Earlier this year I planted some Turmeric rhizomes. I had no real idea whether or not they would survive, do well, or in fact produce anything. It was one of my “gardening for fun” veggies / herbs.
Here’s the original post , I planted turmeric and galangal, well the galangal never got started, I think I need to find a good supply of fresh roots, ones that haven’t been frozen to death in a supermarket freezer.
Today was empty the Turmeric pots out and see what I could find day. For the faint-hearted of you these are not the most attractive gardening photo’s I have ever taken. I’ve decided the Turmeric is not particularly photogenic!
As winter is around the corner I needed to check the pots. As you can see the upper plant leaves are straggly but the rhizomes underneath are lovely and very much alive. I emptied 2 pots out and found 2 huge tubers, much larger than the ones I originally used to grow from. Chuffed? You bet!
I’ve re-potted them and have brought them indoors for winter. I hope to keep the plants going till Spring when they can go back out into the greenhouse or patio. And fingers crossed, and with a bit more potting on and TLC I’ll have lovely splendid plants to show for my efforts next year. The one thing I’ll make sure I do is to pot them into large pots, I think they became a bit root-bound, and would grow to more substantial plants given the extra space. My general neglect of them shows that they are easy and undemanding plants to grow, either in pots or in a border.
As to how I’ll use the turmeric, when you open / peel them they are a marvellous deep orange saffron colour, and have a slight musky scent. I’ve used fresh turmeric before shredded into rice dishes, but I’m off now to find a special recipe for my rhizomes. Unless of course any of you clever and knowledgable WordPress bloggites have any recommendations 🙂
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The best information I can find is from a website – Urban Harvest . None of my gardening books have anything in them about Turmeric, when I look down the index they all stop at Turnips. So here’s the best information that I’ve gleaned: –
Turmeric, is part of the Ginger family – Ornamental gingers include the Cardamom as well as Galangal, Ginger and turmeric they are part of the family Zingiberaceae.
Galangal – Alpinia galangal, is native to Java, Turmeric – Curcuma longa, is native to South East Asia and traditional Ginger – Zingiber officinale.
“The turmeric plant is fairly large, reaching 4 feet in height and has a growth similar to cannas. Its ornamental beauty makes it a candidate for growing in a flower bed. Galangal is tall, easily reaching six to seven feet, and looks like ornamental shell ginger. Traditional ginger is the scraggliest, but its growth allows it to be planted densely in a traditional vegetable bed. It rarely reaches more than three feet in height.”
So although it looks like a Canna, is a rhizome like a Canna, I believe it’s not related to the Canna. I also haven’t seen any pictures of Turmeric flowering, I guess they do, but I haven’t seen anything nor did mine flower. I hope to find out a bit more next summer – as long as I can keep the plants alive over winter.