bright window or under grow lights for 16 to 18 hours per day. There’s no need to cover the pots with anything. Once the plants sprout, take them off the heat mat.

To keep the rhizomes from rotting, keep the containers well-watered when the soil dries out, but do not let the pots sit in a saucer of standing water. It takes two to four weeks for the rhizomes to sprout. If they fail to do so, they may have been treated with a growth inhibitor, or they rotted in the container. In that case, replant with new rhizomes and fresh potting soil.

Moving Plants Outside

Continue to water and care for your new turmeric plants until the danger of frost has passed. Then move the pot outdoors. Choose a partially shaded spot; particularly in the afternoon. If you’d prefer, the plants can be transplanted directly into the ground. Prior to planting, add some compost to the soil to improve the drainage and fertility of the soil. Dappled afternoon shade, coupled with morning sun, is best.

Turmeric plants should be fertilized every few weeks during the growing season. with an organic liquid fertilizer, such as kelp or fish emulsion. As the plant grows, it will top out at a height between 2 and 3 feet. Turmeric plants are quite pretty, and they may even produce a flower stalk in the late summer.

Water your potted turmeric plant on a daily basis during summer’s heat, and rhizomes planted in the ground should receive about an inch of water per week.

Harvest Time

At summer’s end, it’s time to harvest your turmeric. Because the plants are frost-sensitive, plan to harvest several weeks before your first expected frost, soon after the plants begin to naturally yellow and die back. Wear gloves when harvesting as the roots can stain your hands a bright yellow.

To harvest, dig up the plants, brush off any excess soil and cut off all the greens just above the rhizomes. Crack the roots apart with your hands. Keep the largest pieces of rhizome for cooking or to sell to your customers. Save the smaller pieces for replanting, but don’t replant them right away. Instead, store the unwashed rhizome pieces in a plastic bag or container in a cool, dark place. Keep them there until it’s time to pot them up and start the process again in late winter.

Turmeric has a growth cycle of eight to 10 months, and the plants will naturally go dormant after eight to 10 months of growth. If you don’t want to harvest your turmeric all at once, you can move the potted plant back inside before frost arrives. Continue to grow it on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights until the plant naturally dies back on its own. Once the plant completely dies, you can harvest most of the roots, but leave a few in the pot. The ones left in the pot will shift into natural dormancy. When this happens, stop watering and allow the potting soil to dry out. The rhizome will just sit in the pot until late winter, when you should start watering again to encourage another cycle of growth.

Why We Grow Turmeric ?

1. We enjoy its beauty, aroma and sensual movements in a breeze. This sensation produces an affection that captures even a casual observer. We began without knowledge. When the leaves emerged, we sighed with relief. From that first planting and first harvest, we became consumed with learning what turmeric wants from us to produce the highest % of its best chemicals. We began measuring curcumin as a way to measure its medicinal value.

​2. We want our turmeric to be the best turmeric. It is, with the highest naturally occurring % of lab tested curcumin 7.5 % Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that is most closely associated with anti-inflammatory properties. Our Raw Probiotic Turmeric is Americas Best Turmeric because it contains all of the plant chemicals: curcumin, curcuminoids, polyphenols, resins, essential oils and turmeric oils. WOW. That is fun.

3. We want everyone to overcome the suffering that comes with diseases. This gives us amazing satisfaction because we are not just making money – we are making a difference.

This is a recent unsolicited testimonial from Tom in NY:

​I have been taking Raw Probiotic Turmeric Puree from The American Turmeric Company for some time now. I have to tell you that I am thrilled with the results so far. I definitely noticed a reduction in inflammation in a number of areas. I haven’t taken an Advil or Aspirin in a month! I also notice that my intestinal tract is much improved. I really feel a reduction in aches and pains! I’m so happy to have found your company and the Turmeric Puree! I’m looking forward to continued improvement as I use the product going forward. I’m telling everyone about this and telling them to ditch the drug store powdered capsules and try your Turmeric paste!

​4. We are pioneers of regenerated soils- no chemicals. Agriculture in our area has used chems for 50 years… We regenerate our soil with wood chips – clean composted plant materials, composted manure, and mycorrhizae, etc.

​5. We are changing the focus from extracting chemicals from plants to using the whole plant. Turmeric is a lot more than curcumin. We read about curcumin because it is isolated for research and because pharma can synthesize it. When curcumin is “standarized” and put in a pill, what 3rd party verifies its purity or what is really in the pill?

If we were to tell you even the simplest truths of the effect consuming the root and leaves has produced for our family and friends, you would leave this reading, having decided that we are not authentic – just marketing.

When we use this superfood every day, our body tells us “Thank You” every day.

​6. Growing turmeric allows us to handcraft it from harvest It must be cleaned to meet USDA requirements. The skin of the rhizome is heated for a very short time to eliminate soil-borne bacteria. Then, quickly cooled and placed in our own heritage culture for a specific time. Finally cut, then immersed in another probiotic culture until packaged; our products all contain this Georgia. We can puree or cold dehydrate to nuggets for packaging. No chemicals – heat – or cold pressing – not ever.

​Why don’t we use a cold press? Hope you enjoy this humor as we did. There is a very old expression that can be applied to modern “cold pressing”. “You cannot get blood out of a turnip”! I asked a woman in a nationally known health food store stocking bottled “shots” listing “cold-processed turmeric” on the front label,…” how it is possible to get juice from a dense tough fibrous resinous rhizome like turmeric. She said, “Oh you just have to add apples to get some juice going.” True story.

​8. How can I know if turmeric will help with my concern?

Turmeric can help with SO MANY conditions that we face. And there are thousands of scientific articles that will provide you with in-depth information. Our recommendation is that you use the website provided by the US National Institutes of Health. Once there, type the word turmeric followed by the condition in which you are interested. For example, turmeric cancer or turmeric diabetes. The website is here.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

How we grow, source and harvest turmeric

Our organic turmeric is mainly grown in Karnataka and Maharashtra, two neighbouring states in the West of India. Many of our turmeric farmers also grow ginger, and in some regions they grow it as an intercrop with tulsi, sugar cane and kapikacchu, a therapeutic legume that climbs up each sugarcane.

Growing and harvesting turmeric

With a population of over a billion people, many of whom eat turmeric on a daily basis, large-scale turmeric cultivation is a well-established feature of the Indian landscape.

