06 July 2013

Saturday Spotlight - Turmeric

Some vegies require lots of attention, thought and TLC.  Others you just plant...wait...harvest.  Turmeric has been that type of plant for me.  I've just harvested my first ever crop (if one plant can constitute a crop).  I would never have believed that you could grow it in Melbourne, but was encouraged to give it a go when I saw what success Liz at Suburban Tomato had with it.  

I bought a piece last Spring, planted it into a neglected herb garden bed which gets sun for about half the day in Summer, but hardly any in Winter, is full of building rubble and generally pretty poor soil.  I watered it a bit in Summer when it started looking droopy, but otherwise just let it be for about 10 months.  

I had no idea when to harvest it until I read that it's ready when the leaves start to die off.  So when it started turning yellow in the last week or so, it seemed time to dig it up.  For my investment of one piece of turmeric I was rewarded with about six pieces of beautiful, deep orange pieces.  Apparently in tropical areas the plant produces a beautiful flower, but it seemed to be too cold here for that to happen.  After I'd put the leaves in the compost I also read that you can eat the leaves in curries and stir fries.  

I'll definitely plant some more in Spring, perhaps in large pots so that they can get more sun. And if turmeric works, I assume I could also grow ginger and galangal, so I'll give those a try as well.  Gotta love gardening experiments that work - thanks for the inspiration Liz!


And for other inspiration, head over to Liz's blog to read some other Saturday Spotlights.

8 comments:

  1. Sensational! I had no idea we could grow it in Melbourne either! I think I will have to give it a go this spring :D Did you just buy an organic piece or normal turmeric?

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    1. From memory I bought some organic turmeric from the Vic Market. The piece I planted was about 4cm long I think.

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  2. That is great to know! I also didn't know you could grow it in Melbourne! I have a couple of pieces at the moment, so might plant them and see what happens . Do you think I should wait till Spring or plant them right now? Would they rot in the ground over winter? I am really impressed, I'd love to grow ginger too! xx

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    1. I've been trying to remember when I planted it last year. I think I did wait until a bit later, but perhaps only August. I guess it depends on how well drained the spot you plant it is. The bed I planted it in is sheltered a bit by the house, so doesn't get really wet. I think I'll wait until August to plant the next lot. You should definitely try some ginger as well!

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  3. I've never tried fresh turmeric but I've seen it occasionally at the market. It might be fun to try it, my weather is just slightly colder than in Melbourne so I might have somewhat of a chance at success.

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  4. Will you look at that!I might have to find a spot for it in my patch too.

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  5. That's awesome. I love turmeric and can never find it except as a bottled, ground, spice.

    Certainly it gets too cold here, but if I had a greenhouse.... ;-)

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