In India alone, approximately 140,000 hectares of land are used for growing turmeric (that’s an area just smaller than the whole of Greater London).

Turmeric is cultivated in a very similar way to its close relative, ginger. Both are perennial plants, but are cultivated as annuals. In other words, although they would survive in the ground for several years, they are sown and harvested every year (a bit like potatoes). They are propagated using ‘seed rhizomes’ that are kept aside for re-planting during each harvest.

Freshly harvested turmeric is always ‘cured’ before being dried and polished. ‘Curing’ is done by boiling the fresh rhizomes for about 45 minutes; this helps gelatinize the starch for a more uniform drying, reduce the microbial load, and remove the fresh earthy aroma. Once cured the rhizomes are dried, and then ‘polished’ in a polishing drum to remove the rough surfaces.

Fairly traded turmeric

Every farmer has an opportunity to vote on how the Fair Trade fund is spent. For us it is always fascinating to find out how the community wants to spend the money. It varies enormously from region to region, and can provide valuable insight into the needs and mindset of the community.

For the turmeric farmers in Kerala, their priority has been to improve their farming practices. Examples include setting up plant nurseries to distribute free seedlings to farmers; providing financial and technical assistance to set up composting facilities; and creating a community radio station to broadcast programmes on organic farming, health education and other community activities. This support helps strengthen their livelihoods, which in turn helps them in many other areas of their lives.

The turmeric farmers in Kerala are part of a certified fair trade project. This means that they are guaranteed a fair price, and for every kilogram sold, we donate an additional amount to a community fund, known as the Fair trade fund, which is used specifically for social development.

Further north in the state of Karnataka we buy turmeric from a group of organic farmers near Sagar in the Western Ghats. They are not certified to a fair scheme, but that does not mean that it is not traded fairly. In fact, in many ways this project has provided just as many social benefits, if not more, than regular fair trade projects.

Farming organic turmeric

Trading fairly is not our only priority. It is equally as important to work with local partners who are experts in organic farming practices.

Through their network of trained field officers, the farmers are provided with ongoing support and guidance to maximise yields and quality, and to ensure they responsibly manage the soil and environment through sustainable farming practices.

Pukka’s Quality team test every batch of turmeric for curcuminoids and essential oils like turmerone (the main compounds responsible for its therapeutic properties).

Having a close relationship with the supplier means that we can trace this data back to their farm records. This makes it possible to observe trends – over time we can improve our understanding of how different regions, varieties and cultivation practices affect the quality of the turmeric.

In short, close relationships with growers leads to higher quality herbs and higher quality herbs lead to more efficacy. Learn about the amazing health benefits of turmeric.

How to grow turmeric: Kitchen gardening

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Last updated on 7 November 2019

Turmeric isn’t just for adding flavour to food, it also benefits health and looks beautiful in the garden.

It’s surprisingly easy to grow, however it requires a little patience. Here’s how to grow turmeric, and how to use it in your cooking.

PLANTING

Look for the freshest rhizomes you can find, preferably with a few sprouting buds (they look like small horns popping out of the skin).

Turmeric likes fertile, well-drained soil, and although it thrives in hot weather, it doesn’t do well in full sun, preferring morning or filtered sun only. Wait until daytime temperatures are above 20°C before planting.

A few days before, cut the rhizomes into 5–8cm long pieces, making sure each one has at least two buds. Cutting them ahead of time allows the surfaces to dry, reducing the chance of disease.

READ MORE: Growing Garlic: Vegetable Gardening

Plant the rhizome at an angle, with one side about 7cm deep, and the other just below the surface. Position it so that the growth buds point upwards. Cover with compost and press down firmly. Water well until the ground around the rhizome is soaked; keep it moist until the first green shoots appear – which can take anything from 20–45 days.

TIPS TO GROW TURMERIC

Turmeric grows about a metre high and has shiny green leaves. In fertile soil, it’ll need little more than a compost mulch after harvesting, and a side dressing of bonemeal and Talborne Organics Vita Grow (2:3:2) in spring.

For the first year, leave it to become established before harvesting. Look out for the exquisite flowers, which form at the base of the leaves in midsummer.

In late autumn it begins to die back, and by the beginning of winter, the leaves will have turned brown and withered. Mulch well with compost and it’ll pop up again in late spring, as soon as the weather is warm enough.

It spreads by growing new rhizomes underground, forming large clumps above ground.

You can also grow turmeric in containers. Make sure that they are at least 30cm deep and don’t let the soil dry out.

RELATED: 10 Vegetables and herbs for small spaces

PESTS AND DISEASES

In hot dry weather, spider mites can be a problem. Spraying with water mixed with garlic oil will sort them out. In very moist hot weather, fungal diseases can affect the leaves. Spray with 1 part milk to 4 parts water to prevent this.

HARVESTING

Once established, you can harvest pieces of root off the side of the plant throughout summer. In late autumn or early winter, once the leaves have died down, push a fork deep into the ground under a section of the plant and lift the rhizomes. Cut the stems off and place the rhizomes on a hessian sack. Give them a good wash with a hose on a high pressure setting, turning and rubbing to remove all the soil. They’ll keep, refrigerated, for three to four weeks. If you need to keep them longer, cut into manageable pieces and freeze in an air-tight container.

EATING AND USING TURMERIC

The roots, leaves and flowers are all edible. Aromatic roots add flavour to curries, marinades and rice.

YOU MIGHT LIKE: How to use edible flowers

Fresh turmeric root has a more intense taste than dried and isn’t as bitter. It contains plenty of curcumin, an effective anti-inflammatory. To obtain the maximum benefit, mix it with black pepper, as its active ingredient, piperine, aids the body’s digestion and absorption of curcumin. Warming turmeric and mixing it with fat also increases its efficacy. Add it to smoothies or warm milk with other spices.

The flowers give an exotic flourish to salads, and fresh leaves impart a subtle turmeric flavour if torn and added to curries and soups at the end of cooking. It goes particularly well with coconut dishes. The leaves are also delicious as wraps for sticky rice buns, or as parcels for steamed fish.

To make turmeric powder, cut rhizomes into slices and leave to dry before grinding in a spice or coffee grinder. Note: Fresh turmeric stains everything yellow.

Although natural, herbal remedies can be toxic. Use them with caution.

More from Jane Griffiths

Sources:

Jane’s Delicious Garden by Jane Griffiths (Sunbird Publishers, jonathanball.co.za) janesdeliciousgarden.com

Talborne Organics talborne.co.za Fresh planting turmeric can be found at Livingseeds livingseeds.co.za

Turmeric Plant : How To Grow Turmeric in Pots

Learn how to grow turmeric plant in pots at home garden including its pictures, fertilization and pests and diseases, and turmeric plant care.
Turmeric Plant is a perennial herb that re-shoots every spring. The scientific name of turmeric plant is Curcuma domestica syn. Curcuma longa with family ingiberaceae, the ginger family (how to grow ginger). The popular varieties of turmeric plant are Curcuma longa, Curcuma zedoaria and Curcuma aromatica. Turmeric is known by different names in different countries.

Growing Turmeric in Pot

Some of the turmeric names are Turmeric Root, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoids, hidden ginger, Queen lily, Indian saffron, ukon, Yu Jin, nghe, wong-keong, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma domestica, Curcumae longa, Curcumae Longae (Latin name), Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, terre merite in French and Haldi, Halada, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Rajani, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Safran Bourbon, etc. Turmeric health benefits are now well established.
The turmeric plants have very attractive large leaves which will give your garden a lush tropical look (see the picture of turmeric plant below.). You can use fresh turmeric root or turmeric powder in vegetable curries and also in many natural beauty recipes.
Growing turmeric organically in pots at home garden is not difficult using a turmeric root if you follow the step-by-step tips and turmeric growing information given below.

GROWING TURMERIC PLANT IN POTS

Although it is a tropical plant that thrives on heat and moisture, turmeric plant can be grown in temperate areas in summer. I am growing turmeric in Sydney, Australia in pots, the plants look great with its stripy long leaves year round, except in winter when the leaves become yellow. I have encouraged many of my friends in Australia to grow turmeric, and they are now growing it in pots.

Turmeric Plant Description

The turmeric plants grow 70-90 cm high and will slowly spread to form large clumps with underground rhizomes. The plants have broad green tropical-style leaves providing a beautiful view throughout the summer growing season. The turmeric plant produces very beautiful and attractive white flowers (see the photo of turmeric flower).
The eating part of the plant is roots or rhizomes. In India, the Haldi roots are cooked and eaten as vegetable curry with roti or bread. In Indonesia, the young shoots and rhizomes are eaten raw.

Growing Turmeric in Containers or Garden Beds?

Turmeric can be grown both in garden beds or in wide containers with similar yield. Only requirement is that the soil should not be water retaining, as water-logging will rot the rhizomes, reducing the yield.
I planted 4 turmeric rhizomes in a pot of size 75 cm long, 30 cm wide and 30 cm deep 2 years ago. The turmeric plants produced more than 5 kg of fresh turmeric in 2 years, and the plants are still going on for the new crop.

Turmeric Plant Flower

The advantages of growing turmeric plant in containers is that the plant can be moved in sun; and also indoors if there is snow or frost.
Another advantage of growing turmeric in pots is that you can grow turmeric if you live in an apartment and you don’t have a garden bed. In India and elsewhere, grow your own organic turmeric in pots in balconies, verandas, terraces, backyards, front yards, and similar places.

Turmeric Growing Zones

Turmeric is a tropical summer plant, needing heat and moisture, temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68–86 °F). The plant will die in the winter. The plant can grow anywhere in summer. It can grow in USDA Zones 7b – 10b. The plants can not tolerate climate colder than 18°C. As a matter of fact, turmeric can grow in any zones if the roots do not freeze like south Florida where it can grow outside even in winter. In Australia, turmeric plant can be grown in Sydney and other cities in summer.

When To Plant Turmeric?

In tropic regions, turmeric can be planted any time, but elsewhere plant it in spring to summer. I found that turmeric roots sprout well when the soil becomes warm.

Where To Plant Turmeric?

Turmeric thrives best in direct or indirect sun, but it can also grow in light shade. However, heavy shade for prolong time will reduce the yield. Also if grown in in full sun, keep the soil wet at all the time.

Soil For Planting Turmeric Root

Turmeric plant requires a well-drained loamy fertile soils. Mix cow manure, compost (how to make compost at home), river sand and some all purpose fertilizer (garden soil preparation ) in the soil.

How To Plant Turmeric

Turmeric can be planted by rhizomes as the plant does not produce seeds for propagation. You can start your turmeric plants by using turmeric rhizomes like ginger.

From where to buy turmeric root

The dturmeric roots available in Indian griocery stores are completely dry, not suitable for planting. You should buy fresh turmeric roots from garden shops or vegetable shop. In Australia, I have never seen them in Flower Power garden center or Woolworths. Asian vegetable shops always keep fresh turmeric roots, from where you can buy a few and plant. Always buy firm rhizomes with at least one “eye”, avoid dried or soft ones.

Fresh Turmeric Root

  1. Pot should be at least 30 – 45 cm (12-18 inches) wide and 30 cm (12 inches) deep and fill it with nutrition rich free draining organic soil.
  2. Buy some turmeric roots from vegetable shops to grow your own plants. Or you can plant rhizomes from your previous year’s produce.
  3. Select small rhizomes with two or three buds (eyes). You can call them seeds.
  4. You can plant turmeric rhizomes 20-25 cm apart, just bury them in wet soil 6-7 cm deep, or plant them on ridges. Do not water until the shoots appear. The roots will germinate/shoot in 3-8 weeks depending on the soil temperature.
  5. How to germinate turmeric in colder regions?Isom has suggested to use a 60 watt incandescent light bulb in an oven and place the pot to raise the soil temperature, which helps in sprouting the turmeric root. You can measure the temperature on top and bottom racks with a thermometer. The air temperature on the top rack can reach up to 110°F (43°C), while on the below rack can be 100°F (38°C).
  6. As for sprouting (or germinating seeds) that require warmer temperature to get going –What I’ve done is replace the 40 watt oven light bulb with an ordinary 60 watt bulb and keep it on. It has to be an incandescent bulb too that gets hot. I put a thermometer in the oven to check the temperature. On a top rack near the bulb, air temperature is 110°F (43°C), although soil temperature is much less but still very warm. Closer to the front of the oven on a rack near the bottom, air temperature is 100°F (38°C). Some seeds like it VERY warm for germinating like tomatoes.
  7. You need to grow fresh plants every year. Or leave a few roots inside while harvesting, it will re-shoot in spring.
  8. Once the plants grow, keep them well watered.
  9. Bring your turmeric indoors if the air temperatures goes below below 10 deg C or 50 deg F.
  10. Note: You can start turmeric in pots indoors and move the pots outdoors when the temperature start to rise.

Watering Turmeric Plant

  1. The turmeric plants require consistently and adequately watering. Over watering will slow down growth.
  2. The tips of the turmeric leaves will burn if the plant is in too much mid day sun or if the soil becomes dry.
  3. If you are growing your turmeric in a container, water only when you feel the soil slightly dry to the touch. This will prevent leaching out of nutrients due to over watering.
  4. If your turmeric is grown in a sandy soil or your plant is growing in dry low humidity area, water often or mist the leaves.

Fertilizer for Turmeric Plant

  1. Fertilize your turmeric plants 4-5 times using a general purpose vegetable and fruits fertilizer during the growing period.
  2. Fertilize around the base of the shoots but away from the stems.
  3. I fertilize my turmeric plants with a general purpose liquid fertilizer during the growing season every third week.
  4. If growing turmeric in a container, feeding with fertilizer will provide adequate nutrients to the plants.
  5. If the turmeric leaves becoming yellow or burn at the edges, it means that you are over-watering and/or signs of insufficient nutrients.

Harvesting Turmeric

You can harvest turmeric in 9 to 10 months after planting. The leaves turning yellow or stems drying are indications of maturity of turmeric plant and the correct time/season for the turmeric rhizomes to be harvested.
Harvesting is easy, just dig up the entire plant including the roots.
Sometimes I do not harvest the whole turmeric clump as it is difficult to consume so much. I just dig carefully at the side of a clump and remove rhizomes as needed.
I have harvested approximately 800 grams of fresh roots per plant.

White Turmeric

White Turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria, family Zingiberaceae, also just called Zedoaria) bears yellow flowers with red and green bracts. It has a stronger pungent taste similar to ginger with a smell of mango. In India, it is known as Amba Haldi. The white haldi is used as spice and salads and pickles. The root is good for digestion.

Pests and Diseases on Turmeric Plants

  1. Tiny spider mites may pose a problem. The spider mites in large numbers may kill the plant. Forceful water spray of the turmeric plant can wash away spider mites. I spray the foliage with neem oil spray once a month.
  2. Turmeric plants are prone to fungal diseases such as leaf spot and leaf blotch that cause brown spots on the leaves and may cause leaves to dry and wilt. Spraying an organic fungicides can help.
  3. The root and rhizome rot can dry the leaves and rhizomes are decayed.

How to Store Fresh Turmeric

  1. Wipe fresh turmeric roots and wrap in a paper towel and place in a zip lock plastic bag. Place in refrigerator. This way it will remain fresh for 3-4 weeks. To use, cut the needed piece, and refrigerate again. For longer storage, slice, wrap and then freeze for up to 2 months.
  2. Blend turmeric rhizomes with some water and freeze in ice cube containers.
  3. Peel the rhizomes and place them in a jar with vodka and store in the fridge for at least a year.
  4. Peel turmeric root and place in honey for at least a year.
  5. Freezing turmeric retains the texture, color and flavor. However, frozen turmeric is often dried out if not properly packed.

How To Make Turmeric Powder

  1. Boil turmeric in water, cut the them into small pieces, spread on a plate and cover it with a mesh. Place in sun and let them dry until completely dry.
  2. Grind the pieces to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder.
  3. Store the powder in airtight glass bottle in a cool place.
  1. Ikisan, Disease Management in Turmeric

Video on how to grow turmeric in containers

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Growing turmeric in containers
How to grow turmeric at home
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42 Comments

Sally August 09, 2015 8:15 AM Can turmeric be grown in a pot? How big the pot should be? P. Mehta August 09, 2015 8:19 AM Yes, you can grow turmeric in a pot of size at least 30 cm deep. It is better to use a rectangular container where you can plant 3-4 roots, 20-25 cm separated with each other. George September 01, 2015 10:53 AM Can I grow turmeric indoors? P. Mehta September 01, 2015 11:46 AM Growing turmeric indoors in containers is easy. The planting method and care is similar to growing them outdoors. However, it needs direct or indirect sun. You can bring the pot indoors when there are chances of frost. Anonymous September 21, 2015 9:22 AM I grow turmeric in a pot in the summer and bring the pot in and it goes dormant in the winter. I need to separate and re-pot. Is it best to do that in the spring or yet this fall? P. Mehta September 22, 2015 8:04 AM If you want to eat turmeric roots, then winter is the time to take out the rhizomes. In winter most of the leaves and stems will die and you need not to repot. In the next summer, many of the roots inside will sprout.
If you re-pot, then you have to take out the whole plant and remove the rhizomes out, except the main root.
Repotting the plant when it is dormant can damage the plant as it does not have the enough strength, so repot when it starts to grow. Anonymous October 01, 2015 10:42 AM I AM IN KENTUCKY ~ FRANKLIN, KY. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND A TURMERIC ROOT. P. Mehta October 02, 2015 7:46 AM You may try any Chinese or Indian grocery or vegetable & fruit shop. Better, you may find turmeric roots on eBay. hekate October 03, 2015 7:25 PM Hi!…I forgot some turmeric roots in a bag and i realised they have sprouted. It is now beginning of October in Ireland…you think if i pot them and leave them inside the plant will grow?I so love Turmeric root!!!and the plant looks gorgeous! Anonymous October 04, 2015 7:36 AM I found mine in the grocery store in the organic vegetable section a year ago. Not knowing what I was doing, I planted them in a large square pot. To my surprise, they grew and thrived. I set the pot outside during the warmer summer months. Since our weather in MA has already turned cold; I brought the pot inside. Yesterday at the grocery store I bought another package so I have more to plant! Shashi October 04, 2015 10:17 AM I bought the dry turmeric root from an Indian store which was of yellow color and very ahrd like a stick. I planted it as described by you but it did not root. Please advise me what should I do to germinate it. P. Mehta October 05, 2015 8:33 AM Turmeric will not grow from its dry root, it cannot sprout. Get a fresh root and plant it. sharon roshell November 05, 2015 1:40 AM I love turmeric I just moved to Lubbock , Tx from Los Angeles, California and I must say my body is in desperate need of some I can totally tell the difference from taking it often to not having it in 3 months. So I was looking to see where I could find some in this town and stumbled upon your page and I’m so glad I did. Your step by step instruction is PERFECT. Since I never thought to plant my own you have INSPIRED me. I’m going to run to the local markets out here and see if they have any ((fingers crossed). P. Mehta November 05, 2015 9:54 AM You may find perfect turmeric roots from Chinese and Indian grocery stores or try online. Anonymous November 21, 2015 6:08 AM They are available from Amazon. Unknown December 17, 2015 7:59 AM I bought some turmeric roots at our wholesale Chinese grocers in July. I planted some turmeric roots in August in a rectangular plastic Nestl? Qick box. Here in Pennsylvania I kept it inside in the sun and and it’s got 3 leaves on it! So looking forward to using it. Anonymous January 10, 2016 12:54 PM Hello. Could you please advise the correct/incorrect way to cut the rhizomes of the freshly harvested turmeric for replanting again. Thanks. My Kitchen Garden January 11, 2016 7:38 AM Basically, you can keep any of the rhizomes which have 2-3 eyes for replanting again. I plant the main rhizome with roots after removing the smaller turmeric rhizomes from them. You can keep the main plant in the soil and harvest the turmeric from sides. Brenda Isaac February 08, 2016 3:53 AM I found fresh turmeric root at Meijer and Kroger in the organic produce department. I’ve been known to just take bites of them without peeling. I sat three on a shelf over the kitchen sink and it has sprouted and is growing just sitting there! I’m going to plant it asap. Thanks for the soil info! Karen Stavert February 17, 2016 5:46 AM How is this possible? I planted yellow (orange) turmeric and harvested WHITE turmeric? (it was rhizomes from a health food store) It grew in a bucket for about 7 months? the plant had beautiful, giant leaves and lots of rhizomes Md Nahidul Huda May 08, 2016 7:11 PM really awesome post. Anonymous June 26, 2016 10:52 PM Excellent post on growing turmeric at home! mohan1948 July 31, 2016 5:23 PM One of the best blog for growing which is the queen of herbs, used in the Great Indian Peninsula since 5000 years BCE. Sushruta, Charak and later on Vaga Bhatta Online Supermarket in Chennai September 12, 2016 4:54 PM It sounds amazing! I need to try them soon! Evone October 24, 2016 1:00 AM When you buy the roots for planting, do you have to plant them right away? How much time do you have to plant the roots from the time I get them to the time I have to plant? Is there a way to preserve the roots until I have the space to plant like a week, a month? P. Mehta October 24, 2016 8:36 AM You can keep the roots for 10-12 days before planting. Keep them in a cool place where the roots do not dry up. You can cover them with a damp cloth. Theresa Curfman October 26, 2016 11:27 PM I live in zone 7b. Can I plant in the fall for harvest in mid summer. Are there any specific instructions for winter months outdoor planting. It can dip down to the low 20s F sometimes lower. P. Mehta October 27, 2016 7:18 AM Turmeric rhizomes should be planted late in spring to summer and can be harvested after 9-10 months. If planting outdoors in ground, the plants will die when the soil is freezing. As I am not in zone 7b, I do not know more than this. In zone 7b, take out the rhizomes in fall, clean them, let them air dry and store.Anonymous December 07, 2016 6:46 PM Hi, Greg @ gnrichardson at gmail. My turmeric has gone berserk in a pot and I have about 20 leaves coming up in a 40 cm pot. Can I cut the rhizomes and transplant some of these into another pot or the ground while the growing season is on (summer just started here in Australia) or do I wait until the leaves go brown in winter and then separate. P. Mehta December 08, 2016 7:21 AM If the leaves are very close to each other, then cutting the turmeric rhizome may damage the root system. You may try cutting from the out boundary of the growth. After cutting, plant and place it where it receives only the morning sun for a few weeks to save the leaves from burning in hot sun. Bertha Perales December 24, 2016 4:56 AM What are some of the properties? Eugene Brackle January 14, 2017 10:42 AM Have purchased some roots. Have in pots. Can I separate when they start 2 sprout. P. Mehta January 14, 2017 2:57 PM You can separate the individual turmeric root, but you should not cut the sprouts from a single root. Leilani January 19, 2017 6:32 AM My previous post submitted as anonymous! Ooops! Harvested my turmeric today and found many rhizomes appeared rotten, others appeared to still be trying to grow. Only two or three looked even remotely usable. These were planted in pots in April of 2016. The three that appear to be usable, should they be replanted right away or should they be left dormant for a time? I had three that pots that the plants didn’t appear to be ready yet so I added some new soil to the top and watered them back in. Thanks for the info! P. Mehta January 19, 2017 8:09 AM If you planted the rhizomes in April of 2016, you must have taken a good crop by now. It is sad to know that your 24 turmeric rhizomes are now not good for planting. The rhizomes will rot if the soil is not draining well or you are watering too much in dormant period. If it is winter at this time at your place, then you can plant the remaining rhizomes in a new pot and wait for winter to finish before giving water. Please note that the rhizomes will sprout only in summer. Use a pot with holes at the bottom and fill it with well-draining soil. Isom April 30, 2017 2:42 PM I bought some fresh turmeric roots at an Indian store where I buy other Indian vegetables. I’m eager to try growing it. But it might be problematic and hope you can offer advice. If I can give plants the conditions they need to grow well, I can grow almost anything successfully. Unfortunately, my climate is similar to Seattle’s (I live near Vancouver Canada). While our winters are normally mild, they’re mostly overcast and very wet. That’s fine since I plan to harvest the rhizomes in fall and start new each spring. The problem is our summers aren’t consistently warm-to-hot except for 2 months in summer. Being a mild maritime climate, it’s not unusual to often have nights with temperatures around 50°-55°F (10°-13°C) in summer. Some summers will fool us and it will be hotter than normal but we don’t know in advance, of course. Frost generally comes in late October, rarely earlier and occasionally as late as early December. With climate conditions as described, do you think turmeric could still fare well here? Or is it more likely to languish from lack of heat? Thank you for any advice. P. Mehta May 01, 2017 7:22 AM Isom, really it is very challenging to grow turmeric under the temperature conditions of Canada. I am growing turmeric in Sydney where the climate is totally different. I think you can try the following:
1. Try to sprout the turmeric roots indoors, place the pot near the hottest part of the house, near hot water system or fridge. If they don’t sprout then place the pot outside in summer, directly in sun light.
2. Once the roots are germinated, then they will grow and tolerate the night temperature around 10°C.
3. During frost months, move the pot under a covered place, may be under a tree or in veranda, even indoors where you receive some sun light.
You may be able to grow turmeric with less yield. But it is good for experimentation, and something is better than nothing. Please share your experience here. Best luck!
Isom May 01, 2017 10:31 AM Thank you for such a quick reply! I don’t mind a lower yield but very much enjoy the challenge of growing things most people never try. Getting turmeric to sprout won’t be difficult with a trick I use. I was more worried if it would grow during our cooler summer months.> As for sprouting (or germinating seeds) that require warmer temperature to get going — What I’ve done is replace the 40 watt oven light bulb with an ordinary 60 watt bulb and keep it on. It has to be an incandescent bulb too that gets hot. I put a thermometer in the oven to check the temperature. On a top rack near the bulb, air temperature is 110°F (43°C), although soil temperature is much less but still very warm. Closer to the front of the oven on a rack near the bottom, air temperature is 100°F (38°C). Some seeds like it VERY warm for germinating like tomatoes. I’ve found using this method, warm loving plants germinate much quicker. Since my plants are my ‘babies’, I check on them twice a day for progress. If I need to use my oven, I put them on the top of the stove which is nicely warm till I finish. The warm oven’s perfect for bread dough to rise before baking. (If you wish to include these tips in your instructions, please feel free to. I don’t think everyone reads all the comments so might not see them.) P. Mehta May 01, 2017 3:03 PM Thanks for sharing on how to germinate when the temperature is low. I have added this in the text above and on page growing seedlings . alan November 17, 2017 8:51 AM Planted orange rhizomes in june dug in november in zone8. tubers appear white not orange! are they usable white or should they have stayed in ground till spring. any help welcome Isom November 17, 2017 1:52 PM Alan, I’m only going by what I read on a forum about growing different herbs. I’ll paste the comment along with the link to that page. I hope it answers your question.
This happened to me, I was advised by a little old lady at the local markets (the kind of person that knows those kind of things..);
You need to break up the rhizome at a younger age. If the plant flowers it loses colour and taste, you need to harvest more regularly then ginger (which you can basically grow on and harvest anytime its desired…). Larger clumps of tumeric need to be broken up and replanted to maintain maximum colour. This is why you never see it for sale in large clumps.”
http://www.shaman-australis.com/forum/index.php?/topic/37355-mystery-turmeric. Please let us know if your rhizome was a single large clump or if it had flowered so others will know what to expect too. P. Mehta August 15, 2018 4:49 PM Sorry for very very late response, I missed your post. The rhizomes I plant are always single. Harvesting turmeric rhizomes is not possible until the leaves start to die. In the last 5 years, my turmeric plants produce flowers just one time. It is not possible to harvest at very young age as the size of rhizomes would be very small. I always harvest when the leaves start to finish and the color of rhizomes are always very good.

Turmeric Planting Guide

Have you read all about the benefits of turmeric and now want to try growing some fresh stock in your home garden? We’re doing the same this season. Here’s all you need to know.

Turmeric can be grown for ornamental purposes solely, with wide tropical leaves and exotic flowers or brachts. It’s attractive and provides that same “I’m sitting here sipping a cold one in a leafy jungle oasis” environment that cannas do. However, most will chose to grow their own turmeric to explore and reap the benefits of this popular herb. Turmeric rhizomes grow in a branched form similar to culinary ginger, but smaller.

Choosing a Growing Site

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that’s native to tropical Thailand, India and Indonesia. These plants prefer a little shade in hot regions and are happy under open canopy trees or planted along a fence that provides afternoon shade. In northern locations they can manage a bit more sun. Turmeric’s large, wide leaves will catch breezes so to avoid breaks and tatters, it’s best to select a wind free site.

Soil Prep

Turmeric prefers moist, but not soggy, soil. Rich humusy garden soil is ideal and average garden soil that’s been heavily amended with compost also works well. Adding a balanced, slow release fertilizer when you plant provides nutrients to support the substantial growth that these plants produce each season. Note that fertilizers with lots of nitrogen may encourage foliage production at the expense of robust roots. For beds, mulch after the rhizomes have sprouted to keep the soil cool and to reduce watering needs.

When to Plant Turmeric

Turmeric is a long-season plant so if you garden in a short-season region, consider pre-sprouting your turmeric indoors. The roots can take up to 8 weeks to break dormancy, sprout and begin to grow – they are often slow – don’t give up. Focus on other gardening activites while waiting for your turmeric. Temperature influences sprout timing, with warmer settings producing the fastest results. Some people encourage turmeric roots to begin to sprout with bottom warmth: a seed starting mat works well. The ideal temperature for sprouting are 75-85 degrees. Note that hotter isn’t better.

Plant outdoors when frost danger has past and your soil is about 65 degrees. If the soil is warm enough for tomatoes, turmeric will be happy. Turmeric is a tropical plant and does not respond well to cold soil or cold nighttime temperatures.

How to Plant Turmeric Roots

Turmeric rhizomes typically have eyes or growing points, similar to those on a potato. Place your rhizomes horizontally in the soil with the eyes facing upwards, or sidways if they are poking out from the sides of the root. If you can’t find the eyes, don’t worry. The eyes will sprout even from a downwards facing position and will find the soil surface. Cover with 2-3” of soil. Water well to settle the soil around the rhizomes.

Turmeric Spacing

Plant turmeric roots 12 – 18” apart in beds and borders. In containers, you can plant more closely; three root sections usually do fine in a 14-18″ pot, placed in a triangle pattern. Keep in mind that a small amount of soil supporting a number of plants may require supplemental nutrients. Liquid fertilizers that are rich in potassium and phophorus may be used to support strong root growth, with a dilute mixture applied monthly.

During the Growing Season

Turmeric requires little care during the growing season. Provide supplemental water if rains are irregular. Turmeric prefers lightly moist soil but will rot in soil that’s constantly wet.

Harvesting Rhizomes

At the end of the growing season, lower light and cooler temperatures prompt turmeric plants to slip into dormancy. The foliage will yellow. This occurs between September and December, depending on your location in the country. Late season yellowing of foliage is a signal that it’s time to harvest. Don’t just the gun – a fair amount of the root mass that you want develops in the last few weeks so hold out as long as possilbe without risking freezing.

Saving Rhizomes at Season’s End

Gardeners living in zones 8-10 can leave their turmeric plants in the ground year round. As temperatures cool and the season winds down, your turmeric will slip into dormancy. Their leaves will yellow. This usually occurs between September and December depending on your climate. When you see this, stop watering. This is typically when roots are harvested.

In colder climates you can choose to treat turmeric like annuals; ignore them when the cold arrives and start over in the spring. Or you can lift the rhizomes and overwinter indoors. To lift, wait until after the first frost, dig the rhizomes, brush off the soil and cut off the top growth. Harvest som turmeric for home use and store the remaining rhizomes in very slightly moist peat moss in a cool (45-50+ degrees), well ventilated area. Replant come spring and enjoy for another season.

Insider Tips

  1. Turmeric roots are slow to break dormancy and get growing. Consider managing sprout timing by starting indoors at 75-80 degrees and then transplanting out to the garden or into a large container. While awaiting the first sprouts, the pot doesn’t need light. A warm furnace room is a great place to start turmeric in many homes.
  2. All three types of turmeric we offer are grown similarly but their flavors and uses vary. For best results, choose a variety that aligns with your intended use.
  3. Grocery store turmeric roots are often treated with sprout retardants. In Asian markets, the bud tips are frequently trimmed off. Obviously, neither results in a successful garden plant.

shop turmeric

Cancer is a serious disease and most of the available treatments are very harsh on the body. The best course of action is always one of prevention. We know that one of main prevention factors under our control is our diet. Stacking your diet with superfoods is a sound strategy for keeping disease at bay, and for feeling great right now!

By incorporating potent antioxidants and other healthy plant-based foods into your diet, you can help prevent and fight all manner of diseases, including cancer. A well-known super food you can add to your diet is turmeric.

One of the problems with turmeric is that it is often imported from countries with lax standards for how it’s grown and it can be full of pesticides or even contaminated if it is grown in areas with toxins in the soil. So, as usual, growing it at home is best so you know exactly how it’s been treated. But what is the best way to grow it?

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial

A Turmeric Root

Turmeric is a hard root to find, but there are a few different places that you can look. You can start with your local grocery store or market to see if they carry fresh turmeric roots. One of the issues with buying it from a grocery store is that this turmeric will probably be sprayed with a growth inhibitor in order to keep it from sprouting in the store. This means it still wouldn’t sprout even if you plant it yourself. Another issue with grocery store turmeric is that it may also have been sprayed with fungicides and pesticides.

The best place you can buy it is from a garden center or a seed catalogue, but again, it may be hard to find places that carry it.

Fortunately, you can also buy it on Amazon. The majority of reviews on Amazon are positive for this bundle of roots and most people don’t have any issues with the quality of the turmeric roots. I like this organic brand that is already a powder if you don’t want to grow it.

A Large Pot

This is a large plant so the pot needs to be at least 14 inches tall by 14 inches wide. It also needs to have good drainage holes and a pan underneath because you don’t want the plant sitting in water.

Potting Soil

The potting soil should be very rich, but also allow for the water to drain well since this plant shouldn’t be sitting in too much water. Adding some vermiculite to the soil can help with drainage.

A spot indoors with either full sun or only slight shade

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse in your back yard, then you’re all set with an ideal location. A spot near a window with southern exposure can also work well though.

How to Grow Your Turmeric Roots Indoors

1. After you’ve acquired your turmeric roots, soak them overnight in warm water in order to prepare them for planting. This will also help to get rid of any residue that may be present especially if you bought it from the grocery store.

2. Fill the pot with potting soil.

3. Plant the root with the eye bud pointing up in the soil. Then cover it with between one and two inches of soil.

Pro Tip – Break larger rhizomes into smaller pieces that have two or three buds.

4. Water the root well and put it in a location with some sun, but that doesn’t get too hot.

5. Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater.

Pro Tip – Use a spray bottle to mist the plant every day, so you don’t accidentally overwater it.

6. Treat with fertilizer between two and four times per month with mild or diluted fertilizer.

Pro Tip – Liquid fertilizer is ideal, but stick to organic.

7. Some additional tips can be found in this video:

How to Harvest Turmeric

1. Turmeric can take between six and 10 months for edible rhizomes, or roots, to grow.
Pro Tip – You can eat the stems and leaves earlier than this, but the best part of it is in the root.

2. Once you hit the six month mark, check the rhizomes to see if they are the size of ginger. If they are, you are ready to harvest them.

3. Dig up all the rhizomes in the pot.

Pro Tip – It’s best to harvest all of them at the same time.

4. Change the soil if you want to replant one of them. This is done because the soil will probably be depleted of the necessary nutrients from the first time around.

How to Store and Use Your Turmeric

1. Boil the rhizomes for 45 minutes.

2. Lay them out and dry them for about one week.

3. Peel the roots.

Pro Tip – Wear gloves when doing this because it will dye your hands bright yellow.

4. Grind the pieces to enable the turmeric to be used in a variety of recipes.

Turmeric is a great food to add to your diet to enhance your health. There have been over 800 studies showing that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, may help prevent cancer. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Not only does it have anti-cancer properties, it also is an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

Curcumin can cause cancer cell death and stop the growth of tumor cells. For a worst-case scenario, a study done by researchers at the Columbia University Department of Surgery studied its effects on pancreatic cancer. They found that patients who were undergoing chemotherapy treatments had increased function, improved appetites and less fatigue when taking curcumin.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial about the how to grow your own turmeric and use it to prevent cancer. Please comment below with your own recipes and please share it if you liked it!

How To Grow Turmeric Indoors (The Secret Is In The Watering)

Image source: .com

For centuries, people have used turmeric as a medicinal herb and a cooking spice. Today, herbalists recommend turmeric and turmeric tea blends to aid in the relief of inflammatory conditions, aches, pains and gastrointestinal problems.

One of the active components in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is obtained from the dried rhizome of the turmeric plant, and it has been found to reduce inflammation and stiffness related to arthritis and joint pain.

The good news is that it is possible to grow turmeric at home ─ indoors or outdoors ─ so that you can harvest the root yourself! If you would love to have a constant, fresh supply of turmeric root, then this is the way to go!

Since cold weather is soon approaching, let’s focus on growing turmeric indoors.

1. Attain turmeric root

Turmeric doesn’t propagate seeds and is grown from rhizomes (root cuttings). Therefore, all you need is one turmeric root, which you can buy at a local nursery or online.

2. Break up the rhizome

Break larger rhizome into smaller pieces. Make sure each piece has a bud or two on it.

3. Use a large pot

Start off with a pot large enough to grow a nice root system. The larger the pot, the larger the root will grow. This, of course, will depend on how much indoor space you have. Make sure your pots have drainage holes so that the soil will drain well. Fill your pot with slightly moistened, rich, organic soil.

4. Planting

Plant the rhizomes two inches beneath the soil, making sure that the buds are facing up. Turmeric prefers sunlight but will grow under artificial grow lights.

5. Water

Turmeric grows better when it is kept moist, especially in hot climates. Water it about every two days, and spray it with a mist bottle between waterings. When the weather is cold, you will not need to water it as often. You always want the soil to be moist, but never soggy!

6. Fertilize:

Image source: Flickr

Fertilize your turmeric plant twice a month. You can use organic fertilizer or make your own compost.

When Is Harvest Time?

One downside to growing turmeric is it takes about 8-10 months to mature. Furthermore, it is best to harvest the root in one entire piece.

It is best to maintain several plants, started at different times of the year so that you have a continuous supply of turmeric root.

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After the 8-10 months, when you feel that the roots are large enough, it is time to dig them up.

Save a few pieces of the rhizome for re-potting. Change the soil, though, as the original plant more than likely depleted all the nutrients.

To process turmeric:

  • Boil the rhizomes for about 45 minutes.
  • Let them dry on a drying rack, in a cool, dry place for about one week.
  • After the rhizomes are completely dry, peel them. You might want to wear gloves, as the dried root will turn your hands orange.
  • After peeling, grind up the root into a fine powder to use as a spice or as a tea.

Fresh-Brewed, Turmeric Root Tea Recipe

What you will need

  • For each cup of water, you will need two teaspoons of freshly grated turmeric root or two-thirds teaspoon of fresh-ground turmeric root.
  • Raw honey.
  • A wedge of fresh lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil or coconut oil ─ or black pepper ─ to aid in the absorption of curcumin.

Preparation

  • Bring the water to boil in a small pot.
  • After the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and blend in the turmeric root.
  • Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. If you are using ground turmeric, simmer for an extra 5 minutes.
  • Mix well, and then strain the turmeric from the tea.
  • Add a wedge of lemon and honey to taste.
  • Add the flaxseed oil, coconut oil or black pepper to aid in the absorption of curcumin.

Tumeric root tea is great for reducing aches and pains due to inflammation. It is suggested that you drink at least one to two cups of turmeric tea per day. However, there is not a standard amount for precise dosing.

Enjoy!

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

Have you ever grown turmeric indoors? Share your harvest tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

Plant the pieces shallowly, in a roomy pot that is 12 inches or more deep. Water well. The plants are slow to get going in mild springs outside their comfort hardiness zones, so be patient. After they sprout, make sure they never dry out. This is one of the plants that you really can water a lot as long as the water drains very well.

Above: Ginger reaches a height of from 3 to 4 feet.

The grassy stems are juicy and aromatic, and the leaves themselves are very fragrant—not as intense as the rhizome, at all, but wonderful when used as a bed for roasting vegetables or meats or stuffed into the cavity of a Thai-inspired roast chicken. You can also use them, bruised, to infuse drinks like vodka, or to make a herbed water. The stems are instant, scented swizzle sticks and can be chopped very finely to add to marinades and herb salts.

Above: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) should be planted in the same way as ginger, but it takes much longer for the new rhizomes to mature, from 10 to 12 months.

Ginger is positively speedy, by comparison. Turmeric rhizomes planted and harvested at the same time as ginger will be significantly smaller (but still flavorful) and need more months of maturation to reach a good size. If you are growing this spice at home for its bright orange tubers, start it indoors in winter, and bring it out when nights are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It needs consistent moisture, and keep a beady eye out for red spider mites, indoors (quirt them with soapy water, if detected).

Above: For me, the indoor-outdoor migration for turmeric (the leaves are on the right) is too much work, given the indoor challenge of drier air, for the reward. I treat turmeric only as an annual, and stick to using these aromatic leaves to perfume stews and braises, as well as the modestly sized early fall-harvested rhizomes.

Above: I moved the cardamom indoors just a few days ago, along with my Thai limes. I ordered Cardamom Starts in 3.5-inch pots ($6.50 from Companion Plants); almost a year later, the cardamom has grown massively. Cardamom is Elettaria cardamomum, whose famous seeds we know from curry-making and Middle Eastern spice mixes. It also belongs to the ginger family and is native to tropical southern Asia, where monsoon conditions deliver boatloads of rain to the plants. It is able to grow in USDA zones 10 to 12, but requires tropical, humid conditions, with a lot of daily water in order to produce the flowers and those famous fruit.

In Brooklyn, despite our humid summers, I am not expecting either. I love the leaves, and anything else would be a very surprising bonus. Cardamom needs room; mine grows in a 16-inch pot, well mulched with cedar. The plants like full shade, and a lot of water. More cold sensitive than ginger, cardamom is best brought in when nights dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit; leaf damage will occur with temperatures below 50 degrees.

If you can bring the plants indoors to a bright bathroom in winter, they will happy with the additional steam. The second best option is a bright room, where you mist them daily in the driest cold months. The handsome leaves have a wonderful perfume, something between scented rose petals and incense, but not cloying, They offer a delicate but distinctive flavor to sauces and roasts, as long as they do not dry out in the oven. Tuck them under or inside a chicken or duck, or allow them to infuse pan juices before removing. They also infuse drinks and teas, and make a delightfully scented sugar (whizz up in a food processor).

Just because winter is coming does not mean you have to stop edible gardening. Now is actually a very good time to start.

N.B.: See more from Marie’s garden (and foraging adventures):

  • 23 and Me: My Favorite Edible Plants to Grow in Shade.
  • My Brooklyn Garden Rehab: 1,000 Square Feet, Season Two.
  • Wild Foods: 9 Weeds to Keep (and Eat).

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